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Nonprofit Professional Development: Courses, Modules, and Webinars


Welcome to Forefront's Nonprofit Professional Development Guide! The nonprofit sector faces frequent change and challenges; pursuing professional development opportunities allows individuals and their organizations to continue thriving. On this page is a collection of resources meant to benefit new and experienced sector professionals as they explore training and leadership development opportunities.

University Certification Courses

Some colleges and universities will allow you to take courses or pursue academic certificates as a nondegree seeking student. This is a great way to gain new skills and credentials via academic instruction. The universities listed below offer certificates in Nonprofit Studies or Nonprofit Management and can be obtained through both in-person and online courses.

Training Modules and Other Learning Tools

The Allstate Foundation Nonprofit Leadership Center utilizes curriculum from Northwestern University's Kellog School Center for Nonprofit Management to bring rigorous leadership development tools and networking opportunities to new and experienced nonprofit professionals. Nonprofit professionals can engage in facilitated courses on nonprofit management or executive leadership at no cost to their organization

Nonprofit Management Essentials On-Demand
A flexible learning option through the Nonprofit Leadership Center. Allows for independent online study via modules, short videos, and exercises. Topics include leadership, board governance, mission strategy, DEI, finance, fundraising, impact measurement/data, and more.

The National Council of Nonprofits is the largest network of nonprofits in North America and is focused on improving the health of charitable nonprofits. They support the nonprofit community through being an informed resource on public policy and sector trends, advocating for sector needs, and providing resources for learning and professional development. 

Tools & Resources
A collection of curated tools, resources, and samples for nonprofits that cover an array of topics. Users can search by subject or popular tags.

The National Council of Nonprofit provides thought leadership to the sector through a regularly published blog. The blog posts are useful for gaining insight into important sector topics from experts in the field. Blog posts can be sorted by several different topic tags including.

Candid Learning is the education arm of Candid, previously known as the Foundation Center. It is geared specifically toward grantseekers. Within Candid Learning you can register for live trainings and webinars (free and paid), find on-demand resources for independent learning, read through an FAQ knowledge base, and access samples of common documents for nonprofits such as letters of intent or budgets. Candid Learning is a great resource for new sector professionals. 

Knowledge Base
Candid maintains a knowledge base that contains answers to over 200 nonprofit and philanthropy related questions. Answers can be filtered by topic and many provide additional external resources for learners to look in to. Some answers are also available in Spanish.

On-Demand Training
Candid's on-demand trainings allow you to learn on your own schedule. Access hundreds of free videos, podcasts, and interactive modules to help bolster your skillsets.

NonprofitReady is a signature program of the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the capacity of nonprofits via innovative technologies and online learning resources. NonprofitReady supports nonprofit professionals and organizations through access to free sector-specific online courses on a variety of topics including fundraising and grant writing. 

Nonprofit Ready Courses
There are hundreds of free online course modules and webinars available via NonprofitReady. Once you create your free account, you can starting searching for relevant topics you would like to learn more about. Certificates can also be earned for completing certain courses.

Nonprofit Hub publishes new, free professional development resources every day. On their website you can access free topic guides, on-demand webinars, podcasts, articles, and a newsletter. While many of Nonprofit Hub's resources are free, one can purchase a membership with them and have access to even more resources including discounted access to premium courses. 

On-Demand Webinars
Nonprofit Hub has a regularly updated collection of online webinars on trending nonprofit topics. You can access the recordings at any time.

Free Guides
A collection of nonprofit how-to guides on topics like finance and social media.

BoardSource is an excellent resource for nonprofit management and board training needs. There is a membership fee, but members gain access to discounted workshops and trainings. Many of their guides, templates, infographics, and written resources are still free.

BoardSource Key Topics
BoardSource keeps a list of key topics in nonprofit board service, such as executive transition and fundraising. Each topic page gives an overview of the subject and provides  a directory of downloadable resources, articles, and publications.

Forefront Video Resources

Forefront's YouTube channel has recorded webinar sessions and other videos on a wide array of nonprofit and philanthropy topics. The Library records many of their webinars which focus on a variety of subjects from proposal writing to getting started with prospect research.

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