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always be learning with Aaron Sanderson

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Individually and organizationally, we need to be constantly learning, especially in our sector. The for-profit sector understands that and it’s built into how they work. However, in the nonprofit sector (and especially with small organizations) it's often an afterthought or the first thing to get cut when budgets are tight because we don't seem to value it as much.

On today’s podcast, I am excited to have Aaron Sanderson, SVP, Advancement & Chief Development Officer at Kids Help Phone about professional development and learning. Tune in to learn about how we can create space for learning so that we can understand how we can invest in ourselves and our organizations so that we can do better work and work better.

Myths that Aaron wants us to leave behind:

  1. Learning is comfortable. It’s easy to stick with what we know, even if it may not be relevant anymore. Instead of looking at it to say, “where do I need to stretch myself? Where do I seem to struggle the most? Where do I feel the most daunted?” Then go seek opportunities!

  2. You get what you pay for. There are amazing learning opportunities that are free and some very expensive ones that don’t stack up. Do your research to make sure you invest your time and money into quality education.

Aaron’s tips for improving your professional development:

  1. Don’t forget your online resources! Due to COVID-19 and the rise of remote-working, there is a multitude of forums, communities, and webinars with live Q&A that are accessible online. Take advantage of it!

  2. Go global and stay local. Online learning is great for connecting with people around the world, but when local conferences start up again in the future, don’t neglect the value of meeting folks in your own community.

  3. Expand beyond our sector. There are amazing resources for learning that are not specific to the nonprofit sector. Don’t forget to look beyond our sector to learn.

My favourite quotes from today’s episode

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“I think one thing that has come out in this last little bit as we are physically distancing ourselves is a plethora of online resources. There are webinars, there's great podcast series, there are a ton of different things that we can explore. And just because they're online doesn't mean they can't also be social.”

“If we adopt a specific community practice, they're intentional and sort of operating in the context where cases and resources can be shared and applied. That would probably be one of the most powerful things that you could do to advance your own professional development.”

Resources from this Episode

The Good Partnership


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The Small Nonprofit is produced by Eloisa Jane Mariano