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26 Free Nonprofit Webinars for May 2017

Terry Ibele 25 April 2017 3 comments

free nonprofit webinarsEvery month I compile the internet's biggest list of nonprofit webinars.

As usual, there are lots of great webinars this month, including how to build a grantseeking team, a smarter way to fundraise, and an entire virtual conference on everything to do with building and engaging your board.

And of course, Wild Apricot is hosting some free webinars this month too, including one eligible for a CAE credit: How Top Nonprofits Get Volunteers to Sustain Their Service (presented by volunteer guru Barry Altland).

So, without further ado, here are 26 free nonprofit webinars for May 2017:


1) Introduction to Corporate Giving

May 3rd, 2:00 PM (ET)

Is your organization ready to seek corporate support?

Corporate grantmakers are different from traditional foundations in many ways. This class provides a basic overview of:

  • The different types of corporate giving
  • What motivates corporations to give
  • How to find potential corporate partners


2) 3 Writing Strategies That Will Help You Raise More Money

May 3rd, 1:00 PM (ET)

How confident do you feel about your writing? It's an important skill every non-profit professional should have at their disposal for fundraising. Writing that raises money is more for a science than an art, and this webinar will break down three important strategies that you can use in your writing to get better fundraising results.

  • Learn 3 essential writing strategies that can help you raise more money
  • Understand the biggest mistakes that fundraisers make when it comes to writing, plus how you can avoid them
  • See before and after examples of writing that use these strategies
  • Get answers to your questions about writing


3) 3 Easy Ways to Retain More Members Using Software

May 4th, 2:00 PM (ET)

Do you sometimes feel that your membership is like a leaky boat? Every time you look at your database, you notice a few members have left? 

In this free webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get your members to renew on their own, so you don’t have to chase them
  • Automate your new member onboarding process and save hours each week 
  • Quickly identify who is about to leave, and what you can do to keep them


4) Fundraising 101: The Fundraising Cycle - What Is It, and How Do You Make It Work for Your Mission?

May 4th, 1:00 PM (ET)

The basic fundraising cycle applies to all types of nonprofits and all sorts of campaigns, from the annual campaign to support your local animal shelter to the multi-million-dollar capital campaign for a major university. The fundraising cycle is the foundation for all development efforts, and it pays to know how to work it effectively.


Fundraising is much more than asking. Donors’ reasons for giving are complex, so development professionals must understand how to engage with donors effectively at each step in the cycle. What motivates donors? What keeps current donors committed to your mission? What methods can you use to motivate new donors to give and remain a part of your nonprofit’s family?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to donor engagement. Every successful fundraising campaign is built on a strategic understanding of the fundraising cycle. Knowing where each donor is in the cycle--and the types of engagement opportunities that work best for each step in the cycle--will help you acquire more donors, steward relationships with your current donors, and raise the money you need to meet mission.

Join Heather to learn the basics of donor engagement at each step in the fundraising cycle.

What we will cover during the live webinar:

  • The five major steps of the fundraising cycle
  • Donor engagement opportunities at each step in the cycle
  • Tips and tricks for board, staff, and volunteers to get involved in donor engagement


5) Building a Stellar Grantseeking Team

May 4th, 11:00 AM (PT)

One of the most time consuming tasks for an Executive Director of a nonprofit organization is the research, writing, and submission of grant requests. And, unfortunately, it is often a task that is both daunting and isolating.

This free webinar for TechSoup's audience (normally $69!) taught by GrantStation's CEO, Cynthia Adams, takes you through a step-by-step process to develop a grantseeking team, all working toward a common vision: to strengthen and build your grants program.

This online training focuses on a step-by-step process to craft the perfect committee, develop a process to energize your team, and discover ways to create a sustainable program. Ms. Adams's unique approach will help you develop a team that will generate stellar results.


6) Get to Know GrantStation

May 9th, 11:00 AM (PT)

Get to know GrantStation, the one-stop solution for federal, state, and private grants research.

Join Jeremy Smith, GrantStation's Communications Director, and Sara Kennedy, Director of Online Education, for a tour of the GrantStation website. This tour will provide tips on the most effective way to use all of the valuable resources the website offers, including their extensive funder databases that can help you identify the grantmakers most likely to fund your programs or projects.


7) How Top Nonprofits Get Volunteers to Sustain Their Service

May 9th, 2:00 PM (ET)

Many well-intentioned volunteer appreciation tactics actually end up demotivating people. This is one of the reasons why many organizations struggle with volunteer engagement. To help you, we’re hosting a free webinar on May 9 with Barry Altland, a leading expert on volunteers.

