A nonprofit is operated as a business, but has different needs and goals than a traditional for-profit organization, so educating nonprofit staff is instrumental to the success of an organization. Without a comprehensive understanding of a how a nonprofit should work in order to meet its organizational mission and goals, nonprofit employees will not be working at the most efficient and effective level.

Nonprofit staff members need to be educated in various sectors – general operations, human resources, marketing & communications, etc. There must be an understanding of how each area works in order to efficiently operate a nonprofit. Because most nonprofits work from donations, grants and community funds, it’s important to be fiscally responsible and to allocate funds properly to meet the organization’s objectives.

As with community education, it’s important to encourage sustained learning through a person’s career. A staff member of a nonprofit may have worked in the corporate world for 20 years, gaining business experience and knowledge. But once they come to work for a nonprofit organization, the rules change. They must be educated on what a nonprofit needs and to learn the differences between a for-profit business and a not-for-profit organization.

Nonprofit education should also include members of an organization’s community. Educating citizens on a nonprofit’s mission and the issues it faces is the best way to increase community participation. The basis of nonprofit education is to impart knowledge on constituents to encourage support and involvement in a nonprofit organization.

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