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. Reflective Practice. Networked Facilitation. Facilitated Listening Skills.

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.


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How Your Nonprofit Can Routinize Reflection

Beth Kanter

Reflection is a critical step in assessing individual and team performance at your nonprofit. A reflective process, whether it is a structured process for individuals or groups, can give us insights about what worked and what could be improved. Reflection requires hitting the pause button and asking and answering questions. But how to create a routine around reflection for yourself and at your nonprofit?

Reflections on Twitter Chat Facilitation Techniques

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Has your nonprofit done an online Twitter chat? Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in Twitter chat series #socialmedia. It’s been a one-hour weekly chat on Twitter for the past 10 months organized and hosted by Marc Meyer and Jason Breed. The way it works is they invite a “host&# to ask 3 compelling questions, 20 minutes each, that revolve around a topical subject within the business of social media, but that play to their strengths or backgrounds.

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. There are two basic ways to facilitate a group brainstorming session.

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.

SXSW Reflection: Using Social Media to Facilitate A Global Back Channel at a Panel Session

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Over the past month, I have been thinking about a couple of different ideas and how to incorporate them into training design to facilitate learning. My questions are: 1. How can we use graphic facilitation or graphic note taking in real time to deepen understanding of the topic being discussed? How can nonprofits learn from one another across borders without the barrier of translation, particularly online? SXSW: Free Agents and Nonprofits in a Networked World.

Why Your Donation Payment Process Reflects Your Brand


Transparency is the leading value millennial donors look for when seeking a nonprofit to support. As an organization, you must reflect the value of transparency in every decision you make. Each step of the donation process should reflect authenticity to your donors to establish rapport.

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

Beth Kanter

Many successful nonprofit professionals use rituals, either for personal productivity or team productivity. These rituals also help me set-up systems for consistent reflection and positive habit change throughout the new year. Sunset at Half Moon Bay.

#14LCS Facilitator Series: Meet John Kenyon


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: John Kenyon , a Lead Facilitator for the Impact Leadership track.

#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.

#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.

#14LCS Facilitator Series: Meet Deepa Kunapuli


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: Deepa Kunapuli , a Lead Facilitator for the Digital Strategy track.

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. Rather than start at the beginning, I’m starting at the end by sharing some tips for a formal reflection process that can lead to improving results of a project or event. Facilitator Guide: [link].

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? I answered yes to all, but more importantly I think these two methods helped me the most: Carve out time for reflection after each training and do an after-action review with yourself. Evaluate your content, facilitation, and logistical skills against participant evaluations. As the facilitator, you have give clear instructions to people and keep time.

Keep Calm and Write It Down: How Reflective Practice Leads To Better Results for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

I’m facilitating a peer exchange for the Knight Foundation for a group of grantees that are hosting a Giving Days over the next year using its recently published Giving Day Playbook. One of the most valuable is to incorporate a process evaluation, capturing what actually happened as the event or program unfolded. You can always learn from documenting as an event unfolds and having a formal reflection or debrief post program or event.

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. Overnight Reflection.

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.

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. Some Reflections. Colorado Project.

Reflections from Independent Sector and Blackbaud Conferences

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Last week, I had the pleasure of facilitating a Networked Nonprofit and Social Media workshop at the Independent Sector Annual Conference “ Forging A Stronger Future Together &# in Atlanta. Most participants included CEOs of nonprofit institutions and foundations and have been working in the sector for decades. The group also included a couple of “next gen&# leaders as well as some experienced social media users in the nonprofit and foundation areas.

A Few Reflections from SXSW Crowdsourcing Panel

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I was honored to design and facilitate a panel at SXSW on Sunday called " Crowd Sourcing Innovative Social Change." Using this open source collaborative platform, the Manhattan-based nonprofit has so far engaged more than 600 communities in 55 countries in creating citizen maps to catalyze new environmental projects, large and small. Invisible People , an nonprofit that uses video storytelling to help de-stigmatize homeless people.

What Can Salesforce Do For Nonprofits?

Cloud 4 Good

In this blog, I’m going back to the basics to illustrate what exactly Salesforce’s many clouds can do for customers in the nonprofit space. To understand the depth and breadth of Salesforce’s offerings for nonprofits, we must first understand the Salesforce Customer 360 approach.

Reflections from #15ntc Session Walking As Work and 20/8/2 Rule

Beth Kanter

I just returned from my 15 consecutive Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted by NTEN! This year I designed and facilitated a highly interactive session called “ Walking is Work: Don’t Call It A Break ” with Ritu Sharma. I also lead a conference networking walk following the session. This post summarizes some thoughts and reflections. Want to talk about walking or standing as part of nonprofit work? Photo by Jim Nickerson.

Reflections on the Social Media Lab Workshop

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Over the years, I have developed and refined one-day or half-day workshops on social media strategy and tactics for nonprofits. 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. She calls it "joyful funeral" -- that you quickly say this didn't work, reflect on why, and move on. Packard socialmedia-lab-day 1-module 1.

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance: AMI 2014 Reflections

ASU Lodestar Center

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance ASU Lodestar Center Each year Arizona State University’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) prepares students to attend a national institute designed to bring partnering nonprofit organizations and Alliance campus partners together to share ideas, best practices and forward the mission of “strengthening the nonprofit sector with a talented and prepared workforce.” Read Lyn McDonough''s, " Evolution of Today’s Nonprofit Pr ofessional.".

