E-Learning: Philanthropy Fundamentals

Course Overview

Philanthropy Fundamentals is an on-demand, online course for staff in the philanthropic sector.

Developed in collaboration with content experts, this unique offering was created by and for the philanthropic sector. Immerse yourself in five short chapters of on-demand, interactive videos to boost your knowledge and expertise.

Who: Philanthropy Fundamentals is designed for both programmatic and operational staff at foundations who are new to philanthropy as well as more experienced staff who want to deepen their knowledge of the sector.

What: Philanthropy Fundamentals includes a series of short videos divided into 5 chapters of 20-30 minutes each that overview the history, governance, approaches, big conversations, and impact of philanthropy.

When: Philanthropy Fundamentals can be accessed on-demand anytime and can be completed at your own pace.

In This Course

  • Chapter 1: Speaking the Same Language [Start → ]
    Explore a broad overview of the philanthropic sector. What motivates philanthropies to give? What are the different types of grantmakers? What is the role of the nonprofit sector as a service provider, and its relationship with both the private and public sectors?
  • Chapter 2: Foundation Governance and Legal Issues [Start → ]
    Take a dive into 501(c)3s. Identify to whom philanthropy is accountable, understand foundation board responsibilities, and review key legal and ethical issues in grantmaking through scenarios and guiding principles.
  • Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Grantmaking [Start → ]
    What is the business of your organization? Explore the core cycle of how foundations make grants, as well as how foundations give, ways to manage relationships with grantees, and where implicit bias plays a role in grantmaking.
  • Chapter 4: Big Conversations in Philanthropy [Start → ]
    Explore some big conversations in philanthropy during our century – impact investing, perpetuity vs. spend down, and general operating vs. restricted grants.
  • Chapter 5: So You're Working for a Foundation… Power and Your New Community [Start → ]
    Get grounded in the role you play within your new organization and within your professional and personal networks.


Begin The Course

Employees working at the following organizations already have free access:

  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Ford Foundation
  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • The Simons Foundation
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

If you work at one of these organizations, you can start or continue Philanthropy Fundamentals immediately. Log in with your work email. Use the “Forgot Password” option if you need to reset your credentials.

Request Course Access

If your organization does not currently subscribe to Philanthropy Fundamentals, contact us, and someone from our team will be in touch soon.