Investing in a training process can improve staff retention, employee engagement, and the growth of an organization. However, for non-profit organizations, external training programs can impose considerable costs in tuition, travel, and feeding – donation funds that can be better spent on the core mission and community building.
A more cost-effective and flexible solution for a non-profit is a learning management system (LMS). However, in a competitive digital market, there are numerous LMSs on offer. Some of the top learning management systems include the open source Open LMS, the Claromentis digital workplace platform, and LearnUpon LMS.
With so many options on offer, choosing an LMS for non-profits can be a challenging task. To help, we’ve put together a set of six questions to ask a LMS platform provider, before making your final selection.
Before we dive into those, we’ll consider the obvious first question:
What is a learning management system (LMS)?
An LMS is a software platform that enables users to develop training materials, and to schedule and manage online training programs. These online courses may include important features such as eLearning courses, online quizzes, and training videos that non-profit organizations may use to train volunteers and current employees.
Such training programs may include a variety of topics, such as how to deliver outstanding customer success initiatives, compliance training, health and safety procedures, and fundraising best practises.
Besides straightforward tuition, learning management systems may also incorporate features for social learning and development opportunities for personal growth, such as a content library, discussion boards, community building forums, and facilities for self-paced learning.
Before choosing a learning management system for non-profits, ask yourself these questions
Non-profit organizations need to keep several criteria in mind when evaluating learning management systems.
If you operate as a non-profit, you should ask the following questions before settling on a particular LMS.
1. Is your LMS platform SCORM compliant?
SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model – a set of technical standards for software products in the eLearning industry. Within the eLearning industry, SCORM compliance sets the standard for interoperability between systems. If a LMS meets SCORM compliance demands, training content designers can distribute their training material to a variety of learning management systems without complications.
Compliance with SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd Edition ensures the widest compatibility.
2. Can we use your LMS globally?
Many non-profit agencies must now be able to provide training programs for local staff and volunteers who are on the road, or working from home. An LMS must therefore provide online training that can be consumed on personal computer systems and via apps or portals for mobile learning.
Staff and volunteers may also be dispersed geographically – so a good LMS will also provide multilingual capabilities. The best LMS for your non-profit should take all of these considerations into account.
3. Can I personalize the Learning Management System?
It should be possible to tweak a learning management system to create personalized learning paths for your users. The best learning management system for your non-profit should provide user friendly tools for self-paced learning and enable users to create or customize their own training content using multimedia elements, images, videos and other engaging material.
This level of customization has traditionally been the preserve of open-source learning solutions, such as Open LMS. However, learning management systems based on proprietary technology also offer extensive facilities for the personalization of online courses and training content.
4. Does your Learning Management System make learning fun?
Introducing a gaming element into the training process through the use of rewards, incentives, and points systems can make volunteer training more engaging, and use the element of competition to make staff and volunteers more eager in their consumption of training materials. Learning management systems like Claromentis, use gamification features to tap into the learner’s innate desire to progress and improve.
5. Does your Learning Management System provide reporting features?
Progress monitoring and reporting are crucial elements of the online training process. At the level of the individual learner, learning management systems with monitoring and reporting capability can help in detecting strengths and weaknesses, and provide recommendations for how users can modify their online training to compensate.
For managers and team leaders, reporting tools provide an insight into how their teams are performing — and how they can enhance or improve training materials and online courses.
6. How well does your LMS platform integrate with my existing network?
Imparting skills and knowledge to your community members is just one of the functions that learning management systems need to perform. The learning management system should also work in harmony with your existing business systems and networking technology. This is especially true for non-profit organizations with an intranet — a private network that enables staff and authorized third parties to communicate, collaborate, and share resources.
Claromentis is an intranet solution with a difference.
All our apps are easy to access from your integrated digital workspace, making it a one-stop-shop for sharing information, collaboration, and internal communications. All tools are centralized in one hub, enabling your teams to reduce busywork and be more productive.
Our intranet and mobile app work in harmony with our eLearning, e-forms, workflows, and project management features, providing teams with an integrated digital workplace to call home.
Our learning management software meets SCORM compliance requirements, and easily integrates with our intranet platform. You can create quizzes, courses, and training materials to boost your training programs, and build personalized learning paths that engage teams with custom learning content.
To learn more about how the Claromentis learning management system can enhance the training process for your non-profit organization, book a demo with our experts.