Business Growth

eLearning for Nonprofits: The 7 Most Important Features Your LMS Should Have

8 min

Technology is changing the nonprofit sector. eLearning has made it easier than ever before for nonprofits of all sizes – from small local organizations with just a few employees up to large international nonprofits who provide professional education for a social cause – to use this innovative teaching method effectively in order to maximize their impact on society!

Nonprofits need to be tech-savvy. And yet many still don’t know how they can leverage these advances or what elements are key when choosing an LMS solution. With so many great LMS solutions out there today nonprofits need to know how to make the right choice that best fits their needs.

And this is exactly what we will be discussing in this article. We will lay out the most important features you should look for when deciding about which learning management system to select.

What Is An LMS?

An LMS is a software application that allows you to create, plan, manage and deliver elearning content. The use of an LMS is common in the elearning industry and among content creators, as it is a tool that allows the distribution of online learning material with the ultimate goal of providing learning in various educational or training settings.

Many organizations and companies are using LMSs – from academic institutions to corporate, franchise businesses, content and training providers, wholesale companies, and of course nonprofit organizations.

Need more information on LMSs? Check out our dedicated article here.

Why Do Nonprofits Need An LMS?

A nonprofit organization needs an LMS to build a successful training program in place that educates its employees, donors, volunteers, and partners.

Since nonprofit organizations rarely have the resources – people and money – to train their people, an LMS can help standardize the training process and make it available and accessible to all.

Apart from offering training though, with an LMS, nonprofits can also sell online courses (professional education) to individuals or other companies that are interested in the social cause the nonprofit company supports.

Here are some benefits attached to using an LMS:

An LMS allows learning to become a shared experience, it enables your organization to grow, to explore more funding opportunities, and to help you continue to make a positive impact on the rest of the world.

This is crucial considering that Covid-19 already had severe consequences on the revenue and profits of over 75 percent of US nonprofits.

How To Choose The Right LMS For Your Nonprofit Organization

Since no LMS is the same, you will come across many platforms with different features and capabilities. To ensure that you are using the best for your organization, you need to dive deep to identify your training needs and check your industry requirements.

Some LMSs for example, are best suited for a specific industry as they were built to accommodate them better. Finding the LMS solution with the functionality that is right for your business requires exploring your options thoroughly.

Having said that, your chosen LMS should have some key features in place to make sure your staff and volunteers have the best possible learning experience.

Here are the 7 most important features you need to look for in your LMS:

#1 Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is gaining popularity and you will need an LMS that makes it possible. Most learners today rely heavily on their mobile devices and smartphones to get new information and so, you need to be able to respond to the demand.

The ability to learn on the go is more important for non-profit organizations because they are more likely to work with busy people who are choosing to invest their on-the-go time to learn and educate themselves.

If your LMS comes with a mobile app, you will be unlocking so many powerful opportunities for your learners.

#2 Gamification

Online learning is different from offline, and this is where gamification comes in.

Gamification has the power to boost learner engagement. The ability to add game-like elements to any training course creates an engaging learning environment motivating learners to accomplish more.

An LMS that offers gamified learning will allow you to hold contests, offer prizes and rewards. This means you can award your learners with badges, offer virtual currency or points, use leaderboards and so many more. Using gamification elements will ultimately allow you to create an engaging, fun, and inclusive learning experience.

#3 Course Analytics

The more data your LMS can give you, the better course insights you will get.

With advanced reporting features and user analytics, an LMS allows you to see how learners are using and interacting with your learning material. Such information allows you to optimize your results further and create a more personalized learning experience for your users.

With advanced analytics, you will be able to track the overall learner progress, activity, and performance. You will be closely monitoring user logins, sign-ups, enrollments, completion reports, have a dedicated user dashboard, and a gradebook that shows assessment scores or grades.

Not sure how course insights and analytics work?

Find out how they can be used as a powerful source of data to make more informed decisions and improve learning retention:

#4 Assessments & Certification

The ability to challenge knowledge through assessments and issue certificates is another key feature that you need to look into. Certificates work as great incentives and act as motivational boosters for learners encouraging them to complete their online training.

Having that extra incentive is so important when offering employee training, compliance training, onboarding new volunteers to your organization, or selling professional education courses.

LMSs with assessment and certification features can test knowledge through quizzes, then automatically create and send learners course completion certificates. A certificate can help learners gain professional development points and proof of their hard work and dedication.

#5 Integrations

For a nonprofit organization that wants to sell online courses, it is crucial to look into integrations. A user-friendly LMS that integrates well with email marketing, e-commerce, and other types of tools, will allow you to achieve more and scale your business quicker.

