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.

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


Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Trending Sources

Strengthening program evaluation in your nonprofit

ASU Lodestar Center

This call spurred the increasing demand for program evaluation. In your organization, this may look like negative attitudes toward evaluation, poor research designs and collecting data but not using the data. The root problem here is poor evaluation capacity.

Technology Support as Teaching

Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology

Home About Me Subscribe Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology Thoughtful and sometimes snarky perspectives on nonprofit technology Technology Support as Teaching April 24, 2007 I’ve been thinking a lot about technology support lately. Empowerment – as you help them with a problem, teach them about the problem, and ways to troubleshoot (or possibly solve) the problem themselves in the future. In my work people learn evaluative thinking from me.

Teach 100

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.

Great Year-End Advice For Leaders

Eric Jacobson

EWF International provides professionally facilitated peer advisory groups for women business owners and executives. 3 Coaching And Mentoring Tips How To Avoid 8 Common Performance Evaluation Pitfa. Coaching is the difference between giving orders and teaching people how to get things done. skip to main | skip to sidebar Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership Welcome!

How To Discover Balance As A Leader

Eric Jacobsen Blog

He firmly believes that leaders who strive toward balance can more readily identify and curtail organizational entropy, facilitate a culture of trust, and foster diverse organizations and cultures that inspire everyone to bring their “whole sell” to work.

Happy, Healthy 2016: What’s Your Theme for the Year?

Beth Kanter

I also designed and facilitated a six month peer learning cohort with colleague Stephanie Rudat. Innovation Lab Facilitation : For the past few years, I’ve trained in and designed and facilitated innovation labs using the Luma Institute Methods. This year I facilitated several labs, including one for the Brainerd Foundation to rethink 21 st Century Advocacy. Facilitation, Curriculum Development and Train the Trainers. Happy New Year !

Iowa 44

Happy New Year: What’s Your Theme for the Year?

Beth Kanter

Facilitator for Learning Network: Most of my work is designing and delivering capacity building projects for nonprofits literally all over the world and here in the US. In addition, I presented a webinar on training design and facilitated a session on nonprofit technology training design at NTC. I wrote many posts on instructional design for nonprofit training , including this wrap up post from our NTEN NTC session on teaching and learning for nonprofits.

Happy New Year: What’s Your Theme for the Year?

Beth Kanter

International Training Work: Most of my work is designing and delivering capacity building projects for nonprofits literally all over the world. This past year I had the honor of facilitating an intense training in Tunisia in January for Women Entrepreneurs that included leadership, entrepreneurship, business planning, and communications. I also designed and facilitated a nonprofit leadership institute at Pepperdine University.

Trainer’s Notebook: The Importance of Hands-On Learning

Beth Kanter

For the past five years, I’ve been an adjunct professor at Middlebury College in Monterey teaching a graduate course called “ Networked International Organizations ” for students pursuing an advanced degree in International Development. That’s why I always enjoy teaching in flexible classroom spaces. More importantly, after every class I facilitate, I do a debrief with students as part of evaluating the training.

Nonprofit Technology Training: Book List

Beth Kanter

” I’ll co-teaching the session with colleagues Andrea Berry, John Kenyon, and Cindy Leonard. The session will cover what to do before, during, and after leading an effective technology training and provide lots of practical tips that will help you design fun, interactive, and highly effective technology training workshops. I love all aspects instructional design and facilitation , but being a good trainer also means being a good content curator and resource librarian.

What can nonprofit technology trainers learn from the social work field to improve their training techniques?

Beth Kanter

Last month, I spent two days teaching at University of Buffalo, School of Social Work. During my visit, I gave a keynote at a nonprofit leadership conference, facilitated a workshop for social work agencies on networks and data, guest taught a graduate course in social work research and evaluation methods, met with faculty, gave a talk on giving to students at the student union (pictured above), and was interviewed for the podcast series.

Reflections from Networked Nonprofit Workshop for Latin American NGOs

Beth Kanter

I just returned from doing two days of facilitating a Networked Nonprofit training in Mexico City with Oxfam Mexico and participants from offices throughout Latin America, South America, and Caribbean. I was lucky enough to be working with the digital strategy coordinator, Maria Rubi , from the Mexico office. She is not only fluent in English (and four other languages in addition to her native Spanish), she is also an excellent trainer and facilitator.

