Request a Demo Search

This Throwaway Item In Your Nonprofit's Budget Is Actually Essential

nonprofit success
Topics -

See How Bloomerang Can Have a Bigger Impact on Your Mission!

Schedule a Demo

nonprofit's budget

Are you tired of nothing getting done the way you want in your office?

Are you managing a bunch of people but feeling like they don’t have enough motivation?

Do you feel like it’s hard to motivate people in nonprofits?

What if there were a better way to motivate people, hiding in plain sight?

What if you could offer people a chance to do better in their jobs?

Here’s a message from Captain Obvious: It’s called a continuing education budget.

Why would you want to offer a continuing education budget?

  1. When you pay for people’s education, people think you care about them, and their success in the organization.
  2. You create less insecurity in your workers as people see you investing in them and their skills. It makes them feel less worried that you’ll fire them for no reason in today’s at-will work environment, if you invest in them.
  3. You create more competent workers, whether people are managing fundraising or managing programs. So you have a team that gets more done with less effort. People will actually do a better job if you give them the tools through continuing education.

According to the book, The Leadership Engine by Noel Tischy, continuing education is the way you create leaders inside your organization.

Why would you want to create leaders inside your organization?

Because man!

  • Leaders get things done when no one is watching. You don’t have to watch people all the time to make sure they are doing things.
  • Leaders are always looking at the bigger picture. You can help people think bigger for their careers and become more intrinsically motivated. Maybe even help them mentor others. You create a virtuous cycle where everyone in the nonprofit has a better relationship with each other.
  • Leaders are confident and instill confidence in others. When people feel more positively about working for you, they can be better evangelists for your mission, allowing them to help raise more and more money for you. How is that ever a bad thing?

How do you figure out what continuing education is right for your team?

Ask them this one key phrase: “Where would you like to be in 5 years, and how can I help you get there?”

If they don’t know, then say, “Hey, maybe we should invest in career mentorship for you. Let’s do a deep dive into who you are, see what skills you need to acquire to get to where you want to go.” I offer this on

Maybe they just want to learn how to fundraise more effectively.

Bloomerang offers free webinars every week. You don’t even need to invest in that.

If you want to actually have a deeper dive in some fundraising techniques, I offer free webinars as well, online masterclasses in year end appeals and annual reports, over 10 fundraising e-courses, webinars, and online conferences on I’ve also made a whole list of other people’s courses and membership sites where you can learn about different aspects of fundraising, here.

Maybe they want to be supported in becoming more entrepreneurial in your organization.

What does this mean? Maybe programs can be more effective and they want support to take risks with new program ideas. Or maybe they want to try new fundraising or earned income methods. Maybe they want a better workplace culture and integration between everyone’s roles and strengths.

Last year I presented on “Think Bigger and Get BOLDER in your Nonprofit growth” for Bloomerang. You can see the recording here. It’s all about how to be more entrepreneurial.

And if you want even more support to be entrepreneurial, at the Entrepreneurial Nonprofit, Sarai Johnson (of the Lean Nonprofit) and I are going to be teaching exactly how to get all of those outcomes. Learn more.

Maybe they want support to grow into leadership.

Have you ever heard of career pathing?

Here’s a post that details more about how to do career pathing, AKA get more out of your current fundraising experience, and uncover where you want to go.

Consider finding a consultant for your staff person, or a volunteer mentor to help them become a leader, either in your organization or another one.

I talked with a fundraising recruiter named Phil Gerard, who recruits across Canada, and he said that what he looks for in major gift fundraisers is just experience asking for four, five and six figure gifts. That can happen as a volunteer OR as a staff person. He wants someone who has the experience in this key, and most lucrative fundraising task.

If you want to learn more about what recruiters look for, as you move up in your fundraising career, read this interview with Phil.

Whatever they want, at the end of the day, you supporting their growth is going to be paid back a hundred-fold for you.

INVEST in your ongoing employee continuing education, and watch your results multiply!

Nonprofit Sustainability

Download the Nonprofit Sustainability Field Manual!

Get the Free eBook

Related Articles


Leave a reply