Webinar: How we survived the financial crisis

Update, 3/29/12: Watch the webinar via the Nonprofit Quarterly archives.

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So grateful for this community. (Photo: Daniel J. Sieradski)

“I need your help to save Idealist.org.” That’s the title of an email our executive director Ami Dar wrote just two years ago. It began:

Dear ___,

You know how sometimes in life you go through a bad moment, and when your friends hear about it later, they say, “Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t you ask? We would have helped.”

That’s where Idealist is now, and I am writing to ask for your help.

Very briefly, here’s what happened…

Ami went on to explain that after the financial crisis in October 2008, thousands of nonprofits froze hiring – which meant that we could no longer depend on that revenue stream. We had to get creative. We expanded other revenue-generating efforts, including our Grad Fairs; made some painful decisions to streamline our operations and staff; and got by “on faith and fumes” and with a lot of help from our friends. By January 2010 we had no choice but to turn to you, the people who had attended our events, subscribed to our Email Alerts, and contributed to this community for more than a decade.

Ami sent the email to 500,000 people who had registered on our site. Your response—donations large and small, stories of how Idealist had touched your life, warm wishes—touched us immeasurably, and allowed us to get through that rough patch.

On March 28, the Nonprofit Quarterly will host Ami for a free webinar called When your Financial Model goes Bust: How Idealist Took a Risk and Pulled Through. Join us to hear more about this critical time in our history and to discuss how the lessons we learned might help in your own work.

Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/220154626

And to all of you who pitched in back in January 2010: thank you again. We can never thank you enough.

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Take professional development into your own hands

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How will you carve out time to learn and reflect? Photo: US Army (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Need professional development, but don’t have a budget for travel or tuition? Here are a bunch of free or relatively affordable upcoming trainings we’ve spotted recently – ones you can join from the comfort of your own desk or couch.

Special thanks to Ben Hastil for his contributions to this roundup.

Telling your organization’s story

Show me the money

  • Grantseeking basics, fundraising planning, nonprofit sustainability…find trainings in these topics and more at your nearest Foundation Center.

Social media

  • Social Media for Social Good events: Heather Mansfield of DIOSA Communications and Nonprofit Tech 2.0 has lined up one-day intensive social media trainings in conjunction with the launch of her book. They aren’t free, but they do benefit local nonprofits in the host cities.

Become a better manager

  • The Management Center’s upcoming “Managing to Change the World” trainings are sold out, but you can access tons of free worksheets to strengthen your delegation skills, hiring practices, organizational culture, and more.
Dig out of debt
  • This might fit better under “personal” than “professional” development, but hey – lots of us have loans to pay, and I’d bet that those take a toll on our overall morale, and thus our work performance. If your new year’s resolution was to conquer your student loans, check out Heather Jarvis and her resources for Public Service Loan Forgiveness in Five Easy Steps.
What else is on your radar?
Of course, attending conferences or more intensive trainings and retreats can also be a way to deepen your skills and knowledge. And after you take advantage of any opportunities like these, it’s important to make space to reflect on how you’ll implement your new skills, as New Organizing Institute pointed out recently.
What do you plan to do in 2012 to ensure you are growing as a professional?

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Cheap or free trainings this fall, from diversity to data

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What webinars are on your calendar this fall? Leave a comment to let us know. (Photo: Mark Hillary, Flickr/Creative Commons)

Need professional development, but don’t have a budget for travel or tuition? Here’s a roundup of some free or relatively affordable trainings I’ve spotted recently – ones you can join from the comfort of your own desk or couch.

Deepen your storytelling skills

When: October 5, 3:00-4:00pm EST/12:00-1:00pm PST

What: Craigslist Foundation will host a “campfire conversation” conference call with Joe Lambert, founder and director of the Center for Digital Storytelling. It’s free for Craigslist Boot Camp participants and $5 for others.

More info and RSVP: http://ht.ly/6Cp3E

Use data to drive your decisions

When: October 6, 1:00-2:30pm EST/10:00-11:30am PST

Guidestar will host a free webinar on The Seven Steps for Data-Driven Decision Making with Sacha Litman, founder and principal consultant of Measuring Success. It’s free.

More info and RSVP: click here.

Working in study abroad or intercultural communication

Small Planet Studio recently tweeted about several upcoming trainings for people who want to work in international education, intercultural training, or consulting. Explore their menu of offerings here.

Volunteer management, social media, online donations, diversity, and more…

The folks at Idealware have a range of offerings this fall, from $40 trainings on how to choose donor and volunteer management systems to free eLearning sessions on Facebook, Twitter, and the “technology pyramid.” Explore the options at http://idealware.org/online-training.

And of course there’s always NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network. In October alone, they’re hosting a dozen events ranging from Diversifying Your Office Culture to Beyond Apps: Mobile for Nonprofits. Prices vary, and it helps if your organization has an NTEN membership. Read more at http://www.nten.org/events.

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