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Training & Networking Offered by 501 Commons

Learning opportunities and workshops provided by experts in the field

In addition to our services, we host a variety of events for nonprofit professionals. Whether you're looking to deepen your understanding of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) principles or want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) at a 501 Talks Tech training, we have professional development opportunities to fit your needs.

We also host the Executive Director Forum, which is designed to support peer networking and learning among nonprofit executives.

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Develop Your Professional Capacity

Upcoming or regularly scheduled events

501 Commons' events delve into an issue impacting nonprofits, provide a place to share great stories, and help you meet other nonprofit leaders and emerging leaders. New knowledge and inspiration await. Plus, a new contact may well become an important partner or life-long friend.

Sign up for our e-newsletter and subscribe to our blog to receive event information and stay up-to-date.

Executive Director Forums

Executive Director Forums are a low-effort, low-cost, and high-impact way to gather with your executive director peers and learn from each other. Each forum gives you the chance to participate in three roundtable discussions led by an experienced executive director. Participants share problems and solutions and trade tips and resources. All sessions will occur via Zoom.

For more than a decade, ED Forum participants consistently report that they left with actionable information and an extra bounce in their step from networking with others in our sector.

Email if you are interested in being a discussion leader or if there's a topic you'd like to see covered.

Upcoming ED Forums:

Check back for future sessions, please

Board Leadership Series

Our Board Leadership Series offers more than a dozen well-reviewed sessions about governance and board development for staff and board members. Every class is taught by expert nonprofit professionals who bring years of experience working with and consulting to nonprofit organizations like yours.

All sessions will be held via Zoom. When you register through Eventbrite, we will send you the Zoom link before the day of the training. Cost is $45 per person and $40 for organizations that are 501 Commons members. Organizations with budgets under $1 million receive a $20 discount.

Please direct your questions to Greg Scully at

Upcoming Board Trainings:

Motivate Your Board to Fulfill Your Mission – Oct. 5, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Strategic Board Recruitment – Nov. 9, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

501 Talks Tech

Technology is a crucial component for the success of nonprofits to serve their missions. 501 Talks Tech is a series of educational sessions that provide information on free and low-cost technology tools that are readily available to nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

Held online as a webinar, topics discussed at 501 Talks Tech include website maintenance, Google AdWords, social media, databases, search engine optimization, project management and collaboration tools, security & privacy, mobile, e-mail, and more. Our trainers are technology experts who bring years of practical experience using these tools for social good.

Upcoming workshops:

Prepare Your Organization for a Cybersecurity Incident – Oct. 11, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., online (attending the presentations is free, but you can sign up for a 30-minute Quick Consult with a cybersecurity expert for $50)

Learn More

Staff & Leadership Training

Affordable in-depth classes designed to build up your professional skills and leadership capabilities are available through the 501 Commons Staff Development Coalition. These workshops improve how staff and executive directors work with each other and the communities they serve.

Sessions cover topics such as staff retention, diversity and inclusion, cultivating empathy and emotional intelligence, building leadership skills, improving communication, and handling difficult conversations.

Upcoming workshops:

Building an Effective Nonprofit Budget – Sept. 26, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Principles and Practices for Facilitating Inclusive Meetings – Oct. 16, 10:00 a.m. to noon

Learn More

Bring Nonprofit Training to Your Organization

If you want to bring in a trainer for your staff, board or conference, contact us. We can deliver a wide range of board and staff trainings or conference presentations.

Training topics include Board Leadership, Financial Management, Technology, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Advocacy, and Volunteer Management. 501 Commons expert staff members are also available for retreats, conferences, coalition meetings, or events.

Complete a Request for Assistance

Executive Director Confab

We're partnering with Kari Anderson at Incite! Consulting to bring to you the Executive Director Confab.

The training is ideal for new executives and those who've been on the job for a while but still need support (due to no orientation, lack of job structure, or strained relationship with the board/board chair). There will be five two-hour virtual sessions and an in-person capstone session.

The cost is $999 for organizations with an annual budget over $1 million a year. It's $799 for organizations under $1 million.

Engaging, Equipping, and Retaining Volunteers

For a busy nonprofit professional, effectively managing volunteers can seem challenging - even daunting. These three sessions (with some work on your own in between) presented by Nancy Gaston will cover the basics for creating a volunteer program or bringing new vitality to an existing one. Join in lively and interactive discussions with colleagues (some new and others with valuable experience to share) and leave with ideas you can put into action right away.

These trainings are made possible thanks to United Way of King County. If the registration fee is a barrier, please contact Jan Burrell at

Engaging, Equipping, and Retaining Volunteers Sept. 29, Oct. 6, & 13, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., online

Nonprofit Advocacy Workshops

It’s back! Our annual two-part nonprofit advocacy training workshop returns on Friday, Dec. 1. We’re hosting this in-person at Pacific Tower for the first time since 2019. It is important to know what nonprofits can - and cannot - do when it comes to advocacy, lobbying, and elections.

Both sessions are presented by Quyen Tu, the Southern California Counsel for Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy program.

Advocacy and Lobbying 101: Legal Tips for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Advocates – Dec. 1, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Nonpartisan Advocacy in Partisan Times – Dec. 1, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.