Dot Org launches “Café” to focus on nonprofit professional development

by Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions | Jun 18, 2020 |

Consulting, Leadership, Strategy and Planning |


Normally when I write a blog for Dot Org, I focus on a topic related to leadership and/or the nonprofit sector. But today I’m taking a break from our traditional blog format to talk about several new professional development initiatives we’re launching for nonprofit leaders, marketers and fundraisers. 

Historically, nonprofits, especially smaller ones, have lacked the resources to invest in professional development. And now, access to quality educational opportunities is even more difficult for nonprofits of all sizes due to tighter budgets, limited offerings and travel restrictions due to COVID-19. But nonprofit teams still need the skills to emerge from this crisis as stronger organizations that are sustainable for the long term.

But now, more than ever, nonprofit staff need access to information that they can trust to help them manage the challenges created by the pandemic. That’s why we’re launching the Dot Org Café, a series of FREE educational opportunities focused on helping nonprofits with leadership, fundraising and marketing challenges.

We’ve been wanting to do this for some time and had plans to launch several different initiatives in April. Well, I’m sure you know what happened. Yep, COVID-19 happened, which forced us to press the pause button and reassess our original strategy.

Sometimes, however, crisis situations lead to innovation and we believe that the professional development opportunities we will offer in the Café will be different, and hopefully better, than we originally anticipated.

So, what is Dot Org Café?

Dot Org Café is a series of educational opportunities geared toward a person’s preferred learning style and interests. We know some people prefer to skim and others like more in-depth information. Casual conversations appeal to a certain population while a more focused and intense learning opportunity is where others thrive best.

We chose the name Dot Org Café because frankly, we’re all big coffee and tea drinkers. But also, because when we think of the café vibe, it feels like us – casual and comfortable and a place people like to be. We hope you will find that to be the case with the Café.

Over the next few months, we will be rolling out our first four Dot Org Café initiatives.

Coffee Shop – A group environment for casual, but focused learning – LAUNCHING JUNE/JULY 2020

Our original plan with Coffee Shop was to bring topic experts together in person for lively discussions around particular topics. We have shifted this idea to webinar-based learning to ensure social distancing. These sessions include speakers from other nonprofits around relevant topics (i.e. panel discussions, experts in different fields, etc.). The live events for June/July are as follows:

⋅ June 23: Making the most of your virtual event – Part 1: Logistics REGISTER NOW
⋅ June 30: Making the most of your virtual event – Part 2: Corporate support REGISTER NOW
⋅ July 7: Making the most of your virtual event – Part 3: The auction
⋅ July 14: Making the most of your virtual event – Part 4: Communicating with participants before, during and after the event

We will continue to offer these sessions once a month or more if there is a topic we feel needs to be covered. 

Espresso – Small but mighty tips that provide a quick boost to your nonprofit or your career – LAUNCHING IN SUMMER 2020

Espresso will be a weekly e-blast that is a summary of relevant social posts for the week and a quick tidbit or two about a relevant topic at the time. It is meant to be a quick read to start your week.

Coffee Break - Information you can read in the time it takes to drink your first cup of coffee – LAUNCHING IN EARLY FALL 2020

Coffee Break will be a monthly informational newsletter (nothing too long) that you can skim (ha, like skim milk) while you are drinking your coffee, tea or other morning beverage of choice. It will include a compilation of our blogs for that month and some more in-depth information that impacts the nonprofit sector.

The Pour Over - Learning opportunities that take a little longer but are worth it! LAUNCH DATE TBD

We are still working out the details of what The Pour Over will look like due to COVID restrictions for meetings. We prefer to coordinate these as in-person training sessions that we provide to smaller groups. These sessions will be more intensive learning sessions where attendees come out with a new skill, a plan or other actionable item they can use right away.

Why are we doing this?

Our Dot Org team believes in giving nonprofit professionals the tools they need to do their jobs better and build sustainable organizations. Our hope is that the Dot Org Café will contribute in some way to the success of the nonprofit sector. We will be open to feedback and ideas on how we can make it better for you and are excited to engage with you through this initiative.

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