Some integrations to explore with your LMS vendor:

Connection with other apps and third-party tools makes the process of selling online courses and training programs easier through automation, ensuring seamless data synchronization. Plus, you don’t need to worry about moving from the third-party tools you already use; you can just easily integrate them with your learning management software.

In the case of your nonprofit organization, integration with your chosen CRM/ERP or fundraising tool is ideal.

#6 Social Learning

The learning experience is better when it is shared. Learners who feel part of a community, are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn.

There is a lot you can do with an LMS that offers dedicated social learning modules and a safe community space for learners to communicate. Not only does it reinforce the feeling of belonging – considering that learners are thousands of miles away from each other, but also it reminds them they are working towards a common goal/cause.

Social learning may come in the form of discussion boards, forums, communicating via live chats, or allowing peer-to-peer feedback.

#7 Customization

Last but not least, you will need to explore how flexible you can be with your training content.

Not every LMS comes with built-in authoring tools which allow the creation of learning content, but it is crucial to check what types of content it can support and whether it is compatible with elearning industry standards.

For example, SCORM ensures that the elearning content you produce is compatible with your chosen LMS and can integrate well with each other. Your LMS vendor needs to recognize the structure of a SCORM compliant file and deliver any course without any technical issues.

💡 Learn more about SCORM and other elearning industry standards in this article.

More on the customization aspect, you also need to think about:

All of these customization elements will show you the true potential of the LMS and allow you to create elearning courses that exceed your learners’ expectations.

LearnWorlds is the only LMS platform that offers a truly white-label solution that allows you to make training your own, and integrate your organization’s brand and feel into your course and online school academy!

9000+ brands trust LearnWorlds to train their people, partners & customers.

Start a FREE Trial

Offer Training & Sell Online Courses With LearnWorlds

If you are searching for a learning platform that has all of these key features, look no further!

LearnWorlds is a cloud-based elearning platform offering an all-in-one solution that goes beyond any traditional LMS.

It is ideal for nonprofit organizations as it allows you to create learning programs, onboard new employees, offer employee or compliance training, sell online courses, and many more.

Here’s what you can do with LearnWorlds:

Upload SCORM-compliant training material

Apart from the ability to create learning activities using a range of content types (text, PDF, ebooks, audio, video), you also get to upload SCORM and HTML5 packages.

The platform also supports graded SCORMs allowing you to integrate Score and Pass/Fail results from SCORM right into your gradebook.

Make use of interactive learning

With the use of interactive video, our platform allows you to build unique learning experiences where the learner takes an active role in the learning process.

Simply upload your videos and add captions, text, images, questions, offers, subtitles, buttons, thumbnails, or watermarks and generate interactive transcripts for your learners.

Deliver training sessions in real-time

The platform integrates with Zoom and Webex providing you with the option to conduct live classes, webinars, and training sessions with your learners.

All you need to do is create an account on either tool, sync it with your school and you are good to go!

Customize the design with a robust website builder

Build a powerful website and landing page that reflects your nonprofit’s personality, mission, and purpose using LearnWorlds site builder!

Explore our newest site flavors, templates, color palettes, fonts and typography, call-to-action buttons, and other on-page elements to help establish your organization effectively in the market.

Get advanced course insights and analytics

Equipped with advanced reporting features, LearnWorlds gives you access to detailed course insights and user analytics to monitor your learners’ performance, progress, and activity.

Keep track of their login times, study time, assessment and exam scores, social interaction, and engagement, and monitor how they are using your training material every step of the way.

Offer learning on the go with a native mobile app

With LearnWorlds you get your own branded mobile app so that you can provide your learners with an incredible learning experience on the go. No coding skills are required and using our simple and intuitive app builder, you can build your mobile app for iOS and Android with a few clicks!

Use it to seamlessly onboard learners, increase their engagement with notifications, and allow them to enroll in your course with a single click!

Build a vibrant online community of learners

Learning is a social experience, and you get to offer it to your learners through the LearnWorlds platform. Thanks to our built-in social network page, you can empower learners to become part of a community that encourages them to share their opinions, exchange ideas, ask or give feedback to their peers.

The community page looks similar to the Facebook news feed, where each learner has their own profile.

From there, they get to message other learners, create polls, mentions, share activities, posts and react to them, join private groups or course discussion groups.

Ready to Educate Your Community With an LMS?

An LMS will help streamline processes and allow training delivery that saves you valuable time, money, and effort to educate your community.

Even if you are not 100 percent sure about an LMS platform, you should still be able to try it out. Most LMSs will offer a free trial for a period (usually up to a week or month) or will have a demo available, so make sure you ask for it.

Are you ready to bring positive change and educate people on your cause?

Get your 30-day trial with LearnWorlds today and offer the best elearning experiences to your community!

9000+ brands trust LearnWorlds to train their people, partners & customers.

Start a FREE Trial
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Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.