LMS, LMS for Associations, Nonprofit, Online Learning Platform

Why Nonprofits are Turning to eLearning Post-COVID

by Debbie Williams

What types of organizations do you think are most likely to utilize an LMS system as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out? If you were to answer “most organizations,” you would be correct. 

Healthcare establishments, businesses, private sectors, multinationals, and many other types of companies have turned to online learning to meet the training needs of their staff, members, and volunteers in the midst of the pandemic. But these aren’t the only organizations using eLearning to train dispersed employee and member bases these days. Nonprofits are also turning to online learning. 

GG+A cited willingness to adopt new technologies as one of the key characteristics of associations that have successfully navigated the pandemic so far. “Prior to the pandemic, many organizations let fears and assumptions prevent them from adopting new technology,” the source explained.1 “Some of those fears intensified during the pandemic. Others saw their fears vanish as they employed a growth mindset that enabled them to work past the challenges and have a bias toward action.”

Nonprofits that are willing to adapt to the learning needs of members, volunteers, and employees by embracing new learning technologies will benefit greatly. They will not only have a better-skilled community; they will also have cultivated a culture of adaptability. Such a company culture is vital as additional changes undoubtedly lay ahead for all nonprofits. 

Related Reading: “How Nonprofits Can Benefit from an LMS System in 2021

Why Nonprofits are Using Online Learning and LMS Systems in the Age of COVID-19

Long before anyone had heard of COVID-19, nonprofits were transitioning from traditional nonprofit training to online learning. In 2009, Learning Solutions Magazine’s Ellen Behrens wrote, “Within a total of about 360,000 non-profits across the country, 7,500 trade associations are affected by a shift in training priorities to eLearning.”2

Today, in the wake of the pandemic, many more nonprofits have shifted from classroom-style learning and training to remote online learning delivered through an LMS system. Here’s why:  

1. LMS systems meet the needs of dispersed communities - The past year-and-a-half has been particularly frustrating to nonprofit leaders. Those that have attempted to keep staff, members, and volunteers trained have been opposed at every turn by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented people from congregating and participating in in-person training. 

Out of necessity, a growing number of nonprofit leaders have implemented remote/online learning, often via an LMS system, to meet the needs of learners. Online learning is accessible to a dispersed community and ensures individuals are up-to-date with the training they need to be effective in their roles. Online training also unites members around a nonprofit’s cause, connects their community, and improves fundraising. 

2. LMS systems improve user engagement – Combined, how many volunteers, members, and employees does your nonprofit have? Imagine all of those individuals engaged with one another and collectively aware of events, training, news, etc. Keep in mind that this would require no great effort from you or other organizational leaders. 

Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not. An LMS system can make this scenario possible. Online learning platforms with features like social learning, reporting, web conferencing, and mobile learning can help everyone in your community stay up-to-date with training and in sync with one another.

3. LMS systems keep training organized and efficient – How many old, inefficient training materials does your nonprofit have? If it is like most organizations, quite a few. An LMS system enables you to get rid of any training resources that have proven to be ineffective or outdated. How? By holding all relevant training materials in one secure online location. 

LMS users can access helpful nonprofit training materials at any time and from any place with mobile learning. This gives them plenty of flexibility in regards to when and where they engage in training and can increase rates of learning engagement and participation. 

Keep Learning: “How an LMS for Nonprofits Can Increase Employee and Volunteer Engagement

4. LMS systems eliminate language barriers – It’s not uncommon for nonprofit communities to experience language barriers. This is especially true for large nonprofits. An LMS system that can be deployed in a variety of major languages puts an end to this separation and unites all users, regardless of where they live or what languages they understand.

The right LMS system can enable you to speak your users’ languages. TOPYX multi-language LMS for nonprofits is designed to accommodate any left-to-right or up-and-down languages. It also has the capacity to toggle between languages with a user-friendly drop-down menu. With TOPYX, you can set the default to the necessary language for a user or group. This will ensure the LMS system will always be available and will display in the preferred language for each user. 

Learn more about TOPYX by requesting a free LMS demo.

