Basic Facilitation Techniques for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

As a trainer and now adjunct professor, I’m constantly working on and honing these skills sets: assessment, instructional design, curriculum/materials development, presenting, facilitation, and evaluation. There is a lot of learn and refine in each of these areas. And that’s why I love teaching and training because it is all about the learning for both you and the participants. Networked Facilitation. Open Space and Unconference Facilitation.

How To Facilitate Effective Virtual Meetings

Beth Kanter

It’s time to up your virtual facilitation and convening skills. Since those days, I have continued to hone my virtual facilitation skills to design and deliver effective virtual meetings and trainings. This word cloud is from a virtual workshop I facilitated asking participants what the barriers to effective virtual meetings are: technology, engagement, connectivity, and participation. Roles may include: Facilitator: Designs and Facilitates Meeting.


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8 Fantastic Facilitation Playbooks for Designing Productive Nonprofit Meetings

Beth Kanter

Whether our meeting is useless or valuable depends on how we design, facilitate, and follow up. If you are facilitating the meeting you need figure out logistics like scheduling, materials, and effective use of technology for virtual meetings. You also need to establish meeting norms or rules of engagement and then design and facilitate the process to get results. That’s why I’ve keep a good list of meeting facilitation playbooks handy for inspiration.

Trainer’s Notebook: Facilitating Brainstorming Sessions for Nonprofit Work

Beth Kanter

Does your work at a nonprofit include facilitating meetings or trainings? Looking for new techniques to add to your facilitator’s toolbox? This is the focus of a session called “ The Big Bang Theory: Creative Facilitation and Training Techniques, ” that I’m co-facilitating at the Nonprofit Technology Conference with Cindy Leonard and Jeanne Allen. Brainstorming can be done as a solo activity or group or collaborative brainstorming.

7 Tips to Make You A Stronger Facilitator

Beth Kanter

Note from Beth: As a trainer and someone who teachers other trainers, I’ve been obsessed with improving my facilitation skills and written a lot about it on this blog. I’m always up for a conversation with other facilitators about shop talk and getting tips for improving my practice. So, I’m thrilled that fellow facilitators Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES and Tracy Wright, MAED from ETR agreed to share some of their secrets in this guest post. Facilitation

4 Development Activities to Do Now for Future Payoff

Connection Cafe

When you have a portfolio management meeting on the calendar, it will drive ongoing attention and activity. Research time that doesn’t facilitate, spark, or lead to action in your donors and prospects isn’t time well spent, even when you have a little more time in your day. Creating a well-documented stewardship plan with clear procedures and existing within the fundraising database so fundraisers take action—can help connect activity to outcomes.

New (Free) E-Book: Leading Systems Change Will Supercharge Your Facilitation Skills

Beth Kanter

But this is more than a simple report on a highly successful leadership program that takes a systems approach to serving an underserved community, it is the authors playbook of how to design and implement a program, including facilitation recipes for designing meetings. When I design and facilitate meeting for clients, board meetings, or as part of a workshop, webinar or other training, I’m always looking for new ideas for facilitation and interactive processes.

Reflections on Twitter Chat Facilitation Techniques

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

These are standard types of “question probes&# and active listening that you would do if you were interviewing someone or moderating a focus group. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in Twitter chat series #socialmedia.

Reflections on a Decade of Designing and Facilitating Interactive Webinars

Beth Kanter

I’ve had the honor of facilitating an online peer learning exchange of Knight Grantees that are hosting Giving Days, applying and iterating on the Giving Day Playbook since 2013. Yesterday, I facilitated the first webinar in a series hosted by the Knight Foundation on taking the practice of Giving Days to the next level. This can be a mix of presentations by peers, with lots of facilitated discussion and interaction.

#14LCS Facilitator Series: Meet Tracy Kronzak


That''s why we''re doing our best to recruit a remarkable group of facilitators to help shape your experience. Each track will have two Lead Facilitators and several additional Facilitators who will design spaces and lead small group conversations to make sure that every participant has the chance to both learn and share. Today we want to introduce you to one of them: Tracy Kronzak , a Lead Facilitator for The Future of Technology track.

