Membership Hack: Workshop Essentials

The Utah Nonprofits Association does more than just train its members. It now works with them in post-training workshops to ensure they know how to put the tools they learned to use.

How to hack it? The Utah Nonprofits Association offers its Nonprofit Organizational Credential program to leaders who are looking to boost their skills in nine areas, such as governance, finance, human resources, marketing and communication, and advocacy.

As they complete an online course in each area, they are awarded a digital badge. And once they earn all nine badges, they are awarded the credential. But, until recently, the program was missing a hands-on component, says UNA CEO Kate Rubalcava. “Now, we’re using workshops to make sure our members not only have all the tools they need, but that they know how to use them,” she says.

Why does it work? Workshops help to reinforce what members were taught in class and are personalized to each individual’s work. Typically, workshops take place two to three months after instruction, and Rubalcava says members are encouraged to bring samples of their work for critiquing by hired instructors. “For instance, if you took the human resources class, a member might show their updated employee handbook or HR polices,” she says. “It’s a chance to show your work and sit down with the instructor for some extra help.”

What’s the bonus? The workshop component is new this year, and Rubalcava says it’s already causing more members to register and complete course instruction. “We’ve been able to see incredible participation so far,” Rubalcava says. “This year, we are expecting those who complete and obtain a course badge to nearly double.”


Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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