Educational opportunities for nonprofit professionals in Oklahoma

by Carrie Sauer
There are a variety of learning opportunities for nonprofit professionals in Oklahoma but some are more affordable than others. On the higher end, there are college courses, certificates, and degrees in nonprofit management. You can find a list on our resource page.
In addition to learning more about best practices in nonprofit administration, you will also make valuable local connections through your professors and guest lecturers. If you don’t have the time or money for college courses right now, don’t worry! There are plenty of low-cost options:
YNPN of OKC events are always free and open to the public. Our networking events provide a great chance to meet others in the sector. Don’t forget to follow up with people you meet, especially if you have something to teach each other. Our professional development events touch on a variety of topics of interest to anyone who is in the first years of their career in nonprofits. Make sure you are on our mailing list so you don’t miss out on invitations. If you have an idea for a YNPN event or training, please let us know at
The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is known for its high-quality workshops at locations across the state. Topics include fundraising, marketing, board governance, program evaluation, and more.
You do not have to be a member to attend, but members enjoy discounts and other benefits. If the organization where you work is a current member (find out here), these benefits apply to you too, regardless of your position. Memberships are available to students for only $30 per year.
The Center offers scholarships for memberships and all trainings. Don’t let lack of funding stop you from a workshop you would really benefit from.
The Oklahoma Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts educational luncheons on the second Wednesday of each month, typically at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Rosser Education Center. Recent speaker topics include Writing for Fundraising Success, The Seven Deadly Sins of Nonprofit Communications, A Strong CEO/Development Officer Team: A Winning Combination for Fundraising Success, and Developing a Strategic Communications and Marketing Plan.
Non-members can attend for just $20, including lunch, if you register in advance.
The Intergenerational Computer Center at Oklahoma City University offers free computer access and training to the community. Learn about topics such as web design, presentations with Prezi, Quickbooks for nonprofits, and social media. Many classes are offered in the evening. Register online here.
If there is a conference you are interested in attending and you can’t afford the registration, offer to volunteer. You will gain valuable experience in event planning and get access to workshops and networking opportunities.
Significant local conferences include the biannual Sarkeys Southwest Regional Leadership Forum, the biannual Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Statewide Conference, the annual Oklahoma Arts Council Oklahoma Arts Conference, and the Oklahoma Museums Association Annual Fall Conference.
Final tip: Don’t forget to keep a record of the trainings you attend. It could be beneficial when negotiating a raise or interviewing for a new job. This record will also be useful when obtaining or maintaining a professional recognition such as Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) or Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA).
What other local, low-cost educational opportunities have you found? Tell us in the comments section below.