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PhilanthropyU Social Startup Success

Course Schedule

Course Details

  1. Length

  2. Effort

    1-2 hours per week
  3. Certificate

  4. Language


INSTRUCTORKathleen Kelly Janus

Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author, and lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship. An expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early-stage organizations, her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Tech Crunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her book—Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference—is a playbook for nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social innovators. A native of Napa, California, Kathleen received a J.D. and a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and lives in San Francisco with her husband and three young children.

About this Course

Have you ever wondered why some nonprofits are wildly successful while others fail to grow at all? How do these successful nonprofits launch their organizations, amass large annual revenues, and continue impacting the lives of thousands?

Social Startup Success explores these very questions. Created in partnership with Kathleen Kelly Janus, an expert on growing early-stage organizations and the author of Social Startup Success, in this course, we’ll share the wisdom she gleaned from the 100+ interviews with nonprofits operating around the world.

More specifically, in this crash course, we’ll cover the five most important skills you’ll need to successfully gather funding, grow, and boost your impact. These five skills include how to:

  • Quickly Test Your Ideas
  • Measure Your Impact
  • Raise Funds for your Organization
  • Lead Effectively
  • Tell Your Organization’s Story Effectively

With each module, you’ll hear the stories of organizations like your own that have applied these skills to their actual work. By using the insights from these stories to complete assignments at the end of each lesson, you’ll see how these five skills can apply to your specific organization. By the end of this course, you’ll have mastered the skills you need to become a truly successful social startup.

Course Topics:

  • Module 1: How to Quickly Test Your Ideas
    Integrate innovation practices into your day-to-day work to improve your programs as you grow
  • Module 2: How to Measure Your Impact
    Ensure that you are measuring your impact effectively and making the most of your data
  • Module 3: How to Raise Funds for your Organization
    Engage in fundraising experimentation to maximize your revenue potential through both earned and philanthropic revenue streams
  • Module 4: How to Lead Effectively
    Tap into the talents of your entire team through a collective leadership strategy
  • Module 5: How to Tell Your Organization’s Story Effectively
    Tell your story more effectively, turning your staff and board into brand ambassadors for your cause

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is for startup nonprofits between zero and $3 million in revenue who are looking to take their organizations to the next level. Established organizations that are looking to take new, cutting-edge approaches to their work are also encouraged to take the course.


The University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting initiative. Philanthropy U, Inc. is the concept developer and sponsor of the initiative. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.

Learners are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement for this course. To earn a Certificate of Achievement for this course, you need to earn more than 50% of possible points on quizzes and assignments to obtain a passing grade. Quizzes are worth 15% of your total score, while assignments are worth 85%.

© 2020 Philanthropy U, Inc.