I've been thinking quite a lot about training and personal development lately.
In fact I'm attending the DMA nonprofit conference in Washington DC this week, so obviously its top of mind.
What worries me is this. What's the first thing that charities are slashing right now? Training and development budgets.
To me it seems nonsensical.
Is the need for training, education and advancement lessening? No.
Can we do our jobs better if we aren't continually developing, absorbing loads of information and reaching out and meeting brilliant people? Probably not.
Then why are these budgets the first ones cut? The same reason that donor care, stewardship or retention budgets are often slashed. They aren't easily quantifiable.
At the same time I do appreciate that tough times call for tough decisions, and I don't profess to make all the right decisions. Far from it.
But I do hope this isn't an ongoing trend for 2009, drop off in attendances to conferences and workshops. Our brains need to be constantly stimulated and whilst it is time to knuckle down and get on with things, that shouldn't come at the expense of our own and our organizations development.
Anyway I'm consciously ramping up the FREE workshops that I'll be running at Pareto Fundraising. Click on this link to check out the upcoming sessions we'll be running. There is also information on this page about the nonprofit economic summit that I'm partnering with the Canadian Fundraiser gang on.
We'll also be doing more in March (at least one in Vancouver and Toronto) and monthly after that. So keep an eye on the events page on Pareto Fundraising's website.
What should you take away from the 30 seconds you spent reading this posting?
Don't allow short-termism to get in between your own and your organization's development. Training is as, if not more important than ever before.