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Free Non-profit Webinars for February 2012

Lori Halley 19 January 2012 2 comments

Even though February is a short month, we’ve found over 35+ free non-profit webinars for our monthly round-up. There are webinars offering tips and information on topics such as: grant proposals; how to “Fire-up your board for fundraising;” volunteer engagement; “Pitch-perfect messaging;” social media audits; and much more!  Have a look at this extensive list of webinars for non-profits and associations.


Wild Apricot Product Webinars:

Setting Up Your Wild Apricot Website

Wednesday, 8 February 2012
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Want to know more about how to customize your Wild Apricot website? In this webinar, we'll dig deep into the website portion of Wild Apricot software, demonstrating key operations related to website setup, customization and page editing.
You'll learn:
  • the benefits of using the Wild Apricot vs traditional websites website setup 
  • customization of themes, header, menu, footer, and more
  • page editing, including adding pages, layouts, uploading/inserting documents, third party widgets 
  • feature pages for interactive functionality, including member profiles, online payment forms 
  • using communication tools like blogs and forums 
  • and much more...

Wild Apricot - Software Overview

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

This free webinar is an introduction to Wild Apricot software for associations, non-profits and other member-driven organizations. Led by one of our friendly and knowledgeable Apricots, you'll learn about the many features including:




  • Membership management: member applications and renewals, self-service portal, online member directory and communication functions
  • Web editing: design features, creating and customizing site content, public and members only access management and online community features
  • Event management: registration, payments and event promotion
  • Fundraising: online donations, donor database management and communications and more.

You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and see first-hand how Wild Apricot can help you manage the "boring stuff" and get on with the real work of your organization.

Managing Your Membership Database in Wild Apricot


Wednesday, 29 February 2012
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Want to learn about Wild Apricot membership management? In this webinar, we'll dig deep into the membership database portion of Wild Apricot, including:

  • using Wild Apricot's online database system for storing members, donors and other contacts, vs. traditional offline systems like Excel 
  • database structure and composition (membership levels, common fields / membership fields) 
  • widgets - integrating Wild Apricot membership management into your existing website 
  • importing and exporting existing records 
  • searching, filtering, and contacting selected members 
  • self-service functionality for members (online applications and payments, updating profile, renewals) 
  • membership directory feature 
  • and more!

Here’s the rest of this month’s webinars in chronological order:

How to Make Your Grant Proposal Stand Out From the Pack 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

What can you do to find favor with grant funders and how do you even make them notice you – much less fund you? Your proposal is normally the first impression a grant funder has of your organization. Learn how to make the best impression you can so that funders will sit up and take notice. This is finally your opportunity to learn valuable tactics that will take your grant proposals from so-so to great!  This CharityHowTo webinar will cover:

  • What are the ten things grant funders always look for?
  • What words should be avoided in proposals?
  • What should be included in a stand-out cover letter?
  • How can a proposal be formatted for maximum chance of funding?
  • What steps can be taken to ensure grant continuation?

Fire Up Your Board for Fundraising: Turn Their Passion Into Action

Wednesday, 1 February 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Wish you could create a fired-up, engaged board excited about possibilities for your organization and eager to play a part in making it happen? Consultant and author Gail Perry, CFRE will share her internationally popular Fired Up system of seven steps to ignite your board's passion for fundraising. In this GuideStar webinar, you’ll:

  • Learn how to inspire your board to a higher calling with deeper commitment.
  • Discover how to create trust and collegiality on your board.
  • Understand what board members want---and how you can give it to them.
  • Find out how to take the fundraising conversation to a deeper level.
  • Get tools board members can use to open any door in town.
  • Learn how to get your board members over their fear of fundraising.
  • Discover how to put board members to work in all parts of the fundraising cycle.

Tell Your Story to Sell Your Story: Why an Outreach Plan is Crucial for Every Non-Profit

Wednesday, 1 February 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

How can you raise money and awareness if few people outside the Board and the staff know what your organization does? A public relations strategy is often dismissed as a pointless frill but Monica Collins, communications expert, will speak about the myriad ways a media strategy can be a key investment. This Nonprofit Webinars session will address how well-placed story ideas, a targeted social media campaign, and carefully crafted pitches to local and national press can result in welcome public attention and donor dollars. This session will cover:

  • A practical plan for press relations and community outreach
  • A reasoned approach to writing and telling the story straight without jargon and fog
  • An explanation of how to bring outward communications inside the organization so outreach and transparency are intrinsic qualities of the organization, which wins regard from donors, the public and political establishment.
  • Suggestions for how to deal with “crisis” communications when your organization does not want any press attention.
  • Why a paper newsletter remains an important publication for your non-profit.

