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he rise of eLearning technologies offers advanced opportunities to non-profit organizations. They seem to get a greater reach, improve engagement, and allow more cost-effective strategies. 

The benefits are blatant. Yet, much depends on the choice of learning platforms and their capacity to answer learning needs, right? 

Read on to learn more about the best learning management systems for nonprofits, know why not all of them are great for such actors, and understand which features matter.

LMS for Nonprofits: Peculiarities

The proper instructional software for nonprofit organizations is the one that suits their goal, needs, and budgets.

With this in mind, it’s easy to suggest that they are no different from corporate actors, academies, or training businesses.

Yet, they are! The reason lies in the mission-driven strategies, budget concerns, groups involved, and special learning needs. 

Mission drives their operations

Nonprofit organizations strive to make a bigger impact. That’s why they try to make their results tangible and measurable while operating efficiently and innovatively. Moreover, the community becomes crucial for the accomplishment of their mission.

Further reading: Best Community Platforms

Therefore, a proper nonprofit LMS solution is one that adds to the community, automates tasks and gives a tool to spread their voice. 

💡There, good engagement tools, scaling opportunities, and even branding features (to show the identity and voice) seem to be pretty important.

Cost-effectiveness and flexible pricing

Another crucial point to mention is the budget. For many nonprofit actors, the budget is a sensitive issue, not because of the limitations, but sustainability and expectations. 

To allocate resources, a nonprofit organization should first define the priorities, and possible impact and fit them into the operational budget. 

💡In this regard, the decent LMS for nonprofits is the one that is credible, offers transparent conditions, and is flexible in pricing, supporting different models. 

Special and diverse learning needs

Applying eLearning for nonprofit organizations contemplates that you are either to provide educational programs and projects, raise awareness about issues, or offer online training for volunteers and staff. 

Sure, in each case, you have different learning goals, learners, and even types of learning. For volunteer training, a simple LMS used for onboarding may be fine. Yet, for the more diverse learning goals, the best nonprofit LMSs are the ones that have versatile systems, solid editors, and great access management. 

Further reading: How to Create an Interactive Training Program?

Group learning and learning paths

In addition, with the reach and scope of the strategies the non-profit organizations implement, much attention is usually given to communities, groups, and cohorts. It is a matter of collaborative environments and learning. 

From this perspective, the LMS for nonprofits means that the software should have enough tools for engagement, collaboration, communication, live sessions, and group assignments.

💡Highlight: Not all of the learning platforms can suit nonprofits, especially in terms of flexibility they require due to peculiarities.

Best LMS for Nonprofits

Now, with all these factors in mind, we can outline the most suitable learning platforms for nonprofit actors. Some of them are pretty universal, some are great for volunteer training, and others are better for scalable educational projects. 

Let’s have a closer look at each of them:

#1. EducateMe

EducateMe —  Best LMS for Nonprofits

EducateMe is the best LMS for nonprofits due to its focus on ease of use, flexibility, management, reporting, and collaboration. 

Having a cohort learning functionality, it offers solid engagement tools, group assignments, and peer review features. That’s why, EducateMe is great for launching both educational projects, special programs, and volunteer training for separate groups.

At the same time, it has a solid content editor, supporting multiple formats, while its management features allow streamlining operations, administering cohorts, and scaling programs. 

Moreover, its student analytics is perfect for monitoring the attendance of students and the impact of learning. Also, the pricing is pretty transparent using the cost-per-student model, while support is there to answer specific needs.

Crucial features of this LMS for Nonprofits 

  • Assignment management. EducateMe dashboard is great for visual workflow, while the calendar allows scheduling events in a few clicks.
  • Engagement tools. This learning management system provides a built-in messenger, an advanced comment section for smooth discussion, and Slack-like channels. In that case, you may not even need third-party resources for community building.
  • Branding. You can change colors, fonts, shape of elements, and create personalized sign-up and login pages to give your mission voice.
  • Intergrations and support. EducateMe offers great integration capability, from advanced Zoom integration and using Loom for leaving comments to embedding Notion pages and adding collaborative spaces thanks to Figma.

