How To Think Like An Instructional Designer for Your Nonprofit Trainings

Beth Kanter

I’ll be sharing my best tips and secrets for designing and delivering training for nonprofit professionals that get results. And, if you are attending NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology in March, join me, John Kenyon, Andrea Barry, and Cindy Leonard for a session on designing effective technology training. All of my work these days is focused on designing and delivering effective training for nonprofits -primarily on the topics of social media, strategy, networks, and measurement.

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. Here’s just a few: Instructional. Networked Facilitation.


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Methods for Facilitating Innovation in Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

Last month I had the pleasure of taking the Luma Institute Train the Trainers workshop where I got a chance to immerse in practicing facilitation techniques based on human centered design principles. The workshop instructor Peter Maher is founder and CEO, of Luma Institute , and a Jedi Master. The co-facilitator was Amy Hedrick who works in Product and Design Innovation at Intuit. ” What is Human Centered Design? Facilitation

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. I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect again on a decade of experience of designing and delivering interactive webinars. Learning Training Desig

Trainer’s Notebook: Just A Few Participatory Facilitation Techniques

Beth Kanter

Recently, a colleague asked me a wonderful question: How did you learn to become a good facilitator and trainer? Evaluate your content, facilitation, and logistical skills against participant evaluations. Conferences are a great opportunity to take workshops and observe the facilitator’s techniques. Many of us do this and take content notes, but it is also great to take notes about instructional design and facilitation techniques.

Trainer’s Notebook: Finding Inspiration and New Ideas for Facilitation Techniques

Beth Kanter

Last week, during the Google hangout hosted by the Packard Foundation , someone asked me where I get all my ideas for designing and delivering training. Part of delivering instruction is being a good facilitation of people’s learning and there is no better way to learn how to improve your own technique than watching world class facilitators in action. Good participatory design and instructional design for that matter needs a closure exercise.

How To Be A Wizard at Tech Training: NTC 2016 Session

Beth Kanter

In a couple of weeks, one of the sessions I’m facilitating at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose is called “ How To Be A Wizard at Tech Training.” Our session will change the way you design and deliver technology trainings. Whether you are facilitating a session with your board, staff, or hundreds of folks in a room, you’ll find ways to design instructional content that interests, engages, and inspires action. Peer Learning Design.

Trainer’s Notebook: The Feng Shui of Good Teaching and Learning

Beth Kanter

All of my work these days is focused on designing and delivering effective training for nonprofits -primarily on the topics of social media, strategy, networks, and measurement. So, expect to see regular reflections on good instructional design and delivery for any topic, but especially technology related. I designed and facilitated a peer learning workshop at SXSW last week. How does the room set up support or fight your instructional design?

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3 New Year’s Rituals for Nonprofits That Can Boost Professional Success

Beth Kanter

Emerging Leaders Playbook: With the generous support of the Packard Foundation and in collaboration with Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies, we wrote and published the Emerging Leaders Playbook last year, along with facilitating a peer learning cohort with colleague Stephanie Rudat. For 2017, we be launching an online site that includes the content and facilitator guides so that any nonprofit or trainer can provide leadership development for emerging nonprofit leaders.

Trainer’s Notebook: Group Polling Techniques and Tools and Incorporating Movement

Beth Kanter

Last week, in addition to giving the ending keynote and facilitating a design lab for the Arts Brain Trust at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference , I was a participant in a pre conference convening expertly facilitated by Jennifer Edwards who is an organizational development consultant, dancer, and teacher. As a trainer, it is always great to experience someone else facilitating so you can have empathy for participants, get some new ideas or reflect on your trade craft.

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NTEN Leading Change Summit #14lcs: Reflection

Beth Kanter

Last week I facilitated the “ Impact Leadership Track ” at the NTEN Leading Change Summit with John Kenyon, Elissa Perry, and Londell Jackson. Here’s what I learned: Facilitation Teams. A good facilitator knows how to shift or tweak the lesson plan in real time if it isn’t working as planned. Often, facilitation teams are brought together by an event host. Are there facilitation skills/techniques that you enjoy and are great at doing?