How to Approach a Foundation

Thursday, 2 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Learn how to build relationships with foundation prospects and prepare for calls and meetings with funders. From initial contact to getting funded, following field-tested best practices will increase your chances of getting the grant. This Foundation Center webinar will teach you how to:

  • Initiate contact with potential funders
  • Plan calls and meetings, including site visits
  • Effectively communicate with funders during the grant process

Please Note: Prior attendance at Grantseeking Basics webinar is strongly recommended.

Making Volunteer Engagement Everyone’s Job

Thursday, 2 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Too often engaging volunteers falls to the volunteer program manager, and it's not uncommon to hear the phrase "your volunteers" used in organizations. How do you make volunteer engagement everyone's job? This VolunteerMatch webinar will provide you with the tools to become an advocate for volunteer engagement. Learn how to create a step by step communication plan to reinforce the importance of volunteer engagement to important stakeholders within your organization.

Before You Seek a Grant: A Checklist for New Nonprofits

Tuesday, 7 February 212
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Learn the characteristics of effective nonprofits and assess whether yours is ready for foundation fundraising. This webinar is designed for new nonprofits or community groups with very little experience in grantseeking. We focus specifically on foundation fundraising. This Foundation Center webinar will provide you a step-by-step checklist approach to help you determine your own readiness for foundation fundraising and will address questions such as:

  • What groundwork do I have to have in place before approaching foundations for funding?
  • What are the steps to obtaining incorporation and nonprofit status and where can I get some help to do so?
  • What are the characteristics of successful nonprofits?

How To move Your Board Materials Online

Tuesday, 7 February 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Hear how the Greater Milwaukee Foundation uses Microsoft SharePoint and Adobe Acrobat to create a board portal which provides its board members with a calendar, contacts and board materials on-line. In this Nonprofit Webinars session you’ll learn what other solutions were considered, the selection process, and why SharePoint and Adobe were selected and learn:

  • List of options considered
  • The process followed to ensure a successful implementation
  • How to take advantage of Microsoft SharePoint and Adobe to create a simple, yet customized, board portal
  • How to combine SharePoint with GoodReader to create a tablet option for your board book

The 4 Keys to Pitch-Perfect Messaging 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

How to Stop Striking Flat Notes with Your Target Audiences and Join the 16% of Nonprofits Whose Messages Resonate and Spur Action
. Messages are the way to build relationships
Without strong messages, it’s impossible to connect. And there’s simply no way you’ll build the mutually-satisfying relationships with passionate supporters you need to meet your organization’s overall goals. In this Getting Attention webinar you will learn:


  • The three things you have to know before you even start message creation
  • The four cornerstones of a nonprofit message platform that connects, with real-life examples
  • The specific value of each message element, and how to use it for greatest impact.


You’ll finish the webinar with a clear path to messaging that connects with your target audiences and spurs the actions you need to move your cause forward. Messaging for mission!

Moving on Up in Your Nonprofit Career:  Tips Tactics and Advice for the Nonprofit Professional

Wednesday, 8 February 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Do you crave more responsibility and learning opportunities at your job? Do you want to learn how to be an Executive Director, or Chief Development Officer? This CharityHowTo webinar, (led by Mazarine Treyz. Author, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising) will use real stories from real people telling you how they moved up in their career. We’ll help you answer questions like: What can you do to take control of your career? What can you do to make yourself irresistible to employers?  In this webinar you’ll learn how to:

  •  identify your accomplishments
  • get recognition for your accomplishments
  • show people your value as a leader

Advancement Best Practices: Advanced Cases Discussion

Wednesday, 8 February 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Does your institution have untapped advancement potential? The accomplished panel for this Nonprofit Webinars session will offer strategies and actions to improve fundraising results through key priorities…AND welcomes your questions and comments on some common challenges that face start-up, emergent and mature advancement efforts – presented through case descriptions and advanced discussion. Learn how the world’s best distil success strategies…to help transform your institution’s advancement performance.

