March 5 2014

Not-for-Profits and Online Learning Success

Written by Jim Yupangco

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Because not-for-profit associations often have distributed clientele and employees, online learning can be an excellent training delivery method. Once your organization decides to implement an online learning portfolio, taking the first step can be intimidating. Even when the technology choices have been made, many growing not-for-profit organizations don’t have the internal capacity or technical know-how to get started.

Making the Decision – Why Online Learning for Not-for-Profits?

  • Take the Adoptive Families Association of BC for example They had plenty of expertise in their field. After all, they had been offering face-to-face courses for 35 years. However, they had some pretty compelling reasons to move to an online format. Accessibility: they needed to provide access to programming to a larger audience, distributed in small centers throughout the province.
  • Standardization: when an organization is delivering curriculum in a variety of settings, with numerous presenters and varying formats,
    consistency may suffer.
  • Revenue Flow: by going online, they would have the ability to package and market their expertise to other organizations in other jurisdictions.

What to Consider

Hopefully, when an organization starts down the path to online education, they will have a clear idea of what they need. To a large degree, this means they know what they don’t know and what they don’t have. AFABC knew they needed to keep their data hosted on Canadian soil due to government regulations. They quickly saw that they did not have the capacity on their own server to accommodate something like Moodle. And, they didn’t have the technical expertise to make it happen.

The Right Partner

After investigating the various platforms available for e-learning, the organization decided on Moodle. They then approached us for help with the project. “Because Lambda is a Certified Moodle Partner, we knew they would be a good choice as they have gone through the certification process and met Moodle’s standards.” said Sophia Barton-Bucknor, Education and Youth Services Manager at AFABC. What was important to AFABC was finding a partner that could support them as they entered the -- new to them -- world of online learning.


Any company investing in e-learning should be thinking about mobility.

In a world dominated by cell phones and tablets, people expect to be able to learn on the go. AFABC realized this was important to their clients and worked with us to upgrade to the new version of Moodle, which supports responsive themes. Their system now allows clients to access AFABC courses through mobile devices and tablets. Growing organizations—especially those in the not-for-profit sector—can benefit from online learning program. A lack of bandwidth and/or in-house technical capacity need not be a barrier. E-learning can benefit any organization; it’s simply a matter of defining needs and identifying the resources required to make it happen.

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