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Course Details

  1. Effort

    2-3 hours per week
  2. Certificate

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Ruth Levine is the Program Director of Global Development and Population at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Ruth is an internationally recognized for her work advocating to get policy research in the hands of the people who can use it in government. Ruth is the author of scores of books, and she holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Cornell University and a doctorate degree in economic demography from Johns Hopkins University.

About This Course

Advocacy is one of the most powerful ways that non-profit organizations can create large-scale social change. When advocacy is successful, an organization can achieve far greater impact than through direct service delivery. However, advocacy is an unpredictable adventure, requiring clear thinking, skill, and luck.

Advocacy work can be large scale, advocating for governments to change policies, or smaller scale, advocating for community members to change behaviors. In this course, you will learn successful advocacy tactics and strategies from two of the leading experts on the subject. Ruth Levine of the Hewlett Foundation and Rakesh Rajani of the Ford Foundation will share real-world examples, interviews with extraordinary advocates, and lessons learned from decades of advocacy experience.

Course Topics

  • Module 1: If advocacy is the answer, what is the question?
    Connect your advocacy work to the problem you are solving.
  • Module 2: Motivating and persuading
    Identify the right advocacy strategy for your organization.
  • Module 3: Good strategy requires great tactics
    Select appropriate advocacy tactics.
  • Module 4: The case of the unaffordable drugs and the case of the invisible worker
    Hear from advocates working in the field and develop a partnerships plan
  • Module 5: Learning as you go
    Evaluate the effectiveness of your advocacy efforts.
  • Module 6: The potential risks of advocacy
    Understand and prepare for the risks of advocacy.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is an introduction to advocacy work. Any organization doing advocacy work—large or small—will find this course useful. No previous learning or experience is required.

You will need a device that allows you to listen to audio, access course materials, and upload your assignments.


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 through the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley Haas). Berkeley Haas is known for its role in defining a new generation of business leaders with a focus on social impact. Ranked #2 among all business school nonprofit programs in the United States (US News & World Report, 2017), Berkeley Haas inspires and empowers innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges through the work of the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI) and the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL).

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%.


© 2018 Philanthropy U, Inc. All use, reproduction and distribution of content in this course is subject to a CC-BY-NC license.