Course: Intro to Community Engagement

Effective community engagement forges new connections, strengthens existing relationships, and empowers people to directly impact the issues and causes championed by your organization. That’s a tall order! In the era of digital detoxes and ‘unplug’ manifestos, can technology really help? Absolutely, but some thoughtful framing and strategic implementation is required.

This course will explore how nonprofits can use technology along various stages of a community engagement continuum: from showing that we understand and care about our community, to enabling direct community participation and collaboration. Course materials will showcase a sampling of online community engagement tactics utilized by various nonprofits—including common pitfalls, and integration with “offline” (aka, in-person) activities.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to…

  1. Define the meaning and purpose of community engagement
  2. Identify community engagement needs and opportunities that advance your organization’s mission
  3. Understand various ways that technology can support your community engagement initiatives and goals


A week-long course that takes place in our Online Training Center.

Participants complete pre-readings, answer knowledge check questions, attend an online training, and receive feedback directly from faculty on a homework assignment.


Professional Credential Units
In addition to our own Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate, NTEN is an approved provider for a number of other professional credentials programs. This course qualifies for the following credits.

NTEN Professional Certificate 1 | CFRE 3 | CAE 1.5

Speaker: Jennifer Barrett
Ms. Barrett is a community leader with two decades of experience engaging volunteers, developing public outreach programs, and connecting government agencies, private nonprofits, and other community partners to build award-winning, collaborative programs. In early 2012, Ms. Barrett left her faculty position with Hawaii Sea Grant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to launch her own consultancy. For the next five years, she helped nonprofits and community-minded businesses learn to harness the social web for social good. Currently, she supports and coaches clients to build relationships, mobilize community assets, and champion civic participation to amplify their impact.