In this free webinar, Barry will show you:

  • The 6 keys to increasing volunteer engagement
  • The 2 big mistakes most volunteer leaders make that cause volunteers to disengage
  • How to build lasting relationships with your volunteers


8) Crowdfunding 101

May 9th, 12:00 PM (CT)

Crowdfunding has quickly become a new tool in the fundraising toolbox. It allows nonprofits to leverage their networks to raise more money, faster, from a larger audience and is changing the face of nonprofit fundraising as donors welcome a more engaged approached to giving. Forbes reported that 30% of the $5 billion crowdfunded went to social causes, and this trend will continue to rise.

Learn how your organization can use crowdfunding to raise the bar on your fundraising initiatives. Dana Ostomel, Firespring’s authority on crowdfunding, will walk you through the lifecycle of a campaign, from creation through appreciation, emphasizing how to engage new audiences. Come ready to ask about the campaigns you have in mind so we can answer all your questions. You’ll discover:

  • Why crowdfunding is a must-do for your nonprofit.
  • How to incorporate crowdfunding into your existing fundraising mix.
  • What role strangers play in crowdfunding.
  • What types of campaigns are most effective.
  • The power of crowdfunding beyond increased revenue.
  • Concrete steps you can implement immediately.


9) The Campaign Feasibility Assessment - Can You Do it on Your Own?

May 9th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Do you need to conduct a campaign feasibility assessment for your nonprofit?

Ten years ago, that question was easy to answer with a resounding “yes.” However, today, you will find articles online that question the value of the campaign feasibility assessment. Some writers suggest it is an outdated development tool and does not inform the campaign plan in meaningful ways. You may read other blogs that question the need to hire a development consultant to help with the assessment, suggesting every nonprofit can complete a feasibility assessment without help.

With all this conflicting information, what should you do?

First and foremost, the campaign feasibility assessment remains a powerful tool in nonprofit fundraising. The process helps you assess the potential success of the campaign before you invest time and resources--human and financial--into the effort.

Join Heather to learn the basics of the campaign feasibility assessment and how you can assess whether you can complete it on your own or need to hire a development consultant.

What we will cover during the live webinar:

  • The basics elements of the campaign feasibility assessment
  • How to assess your capacity to complete the assessment
  • Tips and tricks for board, staff, and volunteers to get involved in the campaign feasibility assessment


10) The New Volunteer Manager's Toolkit

May 9th, 11:00 AM (PT)

New to volunteer management? Looking for a refresher on the basics? This webinar will walk you through the three primary Rs - recruitment, retention and recognition. We'll discuss the most popular program components such as interviews, orientations, volunteer handbooks, and more. And, we'll talk about the importance of managing risk for your program and your organization. All attendees will also receive a sample packet with examples of program documents and program assessment checklists to help you evaluate your existing program.

What You'll Learn: 

  • The basics of volunteer engagement.
  • What are the 3 Rs of volunteer engagement?
  • What are the components of a successful volunteer program?

Who Should Attend: 

  • Nonprofit Volunteer Managers who are new to VolunteerMatch
  • Nonprofit Volunteer Managers who are new to the field
  • Nonprofit Managers who are new to working with volunteers


11) Introduction to Fundraising Planning

May 10th, 2:00 PM (ET)

Does your organization need help directing its fundraising efforts? Planning focuses your organization by setting fundraising priorities and helps give staff and board members a roadmap to success.

This introductory class will provide you the basic steps for developing a fundraising plan, including tips on:

  • Making your case for support
  • Diversifying your organization’s fundraising base
  • Creating a plan of action


12) Do You Need a Planning/Feasibility Study Before You Run a Capital Campaign?

May 10th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Do you need a study before you run a campaign? What are the pros and cons of planning/feasibility studies? How long will it take? How much will it cost? Can we do it ourselves? What should we expect from a consultant? What happens if we don't do one? These and other questions will be answered in this webinar by capital campaign expert, Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE. Linda has run campaigns ranging in size from $200,000 to more than $30 million. She's done campaigns where there was no study done and the campaigns were successful, and she'll tell you why!


13) The Tech Effect: Discover the Simple Solution that 1000s of Organizations Are Using to Grow Membership In Today’s World

May 11th, 2:00 PM (ET)

Have you noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to grow your membership?

In this free webinar, you’ll learn:

  • All about The Tech Effect, the hidden threat that is making things harder for you to grow
  • 5 proven strategies to address The Tech Effect and attract new members right away 
  • How an easy tech solution can save you hours of administrative work every day

This is not your typical webinar. It follows the story of one membership manager’s challenges, and ultimate triumph. A story that has inspired thousands of others to grow their memberships faster than ever. 


