Is Training Just for Paid Employees?

Training boosts staff morale, equips them with new tools and improves the overall organization with best practices. For most nonprofits, training budgets are used to send employees to workshops and conferences. However, nonprofit organizations should consider expanding training budgets to involve board members and on-going volunteers.

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Board members need to understand how a nonprofit operates, including proficiency in analyzing financial reports. They need to know their role and how it fits into the organization as a whole. Their passion for the nonprofit's mission is critical in making the most of their talent and support. Training can accelerate their energy and provide an outlet for them to share ideas.

Volunteers are the lifeline of many nonprofits. By investing in your volunteers, as you would staff, your resources and time will yield a high rate of return. When properly trained, volunteers are a great way to build organizational capacity. 

Training and development of both board members and volunteers builds relationships and strengthens our community. They are ambassadors who serve the organization as stewards of the mission. By giving ambassadors the tools and resources they need to do their jobs more effectively, the more connected and loyal they will be. 

385 Elle Benson is the Director of Capacity Building for ABN. She is originally from Denver, Colorado and came to Tennessee via UT Knoxville where she graduated from the College of Business. She recently completed her MBA in Leadership at Tiffin University. Before joining ABN, Benson served as Marketing Supervisor for LBMC, PC and was the Director of Operations for the YWCA Knoxville. She is the past President of Young Professionals of Knoxville (YPK) and served as the Curriculum Chair for the Inaugural YPK Leadership Certificate program. Benson serves on the board for the Friends of Literacy, Knoxville Marketing Association and the United Way Young Leaders Society.