Program Schedule & Curriculum

Program Schedule & Curriculum

Interactive, Engaging, Online Curriculum

High Impact Philanthropy Academy curriculum is rooted in CHIP’s 13+ years of helping individual donors and professional grantmakers worldwide achieve greater social impact. Classroom cases and discussion incorporate CHIP’s latest guidance on crisis grantmaking, needs generated by COVID-19, addressing inequity, and accessing talent and networks to fulfill social impact goals.

CHIP’s course delivery is based on best practices in online education from the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first four universities to pioneer Coursera. We also leverage capabilities at our home in Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, which has long offered online programs for graduate students at the masters and the doctorate level, as well as continuing education in social impact strategy and leadership.

We keep each cohort small to maintain engagement between and among participants and instructors in a virtual setting. The program delivery and content combine synchronous, interactive, independent, and small-group structures to provide the high-quality educational experience and facilitate the peer-to- peer connections that are the hallmarks of the program.

Program Schedule

On a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is best, our cohort rated “the online delivery method was an effective way for me to learn the material” as a 4.3.

Fall 2022 Program, October 10 – October 21

Week 1

Day 1: Monday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 2: Tuesday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 3: Wednesday,  11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 4: Thursday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 5: Friday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET

Week 2

Day 6: Monday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 7: Tuesday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 8: Wednesday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET
Day 9: Thursday, 11 AM- 2 PM ET
Day 10: Friday, 11 AM – 2 PM ET

Curriculum Details

Our field is expanding with new affinity groups, advocacy groups, peer and external assessment organizations, regional and international associations, and older organizations rebranded for changing times. This session will unpack this increasingly crowded space to help you identify like-minded funders and the latest best practices around your own funding interests. This unit includes a session on the history of philanthropy prior to the 21st century to help you understand how practices, institutions, and laws developed as we are challenged to navigate and improve them to achieve more good.

Who doesn’t want to generate ‘high impact’? But what does ‘high impact’ really mean? How can you, as a grantmaker or funder, incorporate the tenets of high impact philanthropy into your own philanthropy? This session builds on the Center’s 10 years of applied research and work with individual, foundation, and corporate funders seeking to achieve greater social impact from their giving. We’ll dispel common myths about social impact, provide the Center’s working definition of high impact philanthropy, and explore how innovation and advocacy can fit into a high impact philanthropic portfolio. Then, through a series of cases and paired/small group exercises, participants will explore the core aspects of high impact philanthropy, applying these principles to their own grantmaking.

Doing the right thing when you have power and money is harder than it seems. This session will help you to anticipate the ethical pitfalls that emerge in grantmaking and consider how following best practices and applying the “conscious use of self” can help you avoid them. This session will dive into case studies that explore conflict of interest, compensation, board composition, funder behavior, the implications behind the power of grantmakers, equitability and social justice.

The American legal system sets significantly different rules for nonprofit organizations and private foundations. What are your grantees’ responsibilities, and what are yours? For private foundations, the penalties for violating the law can jeopardize the existence of your foundation and put board members at risk. Moreover, laws regarding NGO registration and accountability in other countries vary widely. Expenditure responsibility applies for domestic and international grantmaking but the 501(c) 3 designation can streamline the process, What does this mean for your philanthropy?

Program evaluation is a powerful tool for gaining insight into needs, improving programs, and demonstrating impact. But, in order to reap these benefits, you need to know what you want and how to get it from evaluation. What is the difference between monitoring and evaluation? Is establishing metrics the only way to get actionable data? When is the right time to start evaluating? This session of the course will equip you with a clear framework for making good decisions about how to use evaluation to support your philanthropic goals.

Good governance, to say nothing of US law, requires that every foundation have a board approved investment policy. To achieve maximum impact with those dollars, that policy should reflect the desired values and goals of what the foundation hopes to achieve with its grants. This session of the course will present how investment policies to achieve perpetuity have traditionally been set. It will also demonstrate how to establish an investment policy for spend-out, and how you can use various values screens and vehicles to more closely align the full scope of foundation assets. While this session will use a private foundation model as the basis of the discussion, the same principles apply for individuals, trusts, and many donor advised fund strategies as well.

Because of the personal nature of much of philanthropy, there is particular value in proactively establishing policies regarding spending, compensation, conflict of interest, succession, board composition, decision-making, and more as early as possible. This course module will review policies that are recommended for good governance, as well as those that are legally mandated, and recommend processes for establishing them as painlessly and productively as possible.

Every funder needs a strategy for their grantmaking activities. This session will start with a discussion of the considerations that go into establishing a foundation’s culture, mission, and focus. Then cover the classic grantmaking approaches and analysis and delve into alternative models of funding, including start-ups and innovation, multi-sector grants, advocacy and more. Also included are sessions on funder decision making and exit strategies to help funders establish constructive guidelines for ending grants responsibly under a variety of circumstances.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion can be both intended social impact goals of your philanthropy, as well as instruments for achieving those goals. This section looks at practices for including talent and voices from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to ensure that their interests are served when setting priorities, developing solutions, and determining where resources will go.

Each course participant will be invited to present or propose a case challenge from their own work for class review and discussion. These can be presented anonymously if desired. These conversations will provide an opportunity for very personalized take-aways from the week’s curriculum.

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