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.

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.


Sign Up for our Newsletter

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

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. Here’s a some of what I learned about facilitating innovation and train the trainers design.

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.

#14LCS Facilitator Series: Meet Bridget Marie Todd


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: Bridget Marie Todd , a Lead Facilitator for the Digital Strategy track.

How To Think Like An Instructional Designer for Your Nonprofit Trainings

Beth Kanter

Join me for a FREE Webinar: Training Tips that Work for Nonprofits on Jan.29th at 1:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST. 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.

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.

Social Media Trainings: How do you use pre-workshop data about your participants effectively to shape effective instruction?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I'm preparing for a Social Media workshop next month called " Making Sense of and Success with Social Media " where the audience will be consultants who work with nonprofits in other areas (not technology). I have a chance to reflect now on the data I've collected and think about the instructional design. Also, some new types of questions about training and education approaches for nonprofits and specific tips for under-resourced nonprofits.

Virtual Board Meetings: The Quick Guide for Nonprofits

Top Nonprofits

With the pandemic’s turbulent effects on society, nonprofits like yours are relying more than ever on their boards to overcome the financial constraints and community engagement challenges that arise. Improved nonprofit governance.

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

Connection Cafe

COVID-19 is forcing nonprofits to think differently about engaging supporters. The unique challenge for nonprofits—especially those that rely on in-person support—will be providing virtual opportunities to their supporters to adapt to this new environment.

Strengthening program evaluation in your nonprofit

ASU Lodestar Center

posted by Veera Tervola Morrison Spring 2020 Alumna, ASU Master of Nonprofit Leadership & Management. Nonprofit leaders have heard the call but are struggling to meet expectations due to a lack of basic resources, expertise and support. Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz.

Four Tips To Boost Your Personal Resilience While Doing Nonprofit Work

Beth Kanter

Above all, silence facilitates clear and creative thinking and quiets negative thoughts. Here are the techniques: Meeting Ritual: A Moment of Quiet: Many people who work at nonprofits are often in many meetings, often scheduled back-to-back, everyday. Here’s some step-by-step or eye-by-eye instructions. Happy Healthy Nonprofit MindfulnessPhoto by Amanda/Flicker.

The Happy Healthy Nonprofit Book: Upcoming Activities and Early Reviews

Beth Kanter

We are just weeks away from the launch of the Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Impact without Burnout , my third book, co-authored with Aliza Sherman. Yesterday, I was honored to deliver the ending keynote, “From Self-Care to We-Care” at the Stanford Nonprofit Management Institute. The interactive keynote had 300 nonprofit leaders take and discuss the nonprofit burnout assessment and brainstorm self-care ideas to put into practice. Happy Healthy Nonprofit

Nonprofit Technology Training: Book List

Beth Kanter

At this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference, I’m thrilled to be doing a panel on nonprofit technology training and it has a bit of a star wars theme, “ Learn You Will.” I love all aspects instructional design and facilitation , but being a good trainer also means being a good content curator and resource librarian. ” So, I like to share a few of my favorites that I have inspired me in my instructional/training practice.

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

Beth Kanter

Published Book Three: In 2016, I published “ The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout ,” with co-author Aliza Sherman. The book was well received and was #1 on Amazon’s Nonprofit Books many times throughout October-December as we presented dozens online webinars and guest posts and articles. In the US, I gave workshops at nonprofit conferences in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, California and at SXSW.

The Networked Nonprofit in Kenya

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I decided to stay a few extra days and facilitate a workshop on the Networked Nonprofit for local NGOs. This blog post includes some reflections about my first visit to Africa, the importance of face-to-face meetings and building relationships, and some thoughts about how some of the ideas in the Networked Nonprofit transcend boundaries. The meeting and the workshop I facilitated took place in iHub, an open innovation space. The Networked Nonprofit In Kenya.

Kenya 84

Creating A Culture of Well-being in Your Nonprofit Workplace: The First Step

Beth Kanter

I am thrilled with the response to The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout as my co-author and I have been sharing the ideas on a virtual book tour during the last month. I was thrilled to see this blog SSIR blog post, Five Myths that Perpetuate Burnout Across Nonprofits by Ann-Sophie Morrissette. Last June, I facilitated a leadership workshop at the Americans for the Arts Conference where I tested some of the assessments and checklist tools in our book.