How grant makers and nonprofit grant recipients can do great things together with data and evaluation

Deborah Elizabeth Finn

It took Tech Networks of Networks almost two years to organize and implement a series of candid dialogues about data and evaluation for grantors and nonprofit grantees, and now it’s complete. What you see here are a few notes that reflect my individual experience.

Grant 52

Reflections: Center for Health Leadership Social Media Workshop

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I was honored to be included as one of the instructors for the Center for Health Leadership (CHL) at UC Berkeley 21st Century New Media Training Series, designed for health professionals to learn how to strategically use new media for public health practice and health care. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to facilitate workshops in the context of a leadership program. Some reflections: Health Organizations: Social Media. The Networked Health Organization.

How Nonprofit Professionals Can Manage Workplace Stress Triggers

Beth Kanter

This week I facilitated a Happy Healthy Nonprofit workshop for nonprofit professionals hosted by CVNL in Marin County. Before focusing on workplace strategies and culture change, participants go through some reflective exercises, including taking the nonprofit burnout assessment , identifying stress triggers and reactions before creating a self-care plan. 1: Make Time Everyday for Reflection: Keep a Journal. Flickr Photo by Brittney Bush.

The One Simple Thing That Nonprofit Leaders Do To Keep Inspired and Avoid Burnout

Beth Kanter

Yesterday, I honored to fill in as MC and interviewer for Darian Rodriguez Heyman at the Nonprofit Fundraising Masters event. (Darian was welcoming his first child, a boy, into the world!). In addition, facilitated a peer learning exchange called “Solution Salon.” ” Darian authored the best-selling Nonprofit Fundraising 101 , the first truly comprehensive yet practical guide to all aspects of fundraising. Happy Healthy Nonprofit Mindfulness Reflection

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. The campaign would match individual passion and wallets with nonprofits.

Reflections: Social Media and NGO/CSR Workshop in India

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

The Nasscom Foundation in India, the epicenter of nonprofit technology and social innovation, invited me to present as part of the Global CSR track in a session about reaching the Bottom of the Pyramid with technology and 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. Workshop Ngo Feb 13 View more presentations from Beth Kanter.

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Who’s Responsible for A Nonprofit’s Culture of Philanthropy?


If you’re a fundraiser bemoaning the lack of your nonprofit’s culture of philanthropy , you don’t get off that easily. . You are the philanthropy facilitator. . A Nonprofit’s Culture of Philanthropy: Who’s Job is it? . Culture tends to reflect who’s in charge.

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.” ” I was lucky enough to collaborate with Janet McIntyre , a nonprofit leadership coach and Jeffrey Golde , Adjunct Professor of Management: Columbia Business School, along with Abe Flores from AFTA.

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.

ArtsLabSF: Reflections About Social Learning With Social Media

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Here are some reflections on the instructional design: 1. Most importantly, I need a good facilitator for each table. I do believe that social media as part of your training can enhance learning, help facilitate social learning. I created a nonprofit version of Charelene Li's Social Graphics Framework. ArtsLab SF View more presentations from Beth Kanter. Almost a year ago, I got a phone call from James Leventhal who follows me on Twitter.

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.

Reflections from Stanford Nonprofit Management Institute: New Skills for a Complex World

Beth Kanter

“New Skills for a Complex World” was the theme of the seventh annual Nonprofit Management Institute, a two-day conference for several hundred nonprofit leaders sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) earlier this week. I had the honor of being on the faculty to do a master class on leading networked nonprofits. Networked Nonprofit Networks Organizational Culture Philanthropy

A Powerful Way for Nonprofits To Avoid Collaborative Overload

Beth Kanter

Online collaboration tools and platforms give nonprofits the opportunity for connectivity and collaboration internally as well as with external stakeholders like volunteers and board members. And, as more and more nonprofits offer workplace flexibility and remote working opportunities for staff, they are relying more on online collaboration platforms to get work done – including tools like Zoom, Slack, Box, Google Drive, and others. Facilitation Meetings

NTC Reflection: How To Make Your Conference Panel A Magical Learning Experience

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I designed and facilitated one panel, I’ve Found My Free Agent, Now What? This year I not only facilitated a conversation in the room, but integrated visual facilitation techniques to spark insights and capture learnings. Also, the element of fun, more interaction, and opportunities for sharing in smaller groups. And, I discovered that there is a Fortress Nonprofit on Twitter providing great advice about organizational change.

Healthy Nonprofit Work Culture: Shouldn’t That 2 Hour Conference Call Have Been An Email?

Beth Kanter

That is a slogan on a t-shirt, and while meant as a joke, it is all too familiar for many nonprofits. Listen to this Nonprofit Radio show on walking meetings. Facilitation Leadership Organizational CultureMeetings that waste your time!

The 2018 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar


If you loved our 2017 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar get ready for our new, improved, and updated 2018 calendar! We've searched far and wide for the best and brightest nonprofit conferences from all around the country! Nonprofit Management. Nonprofit Technology, and more! Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar 2018. Nonprofit Leadership Alliance / Kansan City, KA/ $625. Nonprofit Management / #AMI2018 / @NPL_Alliance. Nonprofit Management.

Reflections on Extension 2.0 Webinar

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

First, my preferred method of instruction is to be more interactive and facilitate discussion. If I was in a room, live, I would have facilitated a brief conversation about the themes and interjected the themes into conversation - and then summarized them succintly with the slides. The ten steps was originally tailored for a nonprofit technology and nonprofit audience -- so some of the examples were not as relevant to the audience as the new ones that I had researched.

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.