Pricing: Starter Plan is $2.5 per active learner (with a minimum commitment of $100 for 40 students). Note, that there is a discount for non-profit actors and great support in custom solutions

💡Best for: nonprofit project-based programs, learning courses, and specific training needs; onboarding for volunteers within large nonprofit organizations.

#2. iSpring 

iSpring LMS for nonprofits

Another learning management system that strikes with its functionality is iSpring LMS

Why it is a good learning management system for non profit organizations? Well, iSpring is pretty versatile, offers comprehensive authoring tools, and provides a very user-friendly environment. 

It allows nonprofits to create and share their content pretty easily, especially due to similar principles that the PowerPoint system uses. That way, it suits self-paced learning, volunteer onboarding, and coaching programs for community members. 

At the same time, having focused on corporate online training, this tool for nonprofits may lack a proper system for educational projects. Also, some packages have limitations regarding storage and features.

Crucial features of this LMS for Nonprofits 

  • Good integrations for live sessions. Importantly, iSpring has integrations with the main live session platform, making it suitable for different partners, groups, and stakeholders.
  • Interactive tasks and gamification elements. Also, iSpring allows the creation of interactive content, adding gamification pieces, and sparking engaging communication.
  • Automated tasks and notifications. Lastly, iSpring offers good management options to help with notifications and certain tasks.

Pricing: Starter Plan is $2.99/mo per student for 50 students if paid annually, and $2.29 per student for 300 students if paid annually; Business Plan for 50 students is available upon call, and, for 300 students, it is $3.14/mo per student if paid annually.

💡Best for: nonprofit organizations with a pool of volunteers and diverse programs (but not educational)

#3. LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds LMS for Nonprofits

The next learning management system for nonprofits is far more comprehensive. 

LearnWorlds is considered an all-in-one platform that offers decent course creation options and works as a marketing platform as well. 

It brings great customization options and a variety of content formats concerning course development, like SCORM. Besides, it offers a simple video editor that allows adding interactive elements, like, images, text, and questions. 

Because of the focus on content and pre-recorded materials, LearWords can be a great option for self-paced learning for volunteer onboarding or launching training courses for groups. Yet, the major downturns are that it can be complicated to run, lacks community features, and may be pricey for those on a tight budget. 

🔎Interesting fact. Such large actors as UNICEF, Green Learning, and Global Migration Media Academy have used LearnWorlds for their courses.

Crucial Features of this LMS for nonprofits:

  • Marketing tools. LearnWorlds also offers significant marketing and sales support that can be used by nonprofits to support their identity and backup campaigns. 
  • Mobile app. There is an opportunity to build an app for learning that can support self-paced learning.

Pricing: Starter Plan costs $24/mo (1 admin, 5$ transaction fee, unlimited paid courses); Pro Trainer costs $79/mo (5 collaborators, no fee, unlimited free and paid courses); Learning Center costs $249/mo (greater access management, interactive videos) - best for nonprofit purposes.

💡Best for: nonprofits with decent budgets and varied learning programs that focus on pre-recorded content rather than collaboration.

#4. 360 Learning 

360 Learning LMS for nonprofits

360 Learning is an effective and easy-to-use tool for training provision with great content authoring tools, collaboration features, and opportunities for integrations.

Even though is not the most obvious choice as LMS for nonprofits, it has 360 Learning pays significant attention to collaborative learning. 

Together with a simple editor, comment section, flexible assignments, and sharing features, it can be a great option for diverse and comprehensive learning experiences. It suits not only online training but also courses related to specific subjects, programs, skills, and experience.

Yet, it can lack community features as well as reporting and management tools and may be not as cost-effective.

Crucial features of this LMS for Nonprofits

  • Course creation support. 360 Learning offers a variety of tools to improve content and assignment creation. There is an AI assistant, course templates, and a question generator.
  • Integrations hub and addons: 360 Learning works well with a list of content and HCM integrations and workflow tools. It may add to the ecosystem you already have.

Pricing: $8/mo for a registered user; Custom plans are also available.

💡Best for: nonprofit organizations with special learning needs, varying from volunteer training to specific programs.

Further reading: Best Training Tools 

#5. LearnUpon LMS

LearnUpon LMS for nonprofits

LearnUpon LMS is another option you can use as a nonprofit LMS. It is pretty straightforward and offers a flexible system with intuitive navigation for training. Moreover, with it, you can make your learning more centralized.

For nonprofit organizations, LearnUpon LMS can be great for internal and volunteer training affairs. The reason lies in the decent interactive elements and gamification, clear learning paths, and centralized system. 

Crucial features of this LMS for nonprofits:

  • Portals. LearnUpon builds its system around portals, meaning you can create different spaces for various audiences. It brings decent opportunities for diverse learning.
  • Reporting. This tool brings extensive reporting capabilities, allowing tracking students and getting data-driven insights.

Pricing:  upon a request.

💡Best for: diverse audiences or nonprofit organizations having structures similar to corporate actors. 

Free LMS for Nonprofits to Save Your Budget

If you have no budget and looking for a free LMS, there are pretty decent options. Yet, be aware that they are not as easy to use, may lack features, or just need specialists to run them. 

Here is our list of free learning management systems for nonprofits:

  • Google Classroom 
  • Open edX
  • Moodle LMS

#6. Google Classroom 

Google Classroom for nonprofits

Google Classroom appears to be a quite limited LMS, being rather a learning platform with great collaboration and powerful assignment features. 

It is free and can be ideal for nonprofits on a tight budget. Moreover, it has native integration with G Suite tools: Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Meet, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. 

It offers easy-to-use tools for content creation, distribution, and real-time collaboration. Besides, it would be a great fit for businesses using Google Workspace for their operation. 

Importantly, it has certain conditions for nonprofit organizations. Among the drawbacks is that it can be limited in terms of reporting and course management.

💡Best for: actors seeking simple solutions for courses without a need for management

Further reading: Google Classroom alternatives

#7. Open edX

Open edX for nonprofits

The next option is a pretty exciting option for nonprofits. First, Open edX is a nonprofit LMS, being an open-source platform with extensive customization options thanks to block structure.

Secondly, it is free and offers interactive assessments, discussion forums, and an advanced content editor. The customization and, thus, the flexibility of Open edX provides some opportunities and challenges to nonprofit actors. 

Among the benefits, it allows non-profits to tailor course content and activities to their specific needs and target audience. Educators can create engaging multimedia-rich lessons, design interactive assessments, and foster community interaction through discussion forums. 

Disadvantages: this LMS for nonprofits is can bedifficult to operate and sustain, as the open-source nature requires code-savvy specialists; the learning curve is pretty steep. 

💡Best for: nonprofit organizations with enough time, or specialists to deal with the advanced system and options it provides.

#8. Moodle LMS

Moodle is another customizable open-source LMS for nonprofits. It offers a good free version, offering a wide range of features, including course management tools, collaborative activities, grading options, and integration with third-party plugins. 

It is less advanced than Open edX but offers non-profits the flexibility to create courses tailored to their organizational goals. Educators can easily organize course content, create multimedia-rich lessons, and incorporate various assessment methods such as quizzes, assignments, and peer assessments. 

Moodle's extensive plugin ecosystem allows for additional functionality and customization, empowering non-profits to create engaging and effective learning experiences within budget constraints.

Disadvantages: it is as complicated to use and has an outdated design. 

💡Best for: non profit organizations that have a special team or resources to set programs.

Further reading: Moodle vs Google Classroom

Summary on LMS for Nonprofits: What next?

So, picking the right learning management system for non profit businesses is concerned with learning needs, partners, and budget. 

If you are looking for a flexible and intuitive solution, then EducateMe emerges as a top choice. It offers offering user-friendly interface, robust engagement tools, great support, and transparent pricing, making it ideal for project-based initiatives and volunteer training. 

At the same time, iSpring, Learnworlds, and 360 Learning are appealing as well, with their comprehensive authoring tools and integration capabilities. Additionally, considering free options like Google Classroom or Open edX can be beneficial for budget-conscious nonprofits, albeit with varying levels of complexity.

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