#14LCS Facilitator Series: Meet Londell Jackson


That''s why we''re doing our best to recruit a remarkable group of facilitators to help shape your experience. Each track will have two Lead Facilitators and several additional Facilitators who will design spaces and lead small group conversations to make sure that every participant has the chance to both learn and share. Today we want to introduce you to one of them: Londell Jackson , a Facilitator for the Impact Leadership track.

The 6 Scariest Monsters Nonprofit Fundraisers Are Facing This Halloween


Digital fundraising is an indispensable part of every nonprofit’s Development program, as younger generations of donors rely almost exclusively on the internet to facilitate their charitable giving. Using a unified database allows users to see a 360-degree view of supporters, including not just donation history, but their Digital and volunteer activity, helping you build stronger and more personal connections to your donors.

E-Mediat Day 3: Digital Activism

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Mary Joyce leads a session on digital activism using the Story of Electronics. Day 3 of the Train the Trainers session was devoted to Digital Activism and facilitated by Mary Joyce. The learning objectives: To provide participants with a formula for training digital campaign strategy. The session provided strategy theory and a simulation exercise based on creating a digital activism campaign for the Story of Electronics film (that now has Arabic sub-titles ).

How To Facilitate Leadership Development In Your Nonprofit As Part of Doing the Work

Beth Kanter

One of the biggest challenges that many nonprofits face is the finding time and resources for professional development activities. It also includes a toolkit with simple, grab and go learning activities that emerging leaders can do AS PART OF doing their work. Gain tips on how to facilitate sessions that will strengthen professional development across your teams and organization. Register now!

The Happy Healthy Nonprofit Book: Upcoming Activities and Early Reviews

Beth Kanter

Several participants mentioned that they would like to facilitate a process like this their staff as a starting point for developing self-care and we-care strategies. Credit: Rob Cottingham.

Tips for Activating a Culture of Wellbeing in the Nonprofit Workplace

Beth Kanter

Last month, I was honored to present and facilitate an all-day workshop for nonprofit leaders at the Oregon Nonprofit Leadership Conference on how to activate a culture of well being in the nonprofit workplace, based on my book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. This means activating a culture of well being in the nonprofit workplace is even more important to avoid turnover and attract top talent.

Reflections on MuseumNext and Facilitating Brainstorming

Museum 2.0

MuseumNext had four main sections: Interactive activities , including an opening workshop with a group of designers associated with an extremely wonderful exhibition called Doing it for the Kids featuring sustainable toy designs. The projects ranged from activating a dead collection to developing a mystery game around a strange artifact to developing a hackerspace to planning for massive changes to institutions new and old. Facilitator bits. Vary the activities.

Trainer’s Notebook: Integrating Thinking and Feedback Activities

Beth Kanter

This was the first 90 minutes of the workshop, and while content and interaction kept in active learning mode — the next step was a synthesis. This where design thinking methods and innovation lab facilitation techniques can be helpful.

Running Effective Virtual #Nonprofit Meetings: 9 Best Practices for Facilitating Engagement

Beth Kanter

In many of the workshops I’ve been facilitating based on the Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout , many nonprofits are recognizing that offering some workplace flexibility to employees is not only an attractive benefit, but also can increases productivity and help with burnout prevention.Many nonprofits allow staff to work remotely one day a week. That’s why I’ve added a new workshop on running and facilitating effective virtual meetings.

Five Tips for Nonprofits to Avoid Virtual Fatigue

Beth Kanter

The inability to create a variety of different contexts in our lives including different social roles, relationships, activities and goals. It is a fun activity that gets a few laughs, people moving, and replenishes energy. The pandemic has inspire a new breed of online collaboration apps that facilitate drop in video chatting for serendipitous conversations that your team might want to test. You can think of these activities as appetizers or dessert.

Active Training: To Get Nonprofit Audiences Engaged, Keep Them Moving

Beth Kanter

Later in the morning, I facilitated a large group discussion hour-long discussion right before lunch with Greg and Laura Efurd from ZeroDivide. Listening to the conversation and watching the audience for signs of energy drop, I inserted some movement into the discussion related to the topic by asking them to do the ” failure bow.” I was in India this past summer to facilitate an intensive four-day training for Packard Foundation grantees working on family-planning issues.

Mapping Your Online/Offline Activism: Surfrider Foundation

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

One of the slides that struck me was a map that look at the full range of their activities offline and online (including social media) using two data points (numbers of people and ladder of engagement ). The levels of engagement included: stranger, friend, supporter, member, activist and leader. How do you facilitate the hive? How do you analyze the use of social networks/social media in the context of online/offline activism?

