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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 learning opportunities for nonprofit staff, executives, skills-based volunteers, and boards. Contact us if any of these programs would be an appropriate fit for your expertise.

Trainers at Staff Development Coalition events, which are generally day-long sessions, are paid. Presenters at the Board Leadership Learning Series, 501 Talks Tech, and ED Forum donate their time and expertise.

Board Leadership Learning Series

The Board Leadership Learning Series engages current and prospective board members and EDs/staff who work closely with their board. All sessions are held virtually, generally from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  Topics covered in each session span a wide range of relevant subject matter, including:

  • Fundraising
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Telling your organization's story to donors, funders and policy makers
  • Improving the relationship between the board and executive
  • Recruitment
  • The role and responsibilities of the board chair
  • Advocacy
  • Leading board consideration of diversity, equity. and inclusion
  • Facilitating great meetings
  • Policy Governance®

Do you have a suggestion of a new topic – or a different spin on one of the above topics? Contact Greg Scully 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.

If you have experience training and would like to propose a session, email

501 Talks Tech

Are you a techie who understands how to talk about technology without speaking "tech-ese?" We want to hear from you! 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.

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 Kerry Morrison at 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, sessions occurs quarterly and offer two or three roundtable discussion groups facilitated by experienced leaders. The format allows attendees to circulate through the topics and interact with the executives in attendance.

Would you like to be a discussion leader? Email Nancy Long at

Got ideas of your own?

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

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