Close Search
Sponsored  |  CareersProfessional development

Can we stop paying for professional development?

20 August 2019 at 7:15 am
NonprofitReady shares six of the most popular online courses, available for free, to help you make a greater impact.

Contributor | 20 August 2019 at 7:15 am


Can we stop paying for professional development?
20 August 2019 at 7:15 am

NonprofitReady shares six of the most popular online courses, available for free, to help you make a greater impact.

Too often, purpose-driven professionals don’t receive the training they need. We all know the typical explanations – funders don’t allocate enough dollars to professional development, learners can’t give up the time for in-person training, and relevant classes aren’t offered in every area.

Today, a wide variety of organisations have made engaging learning opportunities available online. The best part? Many of these resources are 100 per cent free. 

At, our mission is to give not-for-profit professionals at all levels the opportunity to build skills and advance their careers. 

Ready to make a greater impact?

Here are six of the most popular online courses (all completely free) to help you get started:

The most popular resource of 2019! Short, interactive courses cover three critical topics – how do not for profits operate, how do not for profits make money, and how can I build a thriving not-for-profit career. Complete all three courses, pass a short knowledge check, and you will earn a certificate and badge to add to your resume and LinkedIn profile. This is a rare opportunity to gain knowledge on the entire social sector and bolster your credentials for your next job interview or performance review.

This simple, easy-to-follow video course reviews the entire grant application process. If you want to broaden your skillset and understand how your organisation could earn new financial support, this short course is a great place to start.

This video from Candid provides easy-to-follow best practices for raising more money online. Special attention is paid to improving your donation pages and email campaigns, what to look for in an online platform, and when it makes sense to invest in digital advertising.

Whether you’re searching for a new role or planning your long-term career, watch this interview with a not-for-profit career coach. Chock full of actionable tips and helpful resources, the video will help you land your ideal position in the not-for-profit sector. 

Learn how to set up a development plan, how to manage the transition to more complex fundraising, and how to engage your board of directors in the fundraising process. This guide includes real-life scenarios from actual not for profits and tactical pointers to help you create a successful fundraising program. Perfect for anyone responsible for fundraising or wanting to move into a leadership role in their organisation.

This how-to video from Whole Whale matches best practices with examples from not for profits such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation,, and the ALS Association. The experts also provide ideas used by smaller not for profits for auctions, events, online campaigns, and peer-to-peer fundraising. No matter your organisation’s size, scale, or mission, you’ll find useful tips and tricks in this video that will have you raising money in no time.

You cannot devote your life to building up others without building your own skillset. But in an era of shrinking budgets and restricted funding, justifying the price for a paid training course can seem almost impossible. There will always be the need for fee-based training courses, particularly when you want to build deep expertise in a specific area. But often what we need most is actionable information and practical skills we can use immediately. 

Thankfully, there are an ever-growing number of free learning opportunities – some formal, some informal – available all over the internet. These are just a few examples of the 500-plus free learning resources available in NonprofitReady

When price is no longer an obstacle, the hardest part may be to convince yourself it is okay to make time for professional development. It may feel like you’re taking focus away from “real” work. But in the long run, you will discover the benefits to you and the communities you serve will be immeasurable. 

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Panel Discussion Webinar

Get more stories like this



What do you want to learn?

Jonathan Alley

Thursday, 2nd June 2022 at 3:41 pm

Why now is the time to think about upskilling your employees

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 5th May 2022 at 3:42 pm

Are you the communicator you think you are?

Jonathan Alley

Wednesday, 4th May 2022 at 6:25 pm

The woman changing the STEM gender game

Jonathan Alley

Wednesday, 27th April 2022 at 5:10 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook