Stanford EPLI Online Learning Modules

Year: 2020-2022


During my time at Stanford EPLI we decided that it was time to update the way our two print publications The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy, and The Stanford PACS Philanthropy Toolkit were living online.

The Problem

At the time of this projects conception both publications were living as very static online learning modules on our WP site. We knew that to get more engagement with our content we needed to make it fun, and interactive.


  • Combine the content from both the Guide, and the Toolkit into more condensed, and straightforward online learning experience
  • Create an online learning experience that is both interactive, and informative
  • Create videos, quizzes, forms, and other interactive content to engage our users

Understanding the Current problems

Content Rich

  • Our current online display of The Philanthropy Toolkit and The Guide is too content rich, and is a lot to consume in one sitting


  • The Toolkit isn't interactive except for the fillable PDFs you can download

Too Laborious

  • Finding the specific content they are looking for is too difficult.

The Solution

The solution was to find an online learning management system that could support the interactivity we were hoping to have, as well as, other features like: course tracking, downloadable summaries, video, interactive quizzes etc.

Asking the Right Questions & Setting Goals

As a team we understood the undertaking that was about to occur given we planned to do 90% of the project in house. For our small team of five delegating tasks, and setting deadlines was a first priority. It was also clear we needed to ask the right questions to make sure this project could succeed:

  • Who is using it and how?
  • What resources do we have available to accomplish this project?
  • What limitations do we have?
  • What's the best product, or system that can help us accomplish our desired outcome?

Competitive Analysis

We reviewed what our competitors were offering in the realm of online learning for donors and advisors to better understand what else we could bring to the table. We also extensively reviewed competitive platforms, and services that offered Online Learning Management systems that provided enough interactivity, and autonomy for us to create our desired courses.

Content Revisions

We decided to go with Learndash as their services provided a majority of the capabilities we were seeking in terms of course progression, video content, quizzes, forms, unique user profiles, and user feedback. Due to our small team, and limited time frame we instantly jumped in by building, and learned by trial and error. Once I had created an MVP of our online course we went through extensive feedback sessions revising and iterating on the content.

User Testing

After finalizing the content we were able to put our product in front of members of our team and faculty, as well as, a few trusted advisors. From here we have flagged pain points, continuity issues, platform shortcomings, and more.

User Testing Conclusions

At this point in the project we have a completed Prototype, and are on our third round of user testing. We hope to get our Online courses in front of a group of close colleagues and trusted advisors to do a small launch, and feedback session of the product we have developed so far. When accessing this material please review it for internal purposes only.

Online Learning Modules