Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Online Political Activity Training for Nonprofits

The Learn Foundation has several "short courses" regarding nonprofits and political activity available online for free.  Not quite sure when these courses were first posted but I found them while perusing through the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  The courses, taught by an avatar named Mya along with downloadable written materials prepared by "legal staff," include (1) Advocacy and Lobbying Rules For Private Foundations, (2) Electioneering Rules for Private Foundations and Public Charities, (3) Expenditure Responsibility Rules for Private Foundations and (4) Anti-bribery/Anti-corruption Rules for Private Foundations.  I have not "taken" the courses yet but they seem designed for regular folk who might find themselves serving as board members.  Here is some history behing the courses:

In 2010, legal staff at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (collectively the "Foundations") joined together to develop a comprehensive training program on legal issues in grantmaking. The goal of this collaboration is to create online, web-based trainings to supplement existing in-person training programs. The Foundations identified a shared need for this type of instructional resource, and a common desire to collaboratively develop a training system that speaks to a variety of learning styles and organizational training needs.

As a result, the Foundations developed Learn Foundation Law, a free first-of-its-kind resource for private foundations (and others who are interested), to host e-trainings and tools related to the basic legal rules for private foundations. Most e-learnings developed by the Foundations take less than one hour to complete and feature a program officer named Maya who leads participants through each course. Participants can return to any training at any time for a refresher and click on individual modules to refer back to specific topics. In addition, other e-learnings developed by any one of the Foundations may also be hosted on this site.

The Foundations hope you find value in this site, as it is intended to be an ongoing project to benefit the field and support the outcomes we seek in the charitable communities served.


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