August 2011.

Recent training sessions boost productivity and morale at Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer and the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society.
Wouldn’t it be great to send each of your team members to a one-day seminar to talk about strategy, systems, communication tools, professionalism and goals? The cost, time away from the office and inability to send the WHOLE team make it unreasonable and don’t provide the return on investment. Many teams have dediced that instead of sending the team to training, it is best to bring the trainer to the team.

Whether you have 8 hours or 3 days allocated for training, a lot can be accomplished by utilizing a third party training facilitator. Also, by contracting someone with a specific NPO executive background with a focus on fundraising, your team also gains the benefit of receiving consulting advice along the way with the meeting facilitation. This expertise also allows for a more strategic meeting agenda and the skill to quickly understand the specific challenges in a charity development office.

Here are a few helpful questions to ask when considering in-office training:

  1. Do we know the goals and objectives of the training? This can range from creating or fostering a sense of team, learning to communicate more effectively, discovering process and systems tools, outlining a fundraising strategy or tactical plan to practicing problem solving in small and large groups.
  2. Who should attend? Trainings can be beneficial for one-on-one coaching or for large groups. Understanding the goals and objectives first will provide insight into the right people to have attend the meeting. If you aren’t sure, work with the facilitator to determine the best approach. It might be that a hybrid or a multi-meeting option would provide the best outcomes.
  3. When should we host the meeting? It is wise to consider any upcoming changes to the team: is anyone new starting next month? Is someone going on leave in the next few weeks? Determining a date that allows for maximum participation is critical. While event dates, registration ‘go live’ dates, mail drop deadlines and other deadlines are on the calendar, the primary goal is to have everyone together. Rarely do you hear that a person is sad they stepped away from the office for a day of reflection, training and development.

To learn more about recent training and development sessions, visit or to schedule meeting facilitation or training for your organization, contact me at 512-944-3417 or On Linkedin I have added a list of recommended reading so let’s connect at