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Philanthropy University

Social Startup Success

Philanthropy University via Independent


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

Our free course on Social Startup Success explores how to make your startup successful, as well as many other important questions surrounding measuring impact and raising funds. Created in partnership with Kathleen Kelly Janus, an expert on growing early-stage organizations and the author of the book Social Startup Success, this course shares the wisdom she gleaned from the 100+ interviews with nonprofits operating around the world.

More specifically, in this free business startup course, we’ll cover the five most important skills you’ll need to successfully gather funding, grow your nonprofit, 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 accompanying stories of social impact organizations like your own that have applied these startup skills to their actual work. By using the insights from their 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 free business startup course, you’ll have mastered the tools you need to become a truly successful social startup.


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 social 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 nonprofit 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


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