An LMS for a Global Non-profit

Recently a former colleague took a leadership position in a Global Non-profit. Her charge is to standardize and implement a global “learning improvement program”  for 21 different branches/affiliates in four regions (about 12 countries). One of her key priorities is to implement an LMS to track the training delivered. All of the managers in all locations have internet access, but not every employee has internet access.

What are her options?
– Hire a consultant to build an Access DB
– Approach a top-of-the-line LMS vendor and encourage them to sponsor an LMS
– Deploy an open source LMS like Moodle
– Deploy a cheap bare-bones LMS

What would you recommend? Any vendors you would suggest?


  1. Ani says:

    I am still thinking about it but here’s how far I’ve got:

    1. The solution must be on the internet. This will allow distributed administration. You want distributed admin when you’re managing a distributed organization
    2. It must be light-weight (not feature heavy) and coded using current technology (unlike SumTotal that until recently was written with code from the early 90s)
    3. It must have rudimentary reporting, even if it has simple web stats.
    4. Even if it is just a bunch of spreadsheet or a access database you must use an online office app like Google or Zoho or one of those new build your own app/platform LongJump

  2. Ani says:

    Via Robert Taylor(

    I would recommend that she initially hire a consultant to help her choose an LMS. Every LMS vendor conference I go to, ends up with one session revolving around customer dissatisfaction with vendor support/promises. I think she can avoid a lot of pain in the process and build a long term customer relationship if both the vendor and customer are on the same page, with someone who has more experience with LMS systems as the customer advocate and helping the customer ask the right questions of the vendor.

    I would also recommend that she build a limited list of features that she wants in her LMS. From that list, choose a maximum of 10 features that are absolute must haves. Present that list of ‘use case scenarios’ to every LMS vendor she is courting and have the vendor demonstrate their solutions for each of those scenarios before she makes any vendor decision. Also check out Moodle to see if it adequately meets her use case scenarios. If she is going to hire a programmer and reinvent the wheel, then those 10 use case scenarios should be part of the SOW that the programmer/consultant would have to present. I would add, that there are plenty of entry level LMS systems out there that will cost less than it would cost to hire a programmer to write one for her.


    Robert Taylor
    RT Networks
    Integrating your LMS with your business processes

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