Libraries: The Oldest New Frontier for Innovation

Amy Sample Ward

As I’m sure many of you already know, much of this work, whether it’s building up the community, working on engagement, listening, evaluation, or anything else, relies on a strategy continues to come back around to the planning elements and through to evaluation, over and over. From listening, to creating to evaluating and then back to the listening again so that you can modify and then evaluate, and so on.

The Impact of Your Donation: Ray Smith, 14LCS Scholarship Recipient, Shares


The Corita Art Center, a project of the Immaculate Heart Community, preserves and promotes Corita Kent’s art, teaching, and passion for social justice. This was my first experience with NTEN, a great organization that I think really “gets it,” both in terms of facilitating positive interactions with people and technology, and understanding challenges specific to the nonprofit world.

NTC 52

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. One of the workshop exercises was to teach leaders a process they can facilitate back in their organizations to begin the discussion about how to activate a culture of well being.

How To Think Like An Instructional Designer for Your Nonprofit Trainings

Beth Kanter

” ADDIE is an instructional design method that stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. For the networked nonprofit workshops I facilitate, I’ve developed a maturity of practice assessment called “ Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly ” which gives me a detailed understanding of where the organization is in its practice. This is evaluation. With evaluation, take into account the “ Kirkpatrick Model of Training ”.

June Holley and The Art of Being Rhizomatic (The Practice of Network Weaving)

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Last week, as part of my work at the Packard Foundation as visiting scholar I had the opportunity to participate in a face-to-face convening of the "Network of Network Funders," facilitated by the Monitor Institute. Take a look at June Holley's list of characteristics and you'll quickly see that network weavers wear a variety hats - networkers, project coordinators, facilitators, and guardians. Meeting June Holley for the first time!

Arts 81

E-Mediat Day 4: What does it mean to be a social media trainer?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Day 4 of the Train the Trainers E-Mediat was designed and facilitated by the capable SMEXbeirut Team – including Jessica Dheere , Mohamad Najem , and Naeema Zarif. One way to rejuvenate your practice, is to be a participant in training designed and facilitated by someone else. The day provided lots of inspiration and new ideas designing and facilitating training. Honor the more advanced participants and make them teaching assistants.

Why we need Learning Management Systems


A software application used to organize and distribute e-learning materials, assignments, and assessments; track and calculate grades; and facilitate communication among students and teachers. Imagine a world where your marketing department has to take eLearnings that teach them about quality design practices, branding strategies, and how to type blog posts that could actually engage users. Why We Need Learning Management Systems.

7 Questions To Ask First

Connection Cafe

Daring to Lead report finds that a full 55% of your peer executives name technology as a “depleting” aspect of their job (it would have been the most depleting of all options surveyed, if not for the joys of HR – like evaluating and hiring/firing staff). Given group A or B, choose to work for the group that had the tough conversations & planned ahead, or plan to spend a lot of your time teaching staff & board members about long-term sustainability.

Let’s Connect at the NTC!

Amy Sample Ward

Who : Facilitating: Amy Sample Ward | NetSquared; Billy Bicket | NetSquared. The NetSquared team will be working the room to activate and facilitate conversations so everyone can enjoy the ride. Workshop leaders will offer feedback and evaluation. This cross-platform event allowed for multiple levels of interaction with the single goal of teaching nonprofits how to tell stories digitally.

NTC 117

The 2016 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar


We have gathered an outstanding group of field experts to teach how to build and sustain this kind of governance. Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Nonprofits Assistance Fund for this fifth annual day-long conference will offer insights, strategies and tools for staff and board members looking at your organization’s financial sustainability from diverse perspectives – from strategy and oversight to implementation and evaluation.

Help! My Nonprofit Needs A Data Nerd

Beth Kanter

Last week, I facilitated a mini-innovation lab on measuring impact for grantees of the Google Nonprofit program at the Impact Hub. They are teaching digital measurement best practices by connecting great causes with experienced mentors and motivated students.

Help 56

How Nonprofits Get Significant Value from Content Curation

Beth Kanter

On December 17 at 6:30 pm, I am facilitating a discussion and presenting at one of Scoop.It’s “ Lean Content ” events in San Francisco. Evaluating: Rate and rank items in your collection. I think adding value is also about using your critical thinking skills. It made me wonder whether there were some useful ideas in the literature about teaching critical thinking skills that could be applied to content curation.

