Unlike for-profit organizations, nonprofit organizations focus on solving social issues and promoting social causes. However, nonprofit organizations, like companies and startups, enhance goodwill by training and educating volunteers and staff. They boost employee engagement and retention by running essential learning and development (L&D) programs like technology, communication, soft skills, compliance, and leadership.

Cloud-based learning management systems (LMSs) make it easier for nonprofits to create, deliver, manage, and monitor multiple L&D programs by overcoming budgetary constraints. Unlike on-premise software, cloud-based software is hosted on the IT infrastructure of the provider. A nonprofit organization can access the software over the Internet without building and maintaining in-house IT infrastructure.

Additionally, the provider will help the organization implement, customize, integrate, and maintain the learning management system (LMS). Hence, nonprofits are not required to deploy in-house IT professionals. At present, nonprofits can choose from many cloud-based LMS systems. However, they must use multiple criteria to select the ideal LMS for nonprofits.

11 Important Criteria for Selecting the Ideal LMS for Nonprofits

UI and UX

End-users often abandon tech tools that do not feature intuitive user interfaces (UIs) and deliver seamless user experiences (UXs). While comparing LMSs for nonprofits, decision-makers must check if the software’s UI is easy to use and understand. Every learner must be able to use the UI without requiring assistance or training.

Likewise, decision-makers need to ensure that the software delivers seamless UX across devices and platforms. The cross-platform experience will enable each learner to access the software in his preferred way using a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The combination of UI and UX will boost L&D initiatives by supporting self-paced learning.

Content Repository

A nonprofit organization will educate volunteers and staff by running multiple training programs. Hence, it has to create content for specific training programs. Also, it needs to create the eLearning content in multiple formats – eBooks, videos, audio, and quizzes. Leading learning management systems these days come with complimentary digital libraries.

The digital library software helps nonprofits save the time and resources required to produce content in multiple formats. However, nonprofits should prioritize LMSs that curate content from external sources using intelligence technologies. Learners can leverage the curated content shared by the software to learn best practices shared by experts.

Content Authoring Tools

Often instructors or trainers have to create content for specific employee training programs. Nonprofits must make it easier for trainers to produce content by opting for an LMS with built-in content authoring tools. Decision-makers should prioritize software that simplifies content creation by featuring drag-and-drop editors and providing templates. At the same time, trainers must be able to create multi-format content by repurposing the existing content.

Learner Engagement

Nonprofits cannot educate staff and volunteers without keeping them engaged and motivated. Hence, they need LMSs that foster active learner engagement using techniques like collaboration and gamification. The LMS creates opportunities for learners to collaborate in a virtual learning environment by featuring discussion forums, leaderboards, query corners, and chat. At the same time, the software must gamify learning experiences by providing popular features like virtual coins, scorecards, and badges.


The LMS dashboard enables both learners and trainers to access relevant information in seconds. For instance, a learner can use the dashboard to track his progress and measure his performance. Likewise, an instructor can use the same dashboard to monitor enrollments and track learner progress. Also, the dashboard will enable instructors to assess L&D initiatives by generating reports based on real-time eLearning data. Hence, nonprofits need LMS systems that feature intuitive dashboards.

Options to Customize and Scale

Leading LMSs are developed with features to complement the eLearning needs of companies and startups. A nonprofit organization may not require some of the advanced features provided by the software. Hence, it needs to ensure that the LMS can be customized according to predefined L&D needs and goals. At the same time, decision-makers must have the option to scale the LMS on demand as the number of learners and training programs grows.

Integration Capabilities

Nonprofits cannot run multiple L&D successfully without combining multiple eLearning tools. It becomes easier for them to build a unified learning platform when the LMS comes with robust application programming interfaces (APIs). The APIs will make the software communicate and exchange data with other eLearning tools by acting as intermediaries.

24/7 Tech Support

Nonprofits can use the cloud-based LMS without an in-house IT team. Hence, they must ensure that technical issues are resolved without any hassles and delays. Hence, they should prioritize LMS vendors that provide 24/7 customer support. In addition, the vendor must accelerate issue resolution by providing omnichannel customer support.

Customer Reviews

Many websites have listed the top learning management systems for nonprofits. However, a nonprofit organization can evaluate the pros and cons of an LMS accurately by reading user-generated content. Hence, decision-makers must read online reviews and testimonials posted by existing users to assess various aspects of the software based on reliable and neutral information.

Industry Recognition

Many organizations recognize excellence in eLearning by recognizing academic and enterprise LMSs that stand out from the crowd. These independent awards depict how an LMS boosts user experience and leverages cutting-edge technologies. While evaluating learning management systems, nonprofits must prioritize software that has won prestigious awards and recognitions.


Cloud-based LMS systems help nonprofits run multiple L&D programs by overcoming financial constraints. A nonprofit organization can use the cloud-based software based on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pricing model. Also, leading providers these days allow nonprofits to choose from many pricing options or subscription plans according to their needs and budgets.

However, nonprofits must focus on building an integrated or unified learning platform while comparing and shortlisting LMS systems. They need to ensure that the LMS for nonprofits can be integrated with other eLearning tools seamlessly. Also, they must prioritize learning management software that comes with complimentary eLearning tools and solutions.

About Mintbook

Mintbook provides a cloud-based LMS that can be customized according to the precise L&D needs of nonprofits. At the same time, nonprofits can implement a unified learning platform to combine the LMS with online classroom software and digital library software without incurring extra costs.