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Become a Trainer

Share you expertise with nonprofit staff, leaders, and boards

501 Commons provides a number of professional development and training opportunities for nonprofit staff, executives, skills-based volunteers, and boards. Scroll down to see if any of these programs would be an appropriate fit for your expertise.

Board Training workshops

Every two weeks throughout the year (with a break during the summer months) we host a series of 3-hour long training workshops for board members, prospective board members, and EDs/staff who work closely with their board. All sessions are held at Pacific Tower in Seattle's north Beacon Hill neighborhood from 9:00 a.m. to noon, although there is some flexibility if that exact time frame doesn't work.

Topics covered in each session span a wide range of relevant subject matter, including:

  • Fundraising
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Storytelling, branding, and marketing
  • Improving the relationship between the board and executive
  • Recruitment
  • The role and responsibilities of the board chair
  • Advocacy
  • Facilitating great meetings
  • Policy Governance®

Do you have a suggestion of a new topic – or a different spin on one of the above topics – that board members should be trained on? Tell us! Contact Kendra Demuth at to let us know what ideas you have.

Nonprofit staff development workshops

Once a month we hold a day-long workshop that takes a deep dive into thought-provoking subject matter that's crucially important to the sector.

The Staff Development Coalition workshop series improves how staff members work with each other and with the communities they serve. Each session provides affordable staff and leadership development on topics such as staff retention, diversity and inclusion, cultivating empathy and emotional intelligence, building leadership skills, improving communication, handling difficult conversations, and de-escalating potentially violent situations. These topics are suggested and approved by the committee members and are especially important for nonprofits that serve diverse and vulnerable populations.

We try to book these workshops several months in advance, so email if you would like to learn how to get involved somewhere down the road.

501 Talks Tech

Are you a techie who understands how to talk about technology without speaking "tech-ese?" We want to hear from you! Each month we provide free in-person classes or webinars that increases the nonprofit sector’s effective use of technology. Volunteer teachers will develop and present a 60 to 180-minute training on a technology topic that will help staff and leaders be more effective and efficient at their jobs.

For 2020, we're looking for trainers for a Cybersecurity training and a CRM for Fundraising training!

Previous topics include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Website building
  • WordPress plugins
  • Video production
  • Google AdWords and Ad Grants
  • Google Analytics
  • Network mapping
  • Intranets, wikis, and knowledge bases
  • Project management process and tools
  • Web accessibility
  • Email marketing
  • Microsoft tools and programs
  • Databases and data analysis

Learn more about becoming a 501 Talks Tech trainer, and contact if you have any questions or suggestions for future topics.

Executive Director Forum

The Executive Director Forum is a unique opportunity for nonprofit EDs, CEOs, presidents, and artistic/managing directors to connect with their peers, share ideas, and learn from each other in a supportive environment. Generally, each session occurs quarterly and offers three roundtable discussion groups facilitated by three experienced leaders. The format of the forum allows attendees to circulate through all three topics and interact with many of the executives in attendance as well as our outstanding discussion leaders.

We are always looking for executive leaders in the greater Puget Sound area who would like to be a discussion leader at an upcoming gathering. Email Nancy Long at if you are interested in facilitating a discussion topic.

Got ideas of your own?

Please reach out to us if you are a service provider, educator, experienced board member or executive, or public speaker with something valuable to share with our sector. We are especially interested if you have experience working with diverse audiences, marginalized communities, and underserved populations.

We'd love to feature trainers from outside of King County who can work with nonprofits across the entire Pacific Northwest. Our sector also values education opportunities framed with diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts. Let us know your areas of interest by emailing