Social Media: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

Thursday, 9 February 2012
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, in partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, is sponsoring this webinar for nonprofit organizations. Social media is becoming an important tool for nonprofits to communicate with their supporters, increase awareness of their mission and raise funds. At the same time, there are many legal issues for a nonprofit to consider when using social media. Do the rules regarding copyrights and trade marks apply? Is a nonprofit responsible for material posted on its Facebook page? Are there any privacy concerns? What if an employee posts inappropriate information on the Internet during working hours? What policies should a nonprofit put in place?

This webinar - designed for board members, executive directors and other nonprofit staff and volunteers responsible for marketing, communications and fundraising - will help answer these questions and give your nonprofit advice about how to navigate the new world of social media.

Grantseeking Basics

Thursday, 9 February 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Are you a representative of a nonprofit organization? Are you new to fundraising? Do you want to learn how the funding research process works, and what tools and resources are available? Learn how to become a better grantseeker in this Foundation Center webinar. This session will cover: what you need to have in place before you seek a grant; the world of grantmakers; the grantseeking process; and available tools and resources. 

Playing by the Rules: Creating an Effective Volunteer Handbook

Thursday, 9 February 2012
2:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Eastern)

When was the last time you reviewed your Volunteer Handbook or Policies and Procedures Manual? It’s probably been too long. Learn how to create a living document that can help both paid and volunteer staff be better informed and know what is expected of them. A good Volunteer Handbook can also help you better identify and deal with challenging volunteers. Whether you’re just starting to create a Handbook or if you’re looking for best practices on information to include, this VolunteerMatch webinar will evaluate the Handbook you have and help you create a stronger framework for your volunteer engagement program.

Using Referrals to Increase Donations

Friday, 10 February 2012
1:00 PM (Eastern)

Looking to increase the number of donor referrals to your organization? Join Kevin Strickland with the Not For Profit Group in this GuideStar webinar for a fast-paced discussion of practical how-to's on developing referral relationships with internal and external Centers of Influence (COIs.)


Social Media and Volunteer Engagement

Tuesday, 14 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

What do you need to know about social media as a volunteer program manager? How can you use sites like Facebook, and Twitter to promote your volunteer opportunities and recruit volunteers? This VolunteerMatch webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment and retention plans. You'll also learn about the social media tools available in your VolunteerMatch account that help you promote your volunteer opportunity on other social networking sites.

The Power of Collaborative Solutions

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

This Nonprofit Webinars session focuses on building effective coalitions and partnerships for building healthy communities. We all spend too much effort in time-consuming and ineffective coalitions. We know what makes collaborative solutions work. This webinar will explore the six key principles for building effective collaborative solutions and provide participants with stories and tools for the creation of effective collaborative solutions.

The Social Media Audit

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

A social media audit of systems, implementation, strategy, and culture offers a comprehensive evaluation of the state of your organization’s social media strategy, processes, and systems. Audits are not a judgment, but rather a statement of where you are along a continuum of practice, and offer practical insights into your social media execution and effectiveness. In this Nonprofit Webinars session (led by Debra Askanase), we’ll discuss the right time to consider a social media audit, the goals of the audit, inquiry tools and resources, what a 360-degree audit entails, and what to do with the results.

Proposal Writing Basics

Thursday, 16 February 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Learn the key components of a proposal to a foundation.
For those new to proposal writing, this Foundation Center webinar will cover:

  • How the proposal fits into the overall grantseeking process
  • What to include in a standard proposal to a foundation
  • Tips for making each section of your proposal stronger
  • What funders expect to see in your proposal and attachments
  • Tips for communicating with funders during the grant process
  • Additional resources on proposal writing, including sample proposals

Successful Volunteer Interview Strategies

Thursday, 16 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Interviewing each prospective volunteer can seem overwhelming, but it's one of the best ways to ensure that the volunteers you recruit are the volunteers you need. This VolunteerMatch webinar introduces a variety of question types used in volunteer interviews and offers strategies for honing your interview skills. Materials will be provided to help you implement this process in your organization, as well as a training syllabus so you can learn how to recruit and train a volunteer staff to assist with prospective volunteer interviews.