14) Nonprofit 911: Building a Fundraising Board

May 11th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Is your nonprofit struggling to get donations from your board of directors? Join us for this highly practical, tactical workshop and learn concrete tips and tools to help your organization motivate your board and get more dollars in the door.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Motivate your board to open doors to potential donors, funders, and partners.
  • Engage your board and clarify what’s expected of each member.
  • Transition non-contributing members off the board, gracefully.


15) The Intentional Board: Why Your Board Doesn't Work and How to Fix it

May 11th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Accidental boards result from the forces of human nature. A well-intentioned group of individuals with a boatload of passion join together to solve a specific problem. They form a not-for-profit organization and someone tells them they have to have a board. No problem. They begin having meetings and gradually turn over daily management to the CEO. 

What happens next? Board members become frustrated by coming to meeting after meeting consisting of reports and mundane actions they find neither challenging nor fulfilling. CEOs are frustrated by boards that seem to do nothing of any consequence on behalf of the organization.

In a sense both perceptions are accurate. And both parties are fully justified in their frustration. 

There is an alternative for board leaders. An Intentional board is the result of purposeful, deliberate action. It involves a collective striving for excellence. And it is a rewarding endeavor for all who are involved. Moving toward an intentional board involves adopting practices that transform the work of the board.

This webinar provides practical, hands on tools to enable well-intentioned, dedicated people to move from survival to significance in their governance assignments. Learn how to move your board from frustration to fulfillment, making your organization ‘wildly successful’ in achieving its mission.

Learning objectives:

  • The Importance of Organizational Centricity
  • 5 Organizational Roles: How they Pertain to the Board Room
  • The 7 Horizons of Focus: How to Spend Board Time Effectively


16) 10 Signs Your NGO Excels at Social Media

May 16th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Social media changes so frequently that unless your NGO has a full-time social media manager who has the time to consistently research and adopt emerging trends, odds are your NGO is using social media in ways that are no longer effective. This webinar will illuminate ten signs that your NGO’s social media strategy is current and best positioned to inspire donors and supporters to give and take action on your organization’s behalf. The webinar will feature real-time examples of NGOs that are:

  • Effectively posting content and hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Using graphics, images, and video to successfully increase engagement on social media.
  • Inspiring their donors to give as a result of using social media.
  • Consistently integrating social media into their email communications strategy.
  • Formatting online news and blog content to maximize effective storytelling and calls-to-action.


17) Engaging the Volunteer of the Future

May 16th, 11:00 AM (PT)

At VolunteerMatch we have a unique view into what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. The age of one-size fits all volunteer engagement is coming to an end. This webinar will start with a review of some of the things that we know about what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. It will then help you use this information to start designing volunteer opportunities and determining who is the “right” volunteer for your program. You’ll also learn how “word of mouth” plays such a large role in attracting volunteers to your organization and how social media makes this even more important.

This is a great introduction to some of our more advanced webinars including Where do I go from here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways, and Developing a Strategic Plan for Volunteer Engagement.

What You'll Learn:

  • The trends that are influencing volunteer engagement and what that means for your program.
  • How to create volunteer opportunities that match what volunteers are looking for now.
  • How to take advantage of "word of mouth" recruitment by understanding what types of volunteers are right for your program.
  • The role that social media can play in engaging the volunteer of the future.

Who Should Attend: 

  • VolunteerMatch nonprofit account members
  • Nonprofit volunteer managers
  • Anyone interested in learning more about recruiting and engaging volunteers


18) Fundraising the SMART Way

May 17th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Fundraising the SMART Way is the science behind the art of fundraising. We will show you how to spend your valuable time focusing on the prospects who have the greatest potential to support your cause. Not just giving capacity! This methodology focuses on finding the donors that are right for your agency.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how to develop an ideal donor profile.
  • Understand the difference between leading indicators, and trailing indicators.
  • Learn how to manage your donor prospect pipeline


19) Introduction to Finding Grants

May 17th, 2:00 PM (ET)

You will learn the 10 most important things you need to know about finding grants including:

  • Who funds nonprofits and what are their motivations.
  • What do funders really want to know about the organizations they are interested in funding.
  • How do you identify potential funders and make the first approach.


20) Turn Your Website Into a Membership Growth Engine

May 18th, 2:00 PM (ET)

Is your membership website an engine that brings in new members while you sleep? If not, I’ll show you how anyone with no tech experience can use membership management software to turn their website into a new member recruiter — in just an afternoon.

In this free webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Three website changes that will start attracting new members right away
  • How to get anyone on your board to easily make updates by themselves (even if they don’t have any tech experience)
  • The top website features our most successful clients use to drive membership growth


21) Successful Volunteer Interview Strategies

May 18th, 11:00 AM (PT)

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 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.

