By Sarah Bourassa, Communications Assistant
E-mails have replaced Post-its and handwritten notes. Instant messaging and chat rooms have replaced phone calls and in-person meetings. And now instead of attending trainings, presentations and conferences, you can participate in these from the comfort of your office or home.
More businesses and nonprofit organizations are discovering the benefits of Webinars, Web-based seminars, presentations or trainings that are transmitted online and often include the use of phones and chat windows. “It is the next generation of information delivery,” according to eBusiness Connection, a nonprofit e-business resource.
JVA Consulting plans to host Webinars in addition to continuing its in-person trainings. Our first informal Webinar took place in July, and our first formal Webinar series, Success Strategies for Tough Times, will begin in September.
Webinars are an affordable way to offer trainings to those in hard-to-reach areas such as rural locations and other states.
“We can nationally increase our awareness. Some states don’t have places like JVA,” said Rebecca Baggett, JVA’s training manager.
Through ReadyTalk, JVA’s Webinar provider, JVA can record the Webinars and allow participants to access them again later. The Webinars can be a combination of Web and Audio and allow chat windows, multiple presenters and document sharing.
Webinars are beneficial alternatives to traditional trainings because they save money and time on travel, train a lot of people at once, connect people from distant locations and provide an online interactive learning experience, according to eBusiness Connection.
Webinars can be especially valuable for nonprofit organizations, and ReadyTalk offers discounts to all nonprofits. Web conferencing “allows the user to build community and disseminate information, two critical tasks for nonprofits,” according to ReadyTalk’s handout, “Web Conferencing for Nonprofits.”
When nonprofits are short on cash, training is often cut first, which limits the organization’s growth and networking opportunities, according to GuideStar. Affordable Webinars enable nonprofits to easily train new volunteers, increase their membership base, communicate their mission and raise revenues, said Mike McKinnon, ReadyTalk’s social media director.
But like other online technology, Web conferencing does not have that personal one-on-one contact and interaction.
“You lose that personal face-to-face touch,” Baggett said. “But we’ve been talking with ReadyTalk about how to keep that interaction.”
JVA plans to utilize strategies that will help keep the cohesiveness of the group in Webinars, such as increasing group participation by e-mailing or posting worksheets online beforehand. For Webinar series, participants may be required to work with others in the class and follow up with a consultant.
JVA’s eight-session Webinar series, Success Strategies for Tough Times, will start in September and may include the following topics: tips for Colorado’s new Common Grant Application, social enterprise, social networking, online giving and upgrading donors in a tough economy. For more information on JVA’s Webinars, go to our website, http://www.jvaconsulting.com, or click here.