There are many charitable organizations out there that do important things with the help of volunteers. Some still have paid positions to ensure that core activities and tasks are completed. Others, however, operate solely on the good graces of volunteers.
Managing volunteers can be a juggling act. Non-profits need cost-effective ways to provide adequate training to give their unpaid supporters the ability to accomplish their goals. They must also ensure that those good Samaritans are utilized efficiently. Volunteer time is valuable, and no one wants to waste it on housekeeping tasks. People who agree to help want to accomplish what they came to do – whether that’s getting pets adopted, homeless people fed, or children educated.
Today’s learning management systems are proving to be a key tool in the effort to maximize volunteer engagement and effectiveness. More organizations are implementing an LMS to provide training and streamline activities so that their volunteers can accomplish more.
Why Train Volunteers Online?
The biggest benefit of online volunteer training is the time factor both in terms of scheduling and not wasting productivity. When someone volunteers, they agree to take time out of their day to help a cause for free. That same person likely has other commitments like work, school, and family. When they do this, it is essential to make sure they feel like you value their time and appreciate their contribution.
- LMS Training Is Faster – As long as your training material is good, you’ll get faster results with an LMS than most in-person methods. Today’s ed tech is optimized for maximum knowledge retention through micro learning, videos, simulations, and more. You’ll have access to a powerful training toolbox that can be deployed instantly.
- LMS Training Doesn’t Require Meeting Times – Setting up classroom training requires scheduling. Trainers must spend minutes or hours making schedules and learners must make arrangements that allow them to attend. Plus, there’s time wasted commuting. LMS training can be done entirely on the web – no travel necessary. And if you choose to offer a self-paced program, then volunteers can work through the material at their convenience.
- LMS Training Allows for Self-Paced Progress – Chances are you will have times when you have both new and experienced volunteers working for your organization. A self-paced program allows each to work through training material at a comfortable pace. The veterans taking refresher courses or who are industry experts won’t feel slowed down by new learners working through the program for the first time.
LMS Benefits for Non-Profits
eLearning provides many benefits for volunteers, but what about the organization? Running a non-profit can be an enormous challenge. Juggling resources, finances, and people takes skill and effort. An LMS can help ease the burden by streamlining your volunteer training program. What can an LMS do for your non-profit organization?
- Easy Setup with Less Cost – eLearning comes with a lower price tag than most traditional classroom training. There’s no need to find or rent space or print hard copies of learning materials. Everything is digital and can be done on the web, which is a great opportunity to cut down on training costs and paper waste.
- Ability to Brand the Experience – Most LMS platforms offer branding features. That means your organization can apply its logo and brand colors to the interface. It’s a good way to “own” the training experience. Depending on the platform you choose, it may be impossible to tell where your website ends, and the LMS begins.
- Integration with Third-Party Apps – Many organizations already use apps in their day-to-day operation. Most modern LMS platforms integrate with at least the most popular apps. You can implement the new system and continue using those that you already know and trust.
- Automatically Records Data for You – Data is essential to growth and success. An LMS can record a wide range of data. You can see how effective your training courses are, how many volunteers are passing or working, and many other stats. Some also offer certification tools which are necessary when you need skilled volunteers for specialized jobs.
- Extend Training to Anywhere in the World – For the most part, there are no geographic borders when you’re on the internet. That means you can train volunteers from all over the world using one online system. It’s a necessity for international non-profits or those who want to expand their reach.
LMS Training for Volunteers Works
Does LMS training work for volunteer positions? There is already a list of examples proving that it does.
- Washington-Based Pet Partners Found Flexibility with Prosperity LMS
Pet Partners in Bellevue, Washington was created 40 years ago. Their mission is to “improve human health and well-being through the human-animal bond.” They have a Therapy Animal Program that works with Alzheimer’s patients, students with literacy challenges, veterans with PTSD, and those in recovery, hospice care, or with intellectual disabilities. They are also the largest non-profit of their kind for volunteer animal handlers.
Pet Partners needed an LMS that was customizable and would integrate with third-party apps like SalesForce. They also wanted something that could track certification. They chose Prosperity LMS which allowed them to customize the experience and meet all their needs. They currently offer online volunteer registration through their website.
- The American Geophysical Union Trains Thousands with Brainier
The Washington, D.C.-based American Geophysical Union (AGU) is a scientific non-profit with a global reach. Their work focuses on promoting “discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.” They utilize the scientific method and encourage open discussion, inclusiveness, and cooperation. As an organization, they work to advance knowledge and publish research so that it is accessible to all. They have over 62,000 members.
AGU’s motivation for using an LMS was a combination of practical need and finances. They wanted a training solution that would cut the cost of materials. They also wanted to link with exterior websites and record when external content was accessed.
Brainier offered the best solution based on AGU’s needs. The platform allowed them to push relevant training to individuals or groups. It also included custom roles and the ability to add HR handbooks and other documentation.
- Presbyterian Medical Services Helps Underserved Communities with eLogic Learning
Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) is a 50-year-old non-profit corporation that is committed to bringing health care services to underserved communities in the Southwest. They offer home care, hospice, education, counseling, and child and senior services.
The demands of the medical industry are a little more complicated than most. PMS must manage annual training requirements and report to multiple regulatory agencies. They needed an LMS that could facilitate that plus store documentation, track live-session data, and offer user-friendly training compliance.
PMS decided to use eSSential LMS developed by eLogic Learning. It is scalable and offered the features they needed to automate tasks while covering vital areas. eSSential LMS provides live training scheduling with synchronization with Outlook calendars. The system turned a complicated audit process into a simple report for PMS.
eLearning Encourages More People to Volunteer
eLearning encourages people to volunteer through a simplified training process with convenient scheduling and extended accessibility. Many charitable organizations save money by switching to an online learning environment. If your non-profit isn’t currently using an LMS, you could be missing out on a valuable volunteer opportunity.