What You'll Learn: 

  • Methods for interviewing prospective volunteers
  • Strategies for honing your interview skills

Who Should Attend: 

  • Volunteer Managers


22) Learn to Love Your Board Virtual Conference

May 23rd, 11:00 AM (ET)

Sign up for our upcoming virtual conference and learn how to love your board! By the end of the day you will learn:

  • How to recruit the right kind of board members
  • How to set expectations for fundraising involvement
  • How to properly manage your board (and how to let board members go)
  • How to run an effective meeting that your board members will actually want to attend
  • How to have a successful discussion when you need approval for a software purchase


23) Social Media and Volunteer Engagement

May 23rd, 11:00 AM (PT)

Volunteer engagement is changing. What do you need to know about social media as a volunteer program manager? How can you use social media to promote your volunteer opportunities and recruit volunteers? This webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment and retention plans. You'll see examples of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as blogs that other nonprofits have successfully used to draw attention to their organizations and volunteer opportunities. You'll also learn about the social media tools available as part of your VolunteerMatch account that can help you promote your volunteer opportunity on other social networking sites.

What You'll Learn: 

  • What social media is and why it matters
  • How to use social media to recruit and engage volunteers
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of managing social media tools
  • Where to go to get resources and help

Who Should Attend: 

  • VolunteerMatch nonprofit account members
  • Nonprofit volunteer managers
  • Anyone interested in learning more about social media and volunteer management


24) Motivating #GivingTuesday Donors with Your Website

May 24th, 1:00 PM (ET)

With #GivingTuesday just 6 months away, we're preparing to engage a community of donors ready to support us on the biggest giving day of the year. When 82% of donors visit our websites before giving, now is the time to consider what they'll find when they get there. Your website plays a vital role in your fundraising efforts on #GivingTuesday and beyond. Does it captivate and engage people or is it merely an online brochure with a few photos and a mission statement? As you introduce your organization to a whole new community of supporters, you have one chance to make a first and lasting impression.

In a recent survey by GivingTuesday.org, when asked what they would do differently in 2017, the overwhelming majority would plan earlier. And with 78% of teams consisting of just 1 to 2 people, it's more important than ever to have a digital web presence that works hard for you. In this session, we will share more than a decade of focus group research that reveals:

  • The 3 biggest mistakes nonprofits make with their website.
  • The 4 attributes of an engaging web presence.
  • 3 proven methods for promoting your website.
  • The 5 required elements of an engaging website.
  • Real-world examples of nonprofit organizations that have mastered their online presence.


25) Charitable Receipting Do's and Don'ts

May 25th, 1:00 PM (ET)

Are your charity's donation receipts compliant with the Canada Revenue Agency's rules and regulations? Find out everything you need to know about issuing correct donation receipts at our free webinar.

Properly issuing receipts has been challenging for many registered charities. In fact, according to the CRA, 89% of registered charities that are audited are not correctly issuing official donation receipts. Issuing incorrect receipts can result in revocation or penalties and it is easier to do it right than to fix problems afterwards. This free webinar presented by charity lawyer Mark Blumberg will outline what you need to know to ensure your charitable receipts are CRA compliant.


26) Advanced Crowdfunding Strategies

May 25th, 1:00 PM (ET)

“I created a crowdfunding campaign, but why isn’t anyone giving to it?” This may be the most frequently asked question among crowdfunders today. The reality is, crowdfunding is more than just launching a page and waiting for the internet to shower you with money. You have to have a plan. This workshop is a can’t-miss for anyone trying to crack this code. 

Join Dana Ostomel, founder of Deposit a Gift and Firespring’s leading authority on crowdfunding, for a game-changing workshop that takes you beyond the basics and into the nitty-gritty of successful donation-based crowdfunding. You’ll learn how to optimize your campaigns and how to “work your network” to launch strong and market them successfully, plus:

  • 5 effective planning strategies.
  • How to recruit and manage your online street team.
  • Why it’s important to include your staff.
  • How to execute a soft launch.
  • The importance of an appreciation strategy.
  • Action steps you can take today.

Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Posted by Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 25 April 2017 at 4:57 PM


  • Farra Trompeter said:

    Wednesday, 26 April 2017 at 11:37 AM
    As always, this is such a helpful resource. Big Duck is also offering a free webinar on branding on May 16 at 1pm Eastern:

    Fish or fowl? Establishing your nonprofit's brand personality
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 26 April 2017 at 12:01 PM
    Hi Farra,

    Thanks for adding. I'll be sure to look out for more free nonprofit webinars from Big Duck in the future :)
  • Hamis Kassongo said:

    Friday, 26 May 2017 at 4:06 AM
    It is such helpful tool/ resource for NGOs.
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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