Tips To Make Online Meetings Less Exhausting

Beth Kanter

Recently I facilitated an online session about how to get better at online meetings for Lightful in the UK where I am a Senior Advisor at Lightful, among other activities, facilitate online master classes for their BRIDGE programme. You can plan the topics, the minutes you allocate on each topic, the speakers but also the roles for each attendee (facilitator, tech steward, note-taker, etc). An online meeting is more effective when you have at least two facilitators.

What are your most useful synchronous online facilitation practices?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

TechSoup holds regular meetings for nonprofits in Second Life and I have been attending regularly and sometimes facilitate like this I did this past week. So, I've been reflecting about effective facilitation of virtual meetings in Second Life Right now the primary method of group interaction is via unmoderated chat interface. I learned one from Nancy White when I took her online facilitation workshop. It kinds of gets in the way of effective facilitation.

Trainer’s Notebook: Using Dot Voting Online

Beth Kanter

When I facilitate meetings or workshops for nonprofits, not matter the topic, I incorporate many participatory approaches and design thinking methods. You use this to follow a brainstorming activity which may yield an abundance of new ideas. Facilitation Training DesignOne technique that I often employ is called “ Dot Voting ” or “ Visual the Vote.” ” This is a simple process for getting participants to prioritize ideas or decisions.

What's the True Cost of Live Facilitation?

Museum 2.0

Live facilitation has a varied role in museums. In special immersion exhibits like Dialogue in the Dark , in which visitors are led through a pitch black experience by a blind guide, or live action games like Operation Spy, facilitators are a necessary part of the experience. From a financial and management perspective, however, many museums try to minimize live facilitation as much as possible.

How Nonprofits Practice Continuous Improvement

Beth Kanter

I co-lead a workshop on digital transformation, co-facilitated a master class on digital fundraising campaigns, co-hosted a learning breakfast for scholarship participants, co-designed a Big Room session on Technology for Good, and in between attended some amazing sessions. More importantly, it can avoid replicating mistakes or activities that don’t work and are a waste of resources. Does your nonprofit use a formal debrief process after programs, events, or activities?

Activate Your Community with Contests and Challenges: CommBuild Chat Recap

Tech Soup Blog

The chat, facilitated by by TechSoup online community manager, Michael DeLong, included helpful advice learned by participants who have run contests. Using contests and challenges to engage communities was the topic of the July 17 edition of the weekly CommBuild chat. The chat participants drew on experiences from notable nonprofit challenges such as the TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge , Restart Romania , and Twive and Receive , among others. Why hold a contest or challenge?

Great reads from around the web on May 3rd

Amy Sample Ward

Don’t assume everyone is offline | DavePress – "When I’m talking at events or to meetings of people within an organisation about the benefits of moving communications and engagement activity online, I often have someone put their hands up and say: 'I totally get what you are saying, Dave, but the problem is that we can’t move all this stuff online, because not everyone has access to the web.'

Web 107

How Your Nonprofit Can Routinize Reflection

Beth Kanter

It is an opportunity for a group to reflect on a project, activity, event, or task so that they can do it better the next time. It creates a safe space to share learning in a way that isn’t about pointing fingers or blaming (if facilitated in the right way). Capacity Facilitation Leadership Learning Meetings ReflectionReflection is a critical step in assessing individual and team performance at your nonprofit.

A Review of the Guardian ACTIVATE Summit in London

Tech Soup Blog

Guardian’s ACTIVATE is an annual conference that aims to bring together leaders in media, government and technology to a ctivatedly. should enable power in members and facilitate a global impact of highly local activity.” by Dinesh Venkateswaran, Manager - Global Data Acquisitions, TechSoup Global. This was first posted on the GuideStar International blog.

Using Design Thinking for A Foundation’s Investment Strategy

Beth Kanter

I was thrilled to work with the Brainerd Foundation staff to help design and facilitate a design lab using techniques based on Luma Institute methods earlier this month. Here’s what I learned about the facilitating design thinking processes: What Is A Design Lab? To generate group or collective understanding, I facilitated a cluster or affinity analysis of the different themes.

