How to Provide the Nonprofit Micro-eMBA Program for Nonprofits

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    Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA Program. How to Provide the Program for Nonprofits?

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

    You Can Provide a Program with Little Expertise
    or Resources!

    You have a wonderful opportunity to offer very low-cost, “nuts
    and bolts” development program for nonprofits in your area!
    Offering the program will be much easier than you think. You’ll
    read below about a very straightforward approach called “peer-training
    groups” that you can use to design and carry out the program.
    This approach requires little expertise or resources from you.

    First, we’ll review some basic considerations in offering any
    management-related development program. Then we’ll review the
    peer-training group approach that addresses many of the primary
    considerations in offering a program.

    Sections of This Document Include the Following

    Primary Considerations in Setting Up
    Any Development Program

    How Peer-Training Groups Make It Easy
    to provide the Program

    Suggested Number of Meetings Per Learning

    Regarding Verification and Certification
    of Learning

    Also, consider
    Related Library Topics

    Considerations in Setting Up Any Development Program

    There are some fairly standard considerations in setting
    up and offering any management and organization development program.
    You’ll need to think about the following primary considerations.
    (Keep in mind that the peer-training process takes care of many
    of these standard considerations for you!) They include:

    • What do you want to accomplish overall with your Free Nonprofit
      Micro-eMBA program? Professional development? Organization development?
      Networking? Complement another training program? Other(s)?
    • How will learners gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and
      abilities to achieve the outcomes that are preferred by the
      program? Will learners listen to lectures? Do readings? Have
      discussion? Other(s)?
    • What group(s) of learners will be in your program? New executive
      directors? Experienced executive directors? Board members? Middle
      managers? Volunteers? Other(s)?
    • How will learners be organized as they go through the program?
      In groups/classes? On their own? As part of another program?
    • In the case of an online program, will your learners have
      consistent access to computers and the World Wide Web?
    • How will you evaluate the quality of the process in your
      program? How will you identify what outcomes were achieved by
      learners? How will you show evidence of that learning?
    • What expertise might you need to offer and support the program?
      Subject-matter experts? Trainers? Evaluators? Advertisers?
    • How will you advertise your program and recruit learners?
      Advertisements? Newsletters? Classifieds in newspapers? Direct
      mail? Word of mouth? Other(s)?
    • What materials and facilities do you need? Training materials?
      Classrooms? Parking spaces? Other(s)?
    • What costs are involved? Trainers? Subject-matter experts?
      Facilities? Advertising?
    • What fee will you charge learners?
    • Where will you get help if needed?
    • What is involved in kicking off the program?

    How Peer-Training Groups Make It Easy to Provide the Program

    Peer Training Incorporates State-of-the-Art Methods
    of Adult Development

    Adults learn best when they a) actually apply new
    information and materials, and b) exchange ongoing feedback with
    others around those experiences. Few traditional classroom conditions
    support these ideal conditions for learning. In most cases, an
    expert delivers the training and afterward learners leave the
    room, seldom seeing each other again. Too often, training materials
    sit on shelves collecting dust — learners never really apply
    their new learning. This problem doesn’t happen in peer-training

    The process of peer training does provide ideal conditions
    for learning. The peer-training process is based on the action
    learning process, which is used across the world for personal,
    professional, and organizational development. The peer-training
    the process was developed by Carter McNamara of Authenticity
    Consulting, LLC
    . Sponsors of the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA
    can use the peer-training process to carry out the program in
    a straightforward fashion that makes little use of high-priced
    experts and facilities.

    Before Peer-Training Begins, Sponsor the Markets Program
    and Recruits Learners

    Before the peer-training process begins, the program sponsor
    organizes learners to go through the program. This involves some
    basic advertising and promoting the program. How that marketing
    is carried out depends very much on the nature and needs of the
    sponsoring organizations and the locale in which the program is
    being offered. The sponsor may find the program
    useful during the local advertising effort.

    How the Peer Training Process Works

    Once the group of learners has been organized, here’s
    generally how the peer-training process works. The following sequence
    repeats itself for each topic in a program.

    1. The sponsor provides training materials in regard to a certain
    topic. (In this case, all of the materials are already completely
    available for free in the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA.)
    2. Learners meet on a regular basis, for example, every two to
    four weeks in three-hour meetings. Meetings are about three hours
    3. Between meetings, learners read the training materials in regard
    to the topic.
    4. Each meeting starts with some type of training activity, often
    just a one-hour, open discussion about the particular topic that
    the learners had just read about previous to coming to the meeting.
    5. Immediately after the one-hour discussion period, learners
    are organized into groups of 5-7 learners each to do a two-hour
    peer-training circle (ideally, in separate rooms).
    6. In their groups, learners share any materials that they brought
    to share with other learners in their group, for example, policies,
    plans, etc., that were developed by applying new information
    and materials learned during the program
    7. In each group meeting, each learner gets a specific amount
    of time (a time slot of, eg, 20 minutes) to get help from other
    members of the group. During their time slot, each learner addresses
    five specific questions, including:
    a) How did I apply the new information and materials gleaned from
    the meeting of two to four weeks ago?
    b) What did I learn from applying that information and materials?
    (It’s highly suggested that the learner write down their
    perceptions of their new learning.)
    c) How do I plan to apply the new information and materials gleaned
    from today’s meeting?
    d) How can this group of peers help me apply the new information
    and materials before the next meeting in two to four weeks?
    e) Are there any information and materials that I’d like my peers
    to bring for me in the next meeting that we’ll have in two to
    four weeks?
    8. At the end of that meeting, each member evaluates the quality
    of that meeting and specifies what could have been done to make
    the meeting even better.
    9. Between meetings, members apply the new information and materials
    that were gleaned from the previous meeting.

