Ohio AG's Office Launches Philanthropic Training Program
The course affords a three-year accreditation
Charities enhance Ohioans’ quality of life, and the attorney general’s office supports board members of nonprofits in their commitment to ensure that their organizations are run properly. To help with that effort, the attorney general's office will launch a new resource for nonprofit leaders – Charitable University (CharitableU) – in January 2023.
Charitable University is an online learning platform designed to help charity board members understand both their legal obligations and best practices for running their organizations. Users who register in the CharitableU system will find a series of short webinars and other resources that are vital to effective leadership. Trainings on the platform cover four “pillars”: board governance, financial operations and internal controls, filings and recordkeeping, and fundraising.
“The mission statement of my office is ‘Do Big Good’,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “It is obvious to me that board members of the thousands of charities throughout our state are also believers in that concept. We hope this tool will make it easier for those leaders to do their jobs well.”
CharitableU users will receive a certificate for completing the training. Because laws and best practices continue to evolve, certificates expire after three years. Training materials and resources will be updated routinely. Those who complete Charitable University will be listed on the Attorney General’s website, a public acknowledgment of their commitment to learning how to be good stewards of their organizations.
Starting in 2023, completion of CharitableU will become a requirement for nonprofits to apply for grant funding available from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
“Being a cheerleader for a charity isn’t enough when you serve on the board,” Yost added. “We are trying to help good people do good things the right way and prevent valuable charitable dollars from going to waste through ignorance, negligence or fraud.”
The curriculum, designed to help both small and large organizations, was piloted in November 2022 during live trainings to 150 charity leaders in Knox and Defiance counties. Most participants will take the program through our online platform, but arrangements can be made for live trainings by contacting CharitableLaw@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
“I would love all charities to take a pledge to be fraud-free in 2023,” Yost said. “Following the best practices outlined in Charitable University is a good first step in honoring that pledge and ensuring that all resources are used exclusively for critical charitable programs.”
Additional webinars will be added to each CharitableU curriculum pillar throughout 2023.