Philanthropy U, in partnership with the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, commits to provide meaningful capacity building support to hundreds of thousands of distance learners working in the social sector with a target of 200,000 course completions by 2020. This commitment, which will be run through the Philanthropy University education initiative, offers a world-class curriculum taught by professors from leading academic institutions as well as successful global practitioners, and will serve as an innovative learning platform to foster collaborative learning and a vibrant community and network.
In recent years, the world has witnessed the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and many speculate this trend could effectively revolutionize higher education worldwide. MOOCs have the potential to democratize access to course content in an unprecedented way, by opening courses to anyone, anywhere for free. While enrollment in MOOCs is very high, completion rates remain as low as 2% (NovoEd). It is this trend that the Philanthropy University 200 x 2020 commitment will address by supporting learners from enrollment to completion, and by measuring skill acquisition and application through a robust monitoring framework the partners will develop.
Course completions will be enhanced by offering learners skills and knowledge transfer through a rigorous curriculum coupled with important tools that contribute to personal and organizational effectiveness. These dynamic five to eight week online courses are designed to give changemakers committed to making a difference a free, flexible approach to learning, and will vastly expand the set of skill development offerings available to NGO leaders. Philanthropy University will utilize a collaborative learning platform that allows for regular discussions among learners and complements the emphasis on team-based assignments, which include drafting proposals for dream ventures as well as open submission formats.
Perhaps one of the most interesting offerings that will enhance course completion is the opportunity for learners to grow their network of peers and mentors through access to a vibrant community of learners both in and out of the course environment, ultimately increasing collaboration and efficiency.
Compelling incentives on a single course level as well as a program level cannot be undermined in this effort. Learners who complete a single course will gain a statement of accomplishment while learners who complete a suite of Philanthropy University courses will receive a certificate of completion from Berkeley-Haas in social sector leadership. Opportunities to personally connect with instructors to delve deeper into subject areas, in addition to other incentives for exceptional performers, will also contribute to higher completion rates.
Ultimately, meaningful capacity building demonstrated by higher completion rates positively affects the reach of NGOs for greater impact in the communities they serve.
Starting in 2015, Philanthropy University will offer six new and free massive open online courses (MOOCs) on an annual basis through 2020. These courses are vetted by a Curriculum Committee whose current members are from some of the worlds most renowned academic and social sector institutions including UC Berkeley, Georgetown University, Stanford University, and the Ford Foundation, among others. This group uses their professional expertise to provide strategic guidance on curriculum and coursework.
The commitment will follow the annual implementation schedule below:
September - December: Introduce six new 5-8 week courses per year, rendering a total of 36 courses upon the commitments completion; Approximately 50 surveys per quarter will be collected from learners for quality control and continuous course improvement.
December - March: Conduct interviews and assessment research to inform the subsequent batch of courses and allow the Philanthropy University team to incorporate lessons learned. 25 of these interviews will include a customer discovery component with targeted prospective individuals and institutional stakeholders to ensure courses are relevant and useful to the target audience; Develop list of new courses and modify courses as needed based on surveys and interviews.
March - June: Identify prospective instructors and work with them to design the subsequent set of courses after confirming with the Curriculum Committee that the courses meet the rigor and quality standards.
June - September: Create courses in terms of production and refinement including filming and editing. An Open Innovation Infrastructure will be launched to allow online learners the opportunity to share experiences and advice, find mentors, and collaborate on programs.
Across the globe, millions of people struggle to live healthy and secure lives. While a vast array of non-profit organizations, NGOs, foundations, and charitable institutions do their utmost to serve those in need with limited capacity, funding, and tools, it can be challenging for changemakers in the social sector to have the impact they hope to achieve in the world. Non-profit organizations are almost always challenged with offering their employees meaningful professional development opportunities that provide access to skills and tools that help them increase their organizations capacity. These capacity gaps lessen social impact, despite the best efforts of NGOs.
To address this challenge, in 2015, the Al-Dabbagh Group through its strategic philanthropic entity in the US, Philanthropy U, joined hands with the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley to launch Philanthropy University, a free online non-degree granting education initiative targeted at NGOs worldwide.
This free online education initiative will grow the skills, networks, and impact of NGO workers across all areas of endeavors, with a focus on those addressing the worlds most acute problems. Courses cover key areas crucial to the nonprofit community including essentials of nonprofit strategy, scaling for impact, fundraising and connecting with donors, leadership, organizational capacity assessment, and global social entrepreneurship.
Philanthropy U are looking for Financial and Product Development partners to help build out the collaborative platform. The v1 taught them many lessons and t have additional features to build!
Through Philanthropy Universitys program, organizations gain access to impactful capacity building courses tailored by some of the best minds in the world on social impact. Learners, and subsequently organizations that employ them, will improve skills and bring tools that can help increase capacity and effectiveness of NGOs. Courses also offer change makers opportunities to grow their network of peers and mentors, ultimately increasing collaboration and efficiency.
Philanthropy Universitys team will also work with partners to co-create courses and/or adapt existing material into an online friendly MOOC complete with theory, tools and applicable assignments.