203 Student Resources Project Launch for Nonprofit Organizations

This OL 203 Student Resource Page has three sections that can easily be reached by clicking on the red links just below.

Read the Class Homepage First.

Download Documents.1. This is where you can download Word, Excel and PDF documents that can save as course resources for future projects and use as templates for the assignments.
2. The Course Website. Webpage versions of the discussions and assignments for each week.
3. Read this first: The Class Home Page. This gives you an overview of the course and also sets up the course logistics.

Links on this OL 203 Student Resource Page:

Download Documents Discussions & Assignments Class Home Page

Welcome to OL 203 Project Launch for Nonprofit Organizations Class Home Page

The Course

Welcome to the Center for Sustainable Development’s online learning course OL 203. In this course you will continue building a project around community need. It is the prerequisite for a third course: OL 203, which will transform your concept into a packaged project ready to fund and launch.


The class week begins on Tuesdays. Assignments need to be sent to me by the Monday of the week’s end. This allows students without Internet at home to access Internet at work on Mondays in order to send their assignment in.

You have signed up for a specific course within specific dates. If you are not able to complete the course within these dates, the Center allows you to take the course again for 50% of the normal course fee if you enroll in the very next scheduled course and use the very same project. Unfortunately, we can’t make exceptions.

The menu at the top a section for downloading the weeks’ documents:
1. This Class Home Page
2. A page for downloading the weeks’ documents
3. The background Discussion on the week’s Assignment; in this case – OL 203 Discussion 1; read this first each week
4. The Assignment; in this case – OL 203 Assignment One Homework Instructions
5. Magee Example Project Assignment  for each week

Each week I will ask you to download my example project to use as an assignment template. You can contact me with questions at: OL.341@csd-i.org .

Important: The Email & Homework Etiquette page in the Download Class Documents gives the rules of the game for corresponding with us and for posting assignments. Please print it out and read it first.

Please use my examples as templates for your project. They are formatted such that one week is the building block for the next week and therefore we need to maintain the format of the examples I provide. Download my examples and just write right over the top of what I’ve written. In this manner you will learn the system and be guided in thinking through the components of your project. This will also make it much easier for me to read through each of your assignments as each participant’s will all have the same look and feel.

I will review each one of your assignments and make suggestions. In this manner, I get to know you through our correspondence, and I become familiar with each of your assignments. My suggestions are meant to keep your assignment ‘on track’. There are very specific steps that we work through and each project usually needs a bit of guidance in preparation for the next assignment. Do not move onto the next assignment until you have received my comments on the current assignment.

Please send photos of you, your project, the community you are working with (get some good close-ups) and I will post them in the newsletter. For some tips on taking good photos please look at the Newsletter: Capturing Compelling Field Photos.

Class Rules

1. Schedule. The work load is between 2 and 4 hours a week. You need to stay on schedule. If you get behind the rest of the class, you will need to take the class again in the future. We allow you to take the course again for ½ price if you join the next class and use the same project.

2. Certificates. Certificates. Course participants who successfully complete a course on time will receive a course certificate. Learn more.

Your certificate will be e-mailed within 30 days after the end of your course.

Signed certificates are delivered by email in a PDF format for you to print out. We do not offer paper certificates by mail. The name on the certificate will be your first and last names as they appear on your Student Enrollment Form.

Course certificates are issued for all students from one course all at the same time—usually within one week of the end of the course. Students requesting a replacement certificate after we have issued a course’s certificates will be charged a $15.00 fee.

3. Email and Homework Etiquette: the rules of the game. We have had students from over 150 different countries enrolled in different courses. It is a bit complicated managing all of the incoming emails. We have developed a system that you need to incorporate in submitting homework and in corresponding with us. Please read the etiquette page now.

4. Our Online Course FAQ has answers to most other questions.


Course Syllabus

Week 1: Design a Participatory Community Workshop to share information, collect local knowledge and to learn about community vulnerability, assets and traditional strategies; develop a Baseline Survey to better understand pressing local needs. Download and adapt a Workshop Lesson Plan.
Week 2:  Community. Lead the participatory workshop. Present a range of potential community -based activities. Encourage feedback: What needs and perceptions did community members express? Start the buy-in process. Conduct the Baseline Survey.
Week 3: Project Refinement. Use the community feedback & baseline results to incorporate activities into your project designed to strengthen the community. Research scientifically-based best practices and solutions to the community’s special problems. Can these work alongside and/or support local strategies?

Week 4: Feedback and Ownership. Incorporate your refined strategies into your project logframe, budget and schedule. Return to the community for feedback on your design. Show how your strategies can work to solve their special challenges.

Week 5. Sustainability. Plan and organize a workshop to develop a community-based project team. Prepare a presentation that uses appropriate knowledge transfer techniques. Partner with experts in the specialties you intend to offer to the community.

Week 6. Leadership. Team Building Workshop. Develop a community-based planning and oversight committee – the community team that you will partner with. Examples could be a committee on activities for the elderly, alternative transportation, bicycle paths, business skills training for immigrants, community development, conservation, elderly care facilities, financial literacy, recycling, or youth employment.

Now that we’ve gotten past the rules we can begin our adventure together and have a lot of fun in the process.

So what’s next? Click on the Assignment One Discussion and get started in development!

Tim Magee