Digital Analytics Basics: Free Online Academy from Google

Beth Kanter

Deep-dives into Google Analytics reports with specific examples for evaluating your digital marketing performance. Peer Instruction and the flipped classroom is a research-based, interactive teaching method developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University in the 1990s. In 2012, Howard Rheingold facilitated the production of the “ Peeragogy Handbook ,” a practical how-to.

Learn You Will: #14ntc Nonprofit Tech Training Session Reflection and Resources

Beth Kanter

” That is you step aside from the content delivery and shine a light into the process, including what the trainer is thinking as they are facilitating. 6 Tips for Evaluating Your Training Session. The Feng Shui of Good Teaching.

Advancing Social Media Measurement for Philanthropic Outcomes #sm_re

Beth Kanter

That was one of many questions raised at during a Twitter Chat last week around the #sm_re hashtag. The chat was a prelude to a convening on April 25th at the Robert Wood Johnston Foundation of 40 thinkers and practitioners, bringing diverse perspectives and expertise into discussions to develop measures for evaluating the impact of social media on philanthropic outcomes. Click to See Larger Image and Full Data by Marc Smith.

Help! My Nonprofit Needs A Data Nerd and How To Find Them!

Beth Kanter

Recruit Through LinkedIn Board Connect: Earlier this fall, LinkedIn launched “ Board Connect ” that can facilitate recruitment of new board members or volunteers with professional skills. I’ve said this many times, but if I was running a nonprofit today, I would sign up for this service and put together an advisory group of data nerds to help with my data and measurement needs.

Reflections: Social Media and NGO/CSR Workshop in India

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I also had the opportunity to facilitate a large group session about whether CEOs should use social media or not and attended a tweet up with David Meerman Scott. Teaching in an international context. When teaching in different contexts, especially outside of the US, you need to make some adjustments to your context. I'm closing the triangle between book winner and author via Twitter to facilitate learning after the workshop. Evaluation.

India 84

How to Engage Your Supporters and Find Super Fans

Tech Soup Blog

Remember that most content is consumed and discarded, and so use content as a teaching moment, and a way to engage and involve your audience in your work. It invites its super fans to join a private Facebook group, with useful information and a facilitated discussion. Figure out what actually happens after you send out an email, and evaluate your approach based on that. Nonprofits often struggle with creating effective content and engagement strategies.

Games for Change 2007: Funders Perspective Panel

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

If you use web site metrics to evaluate the success of your blog, they don't work for a lot of reasons. It is a new form of teaching, not just skill-based learning. How to find the right funding mechanism to facilitate collaborative teams? Government funders have a congressional mandate for evaluation of anything that is funded and to use quantitative methods and research analysis. It is important to also consider the different contexts for the evaluation.

Game 50

Strengthen Your Community with a Knowledge Sharing Network


If you can build an area of your website where people come to learn, teach, and maybe have some fun, they will likely return. Anyway, you already asked yourself what roles were needed when you did your strategic evaluation, right? Now go forth and facilitate knowledge sharing! By Laura Norvig, Special Librarian, the Resource Center. Whether your nonprofit organization provides services or advocates for a cause, your stakeholders have common interests.

How To Make A Back Channel Light Up Like Clark Griswald's House

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

And, in looking over the evaluations and reviews , I think the participants did too. After all, teaching others improves retention and helps consolidates one's own knowledge. Here's a few points that I picked up that I will integrate into the next time I do this: Integrating social media into your instructional practice will change how your teach. I like webinar software that facilitates learning between participants).

5 Keys to Effective Knowledge Transfer for Nonprofits

Wild Apricot

Effective Knowledge Transfer and Exchange for Nonprofit Organizations: A Framework, from Imagine Canada (formerly the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy), provides a framework to help nonprofits plan, conduct, and evaluate their efforts at knowledge transfer and exchange. There are 5 elements key to an effective transfer or exchange of knowledge, the report suggests: Audience, Message, Method, Messenger, and Evaluation: Audience. Evaluation. logs and evaluation forms â??

Launching a Collaboration or Content Management System: 8 Tricks for Adoption

Forum One

I assume most people start there because it is arguably the easiest part to grapple with; at least you can quantitatively evaluate and compare various solutions. Facilitating and moderating discussions, forums, and other online interaction. After your pilot launch, you can then rely on these users to help you spread the word about the new site and teach others how to use it! So, you have decided you need a tool for collaboration or content management. Great.