Trainer’s Notebook: The Digital Nonprofit: A Participatory Workshop

Beth Kanter

Last week at the IFC-Asia , I co-designed and facilitated a 90 minute workshop with Marco Kuntze titled “ The Digital NGO: The Journey from Paper to Screen.” ” Jo Wolfe, Aseem Thakur, Gillian Tan, Cherisse Beh, Katie Bengaard, and Toral Cowieson joined our session as small group facilitators. The assessment helps nonprofits look at eight different areas: Technology, Content, Channels/Devices, Audiences, Analytics, User Experience, and Governance.

Social Media Lab: How To Become A Networked Nonprofit

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Social Media Lab: Becoming A Networked Nonprofit. As Visiting Scholar in Nonprofits and Social Media at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, I am coaching grantee organizations and leading workshops and peer trainings on how to become a Networked Nonprofit. One of the themes in the book, The Networked Nonprofit , is the importance of doing experiments. Participant-Generated Instructional Content. View more presentations from Beth Kanter.

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! Evaluation is one of my favorite parts of the instructional design or training process. I use a simple exercise at the end of every training session I facilitate that asks the participants to reflect on what they learned and how they will apply it.

Designing Transformative Communications Capacity Building Programs for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

Betsey Russell captured the highlights of the content in this blog post, “ Boosting Nonprofit Communication Capacity.”. 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.

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. Emerging nonprofit leaders who engage in reflective listening are more likely to succeed. 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. Flickr Photo by qwrrty.

A New Approach for Nonprofit Professional Development: Micro-Learning

Beth Kanter

Recently, a nonprofit professional said to me, “I don’t have time to learn anything new because I have too much work to do.” Micro-learning online courses consist of a video, an info-graphic or list of tips, and a set of instructional or assessment questions that help us think differently about the topic and find something bite size to apply immediately.

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. I recently submitted a proposal for NTEN’s 2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference with colleagues Cindy Leonard, John Kenyon and Jeanne Allen called “ Supercharge Your Technology Training ,” so please take a minute to vote for it. . As the facilitator you cue the leader to pass the power on to someone else in the room.

Why Movement Is the Killer Learning App for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

As a trainer and facilitator who works with nonprofit organizations and staffers, you have to be obsessed with learning theory to design and deliver effective instruction, have productive meetings, or embark on your own self-directed learning path. I’m doing a panel at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference in March called “ Learn You Will ” with colleagues John Kenyon, Andrea Barry, and Cindy Leonard.

Brain 61

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

Beth Kanter

Next week, I headed to Seattle for a couple of days of events around my book, “ Measuring the Networked Nonprofit ,” co-authored with KD Paine. Keeping nonprofit audiences engaged during training can improve your outcomes. Then we had a discussion to pull highlight and discover different practices. I used this exercise right after lunch to avoid the after lunch energy drop and use the time for instruction.

Playing the Social Media Game with 100 Bay Area Nonprofits

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Last week, I had the opportunity facilitate a " Social Media Strategy Map " workshop for over 100 Bay Area nonprofits. One of the things that is essential to good instruction (or presentation) is knowing your audience. Every time I present or facilitate a workshop, I review the web sites and social media ant trails (social media properties) of participants. . It's a shift from sage on the stage instruction to honoring the learners for what they know.

Game 68

Nonprofit Focused Workshops at SXSW Interactive Festival: Join Us!

Beth Kanter

For the last few years, there has been a good nonprofit presence and this year is no exception! I’m honored to be involved with the instructional design and delivery of two workshops specifically for nonprofits. Nonprofit Social Media Managers Enter The C-Suite: Peer To Peer. In 2009, the “Social Media ROI Poetry Slam” SXSW lead to a book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.”

Nonprofits Who are Making A Difference Through Play

Beth Kanter

So, I’m thrilled that community manager, Meghan Ventura, who is responsible for cultivating the community presence of Games for Change agreed to write this guest post about nonprofits who are using games for social change. And, don’t miss this special offer: Get 10% off tickets with the code beth_g4c14. Nonprofits Who are Making A Difference Through Play – guest post by Meghan Ventura. Has your nonprofit embraced games for social change?

