Instructional Designer

Philanthropy U - Oakland, California - Full time

Are you a gifted educator who loves transforming complex jargon into accessible learning experiences? Are you excited about using online technology to drive social impact around the world?

Philanthropy U is a startup nonprofit that applies scalable technology to educate the world’s social impact players. Our online platform gives local nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations free access to courses, communities, and funding so they act with measurably more efficiency on the front lines. By supporting these organizations, we support the tens of millions of beneficiaries they support worldwide.

Attracting nearly 100,000 learners in the last year, we seek to grow our team as we continue to grow our initiative. 

As an instructional designer at Philanthropy University, you will help to create impactful learning experiences for this important audience. This is a full-time, salaried role based in Oakland, California.

Role Overview

Philanthropy University is looking for an exceptional instructional designer to create innovative and impactful online courses for nonprofit leaders. As an instructional designer, you will work across all stages of course design and production. This role requires independence, scrappiness, and creativity: you will not be asked to merely translate a professor’s course into a new format. Instead, you will need to uncover your own sources of expertise and use these to build brand-new curricula.Your success will hinge on your ability to independently research complex information from a variety of sources and to synthesize that information into accessible, creative, and impactful content. This will involve developing an intimate understanding of our target user and the conditions in which they learn; researching content areas using available research, literature, and interviews with subject matter experts; synthesizing information from diverse sources to develop new curricula; managing media production; and creating interactive, fully digital content.


Design Course Content:

  • Identify target users’ needs and drive course design toward innovative, compelling, and practical online learning experiences for these users
  • Project-manage the course development process, timeline, and communications
  • Define learner-centered objectives
  • Conduct research, identify high-quality content, and synthesize complex subject matter
  • Write course content (including readings, graphics, exercises, social learning experiences, and assessments) that maps to identified learning objectives
  • Apply pedagogical best practices and Philanthropy University’s strategy for instructional design
  • Develop course assessments to ensure that our courses adequately measure learning outcomes using applied, engaging models

Manage Course Media Production and Post-Production:

  • Manage the production of various media types, including graphics, videos, and audio with the production team and the subject matter experts



  • 2+ years instructional design experience
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in education or related field
  • Exceptional writing, editing, and visual design skills
  • The ability to synthesize and write ideas quickly and skillfully
  • Experience transforming content into an online learning experience
  • An intense curiosity about the world and a passion to make it a better place
  • Exceptional project management skills with various stakeholders across multiple work-streams
  • Ability to work and contribute independently
  • Exceptional communication and negotiation skills
  • A great sense of humor and a genuine love of learning
  • Authorization to work in the U.S.


  • Master’s Degree in education technology or learning design
  • Experience with international development or designing curriculum for diverse audiences
  • Experience using EdX Studio
  • Proficiency with HTML/CSS
  • Experience designing blended learning experiences
  • Experience teaching

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Curriculum Design

Experience Level

Mid Level

Philanthropy U

Philanthropy U operates an online platform gives local nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations free access to courses, communities, and funding so they act with measurably more efficiency on the front lines.

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