    Then steps 1-9 are repeated for each topic or part of a topic
    (see Suggested Number of Meetings Per
    Learning Module)
    , in the program.

    Resources to Guide the Peer-Training Process

    Sponsors can choose to implement the peer-training process
    on their own, or they can obtain time-tested guidebooks which
    give step-by-step instructions for organizing, facilitating and
    evaluating peer-training groups. (The sponsor may want to pilot
    a group or two of learners just to get the “feel” for
    the peer-training process.)

    Sponsors of the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA can obtain peer learning
    guidebooks. Form peer learning circles for about $20 a person.
    Go to Peer
    Learning Guidebooks
    and see the Program Planning Kit to design
    your complete peer learning program — then call us at 763-971-8890.

    Suggested Number of Meetings Per Learning Module

    The program’s learning modules vary in the amount of
    materials to review and activities to conduct (in order to build
    systems in the organization). Therefore, it may be prudent to
    use more than one meeting to address certain modules (this is
    in the case where the program sponsor has chosen to organize learners
    together in meetings, eg, in peer-training groups). Note that
    learners may choose to go through the program in an order other
    than that specified in the catalog
    of learning modules
    . That’s fine. Still, certain modules may
    require more than one meeting of learners.

    Note that the following are suggested — ultimately,
    it’s up to the program sponsor and learners to how many meetings
    they want to have.

    Learning Module

    Suggested Number of
    Learner Meetings (see NOTES below)

    Program Orientation 1
    Starting and Understanding Your Nonprofit 1 about topics for reflection/discussion
    1 about activities to build systems/practices
    Understanding the Role of Chief Executive 1
    Developing Your Basic Management and Leadership Skills 1 about topics for reflection/discussion
    1 about activities to build systems/practices
    Building and Supporting Your Board 1
    Developing Your Strategic Planning 1 about topics for reflection/discussion
    1 about activities to build systems/practices
    Designing and Marketing Your Programs 1 about topics for reflection/discussion
    1 about activities to build systems/practices
    Managing Your Nonprofit’s Finances and Taxes 1
    Developing Your Fundraising Plan 1
    Supervising Your Employees and Volunteers 1 about topics for reflection/discussion
    1 about activities to build systems/practices
    Evaluating Your Programs and Services 1
    Conducting the Overall Final Fitness Test of Your Nonprofit 1


    1. The above table suggests a total of 17 meetings in the program.
    The number of meetings in the program ultimately depends on:
    a) How many modules the learner (or the program) chooses to complete
    b) The amount of time between meetings. The more time between
    meetings, the more likely that learners could address a module
    in one meeting.

    2. The length of time to complete the program depends on:
    a) The amount of time between meetings, for example, two to four
    b) How many modules the learner (or the program) chooses to complete?

    Regarding Verification and Certification of Learning

    Ultimately, It’s Up to the Program Sponsor/Provider to Determine

    It’s up to the sponsoring organization to decide if the
    program will include certification of learning, for example, a
    diploma, “continuing education units” (CEUs), certificate,

    It’s ultimately up to the local sponsoring organization to
    decide how any verification and certification of learning is to
    occur. The sponsor is in the best position to collect and evaluate
    the necessary information in order to verify the extent of learning
    and ultimately reward certification.

    Learners in circles might consider among the following
    evaluation ideas to decide their approach to evaluating their
    learning in the program. NOTE: Before and after every circle meeting,
    learners will complete a Session Planner Form which has learners
    answering the questions about their learning, as well.

    Objective Criteria That Could Be Considered for Evaluation
    of Learning

    The following criteria apply to programs where learners
    are organized into groups, for example, in the peer-training process.



    Passing Grade

    Failing Grade

    attendance facilitator · None or one absence · Absence from two or more meetings
    without visible effort to make up the missed meetings
    documentation of learning facilitator · fully completed · not completed
    reflective document with a summary of
    learning from the program
    facilitator · integration and synthesis of
    · Lack of integration and synthesis
    of learning
    portfolio (collection of written results from the program) facilitator · complete · not completed

    *The evaluator may be an outside facilitator
    or all learners, for example.

    Subjective Criteria That Could Be Considered for Evaluation
    of Learning



    Passing Grade

    Failing Grade

    quality of learner’s feedback in meetings group feedback in the final meeting · Sustained high quality and
    quantity of feedback
    · build on own and others’ strengths
    · minimal feedback
    quality of learner’s use of their time
    slots in meetings
    group feedback in the final meeting · well-prepared explanation of
    current goal
    · Helped the group to help them
    · Overall: took charge of their learning
    · obvious lack of preparation
    for meetings

    **The evaluator may be an
    outside facilitator or all learners, for example.

    For the Category of Personal Development:

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