Flexible Space: The Secret To Designing Powerful Training

Beth Kanter

I’ll be sharing my best tips and secrets for designing and delivering training for nonprofit professionals that get results. And, if you are attending NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology in March, join me, John Kenyon, Andrea Barry, and Cindy Leonard for a session on designing effective technology training. So, expect to see regular reflections on good instructional design and delivery for any topic, but especially technology related.

Six Tips for Evaluating Your Nonprofit Training Session

Beth Kanter

I’m co-facilitating a session on Nonprofit Training Design and Delivery with colleagues John Kenyon, Andrea Berry, and Cindy Leonard at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference on Friday March 14th at 10:30 am! Our session will share lots of great advice about what to do before , during , and after leading an effective technology training. Using the ADDIE for designing your workshop, you arrive at the “E” or evaluation. Training Design

Webinars: Designing Effective Learning Experiences

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

The content is important, but it is only half of the instructional design task. It has been over six years since I designed and delivered my first webinar/conference call, “ Designing Effective Technology Training Workshops for Nonprofits &# with NTEN. Because webinars were a new medium to trainers, I used Richard Mayer’s research on multi-media learning based on understanding how the brain works and the ability to pay attention to guide the instructional design.

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How To Apply Social to Education and Learning


Your job will be more rewarding when you transition your learners from passively listening to actively engaging through social channels you intentionally design as part of the learning experience. You have to know how to apply them to instructional design. This is just part of the series, which are designed to be short, checklist-style handy guides that take you step-by-step through the steps to rock your social media activities for your particular department. .

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.

Designing Transformative Communications Capacity Building Programs for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

We asked participants to do a “think and write” and jot down one idea that resonated before facilitating a grand synthesis of what we learned about designing more impactful capacity building programs for grantees. You can read my guest post over the Communications Network Blog that summarizes these insights. Training Design

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 !

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Experiential Leadership Development

Beth Kanter

More recently, with support from the Packard Foundation, I’ve been working on an Emerging Leadership Development project with Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies. We co-authored the “ Emerging Leaders Playbook ,” and I designed and facilitated a peer learning project. So, this trip was a gift in terms of getting new ideas for instructional design. When you are a trainer, you are a designer and facilitator of learning experiences.

How To Get Engagement in Your Online Education


Skilled facilitators structure their sessions to include thought-provoking questions; chat enables sharing of responses. Present a pre-recorded video or case study and then facilitate a related discussion. How do you apply instructional design principles to a live online learning session?

The Disruptive Approach to the Learning Industry


It seems that Training personnel are always focused on new and innovative teachings, and designers are obsessed with developing an open platform that can accommodate all these visionary changes that we as learning professionals would wish to implement. Gamification, while incredible and entirely visionary for the field of learning is not built out as much as designers and training administrators would like. The Disruptive Approach to the Learning Industry.

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

Beth Kanter

As a long-time trainer, professor, and teacher, I feel strongly that interactive learning activities – going beyond the death by Powerpoint Lecture – is the key to retention and application for participants. Your room set up can support your instructional activities that engage participants or get in the way. Classroom style with desks puts a barrier between the students and the instruction, especially when people are using laptops or tablets to take notes. Training Design

Trainer’s Notebook: Integrating Thinking and Feedback Activities

Beth Kanter

As a trainer and subject matter expert, I fight a big battle when designing a workshop. Balancing the amount of content delivery with exercises and right sizing given the available time for the workshop. While I did a pretty thorough participant assessment survey before finalizing the content, the instructional design and creating materials, I always like to get a group understanding of the learning goals and get people ready to learn. Training Design

SXSW 2013 – Are You A Social Media Nonprofit Manager Looking for Your Peers? #npsmpeer

Beth Kanter

I was honored to be involved with the instructional design and delivery of two workshops specifically for nonprofits. I enjoyed designing and facilitating this session because I had five awesome presenters who have a depth of knowledge about the topics we discussed. The second half of the session we broke into smaller groups, facilitated by the presenters to take a deeper dive on the topics.

