The place for nonprofits, charities, and libraries

Training Your Staff: Online Alternatives

Training Your Staff: Online Alternatives

  • Comments 2

Idealware, a partner of TechSoup's recently posted an article addressing how to train staff in simpler, more cost-effective ways. All of the methods listed use the web or some form of computer technology in order to avoid the hassle of going to off-site training seminars or conferences. 

Each of the solutions, such as online conferencing, recorded seminars, screencasts, and learning management systems, utilize the Internet to take the common job training seminar and keep it on location, saving time, energy, and money. Many of these solutions can be integrated into your employee training through product donations offered by TechSoup.

Tools for Training Staff Online

The use of video conferencing and webinars are great ways to not only teach new employees, but also it allows new information to reach the diverse staff in an effective manner. Citrix, offers a product donation program available for eligible nonprofits through TechSoup that provides web conferencing, webinar, and online training, for an annual subscription. For the subscription, staff are allowed unlimited conferences, webinars, and unlimited training sessions. On top of this, Citrix allows for web training to not only be provided from outside sources, but also can be created by your organization to train staff directly. 

Another donated service, ReadyTalk, provides web and audio conferencing at an affordable annual subscription and low rates for callers once subscribed. With ReadyTalk, you can hold large web or audio conferences that can be held or listened to by anyone with an Internet connection. One thing to keep in mind is that using an integrated phone line from partners can increase the cost of the service quickly, so be aware of any costs included before you set up a large group training.

BetterWorld, another TechSoup partner, uses your existing phone system for audio conferencing at a low, per-minute, per-participant rate. The charge is sent directly to the company, and the conference line can be connected to via the given toll-free number.

Lastly, SlideRocket is a great donated product for creating online presentations for nonprofits and libraries. The presentations can be created online, shared securely, and can be gauged to see how effective or popular they are. SlideRocket Pro accounts offer more features than other consumer-grade products on the market and it's a low-cost method to create and share your presentations and training materials in a secure and professional manner.

Each method has its own set of advantages when it comes to educating your staff. Online conferences allow easy sharing of information between large parties in a way that allows employees with geographically diverse skills to all get on the same page with a topic. Webinars and web conferencing can let you bring in an expert on a topic who can very accurately explain and teach an idea or method. Learning management systems are useful for teaching individual employees skills, and allows them to learn at their own pace, meaning there will be fewer unanswered questions and greater skilled employees.

Want More?   

Provided below are a few useful webinars (made using ReadyTalk) from our TechSoup site about training using online tools.

Visit the Training section of our Learning Center for more resources on how to conduct online trainings, learn online, and get your staff and volunteers the training and skills they need to help you meet your mission.

Have you used these or other tools for conducting online trainings? Share your experiences, favorites, and tips in the comments below.

Chris Edwards is an intern on the TechSoup Content Team.

  • These are great resources Chris. Online training has revolutionized how people learn and made learning cost effective. We have been doing webinars for many years now, and found them to be very effective. I will try to post some additional tips about making webinars successful. Also, we have a special webinar membership for non-profits (more information can be found at:!

  • Just discovered your blog and found it very interesting. Its good to know that there are sites for online training of staff that is very cost effective for businesses. It really revolutionize training anywhere and everywhere. Great resources and very interesting! Thanks!