Using LifterLMS to Help Create Social Impact
Non Profits Harness Course Development as a Vehicle For Change
Sheryle Gillihan, CauseLabs
Success Story Highlights
1000+ Students Empowered.
15 Years: Technology Expiernce leveraged into Nonprofit LMS Development.
7 Skilled Trade Career Categories Served.
Sheryle Gillihan is the CEO of CauseLabs, a website development agency in the nonprofit sector whose mission is to grow positive impact through social entrepreneurship. Positive impact is particularly important to Sheryle as she grew up with her own poverty story; her purpose lies in creating social impact through her work and company.
Joining CauseLabs in 2010 was a leap of faith because I was stepping out of a VP position into a project manager role, but I don’t regret it. CauseLabs is a special company and it allowed me to explore and find my purpose. In my various roles at the company, I’ve learned not only about business and technology, but also about social enterprise, conscious capitalism, benefit corporations, impact investing, sustainable development goals, and the many challenges we aim to solve in the social sector. Through one of my projects, I also uncovered my own history with poverty.
“We chose LifterLMS specifically because it was a WordPress-based solution, and it was very flexible. We knew that we were going to be working with a number of different nonprofits, and they all had very unique needs. We needed a solution that was flexible enough to handle that. And then the other piece of it was that it was just very easy to use.”—Sheryle Gillihan, CauseLabs
CauseLabs has many clients in the nonprofit sector including United Way and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Offering a Promising Future by educating youth in Kenya with LifterLMS
Sheryle was approached with the challenge to help create an online vocational training platform for her client Toolkit iSkills in Kenya. Toolkit iSkills is a leading social enterprise in Kenya devoted to youth skills training and employability; their mission is to offer workforce development for underserved impoverished youth. These youth are typically high school dropouts who need to gain a skill to be able to pursue sustainable employment or jobs. They recognized that the ability to bring their courses online would scale their impact and reach a wider audience. Prior to bringing their courses online, students would have to travel far to get to a workshop, and the time and cost was often prohibitive.
Working with CauseLabs they built a site using WordPress, Beaver Builder, Participants Database and LifterLMS to deliver an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). An MVP allows a team get off the ground with the least resistance and allows you to validate your idea as a business or nonprofit. You can check out their online training portal here.
Online trade courses were created and implemented using LifterLMS in career fields such as plumbing, welding, tiling, flooring, painting, scaffolding and more.
These entry level courses were offered free online and included PDF, images checklists, and text content. Courses may be video based in the future, however, they started with what they had so that they were not held back by a lack of content creation. themselves and change the course materials over time.
Because the courses are built with LifterLMS and the LifterLMS course builder, the client is easily able to create additional courses
Using Marketable Job and Trade Skills to Get Out of Poverty
“Before I joined Toolkit, I used to sell Swahili shoes in town. Now I am a scaffolder, and I go up to 16 meters high. I would like to thank Toolkit and all their staff. They have brought me from far. I am now aiming to become the best woman scaffolder in Kenya.“
Many youth in Kenya have a limited formal education, which often prevents them from a financially secure future. Approximately 1000 students have signed up for the participant database since the launch of Toolkit iSkills in the summer of 2019 including many impoverished women.
Through learning these trade skills, these students have been given the ability and opportunity to do things they previously thought were not possible. This has the effect of changing the path of their future and hopefully future generations to come.
Recently ToolKit iSkills has partnered with Habitat for Humanity. Not only has the site become a place where artisans and students can take courses, but it has also become a place people come to asking if artisans are available for work.
We have published a podcast episode with Sheryle Gillihan on LMScast. You can learn a lot more in detail about creating LMS and Positive Impact as A Digital Agency from this podcast-