Game 58

Reflections from Networked Nonprofit Workshop for 300 People

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I feel that my technology training for nonprofits work is more like a calling for me than simply a job or career. For the past 15 years, I have been excited about nonprofit technology training design and delivery and it is what I will continue to focus on as part of my role at Zoetica over the coming years. This week I lead a full-day workshop for 300 nonprofits and foundations on social media strategy and tactics. Colorado Project.

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.” 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. Instructional Design. 8 Tips for Designing Powerful Nonprofit Training Workshops.

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. This blog post summarizes the insights and resources that were shared from a workshop on how nonprofit social media managers can be change makers from within their organizations. The title was “ Peer to Peer Nonprofit Social Media Managers ” and we took a deep dive into organizational change issues that professional social media managers face.

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. There were some excellent “burning questions” that folks shared about nonprofit training.

The best way for #LOVols to grow professionally (and how to do it)

Twenty Hats

A Leadership Circle is a common practice for business owners, corporate CEOs and nonprofit executives. The first circle, which lasted for three years, included a handful of members from local nonprofits and government agencies.

What Can Salesforce Do for Education?

Cloud 4 Good

Sales Cloud + Nonprofit Success Pack – Enhance Advancement Efforts Sales Cloud is the top growth platform for digital sales available today. The University of Vermont (UVM) implemented Service Cloud as part of a multi-phased release to help facilitate the UVM vision of a connected campus.

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. The Leading Change Summit was drastically different from the Nonprofit Technology Conference, NTEN’s flagship event that has over 2,000 attendees, dozens of tracks and hundreds of panels, big parties, a trade show, and all the things you would expect from a traditional conference. Photo by Trav Williams.

How to Bolster Your Charitable Partners Post-COVID


Tracy Ring is a former nonprofit worker and current freelance writer and marketer. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations feared the worst. I also vet nonprofits by asking current board members about their experiences.

Local 52

Icebreakers for Online Meetings That Introverts Will Love

Beth Kanter

In my work as a trainer and facilitator, I make workshops and master classes as interactive as possible, incorporating peer discussion, movement, and creativity. But it isn’t impossible, if you follow best practices for virtual facilitation for meetings. One design important instructional principle for trainings and meetings, whether online or face-to-face, is to start off with a fun way to ease into the work. The next step is to facilitate a discussion.

Trainer’s Notebook: Making Accommodations In Workshops

Beth Kanter

Last week I facilitated a workshop in Detroit hosed by Co-Act , a nonprofit collaboration space in Detroit. The workshop was focused on personal resilience and self-care based on my book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit and was part of series of workshops on resilience. Co-Act is a unique organization, a hub for accelerating collaborative action in Southeast Michigan’s nonprofit community. I modify instructions or make accommodations for physical disabilities.

Mobile Technology Impacts NPOs

Tech Soup Blog

Technology is transforming our world and impacts everyone, including nonprofits. A well-constructed mobile campaign includes easy-to-understand instructions and clear calls-to-actions driving the desired reaction. There is a new application coming out from Acteva in a month to facilitate the event logistics and communication on the go. According to Business Insider , smartphone sales surpassed personal computer sales last year.

Teaching Nonprofits How To Bring Relevant Information To Their Desktop

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I participated in Nancy White's online facilitation workshop last fall where one of the participants was the thoughtful Nick Noakes who is the Associate Director for the Center for Enhanced Learning and Teaching at a university in Hong Kong. Technorati Tags: RSS , instruction , teaching , learning , adoption , training , effectiveness , nptech , net2

Teach 50

Reflections from Center for Nonprofit Excellence Annual Conference, Louisville, KY

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Today I facilitated a couple of workshops as part of the Social Media track for annual conference for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Louisville, KY. At the end of the conference, I interviewed Rosetta along with Ashely Cecil , Erin McMahon , and Diana Church -- all young nonprofit professionals. I'm feeling good about the workshop because I feel that I'm finally closer to mastering differentiated instruction with social media and nonprofits.

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Is Going into Full Effect – Are You Ready?

Connection Cafe

This means that if you have an email address in your email house file belonging to a Canadian, even if your nonprofit is based in the U. CASL laws allowed for a 3-year provisional period that began July 1, 2014 to allow businesses and nonprofits to prepare for the legislation. During this time, many nonprofits reviewed their email marketing programs for compliance, and Blackbaud ensured all of our products used to send email facilitated your ability to do so.

Spam 33