How To Incorporate More Movement Into Your Nonprofit Training

Beth Kanter

Designing and facilitating training (not matter the topic) is one of my passions and why I blog about it on a regular basis. Good instructional design and delivery engages people’s brains, eyes, ears, and bodies. People pay attention more, they learn something, they retain it better, and there is a better chance of them applying what they learned. As the facilitator you cue the leader to pass the power on to someone else in the room.

Ways that Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Can Build Virtuoso Listening Skills

Beth Kanter

For the past few months, I’ve been facilitating a Nonprofit Emerging Leaders online peer learning project with Third Plateau Impact Strategies. Reflective listening skills are useful in all group settings, whether it is a team meeting, training, or interacting with co-workers and whether you are the facilitator or a participant. These techniques are described in more detail in “ The Facilitator’s Guide To Participatory Decision-Making ” by Sam Kaner. Flickr Photo by qwrrty.

Trainer’s Notebook: Using Posters To Spark Learning

Beth Kanter

The program is specially design to leverage the power of technology in supporting women’s rights and social justice leaders and organizations to advance their work and impact. I designed a 90-minute workshop focused on “Human-Centered Social Media Strategy” which teaches how to apply a simple design-thinking technique, creating personas, as the basis of your digital strategy. Training DesignPhoto by Equal Rights Advocates.

DoGoodData Conference: Live Long and Prosper with Data for Good!

Beth Kanter

I also was honored to facilitate a reflection exercise as part of the closing plenary session with data for good rock stars Bob Filbin, Jeffrey Blandt, and Jake Porway. Andrew served as the curator and host of the event, meticulously and brilliantly weaving together two days of plenary and break out sessions that well crafted and delivered by high quality speakers and facilitators.

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Nonprofit Focused Workshops at SXSW Interactive Festival: Join Us!

Beth Kanter

I’m honored to be involved with the instructional design and delivery of two workshops specifically for nonprofits. Designed as a peer learning session with Internationally acclaimed Master Trainer Beth Kanter and leading social media nonprofit practitioners like NWF’s Danielle Bridiga, Rachel Weidinger from Upwell, Laura Fitton from Hubspot, Brian Reich, and David Neff. Register here.

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

Beth Kanter

I’m doing a session for the NW Philanthropy and have been asked to talk a little about how to design peer learning and trainings for nonprofits. Having trained nonprofits on every continent of the world (except Antarctica), I had a great laboratory to develop my instructional design and delivery skills. One of the biggest challenges is keeping nonprofits engaged. Energizers are activities designed to awaken a sleeping audience or activate a jaded one.

E-Mediat: Reflections from the Conference in Fez, Morocco

Beth Kanter

After facilitating the two-day E-mediat Networking Conference, “New Media for the Networked NGO” in Jordan at the Dead Sea last week, I flew 2,000 miles west to Fez, Morocco to facilitate and keynote a second two-day conference for NGOs from Tunisia and Morocco that had successfully completed the e-mediat program in their countries, Morocco and Tunsia. 1. Facilitating Tri-Lingual Events: Not Lost in Translation. Design for Flexibility.

PopTech Fellows Program: Reflections

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

This includes leadership, social innovation, communications, branding, graphic facilitation, financial and funding models. Here are some thoughts about tweaking the instructional design: Game Length and Instructional Context. All of the instruction is aligned to a network frame. . In comparison, this was a shorter time amount of time, different instructional styles across faculty, and the overall frame was social innovation. Graphic Facilitation Rocks.

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

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I've been experimenting with integrating social media into instruction for the past five years, so the webinar was a great opportunity to reflect on practice. I covered these three topics: Why: Social media integrated into instruction - Pass or Fail? What: The art of social instructional design. Here's some reflections on the Webinar: Overcoming the Strawberry Jam Problem With Social Design. I think you can design around it. Social Instructional Design.

