When you work for a nonprofit money is often tight, and professional development can seem like an easy line to cut. The immediate benefits of new training and skill-building aren’t always apparent, but professional development can help increase the effectiveness of your organization in the long term.
That’s certainly true of technology training, and lucky for us, the WordPress community provides amazing professional development opportunities—practically for free!
Take a moment and look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps. As I’m writing this, there are WordCamps coming up in Dayton, Ohio; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Mumbai, India; Atlanta, Georgia; and Jerusalem, Israel. And those are just the ones in March.
If you can get to one of these WordCamps, they most often cost $20 for an entire day of talks, networking, and help. Whether you’re evaluating whether to use WordPress or you’ve managed a site for a few years and want to increase your knowledge, WordCamps are a too-good-to-pass-up deal for building your nonprofit’s technology capacity.
If you can’t make it to a WordCamp or there isn’t one in your area, see if there’s a WordPress meetup near you. These events are usually free for a few hours of training, networking, and, if you ask nicely, probably a lot of free support!
If You Miss It
If you’re just learning of WordCamps and meetups, don’t despair! First, get the next one on your calendar if it’s been scheduled. If not, bookmark the event pages or sign up for the mailing lists so you don’t miss the next one.
Then, head on over to WordPress.tv where you’ll find video recordings of hundreds of past WordCamp talks. Watch one over lunch once a week for a month and you’ll know more about WordPress than you did before! Not sure where to start? Try these videos about blogging, social media, and web accessibility. (Oh look who that is! 😉)
Not Just About Skills
While learning a new specific WordPress skill is probably what you imagine taking from events like these, the connections you make are just as valuable. Even if you don’t choose to work with a consultant, it’s important to have a person who can help you when your website runs into a problem you can’t fix. WordCamps and WordPress meetups are some of the best places to find people to help you with your site.