Like for-profit enterprises, nonprofit organizations can boost operational efficiency and financial performance by training, upskilling, and reskilling employees. They can make employees and volunteers update their knowledge and hone their professional skills by launching a slew of training and development (T&D) programs for employees and volunteers. The learning management system platforms help nonprofits to make T&D an ongoing process through the automation of delivery and management of training programs.
But nonprofits, unlike for-profit and commercial enterprises, have to explore ways to leverage LMS platforms without increasing upfront and ongoing costs. Like for-profit organizations, nonprofits can curtail upfront and recurring costs by opting for cloud-based LMS platforms. Several studies have highlighted how cloud-based computing helps both for-profit and nonprofits organizations to curtail costs and save resources.
According to a study conducted by Manchester Business School and commissioned by Rackspace, “34% of SMEs have saved between £5,000 and £30,000 on IT spend by implementing cloud computing. On average, companies reduced IT costs by 10% to 25% by implementing cloud computing.”
Like for-profit organizations, your nonprofit organization has the option to choose from a wide range of cloud-based LMS platforms. But you must remember that popular cloud-based LMS platforms for nonprofits differ from each other in many aspects – usability, accessibility, customization, speed, and security. You should compare these LMS solutions according to their precise T&D strategies and goals. Also, you must consider some important features to choose the right LMS platform for nonprofits.
12 Features You Must Consider to Choose the Best-Suited LMS Platform for Nonprofits
You cannot motivate employees and volunteers to update knowledge and hone skills without choosing an LMS that features an easy-to-use interface. You need to ensure that administrators, instructors, and learners can use the LMS platform without having technical skills and knowledge. It is always important to check if the user interface (UI) makes the LMS identical to popular websites and mobile apps.
You must not force the employees and volunteers to access the LMS using a specific device. You can make the T&D programs more effective only by choosing an LMS platform that looks good and works seamlessly on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Also, you need to focus extensively on the LMS’s mobile user experience.
Your T&D strategies must enable employees and volunteers to acquire knowledge at their own pace. But it is also important to make T&D programs more effective by allowing learners to attend instructor-led online classes. You must choose an LMS platform for nonprofits that helps you to leverage the benefits of the blended learning approach by supporting self-paced learning and instructor-led learning simultaneously.
Content in Multiple Formats and Languages
You can make it easier for employees and volunteers to understand and retain information by enabling them to read content in their native language. At the same time, you need to ensure that every learner can acquire knowledge in his preferred way- reading ebooks, watching videos, listening to podcasts, and accessing infographics. That is why; your choice of LMS platform for nonprofits must support digital content in multiple languages and formats.
Content Creation Tools
You can eliminate the need to create content for various T&D programs by choosing a cloud-based LMS that comes with digital library integration. However, it is always important to choose an LMS that simplifies content creation by providing robust tools and options. You must shortlist the LMSs that come with built-in tools to simplify the creation of content in various formats and languages. However, it is also important to check the technical skills required by an instructor to use the content creation tools efficiently.
Learner Engagement Options
You should not forget that online learning often makes employees feel isolated and demotivated. In addition to facilitating self-paced learning, your T&L strategies must focus on keeping employees engaged and motivated. You can easily engage employees and boost knowledge retention by choosing an LMS platform that promotes learner engagement by providing important features like discussion forums, query corners, leaderboards, chats, and nuggets,
According to Science Direct, “Gamification is increasingly employed in learning environments as a way to increase student motivation and consequent learning outcomes.”
You can make various T&D programs more effective by applying the features and components of games. You can easily gamify the learning experience of employees and volunteers by choosing an LMS platform that facilitates training experience gamification by providing popular options like badges and coins.
In addition to launching a slew of training programs, your T&D strategy needs to ensure that the employees and volunteers are retaining and transferring knowledge. You must monitor the progress of learners and the effectiveness of training programs by conducting assessment exams, promotional exams, and quizzes. You can easily automate various exams and tests by choosing an LMS that comes with built-in evaluation systems.
Administrative Task Automation
In addition to automating training program development and delivery, the new-age LMS solutions automate a slew of repetitive administrative activities. You can choose the right LMS platform to manage a variety of training programs without deploying dedicated administrators. That is why; you should check if the LMS automates routine administrative tasks like creation, enrollment, notifications, and reminders.
An LMS platform may not come with native features to meet your nonprofit’s all T&D needs. There are always chances that you have to customize the LMS platform according to your organization’s precise needs while configuring. Cloud-based software solutions are easier to customize and scale than onsite software solutions. But you still need to ask a slew of questions to ensure that the LMS platform is completely customizable.
The new-age LMS platforms leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to recommend and deliver the right training program to every employee and volunteer. Also, they enable users to track learner progress, measure training program performance, and analyze important learner data by generating reports based on real-time data. The feature is essential to make the T&D programs more effective by taking the right decision at the right time based on real-time data.
Awards and Recognitions
While finalizing an LMS platform for nonprofits, you need to ensure that the vendor provides technical support proactively through multiple channels of communication – voice calls, chats, emails, and text messages. At the same time, you also need to assess the credibility of the company based on important awards and recognitions like ISO, CERT-IN, and WE-Connect.
The cloud-based LMS platform launched by Mintbook helps nonprofits to make T&D a continuous process. In addition to coming with useful features, the cloud-based LMS for nonprofits can be customized according to precise T&D strategies and goals. The nonprofits can further train employees and volunteers more effectively by integrating the LMS with ready-to-use digital libraries.