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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Philanthropy University Launches New Tech-Enabled Capacity-Building Platform For Global South Nonprofits

Philanthropy University aims to strengthen the impact of 5,000 local organizations in the Global South by providing free online courses, online communities and scalable, sustainable support.

Press Release – (Oakland, CA) — March 13, 2018 — Philanthropy University announced today the launch of its new tech-enabled capacity-building platform with free online courses and vibrant online communities. The innovative learning platform is optimized for leaders in the Global South and available to everyone. With a mission to transform the capacity of 5,000 local organizations and improve the lives of 100 million people by 2020, Philanthropy University provides local leaders with the knowledge, resources and support they need to deliver sustainable development for all.

“Impactful international development depends on the vital work of local organizations,” said Connor Diemand-Yauman, CEO, Philanthropy University. “To strengthen the resilience of these local organizations, we reimagined capacity building for the digital age and created a new learning platform that is scalable and easily accessible worldwide.”

Philanthropy University partnered with leading academics and development professionals to create seven courses focused on strategy, fundraising, human capital, user centered design and M&E (monitoring and evaluation). The learning platform blends expert instruction and engaging content on an easy-to-use digital interface. Coursework is complemented by vibrant communities of practice where learners and practitioners can connect with peers with similar backgrounds, professional interests and missions to share and document their best practices for common challenges.

Learners can select from the following courses, with more courses to come over the year:

  • Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy: Learners will develop a plan to achieve organizational goals and make strides towards meaningful impact. (Instructor: Paul Brest, Stanford Law School, Former President of Hewlett Foundation)
  • Introduction to Fundraising: Learners will assess if their organization is ready to fundraise and will build foundational skills to leverage the people and resources in their communities effectively for their organization. (Instructor: Dr. Thomas Wolf, Principal at WolfBrown; Former Founding Director, New England Foundation for the Arts)
  • Fundraising: Connecting with Donors: Learners will hear the secrets of connecting with donors and develop strategies to expand their donor network. (Instructor: Dr. Thomas Wolf)
  • Fundraising Strategies: Learners will develop key fundraising skills including writing successful grant proposals, planning a small-scale fundraising event and launching crowdfunding campaigns. (Instructor: Dr. Thomas Wolf)
  • Human Capital Strategy: Learners will develop a human capital strategy that builds a values-based culture to attract, develop and retain employees for their own organization. (In collaboration with: +Acumen)
  • Girl Centered Design: Learners will apply the principles of user centered design to practice designing solutions to meet the needs of girls in their community. (In collaboration with: GirlSPARKS)
  • Planning for M&E: Learners will plan for data collection, management, analysis and use. As they complete the course assignments, they will create an M&E plan for their own project. (In collaboration with: FHI 360)

The University first launched in 2015 and attracted over 220,000 learners in 180 countries with more than half based in the Global South.

The free online University aims to accelerate, sustain and inspire local impact. Through train-the-trainer programs, joint degree programs and physical learning hubs, learners receive scalable and sustainable support for their long-term growth. Philanthropy University also facilitate events, research and forums to bring together local development, government and global businesses, in both virtual and in-person opportunities, to spark ideas and collaboration.

About Philanthropy University:

Philanthropy University is the new tech-enabled platform that transforms the impact of local organizations working to deliver sustainable development for all. Focused on the Global South and open to all, Philanthropy University provides the knowledge, resources and support local organizations need to enable meaningful, measurable and lasting change. Philanthropy University aims to strengthen the capacity of 5,000 organizations working to improve the lives of 100 million people worldwide by 2020.

Learn more at

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