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May 2019

Enabling nonprofits and associations to drive change with elearning

Blog posts

Steve Lowenthal

Steve Lowenthal

CEO at Kineo US

Working at a nonprofit or association can often feel like a David vs. Goliath situation.  A small team of highly-committed individuals facing the daunting task of trying to drive change across large populations.  The result is too often limited by the number of people with whom you can personally connect.  Traditionally, limited resources and technology constraints were major barriers that might have held nonprofit organizations like yours from keeping up with the digital transformation, the way we work, learn, live, and get things done.

The good news is that leading nonprofit organizations are finding their slingshots with the arrival of the digital revolution.  They are embracing technology to overcome limited resources and deploying new solutions to scale and amplify their impact. It is now possible to take advantage of elearning and performance solutions to achieve these goals. In this series of articles, we’ll explore strategies and tactics used by some of Kineo’s nonprofit clients that illustrate how they advanced their organization’s respective missions and objectives.

3 strategies to impact

At the core of the mission for many nonprofits and associations is driving change.  This change is activated through education, the sharing of best practices and insights, and by raising awareness and increasing access to resources.  We’ve identified three key strategies nonprofits and associations are employing to leverage the power of a digital platform. These include:

Digital storytelling

Storytelling has always been central to human experience – it's how we take complex ideas and make them tangible and approachable.  The earliest examples of this approach are the ancient pictographs and petroglyphs some of which are tens of thousands of years old. So, while the idea isn’t new, the experience has continued to evolve from hieroglyphics to today’s rich media solutions.  The stickiest training programs often tell the best stories. Finding a compelling way to share your story and spread your message can take what could have been a boring content dump and turn it into a relatable and memorable experience.

Take this example from WWF, the visuals, music and a just a few words in this video are far more compelling than a 5 page pdf filled with facts and information could ever be.  Through social channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, they can reach tens of thousand of people in a very short time.

Digital skill building at scale

Nonprofits and associations are often home to some of the best and brightest in a field, and a center for industry research. Unfortunately, having all this knowledge isn’t helpful if it can’t be broadly distributed and put into action across their membership or constituencies.   Historically, conferences, regional events, or central training centers were the primary channel to develop new skills and disseminate knowledge.  While very effective, these face-to-face experiences are limited in the number of people they can reach.  Today, leading organizations are embracing elearning solutions and credentialing to scale their impact.  This certification from BSA is great example of how an organization converted its knowledge and access to subject matter experts into a solution that has wide reach and impact. 

Knowledge Sharing & Social Learning 

At their core, nonprofits and associations are communities.  Individuals join, contribute or follow because they want to feel a connection to people who share common experiences, backgrounds and beliefs.  Forward-thinking organizations are leveraging this desire to connect to create powerful learning communities built on a digital platform. These communities serve as a podium for the organization to share their insights and knowledge, but more importantly, individuals can connect to collaborate and learn from one another.  A well-designed digital platform gives participants the freedom to either dip in and out to solve a specific problem, or to join a cohort to go on a more structured journey.  

All projects are different

Each project is different. Kineo has the expertise and experience to guide your organization through the process of designing, developing and deploying a digital learning solution that has the precise mix of the aforementioned elements to ensure you achieve the maximum impact. 

One way to help prepare you for choosing the right blend of elements is to review the eBook Keys to Developing a Results-Driven Curriculum, which provides guidance on how to design, develop and deploy a solution tailored to your internal needs and the needs of your learners. Kineo’s process is a results-focused, collaborative approach that ensures that all projects are created to achieve the desired organizational and business impact, and not just to deliver content online.

Every client has its own success story to tell

Stay tuned to this blog over the coming weeks, as we share the stories of several global organizations who have put the above strategies into practice with remarkable results. Don’t want to miss them? Sign up here and we’ll send you a reminder. This blog series will also be available to download as an eBook at the conclusion of the series. 

We also have a upcoming webinar: Empowering change for nonprofits and associations, where we will feature some of the learning designers who helped bring these solutions to life sharing details about the design, development and deployment of these great solutions. Can’t attend the webinar? sign-up anyway and we’ll send you a link to the recording following the webinar broadcast.

Steve Lowenthal

Steve Lowenthal

CEO at Kineo US

Steve Lowenthal has over 15 years of experience in Learning Technologies in consultancy, sales and management roles. He's a regular speaker at US conferences and events on trends in LMS, elearning and technology.