Why this Non-Profit Deserves a Fortune 500 LMS Carrie Weitzel Published on February 16, 2016 Milestone Health Care Quality Units (HCQU) West is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving services for patients with disabilities in western Pennsylvania. Last year, Milestone HCQU realized their LMS wasn't working for the organization or the carers it supported. Because Milestone is funded by state and federal governments, their search for a new LMS was bound by a strict budget and non-negotiable requirements. With no dedicated IT staff to maintain the LMS, Milestone knew they needed a reliable solution that would provide them with excellent support. When they found LearnUpon, the vendor's passion for Corporate Social Responsibility, reflected in a 10% discount for non-profits, confirmed they were the right partner. Leslie Dollman tells their story. About Milestone HCQU West The services provided by Milestone HCQU West represent a new approach to the treatment of some of society's most vulnerable people. Until the 1970s, people with developmental disabilities were typically warehoused in state-run institutions, and kept entirely separate from the community. In 1974, Pennsylvania began a process of deinstitutionalization. Funds were reallocated from state-run institutions toward supports and services for community-living options. The benefits showed improved life skills for people with disabilities, more community involvement, and greater overall happiness. Providers of these services work tirelessly to help people with developmental disabilities to live an “everyday life”. But with no budget for specialized staff, it can be a struggle to understand the unique health needs of those they care for. In 2000, Milestone HCQU West was created to provide free training to these service providers in western Pennsylvania. Why we needed a new LMS Before we found LearnUpon, Milestone used an outdated LMS that no longer fit our needs. As a government-funded non-profit organization, facing the cost of upgrading to the latest version of the LMS every year was difficult. Our needs had also begun to change. Most of the training we delivered had traditionally been instructor-led. But statewide budget cuts led us to pursue other methods, including webinars and eLearning options, to help us to reduce costs while still meeting regulatory training requirements. When we began our search for an LMS, we quickly realized that finding the right fit wouldn't be easy. Our needs were unusual and subject to a number of constraints: Because our courses must be available to the general public, we have no control over the technology used to access them The public agencies that access our courses typically have outdated technology and/or staff with minimal experience of using technology We're a small organization with no dedicated IT staff to implement, configure and maintain an LMS. But we knew we needed an LMS that would: Be easy to implement and manage Give users 24/7 access to an intuitive interface Deliver and track SCORM and Tin Can content Track multiple forms of training data in one place (including instructor-led sessions, online courses, participation at webinars, and self-study) Create customizable reports to meet a wide range of stakeholder requirements Help us to raise our profile. That meant we needed a highly customizable platform that was affordable, very easy-to-use, with robust reporting, and customer support that didn’t vanish the minute the check cleared. And we wanted to find a partner that would support us through implementation and help us grow. Were we dreaming? Why we chose LearnUpon We considered several solutions during our search. After reading reviews of LearnUpon and doing a little research, we had some questions about the system. We sent an email to LearnUpon and received a phone call 15 minutes later. On the call, they listened carefully as we described our needs and answered all of our questions. We felt really comfortable with them right away and arranged to see a demo of the LMS. And the demo was so well organized! The account manager used artwork from our website to show us how easy it was to brand the LMS. That helped us to get a real feel for how the platform would look if we selected it. The account manager also showed us how easy it was to use and customize the LMS, both for administrators and learners. And the pricing model was simple and VERY affordable! After that positive start, we decided to sign up for a 30-day free trial. During the trial period, we put the LMS through rigorous testing. We contacted LearnUpon support – a lot. They were always accessible, courteous, and very helpful. We felt like they genuinely cared about us and really wanted to help us find a solution. We knew at that point that we had finally found our partner. Benefits of LearnUpon Before using LearnUpon, we had to track data on a variety of different platforms, which made reporting a logistical nightmare. We also had a very expensive LMS that could only manage SCORM content. Students complained that the system was too complicated to use. And they still had to go through our office to enroll in instructor-led courses or access training records and certificates, which was difficult for those on overnight or weekend shifts. Now, with LearnUpon, all of our data is in one place. Our students LOVE the easy-to-use interface and being able to access everything they need, at any time! Because reporting is a breeze, admins can enjoy time freed from manual work. Most importantly for our budget, LearnUpon’s pricing model saves us an average of $7,000 - $10,000 annually in costs we spent supporting our previous LMS. Why you should choose LearnUpon As a non-profit organization, we've unfortunately grown accustomed to sub-par service as we're often not a “money-making” customer for a provider. But LearnUpon’s customer service is out of this world. They treat us like a fortune 500 company! The LMS itself is truly excellent. The team has designed a platform with great features and helped us to customize it so it works perfectly for us. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend LearnUpon to anyone looking for an LMS. Try LearnUpon for yourself, Start your free 30 day trial now.