Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Philanthropy University website – and thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy the experience.

Below are some frequently asked questions with their corresponding answers.

If you are looking for specifics related to privacy or terms of use, please visit the following pages:

We hope these prove to be helpful!


Why is Philanthropy University now focused on organizations based in the Global South?

Since June 30, 2017, Philanthropy University has shifted its strategic focus to better address the needs of local civil society organizations in the Global South. During this time all Philanthropy University courses were paused while we developed a new platform and new set of courses and communities to better serve this audience. The Sustainable Development Goals are our blueprint for a better world. While achieving the Global Goals is a responsibility shared by many stakeholders, we know they will not be reached without the vital work of local civil society organizations, especially in the Global South. These organizations respond to the needs of their communities with compassion, commitment and expertise every single day. What they need from us, whether they are long-established or newly-emerging, is greater access to the knowledge, resources and support that will enable them to do more; to extend their reach, deepen their impact and strengthen local leadership where it matters most.

Who is Philanthropy University for?

Philanthropy University is for:

  • nonprofit leaders seeking development opportunities that will deepen their knowledge and skills, and will unlock greater impact in their organizations.
  • social purpose organizations and academic institutions seeking to support locally-led development in new and innovative ways.
  • funders seeking to strengthen the capacity of local organizations everywhere and improve the lives of millions of people.

Why are you called Philanthropy University?

Our name comes from the Greek word Philanthropos meaning love of humanity.

Will courses only be available for organizations based in the Global South?

No, anyone is able to sign up for a University course, regardless of their location. While courses are designed to meet the specific needs of a Global South audience, we expect them to be valuable to all learners that enroll.

How are you localizing course content for the Global South?

The University has been designed for low and intermittent bandwidth. To ensure non-native English speakers can use the University, we have designed courses using plain and simple language that avoids jargon and overly academic terminology.

Is your content offered in local languages?

We are committed to bringing the University to local practitioners across the Global South — including those that do not speak English.  All courses are accompanied by a scrolling transcript to help non-native English speakers follow along with ease. Course content contains relevant examples for Global South contexts as well as appropriate case studies of Southern local organizations. We are also exploring offerings in local languages, and will share more on this in due course.

Can I enroll in more than one course at a time?

Yes, you are able to sign up to as many courses as you like.

Will you run courses focused on programmatic work?

No. We recognize that local organizations have the unique expertise and local leadership to design the best solutions for the their communities and in turn the world’s toughest challenges. That is why we focus our efforts on strengthening organizational capacity so that local organizations can better respond to these challenges in the most appropriate way.  

Are courses accredited?

For most courses, learners will receive a certificate of completion through a partnership with The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. However, the University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting nonprofit initiative sponsored by Philanthropy U, Inc. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.