Investing in Infrastructure


Friday, 17 February 2012
11:00 AM (Eastern)

Do you get nervous when funders ask you about overhead costs? Not sure how to respond? Feel like people don’t understand the importance of investing in yourself first? Need tips on how to respond? Frustrated that you don’t have money to invest in fundraising? During this teleseminar (geared towards leaders of nonprofit organizations, especially Board Members, Executive Directors and senior leadership) you'll learn about:


  • Acceptable program versus administrative cost ratios
  • How to talk about overhead costs
  • Why it is important to invest in yourself first
  • How to harness technology to engage people in your cause
  • The importance of investing in board development
  • How to budget strategically

Please note: this Growing Your Donors teleseminar (details will be emailed to registered attendees) will follow an interview format. There will be opportunities during the call to present your questions.

Proposal Budgeting Basics

Tuesday, 21 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Learn to prepare and present a budget in a grant proposal.
This Foundation Center webinar, geared to the novice grantseeker, will cover such topics as:

  • What is included under the "personnel" section and how to calculate it?
  • What level of detail do you need to include for non-personnel expenses?
  • How do you determine reasonable costs?
  • What types of expenses are considered "overhead"?
  • What other financial documents will funders want to see?

Please Note: Prior attendance at Proposal Writing Basics (noted above) is strongly recommended.

Writing for the Web: Today’s Best Practices

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Of course, your organization absolutely must have a nice-looking website. But it also must contain content that your users really want to engage with AND can easily find! Your website is a key part of your organization’s outreach/marketing effort and needs to speak to your readers THEIR way. This Network for Good webinar will offer you plenty of tips and techniques to make sure your content is web reader-friendly, while it stresses your community impact. You’ll learn how to:

  • Stay "need to know"
  • Keep it short, simple and scannable
  • Use links strategially
  • Write for search engine optimization

Getting Volunteers for your Nonprofit: How to find, recruit and develop relationships with volunteers

Wednesday, 22 February 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern)

How many volunteers does your nonprofit have? Would you like to have more volunteers? Do you know why your volunteers are involved with your organization? What makes them feel so dedicated to work for you, for free? Volunteers are the most overlooked resource in nonprofits. This Charity How-To webinar will show you how to find, recruit and develop relationships with your volunteers. You'll learn: 5 fabulous resources to find volunteers; how to write a compelling volunteer job description; example tasks that volunteers can perform and more.

Nonprofit Sustainability: Building Blocks to Organizational Success

Wednesday, 22 February 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Eastern)

Learn how to enhance your organization's competitiveness and strengthen its financial health.
Sustainability is a popular but often misunderstood buzzword in our sector. Nonprofit sustainability means more than just generating enough money to keep our organization afloat. This Foundation Center webinar will begin with the definition of nonprofit sustainability, and then we will cover each of the four key elements that contribute to long-term sustainability for an organization. Learn what you can do to increase your organization’s competitiveness and strengthen its financial health in the current economic climate. Topics covered include:

  • Understanding what nonprofit sustainability means
  • Key elements of nonprofit sustainability
  • Tips on how to develop them in your organization

Advisory Boards: Engaging Donors & Developing Leaders

Wednesday, 22 February 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Chief Development Officers and their staff face increased competition for a donor’s time and dollars. At the same time the demands placed on the executive director’s time prevent them from developing the leadership skills of their direct reports. Donors are more inclined to give if they have more engagement with the organization. This Nonprofit Webinars session will inform participants about how in these cost-constrained times an advisory board comprised of thoughtfully selected donors can help them better engage with those donors while developing the current and future organizational leadership.

Listening & Engaging: DIY Tools for Social Media Management

Wednesday, 22 February 2012
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

As social media tools like Twitter and Facebook become core components of nonprofit communication strategies, there is a corresponding need to assess how well programmatic messaging and organizational identity are propagating in those channels: “We Tweet; is anybody listening?” In addition, nonprofits have an increasing need to know on what blogs, websites and other online venues they and their issues are being mentioned and discussed, both favorably and less favorably. This Nonprofit Webinars session (led by Amy Sample Ward)will show you how to create a listening dashboard for your or your organization’s use. I will also provide an introduction for social media goal-setting and a template for tracking your social media engagement.

How to Captivate and Engage Your Constituents With Your Website

Tuesday, 28 February 2012
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Eastern)

In this Firespring webinar, you will learn from more than 10 years of focus group research with nonprofit constituents and donors how to captivate and engage your audience. Key takeaways include:

  • 5 required elements of engaging website;
  • the 3 biggest mistakes nonprofits make with their website;
  • 5 proven methods for promoting your organization online;
  • the #1 thing nonprofits should consider regarding Search Engine Optimization;
  • real-world examples of nonprofit organizations that have mastered their online presence.

