The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » News » MBA News » Haas School Partners with Philanthropy University to Offer Free “Mini MBA” for Social Impact Leaders

Haas School Partners with Philanthropy University to Offer Free “Mini MBA” for Social Impact Leaders

Image for Haas School Partners with Philanthropy University to Offer Free “Mini MBA” for Social Impact Leaders

The Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, in partnership with UK-based charity Stars Foundation, has launched an innovative new online education platform that will provide free courses in leadership and management to hundreds of thousands of people and organizations working toward social good, the school announced earlier this month.

Coined Philanthropy University, the first-of-its-kind learning platform will feature a range of dynamic online classes taught by renowned professors and social impact practitioners from around the world. It is the brainchild of Amr Al-Dabbagh, a Saudi businessman and founding chairman of the Stars Foundation, which since 2001 has been investing in organizations working to address the issues faced by disadvantaged children and their communities.

“Imagine a workforce of social change professionals who are primed, positioned and skilled to impact the lives of millions of people and effectively change the world with their work. This is the vision of Philanthropy University,” Al-Dabbagh said in a statement. Al-Dabbagh is also the founder of Philanthropy U, a U.S.-based nonprofit that is sponsoring Philanthropy University.

“This is his vision, his idea, and it reflects his desire—his understanding of how you can pull certain levers to enact really meaningful change in the world,” says Ben Mangan, executive director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership and lecturer at Haas. The partnership with Haas came about somewhat serendipitously thanks to work Al-Dabbagh and Laura Tyson, director of the Haas Institute for Business & Social Impact, did together at the London Business School. “Laura learned about Philanthropy U and immediately saw possibilities in how well aligned the idea was with the defining principles of Haas,” Mangan says.

Philanthropy UniversityAs part of its first phase, Philanthropy University will feature seven courses on topics ranging from fundraising and strategic planning to scaling for impact. Instructors include Jessica Jackley, social entrepreneur and co-founder of; Paul Brest, dean emeritus of Stanford Law School, and Erik Simanis, who heads Cornell University’s Emerging and Frontier Markets Initiative. Already, more than 11,000 participants have registered to take part in the initial three courses, which begin on September 29th.

Philanthropy University’s courses are non-degree, diploma or credit granting, but participants who complete any course will receive a Statement of Accomplishment, and those who complete all seven courses will be awarded a Certificate of Completion in Social Sector Leadership from Haas.