Recently we’ve spent a lot of time of time discussing how continuing education can be an important revenue driver for your organization. And while we’ve gotten some great success stories, we’ve also gotten some questions on how to convince your organization/Board to invest in a continuing education management system (CEMS). So, we kicked the idea around the office for a bit and came up with these tips.
1) Involve the leadership
The organization’s top leaders have long-term strategic objectives for the organization. Find a way to show how investing in a CEMS can help meet those goals. Whether it is presenting to the Board, or circulating a PPT presentation to key leaders, present your vision, and then request feedback. By soliciting feedback you open the door to further discussion.
2) Have a long-term strategy and milestones
Some organizations use their education program as a source of revenue, others consider education a member benefit and give their programs away for free. No matter where your education program falls in this spectrum, make sure you have a clear strategy for growth and periodic milestones. This will not only help you select the right platform, but will also help you demonstrate the long-term benefits and potential rewards of investing in a continuing education management system.
3) Demonstrate the value of the investment
While technically you can only do this once you’ve made the investment and have some historical data to report on, thinking ahead can help you now. Before purchasing a CEMS ensure that it can gather the data and generate the reports you need to show how the platform helps support your education program goals and the organization’s strategic goals.
4) Collaborate with other departments
While you know all the ways a CEMS will benefit your department (and make your life easier) it might help others in your organization too. Your Membership department should see value in a way for members to connect with your organization 24/7 and receive vital training, while your Marketing department might find including information about CE content available on your platform a nice way to fill out a weekly newsletter.
5) Bring on the cheerleaders
If you’ve got members asking for online education let them become your champions. Conduct a survey and find out how many members would like access to 24/7 learning—something that is only possible with a CEMS—or ask your more vocal advocates to talk to your leadership directly.
Hopefully these tips will give you some ideas of how you can get the necessary buy-in to get the CEMS of your dreams.