Employee Training, Nonprofit, Fundraising Training

How to Create a Fundraising Training Program for Association Staff

by Debbie Williams

The benefits of an online learning platform for associations are abundant. For example, an online learning platform gives association staff easy access to training, provides a variety of engaging courses, promotes collaboration, and can save associations money. An online learning platform, such as a learning management system, can also help association leaders deliver a fundraising training program to improve revenue.Put together a fundraising training program for association employees with these tips.

3 Tips for Creating Fundraising Training Using an Online Learning Platform

Training employees in the art of fundraising can help an association increase revenue. Here are a few ways to create the fundraising training program your staff members need using an online learning platform:

1. Assess your association’s fundraising performance

Every association has unique fundraising needs. Many associations rely on donations, but some have higher costs and therefore need a more aggressive fundraising strategy. Determining your association’s fundraising needs and then assessing its current and past fundraising performance is critical to designing a successful fundraising training program for your employees. 

There are several ways to measure fundraising success. They include measuring cost per dollar raised and assessing growth and retention rates, according to Network for Good1, which referred to fundraising teams as “your greatest long-term growth strategy.” The data you gather during the process of examining your organization’s fundraising performance will help you create training that gets better results by showing you what specific areas of fundraising your staff needs training in most.

2. Choose a training platform

An online learning platform makes eLearning possible. A couple of online learning platform options for nonprofits include a learning management system (LMS) or a learning experience platform (LXP). Better yet, look for an LMS with LXP functionality to get the best of both worlds. You can use the learning platform of your choice to create, distribute, track, and report on fundraising training.  

Not all fundraising training must take place online, although original online training can often be sold to other associations to increase revenue. Blending live training with online learning can be beneficial, increasing learner engagement and knowledge retention.

To create blended learning, offer a small portion of your fundraising training program in person. This doesn’t have to be costly. For example, an association leader could teach a half-day workshop on the fundamentals of fundraising to reinforce what employees are learning online.

3. Offer specific, compelling training content

It’s important to keep a training topic as complex as fundraising engaging for learners. One way to create a more compelling fundraising training program is to keep content very specific after you lay the foundation of fundraising best practices.

There are many sub-categories of fundraising that you can create a training course around. Examples include “finding grants,” “donor relations,” “gift administration,” “fundraising analytics,” and “prospect research and analysis.” Nonprofits can glean specific content from staff subject matter experts or purchase ready-made courses that can be recycled for future use.

Related Reading: What Differentiates an Association LMS from Other Online Learning Platforms?

Make Fundraising an Association-Wide Responsibility

Besides providing fundraising training for staff, you can promote giving by making fundraising the business of every employee, not just the fundraising team. “Organizational leaders need to stress that the process of identifying fundraising elements, stewardship of prospects, cultivation and solicitation of prospects, and relationship building of donors is everyone's responsibility throughout the organization,” wrote a contributor to Non Profit Pro.2 This coupled with an effective fundraising training program will likely result in more income for your association.

Curious about what differentiates an association LMS from all the other online learning platforms? Explore our related blog, “What Differentiates an Association LMS from the Other Online Learning Platforms?” or you can request a demo of the TOPYX LMS for associations.what is an lms


1. https://www.networkforgood.com/nonprofitblog/eight-ways-measure-fundraising-success/
2. https://www.nonprofitpro.com/post/the-most-important-part-fundraising-a-culture-philanthropy/all/

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing