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Expert-led tech training designed for nonprofits and libraries. What will you learn next?

All Access Pass to Successful Tech Planning

Idealware, in partnership with TechSoup, is offering this practical, step-by-step Tactical Technology Planning learning track. This four-course technology planning track will help you get out of the technology doldrums so that you can assess your organization’s technology infrastructure and address your current and future needs. At the end of the learning track, you’ll have a fully realized tactical technology action plan to guide your organization.

*All course fees are nonrefundable.

Course badge Tech Planning 101: Getting Started and Assessing Your IT Infrastructure
Course badgeTech Planning 201: Developing a Data Strategy
Course badgeTech Planning 202: Organizing Online Communications
Course badgeTech Planning 203: Putting Your Tech Plan into Action

Power Couple: Design for Nondesigners

Do the words "design" and "brand guidelines" make your toes curl and teeth grind? With a solid foundation, you can begin to implement good design practices and build brand guidelines for your organization. Elefint, a design studio that works with social impact organizations and nonprofits, teamed up with TechSoup to build this design basics learning track. In these Design for Nondesigner courses, you'll build a foundation for applying design best practices and start to create a brand book for your nonprofit or library.

*All course fees are nonrefundable.

Course badgeDesign for Nondesigners 101
Course badgeDesign for Nondesigners 201: Applying Best Practices for Design

Get Your Design Learner's Permit

Before you get on the freeway, you gotta build your confidence with the basics. Get up to speed on how to create and manipulate images and graphics, and understand design concepts. Together, these will put you on the road to design success! Vroom!

Course badgeAdobe Absolute Beginners: Create a Fundraiser Invitation Using InDesign
Course badgeAdobe Absolute Beginners: Getting Started with Illustrator
Course badgeAdobe Absolute Beginners: Photoshop 101
Course badgeDesign for Nondesigners 101
Course badgeWeb Design Best Practices 101

Web Design Best Practices 101

This free Web Design Best Practices course will equip you with the basics on how to design a user-friendly website. Adobe's designer Colleen Schweizer shows you simple steps to develop your website's layout, look and feel, and user experience.

Learn reliable standards for crafting web content, navigational dos and don'ts, best practices for creating an engaging web experience, and tips for maintaining design consistency on multiple devices, including mobile and tablet. Once you master the basics, you can apply these to your organization's website.


Adobe Absolute Beginners: Create a Fundraiser Invitation Using InDesign

So, you've been asked to create an invitation for a fundraiser or another event, and you'd like to make it look extra spiffy. But you're not a graphic designer by training, and you don't yet know how to use Adobe InDesign in Creative Cloud. Don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this free course, we'll show you everything you need to get started. We will

  • introduce you to the five most commonly used tools in the toolbar
  • demonstrate how to insert and manipulate text and images
  • teach you how to set up a standard or custom-sized document

The fun part is that you can practice along with us! We provide the files we use in the demonstration to help you get started. You're welcome to modify these files with other images, fonts, or text so that they fit your organization's needs.

Tech Training for Nonprofit and Library Staff 101

This free course will prepare you to build and deliver technology training for your staff and volunteers.  The course features videos, activities, a live event with training experts, templates, and short quizzes to help you learn about developing training for your staff and volunteers. Please note the course may take you a more or less time, depending upon how quickly you move through the content. 

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Understand and identify the basics of tech change management.
  • Explain and apply effective training techniques for adult learners.
  • Identify and apply steps to build tech training using an instructional learning model. 
  • Understand the benefits and features of common training and education products.
  • Understand how to write measurable learning objectives. 
  • Create learning objectives and a basic training plan. 

Tech Planning 101: Getting Started and Assessing Your IT Infrastructure

During this free introductory course, you’ll start to build the foundation for your tactical technology plan — including how to build the team you’ll need to help you implement your own plan. We'll take a step-by-step look at each of the critical pieces of your entire technology package so you can thoroughly assess your nonprofit's infrastructure. By the end of this introductory course, you’ll have an understanding of how to assess each piece of your technology infrastructure and begin to think about a plan for the future.

Idealware, in partnership with TechSoup, is offering this free tactical tech planning introductory course. The course prepares you to enter our more advanced courses on tech planning, including Tech Planning 201: Developing a Data Strategy, Tech Planning 202: Organizing Online Communications, and Tech Planning 203: Putting Your Tech Plan into Action.

Tech Planning 201: Developing a Data Strategy

Once you have assessed your organization’s tech infrastructure, you are ready to start work on the next major component of your technology planning: data. This five-hour course will help you determine the answers to these questions: What data do you collect? How do you collect it? How do you maintain it? How do you measure it? 

Idealware, in partnership with TechSoup, is offering this course to help you understand the major considerations around data and how you can answer them to move your organization forward with a tactical technology plan. We recommend you complete Tech Planning 101: Getting Started and Assessing Your IT Infrastructure prior to taking this course, or have conducted and written a tactical technology assessment for your nonprofit or library. With a sound infrastructure assessment in place, it’s time to tackle your data strategy. 

*All course fees are nonrefundable.

Tech Planning 202: Organizing Online Communications

This course, created by Idealware in partnership with TechSoup, builds on the previous courses in the Technology Planning learning track, Tech Planning 101: Getting Started and Assessing Your IT Infrastructure and Tech Planning 201: Developing a Data Strategy. Once you have an understanding of your organization’s infrastructure and a data strategy in order, it’s time to reach out to your audiences.

Using technology to deliver your messages is essential. Your website, emails, and social media conversations all shape your relationship with your clients, members, donors, and everyone else interested in your organization. In this six-hour course, you will learn how to define communication goals; best practices for websites, email, and social media; and how to integrate communications to ensure you are choosing the right tools and using them to meet your goals. We recommend you have completed Tech Planning 101 and Tech Planning 201 or have a completed written tactical technology assessment before taking this course. 

*All course fees are nonrefundable.

Tech Planning 203: Putting Your Tech Plan into Action

This course will help you put the pieces of your tactical technology plan puzzle together. In this course, created by Idealware in partnership with TechSoup, you will develop a technology project shortlist, and understand how to prioritize, create, fund, and implement your tactical technology plan. This course is the conclusion of activities completed in the previous three technology planning courses.

We recommend you have completed Tech Planning 101: Getting Started and Assessing Your IT Infrastructure, Tech Planning 201: Developing a Data Strategy, and Tech Planning 202: Organizing Online Communications, or have equivalent experience with tactical technology assessment and planning before starting this class.

*All course fees are nonrefundable.




Adobe Absolute Beginners: Photoshop 101

This free Adobe Absolute Beginners course will help you learn the very basics for cleaning up photos and creating images. You can then use these in print and online, including on social media.

Once you've worked that out, you can make something of your own that speaks to your nonprofit or library's mission and includes its own branding. Your final products could include your logos, fonts, color scheme, and message. This Adobe Absolute Beginners course includes five short videos and resources.

This Adobe Absolute Beginners course will give you a very basic foundation for using Photoshop. After completing the course, you will be able to

  • understand and use the five most commonly used tools in the Photoshop toolbar
  • understand the difference between the canvas and the image
  • understand how to use color and color modes
  • understand how to adjust an image
  • apply best practices to save an image for the Internet or print

Design for Nondesigners 101

This free basic design course will help you build a foundation for understanding and implementing brand guidelines in your organization. During the course, you’ll conduct a self-assessment of your organization, watch videos and presentations to learn about design, and practice applying sample brand guidelines. As part of the course, we'll also walk you through creating your own brand guidelines.

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • analyze your current organizational brand standard readiness
  • understand why implementing brand guidelines creates value for your organization
  • recognize and define basic core elements in a brand guide
  • identify practical ways to use organizational brand guidelines consistently
  • understand basic best practices for developing brand guidelines

Design for Nondesigners 201: Applying Best Practices for Design

This is the second course in the Design for Nondesigner series. We developed this series in partnership with Elefint, a design firm that works with nonprofits, helping them maximize their impact through design. This course will build on material we covered in the free Design for Nondesigners 101 Course.

With a deeper understanding of basic design principles along with a comprehensive brand book, nonprofits and libraries can create materials that not only stand out, but demonstrate a cohesive brand.

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • identify and apply standard processes for creating visually appealing and effective design
  • understand and identify brand book elements
  • identify and apply best qualities and characteristics of typography, imagery, and color for your organization
  • evaluate visual content using design standards and best practices

Storymakers - Digital Storytelling for Beginners

Ready to become a Storymaker? TechSoup has created a free helpful educational course so you can dive right into the three phases of the storytelling adventure. Our course provides a step-by-step roadmap from story creation through postproduction and marketing. Become a digital storyteller today!

TechSoup Ambassador Program

The TechSoup Ambassador Program provides the tools for TechSoup supporters to empower nonprofits. We want to encourage nonprofits to take full advantage of all that TechSoup has to offer. We offer fun activities to choose from and rewards based on desired level of involvement and expertise.

Joining the ambassador program can not only build technical skills, connections, and reputation, but also places ambassadors into a larger community of other socially minded professionals.

Join the program by signing up for the TechSoup Ambassador Program Course. The course is designed for TechSoup ambassadors to learn about TechSoup's brand and understand the role and benefits of a TechSoup ambassador. This course is also where you will be engaging in specific ambassador activities and connecting with fellow ambassadors.

Image: Michele Mateus / CC BY

Adobe Absolute Beginners: Getting Started with Illustrator

Nondesigners of the nonprofit and library world can learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator CC in this short course. This course is designed for new users of Illustrator. After completing this course, you will be able to

  • understand and use the most commonly used tools
  • understand how to use the pen tool and Bezier curves
  • understand how to apply color and stroke to an object
  • understand how to use clipping masks and compound paths
  • understand how to align objects and use the pathfinder panel

Once you've got the basics of Illustrator down, you'll probably want to know more! Access TechSoup's other Adobe free courses to round out your beginner designer portfolio here:

TechSoup Tech30s

Pick up some new tech skills with our new Tuesday Tech30 webinar series. These free 30-minute sessions feature quick tips on improving your tech know-how. In addition, you'll get a weekly roundup of new product donations, tech news for nonprofits and libraries, and the latest resources to better meet your organization's mission. Enroll for this course to see all the Tuesday Tech30s in one place.

If this is your first time accessing TechSoup Courses, remember that you will need to create an account before registering for any course. Note that this account will be different from your login.