Reflections from Arts Leaders Workshop: Resilient Leaders from the Inside/Out

Beth Kanter

Earlier this month I was in Boston for the annual convention for Americans for the Arts where I facilitated a leadership development pre-conference workshop, “Impact without Burnout: Resilient Arts Leaders from the Inside/Out.” The mini-session included some practical tips and a reflective exercise based on the emerging nonprofit leaders peer learning project I facilitated last year.

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

Beth Kanter

Earlier this month, I presented on a panel called “ Learn, You Will ” with Cindy Leonard, John Kenyon, and Andrea Berry on the topic of designing effective nonprofit technology training at the Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted by NTEN. Each of us took on a different aspect of nonprofit technology design and incorporated some interactive exercises. I am particularly grateful to Cindy Leonard who compiled and consolidated our slides based on the design.

Reflections on the Social Media Lab Workshop

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

The curriculum and instructional design included " Principles of Effective Social Media for Nonprofits " and a version of the social media game created with David Wilcox. The idea is that participants would learn some of the best practices for these social media tactics and then design and implement an experiment and share their results with one another. There is one problem with this design: Many of us find experimenting difficult. Growing My Instructional Chops.

Trainer’s Notebook: Reflections on Designing and Delivering Training To Get Results

Beth Kanter

Last week was a busy week, after keynoting the Nonprofit Solutions Conference in Kansas City , I facilitated a one-day workshop for the Center for Nonprofits on developing and measuring a sustainable integrated social media strategy. Design for Participants To Apply. It’s been great to discuss instructional design with other trainers that Deborah has brought together. Design for Different Levels of Capacity and Skills: Adapt in Real Time.

Notes About Mobile, Digital Trends, and Social Media Leadership from Knight Digital Media Center Workshop

Beth Kanter

Last week I was in Chicago to facilitate a session as part of Knight Digital Media Center’s Digital Strategy for Community Foundations and Nonprofits workshop. Instructional Design Notes. I facilitated a session in the afternoon which was designed for peer interaction given the topic. Also, it gave me an opportunity to test a recipe for facilitating these types of sessions – more about that to come in a trainer’s note book post.

The Networked NGO in Pakistan

Beth Kanter

It marked the start of a six month peer learning exchange where I, along with colleague Stephanie Rudat will work remotely with grantees as they implement an action learning project to put techniques into practice and facilitate organizational change from the inside out. This blog post includes some reflections on the instructional design, delivery, and insights that I hope will inform the field building discussion taking place over at the Packard OE Program site.

Using Peer Learning Strategies To Build A Network

Beth Kanter

As part of my work plan as Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, I have the pleasure of working with networks of grantees to design and facilitate peer learning exchanges on networked nonprofit practices and using social media effectively. One of the networks I’m supporting are the grantees in the Friending the Finish Line strategy. Training Design. Networked Nonprofit Networks Training Design

Guest Post: Using Participation to Solve a Design Problem at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Museum 2.0

This is a perfect example of a museum using participation as a design solution. The activity was facilitated by the activity station set up in the lobby just outside the gallery. We tested five versions of the prompt sheets--some with instructions focused to the subject of the exhibition (artists' takes on nature), others with more open-ended instructions designed to encourage a broader range of responses. design participatory museum guestpost usercontent

My Themes for 2013

Beth Kanter

Here are some themes that I will explore this year: Measurement Discipline and Sense-Making: This year I will be focusing on developing curriculum and delivering workshops based on the ideas in “ Measuring the Networked Nonprofit ” A big project in 2013 is facilitating a peer learning group for OE Program for the Packard Foundation. The case studies and insights will be shared on this blog over the coming months. I’m writing this post from Tunisia.

Peer Learning As A Prelude to Collective Action for Social Change: Reflection

Beth Kanter

As part of my work plan as Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, I have the pleasure of working with networks of grantees to design and facilitate peer learning exchanges on networked nonprofit practices and using social media effectively over the past five years. One of the networks I’ve been supporting for three years is Friending the Finish Line strategy. This week was the third face-to-face meeting I’ve helped design and facilitate.