5. LMS systems can reduce the burden on your IT department – Did you know that certain LMS systems do not require in-house IT teams for maintenance? This is great news for nonprofits that don’t want to burden their IT team with additional tasks, or do not have the budget to hire IT personnel. 

Learning management systems that best serve most nonprofits are often self-managed, requiring no support from an IT team. The ideal nonprofit LMS is fully hosted and features exceptional customer support. This can save you money and time in the long run. 

6. LMS systems promote easy onboarding - Onboarding new hires, volunteers, and members can be taxing and time-consuming for nonprofit leaders. An LMS system makes the onboarding process much easier. Better Buys explained why:  

“Whether for a new employee or a new volunteer, you can store and access materials (on an LMS system) that will help you bring the person up to speed on your history and mission. These materials can also be sent to donors who want to learn more about the organization. Having everyone on the same page creates a greater sense of community, which can lead to people being more innovative with ways to expand on the nonprofit’s mission.”3

If onboarding has been a challenge for your nonprofit in the past, an LMS system can help.  

How to Reduce Training Costs During the Pandemic 

Another reason why nonprofits are using LMS systems post-COVID is because online learning tends to be cheaper than traditional training and promotes significant cost savings. 

An article by the Independent Sector4 explained that in 2020, 83 percent of nonprofits experienced a reduction in revenue, and 53 percent of organizations had a reduction in individual giving. As a result, 71 percent of nonprofits had to reduce their services or available operations, and there was a 47 percent total reduction in nonprofit jobs. 

Online learning delivered through an LMS system can lessen the financial burden of nonprofit training and help an organization create a healthier bottom line. Designing Digitally stated, 

“A big advantage of eLearning is that it eliminates many of the recurring expenses seen with traditional training and requires minimal to no upkeep. eLearning also offers faster delivery cycles as compared to conventional learning. According to research, eLearning has the potential to shorten total training duration by 40% to 60%. This can help companies cut down on numerous costs and also improve productivity and profitability.”5

TOPYX, the award-winning LMS used by Rotary International and Big Brothers Big Sisters, Future Farmers of America is the ideal nonprofit LMS system. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • It is remotely-hosted and self-managed. In other words, it doesn’t require an in-house IT team for maintenance. 
  • It features robust social and collaborative learning tools that can unite a dispersed base of members, volunteers, and employees. 
  • It is exceptionally affordable. TOPYX hosts an unlimited number of users for one reasonable, fixed rate. 
  • Qualified nonprofits may receive discounted pricing on TOPYX LMS

Get Started with TOPYX LMS, the Ultimate Training Solution for Nonprofits 

Training can be challenging for nonprofit organizations, particularly those with local chapters disseminated nationally or internationally. An LMS for nonprofits must address the needs of volunteers, board members, employees, and leadership. It must also be easily accessible anywhere chapters or members are located. TOPYX LMS makes all of this possible, even during a pandemic.  

TOPYX provides a customizable LMS platform with unlimited users so that you can provide tailored training in a cost-effective way. Create different learning paths for each user group to enable niche nonprofit board training, leadership training, fundraising training, and more.

Ready to find out why nonprofits are turning to TOPYX LMS system post-COVID? Request a free LMS demo of TOPYX to learn more. 

TOPYX LMS recently helped nonprofit Lemonade Day increase learner engagement and grow significantly. With TOPYX, Lemonade Day reached 100,000 learners across 80 communities in the U.S. and Canada. Download the success story to get all the details. 


  1. GG+A. https://www.grenzebachglier.com/2021/07/19/one-advantage-that-distinguished-nonprofits-during-the-pandemic-learning/
  2. Learning Solutions. https://learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/133/build-your-business-associations-and-non-profits-are-a-growing-e-learning-market
  3. Better Buys. https://www.betterbuys.com/lms/lms-for-nonprofits/
  4. The Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/resource/covid19-survey/
  5. Designing Digitally. https://www.designingdigitally.com/blog/2020/10/reducing-corporate-training-costs-elearning.  

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing