NGOs (Non-Government Organisations), for those that are unfamiliar with them, are an eclectic mix of organisations that are either funded by various stakeholder groups (for example, charities and trusts) or entirely staffed by volunteers. With their raison d’etre usually being social good, there is no doubt that NGOs, which include prestigious organisations such as Medicine Sans Frontiere and the Wikimedia Foundation, provide much-needed services to society. What isn’t so clear, however, is exactly what their future might look like, especially if they don’t spend invest in training their staff. Given their purposes and methods, unusual business structures and requirements for certain skills, NGOs, more than other organisations, need to invest significantly in staff training. Here’s why:
Success of fundraising relies on adequate volunteer training
Fundraising is at the very core of activities for many NGOs and often, they rely on volunteers to assist with their efforts. Although most volunteers are passionate about the cause they represent, few are skilled in how to successfully fundraise, thus their efforts may produce few results if they aren’t adequately trained. Furthermore, there are often legal, and health and safety considerations that volunteers need to be informed of prior to commencing fundraising, thus training is almost always required.
Campaign success also relies on awareness
NGOs often take part in campaigning, or lobbying, politicians or others in power to further their cause. More often than not, the success of such campaigns in predicated on the NGO members have a strong, unified message. However, in NGOs this can be hard to achieve. Therefore, training is required to ensure that all members who participate in a campaign are aware of the core message, and how to communicate it.
NGOs will often have remote resources who need to remain connected
It is rare for NGOs to have all members, volunteer or otherwise, under the same roof. NGOs are also far less likely to have large corporate offices, and staff often work remotely and are dispersed across states, or even different countries. As a result, it can be difficult to induct new members into the organisation, or send out key messages. A great solution to this problem, however, is training staff using mLearning, for example, this innovative platform provided by Teazl.
Project management skills are critical in NGOs
Given the scope of their activities, project management skills in NGO are absolutely critical. Organising fundraising or campaigns requires an extraordinary amount of planning and operational skill – and that’s just if the event is held in one area! Thus, anyone working in any kind of co-ordination position within an NGO will require basic project management skills, something that can also be taught via anywhere, anytime mLearning.
NGOs are not like other organisations – their structures and activities are fundamentally different, and their staff are absolutely critical. As such, NGOs need to invest significantly in staff training to ensure the success of their fundraising, campaigning, remote operations, and general project management.