Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are ten tips for organizations in the social sector to more effectively use their time to be inclusive, ease decision-making, and successfully help create productive online spaces. 

•  How can donors help organizations expand or strengthen their online workshops? What online support could organizations use from donors? 

• Learn how funders can help nonprofits weather coronavirus. 

The lockdown period has forced many social sector organisations to rapidly adapt or find new ways to deliver services online, and NPC is no exception. Since our first paper on theory of change was published back in 2012, the NPC team has facilitated hundreds of theory of change workshops, all of which were—until recently—delivered face to face. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, we have since started delivering pre-scheduled theory of change workshops online.

Overall, we’ve been surprised by the success of the online workshops, so much so we intend to carry on offering online workshops alongside face to face workshops after the lockdown has ended. Below, we share some of the secrets to this success. Here are our initial top ten tips, based on what we have so far learned about online facilitation with one of our clients:

  1. First, plan ahead
  2. Take the opportunity to widen participation
  3. Get everyone familiar with the tech as early as possible
  4. Set some expectations for involvement
  5. Encourage nonverbal communication
  6. Take regular breaks
  7. Share the facilitation
  8. Consider adding ‘silent working’ to the agenda
  9. Think about how to foster constructive discussions
  10. Finally, enable 24/7 follow up input

Read the full article about facilitating online workshops for donors by Ben Fowler at NPC.