Social Media Tracking – Easy Tools to Monitor Online Activity and ROI

Beaconfire Wire

It is no longer a question of whether your organization or company should be active on social media. Various tools exist today to centralize management of social media profiles, track web analytics, allow scheduling of posts, and facilitate planning. Or connect with Spredfast to acquire sentiment analytics to easily measure overall online brand awareness and activity. That’s a given.

Track 52

Reader Beware, You're in for a Scare: 4th Annual Nonprofit Halloween Celebration


They're working to change the world with the power of activism and storytelling. They host workshops on mural painting, a hip hop academy, and an ambassador program where they send artists aboard to facilitate cultural exchange. Happy Halloween from all of us at EveryAction! Every year we celebrate by dressing up as some of our favorite nonprofit organizations as a way to recognize their incredible work and commemorate the start of end-of-year fundraising campaigns.

The 2018 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar


Join other data experts, academics, practitioners, and social sector leaders for two days of skillfully-led sessions on topics ranging from aligning practice with policy to creating a culture of data, and how Silicon Valley is facilitating data practices in civil society. Some are professionals who work at advocacy organizations, progressive companies or labor unions, while others do activism in their spare time. It's finally here!

Great reads from around the web on August 11th

Amy Sample Ward

Social Versus Entrepreneur – "Grammatically, the word social modifies entrepreneur, indicating a social entrepreneur is one whose entrepreneurial activity is social in nature. " Submit your Case Study to the Global Digital Activism Data Set! " Tags: roundup activism bookmarks casestudies community data entrepreneurship journalism list lists maps media networking postalicious resources socialentrepreneurs socialmedia strategy volunteering

Web 109

Another social network for activism on the horizon… | Non-Profit Tech Blog

Confessions of a Non-Profit Executive Director

Pipes (1) Social Networking , Startups , nptech Another social network for activism on the horizon… 03.31.07 | 3150 16 Comments [link] Another+social+network+for+activism+on+the+horizon. 2007-03-31+15%3A08%3A50 Allan+Benamer Techcrunch reports that Project Agape started by Sean Parker (co-founder of multiple Internet properties, Plaxo, Facebook and Napster) is headed towards the social and political activism space. we have an activism industry advantage.

Conversational Case Study: How Does Your Organization Vet Online Contest Opportunities?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

As part of the process, we are facilitating “Conversational Case Studies” that explore some of the themes that have surfaced from surveys. Tags: Case Studies activism Causes Engagement Facebook online contests Allison Fine and I have been working on an evaluation of the second America’s Giving Challenge.

GuideStar DonorEdge Learning Conference: Reflections from the Innovation Lab

Beth Kanter

I gave a keynote about the Human Side of Data for Good and facilitated a mini-innovation lab to brainstorm creative ideas around the challenge of communicating about the value of shared data and becoming the community knowledge center for shared data for donors, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. The lab used human design facilitation techniques that I have been trained on by Luma Institute. Data Facilitation

New Year’s Rituals for Nonprofits To Improve Resilience in 2021

Beth Kanter

Rituals are routine and intentional activities that carry meaning. I’ve taken up many new self-care activities during 2020 to cope with the pandemic stress. I also facilitated numerous design workshops and resilience staff retreats virtually. Sunset at Half Moon Bay.

Top Tips for Volunteer Recruitment During COVID-19

Connection Cafe

With the popularity of online experiences and the abundance of software to help facilitate them, this article can even help you recruit volunteers in a post-COVID-19 world. For online training, the right tools can help facilitate a similar type of engagement.

Why Businesses Are Choosing to Outsource More Work: story of two successful companies

Nonprofit Marketing Insights by GlobalOwls

Businesses can minimize costs and increase the quality of production by outsourcing activities such as this. Apps that have facilitated the communication for Outsourced work. A Norway PEO can help in cost reduction, access to the talent pool, better management of company HR activities.

Virtual Volunteer Mobilization Strategies That Can Solve Nonprofits’ Challenges During COVID-19

Connection Cafe

In-person volunteers are disappearing for key activities (e.g., No way to effectively communicate changes in protocol for key programmatic activities. Facilitate virtual meetups, book clubs, and happy hours with special guests, like No Vet Alone is doing. Facilitate a virtual gathering for supporters to make masks together, with instructions on material to buy. COVID-19 is forcing nonprofits to think differently about engaging supporters.