By Alec Green, Chief Marketing Evangelist at NonprofitReady.org, an online hub of 400+ free online courses in topics ranging from fundraising to grant writing, leadership to program management.


Too often, nonprofit 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 organizations have made engaging learning opportunities available online. Best part? Many of these resources are 100% free. At NonprofitReady.org, our mission is to give nonprofit professionals at all levels the opportunity to build skills and advance their careers. Ready to prioritize your own professional development? Here are five of the most popular learning resources (all completely free) to help you get started:

1) Nonprofit Essentials Certificate

The most popular resource of 2019! Short, interactive courses cover three critical topics – how do nonprofits operate, how do nonprofits make money, and how can I build a thriving nonprofit 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.

2) 10 Strategies for Success with Digital Fundraising

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.

3) Strategies for a Successful Nonprofit Job Search

Whether you’re searching for a new role or planning your long-term career, watch this interview with a nonprofit career coach. Chock full of actionable tips and helpful resources, the video will help you land your ideal position in the nonprofit sector.

4) Executive Director’s Guide to Fund Development

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 nonprofits 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 organization.

5) 48 Fundraising Ideas in Under 8 Minutes

In this eight-minute video, Whole Whale provides 48 examples of fundraising campaigns that really work. The video focuses on how-to best practices matched with examples from nonprofits such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation, DoSomething.org, and the ALS Association. The experts also give ideas used by smaller nonprofits for auctions, events, online campaigns, and peer-to-peer fundraising. No matter your nonprofit’s size, scale, or mission, you’ll find useful tips and tricks in this video that will have you raising money in no time.

Justifying the price for a paid training course is never easy. But you can’t devote your life to building up others without building your own skillset. These are just a few examples of the 400+ free learning resources available in NonprofitReady.  And there are an ever-growing number of free learning opportunities – some formal, some informal – available all over the internet. Whatever your career goals, make time for your own professional development.  It may seem like you’re taking focus away from “real” work. In the long run, however, the benefit to you and the people you serve will be immeasurable.


NonprofitReady.org is an an online hub of 400+ free online courses in topics ranging from fundraising to grant writing, leadership to program management. In addition, they offer a free certificate program in Nonprofit Essentials for aspiring nonprofit professionals.