How Your Donor Management System Can Help Create a Culture of Philanthropy

Tuesday, 28 February 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

This Nonprofit Webinars session will explore what a Culture of Philanthropy means. Why your donor management system is integral to this process. The basic steps needed to create a Culture of Philanthropy. How a Culture of Philanthropy supports your work.

  • What a Culture of Philanthropy means
  • What are some of the basic steps in creating this culture
  • How a Culture of Philanthropy compliments your specific work
  • How building this culture helps strengthen relationships with donors, volunteers and staff

Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Gain an overview of foundation fundraising for individuals working in the arts.
If you are an individual involved in the arts and looking for funding to complete a project, mount an exhibition, put on a performance, conduct research, or anything else arts-related, This Foundation Center webinar will show you how to:

  • Identify funders in the arts
  • Explore the option of fiscal sponsorship

Taking the Mystery Out of Metrics

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Measure, measure, measure. More and more, we hear about the importance of metrics. But what does that really mean? Join strategy consultants Sam Frank and Michele Levy in this Nonprofit Webinars session for a practical discussion about the metrics that really matter for nonprofit organizations. Takeaways include:

  • A straightforward definition of metrics and why they matter
  • A brief list of key metrics that you can track for your organization
  • An understanding of how to provide context for those metrics (aka so what do these numbers actually mean?)
  • Some tips for creating a more metrics-driven organization

Boomer Volunteers Building Capacity: Successfully Managing Change

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Shifting from a traditional culture of volunteer management to a collaborative culture of volunteer engagement presents challenges and opportunities. This VolunteerMatch webinar introduces participants to specific tools that help to smooth the transition and structure your organization for successful- and lasting change. The webinar features the stages of change, tools to assess of current volunteer practices, and a proven model for change that participants can take back to their teams to begin implementing. The series, presented by Jill Friedman Fixler, author of the Boomer Volunteer Engagement series, and co-author/editor Beth Steinhorn, is designed as a collection of four separate webinars and can be taken in any order.

Fundraising and the Next Generation

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern)

For the first time in history, there are four generations involved in philanthropy: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y (Millenials). Although each generation is philanthropic, they have individual preferences for how they are engaged by nonprofits. This Nonprofit Webinars session will demonstrate how important it is to create lifetime givers by reaching out to the younger generations (under age 40) now as well as define the key characteristics of the four current generations and their habits for charitable giving. Nonprofit professionals will learn strategic entry points to successfully engage these younger generations in philanthropy, both as donors and in the multigenerational development office. Ultimately, today’s annual donors are tomorrow’s major donors; we need to cultivate them today.

Stay tuned for next month’s Free Webinar Round-up:

This round-up of free non-profit webinars is a regular monthly feature compiled by the Wild Apricot Blog. Subscribe by RSS or get updates by email and be sure to catch next month’s webinars, as well as other great resources for associations and non-profits.

Do you have a webinar for next month’s Round-up?

If your organization offers a free webinar that would be of interest to non-profit, membership or volunteer-based organizations and you want to include it in next month's post, please email an overview (like those above) to lori@wildapricot.com no later than February 15th.

And, as always, if you know of a free webinar that we've missed for this month -- please share the details in the comments section below - but please provide only a brief overview!

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 19 January 2012 at 9:33 AM


  • Danny Young said:

    Thursday, 26 January 2012 at 5:31 PM
    Thanks for posting all this great free info about your seminars. I will be sure to look into a couple of them to help my foundation grow. www.FlutterByIzzyJaneFoundation.org We are so excited to start helping families.
  • Nonprofit VOTE said:

    Friday, 27 January 2012 at 2:25 PM
    States Move to Restrict Voting: How Nonprofits Can Defend the Right to Vote

    Thursday, February 23th at 2:00 Eastern

    Last year there was an unprecedented nationwide effort to pass legislation that creates voter registration barriers and limits access to the polls. Unfortunately, that effort continues in 2012. Many of these new laws require voters to provide photo ID at the polls, mandate proof of citizenship before registering to vote, and place severe restrictions on third party voter registration drives. Join us for more on these issues and how you can educate your constituents about the changes, as well as ideas for helping to counter them.

    RSVP at https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/showReg?udc=4rzfjm4q7u36
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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