Using The Courses

Using Learn Foundation Law at your organization

There are many different ways you can use Learn Foundation Law at your organization to provide basic legal training as a complement to periodic legal workshops, in-person sessions and other components of your legal training program.

Mandatory Trainings

Some foundations make Learn Foundation Law courses mandatory for program staff, or even all staff. This ensures everyone has a basic understanding of the legal concepts covered in the courses and allows the foundation’s legal team to provide additional information and answer more complicated questions as needed. Each coursehas a Certificate of Completion under the resources section that allows staff to enter their information, print and sign so participation can be tracked.

Optional Trainings

Rather than make courses mandatory, some foundations choose to make Learn Foundation Law courses optional, pointing staff to them as a resource. This can be helpful for staff who are new to the space or staff who are venturing into new territories in their grantmaking.

Spot Trainings

Because Learn Foundation Law courses are flexible—allowing you to start/stop when needed and jump to specific topics within a broader course—they are a good resource for spot trainings. For example, you can point staff to specific topics within a Learn Foundation Law training to give them an overview of the legal concepts and some helpful resources for them to learn more. This can help provide a knowledge platform for staff that either answers basic questions or allows them to ask more specific questions about the topic.

Grantee Trainings

Occasionally, there are topics that would benefit having grantees trained on as well. For example, some foundations have pointed grantees and their consultants to Learn Foundation Law training to learn more about what a foundation cannot fund when advocacy and lobbying are involved. This is a great way to help educate partners regarding the rules that apply to funding.


When Learn Foundation Law was launched, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation engaged in a competition among their staff to see which foundation could out train the other! Certificates of Completion were tallied and the winning foundation bought the other foundation’s staff lunch. It was a great way to get staff engaged and bring everyone up to speed on some important legal concepts. Think about how you can drive engagement with similar activities.
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