As the Executive Director of the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, September 5 is an incredibly meaningful day for me and so many others across the globe. If you didn’t know, the fifth is International Day of Charity. Established by the UN, this day brings attention to the immeasurable impact of great charity works from people and organizations alike. It highlights the true power of giving back and encouraging others to invest in improving the lives of others.
I know firsthand that nonprofits are the backbone of our communities, selflessly providing critical programs for those in need. They're the first to step in and help when the government or private sector can't, creating undeniable lasting improvements for others. Whether they show up in our lives in the form of after-school tutoring for our children, care for our elderly parents at a local senior center, or relief amidst unimaginable damage to our homes — so many of us have benefited from the nonprofits in our community. Many of us, however, don’t realize just how critical nonprofits are to our communities until we witness their profound actions firsthand.
Nonprofits in our communities
When called upon during trying times, we, in many ways, expect that nonprofit professionals have the skills they need to provide valuable assistance. But that’s not always the case. Many nonprofits lack the means to provide meaningful skill development to their people.
Nonprofits often face similar obstacles to a start-up, navigating the challenges of limited resources and relying on funding from individual donors, foundations, or grants. And naturally, when nonprofits receive donations, the donor expects their money to find its way directly to the cause instead of the organization's overhead.
Nonetheless, nonprofit professionals show up every single day because they believe in the mission, despite the lack of professional development opportunities that may be available to them. This commitment, in part, is what makes these individuals so special. But the question becomes: How are these nonprofit organizations and professionals supposed to gain the necessary skills to continue serving those in need?
Positively impacting nonprofits
And that’s why the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation exists — to provide nonprofits with free learning resources so they can focus their time and money on their missions. The Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation has created several impactful programs provided to nonprofits to help them do more, including:
- DisasterReady.org – provides critical training to humanitarian aid and international development professionals
- NonprofitReady.org – teaches staff members, volunteers, and board members the essential skills required to work in any nonprofit organization
How the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation helps
Mobilizing people to help others is why the UN established International Day of Charity. And it’s at the heart of what we do at the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation. A fundamental belief of mine is that the best way to mobilize people is through access to education, and I’m proud to share that so many of the incredible nonprofit professionals we serve daily feel the same way, too:
- “I would like to be the best possible Executive Director for the organization, but most of all, for the people that we serve.”
- “Combining my work experience with these courses will allow me to provide the humanitarian support needed with a high level of professionalism.”
- “I am a member of several nonprofit boards, and I have not been able to find any training for just board members. The coursework was exceptional and gave some great insight and lessons learned. I was so impressed by your program that I have recommended it to all our board members to take it.”
- “I am a citizen of South Sudan. So far, hundreds of humanitarian workers have lost their lives while delivering services in our country. So, I know it is very important for me to get trained.”
I read comments like these from our learners every day. They underscore for me that access to learning and development programs is not simply a “nice to have” or some type of required compliance training. Rather, this type of professional development is a must-have. They’re an essential step to help these people advance in their career skills, execute their job duties, and, most importantly, serve those in need.
How you can help too
At the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, we’re committed to transforming the way people help people, and we encourage you to do the same in your own way, big or small. On this International Day of Charity, go out and positively impact the lives of others and honor the intent of this momentous day.
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Talent mobility infographic
Download the infographic from the Cornerstone People Research Lab and Lighthouse Research & Advisory to see statistics around the critical aspects of talent mobility to propel your organization and people forward.
Building a workforce skilled for any future
Our initial research during the height of the pandemic last year uncovered what we at Cornerstone have coined “the skills confidence gap" essentially the gap in confidence levels between employers and employees on an organization’s skills development support. Two years later, we wanted to see whether the pandemic served only to exacerbate this problem, or whether it has improved skills development initiatives across different organizations. We conducted another round of research and found that, unfortunately, the gap seems to be widening.