Thursday, April 14, 2011

Round-up of Blog Posts on EPIP 2011 National Conference

The EPIP 2011 National Conference generated an incredible amount of buzz in philanthropy's blogosphere. In this post, we provide links to many of the blog posts related to the conference content and experience. The authors include EPIP members and leaders, conference speakers, and senior leaders in the field. Thanks to all for the enthusiasm and analysis!

Unfortunately because we have pulled these link and titles from a variety of source websites, the font formatting has been a challenge. Please pardon the appearance and focus on the important content.

Maisha Simmons: The Experiences of An Emerging Leader at National Philanthropy Conferences here

Alfonso Wenker: Pearls of Wisdom from EPIP's National Conference here

Chanelle Gandy: Reflections from a Millennial here

Chris Cardona: Let the River Run: on confluence (or not) of EPIP 2011 National Conference) & Council on Foundations 2011 Annual Conference here

Christine Reeves, NCRP: Top Ten Lessons from Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy here

Another Multiplier Effect: Invest in Talent Development – Part One here, Part Two here

Trista Harris: I Told You EPIP Was Awesome here

Tammie Power Dynamics (from #epip11): here

Christi Tran: Caught in the Headlights here

Richard Woo: Fountain of Youth here

Holly Wolf: Letter to COF Conference Attendees here

Sterling Spiern: Promoting Intergenerational Leadership & Racial Justice in Philanthropy here

Kris Putnam Walkerly and Rusty Stahl: EPIP Provides Support and Opportunity for Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy here

Kris Putnam Walkerly and Rusty Stahl: Advancing the Next Generation: EPIP’s Impact on Philanthropy here

Added bonus: a post I just found from last year, which addresses the intersection of race, class and power dynamics amongst funders, a critical topic at the 2011 EPIP National Conference:

Annah Sidigu: Can Philanthropy Become the Change that It Wishes to See? Reflections from EPIP and ABFE Conferences (2010) here

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Advancing the Next Generation: EPIP's Impact on Philanthropy

EPIP released the findings of it's 2011 Impact Assessment, in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and national conference held in Philadelphia. Last week we highlighted 7 ways EPIP provides support and opportunities for emerging leaders in philanthropy. Below we share 6 key findings about EPIP's impact on the broader field of philanthropy.

1) EPIP’s focus on multigenerationalism has had a positive impact on philanthropy.

  • Ninety-seven percent (97%) of survey respondents reported that as a result of EPIP, there is increased interaction and dialogue between senior and new foundation staff
  • 95% said they believe philanthropy has benefited from EPIP’s efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders.
  • They also reported that young or new foundation staff now have more opportunity to get involved in philanthropy (60%) and that these staff are more active in the field than they were before (50%).

"To the extent that you care about the future of philanthropy, you've got to care about the next generation of philanthropic leaders. EPIP represents a group from which the next generation of philanthropic leadership will be drawn." -- Ralph Smith, Executive Vice President, Annie E. Casey Foundation

2) EPIP has expanded professional and leadership development opportunities for emerging practitioners.

  • 60% of survey respondents believed that EPIP increased the opportunities for involvement in philanthropy for young or new foundation staff.
  • Almost all (98%) believed that EPIP has been “somewhat to very effective” in increasing the presence and participation of new, emerging staff at philanthropy conferences and in increasing the number of sessions and workshops for and about younger/new foundation staff at conferences.

"Being part of the EPIP network helped me hone my leadership skills and take risks in my career. I was able to build relationships outside of my region and state and was able to apply those leadership skills not just in my own foundation but on a national scale, which allowed my national network to flourish. -- Melissa Johnson, Executive Director, Neighborhood Funders Group

Daniel Lee describes how EPIP helps his employee, Elizabeth Ramirez

3) Employers benefit from EPIP’s contributions to professional development.

  • 75% of EPIP members surveyed reported making positive contributions to their organizations as a result of their involvement with EPIP.
  • This includes becoming more confident in taking on more responsibilities (37%), becoming better able to advocate for issues they feel are important in their foundations (24%), and learning ways to do their jobs more effectively (23%).

"From my perspective as the executive director, our staff who have been engaged with EPIP have brought a capacity for bold vision and for confident and competent leadership." -- Ned Wight, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock

4) EPIP brings value to national and regional associations of grantmakers.

  • EPIP has collaborated with a wide range of funder networks, including 11 regional associations of grantmakers (in the locations of all its chapters), national affinity groups, and the Council on Foundations.
  • According to those interviewed, EPIP provides value because these associations can leverage EPIP’s network of next generation leaders, expertise, and infrastructure.

“For affinity groups that want to engage younger and newer foundation staff, it makes sense to partner with EPIP rather than reinvent all the work yourself.” -- Carly Hare, Executive Director, Native Americans in Philanthropy

5) EPIP fills an important need in educating and orienting those new to philanthropy.

  • Many senior leaders and EPIP members interviewed described the need to “demystify” philanthropy and grantmaking work, and to orient those new to philanthropy.
  • This was recognized as an important need that EPIP helps to fill, with several executive directors stating appreciation that their staff has a venue for learning about the field beyond their own institutions.

“Increasing the pipeline of people who are familiar with philanthropy -- familiar with how it works, its challenges, and its opportunities -- is an important service to the field. I think it is a great opportunity for philanthropic institutions to pay attention to EPIP, and to make sure that we’re connected with them, and helping them place the people that they’re training." -- Luz Vega Marquis, CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation

6) EPIP brings increased attention to social justice philanthropy.

  • About one-third said they feel that there is increased dialogue and awareness in the field about social justice philanthropy as a result of EPIP (36%)
  • 30% reported that as a result of EPIP there is increased attention on racial, gender, and class diversity at foundations.

“The EPIP conference is probably one of the most diverse cross-sections of people that I’ve ever seen in a philanthropic meeting, and social justice philanthropy is integrated into all the sessions. This requires courage and commitment. To see that social justice is front and center at EPIP gives me hope in the next generation of philanthropists.” -- Daniel Jae-Won Lee, Executive Director, Levi Strauss Foundation

EPIP's 2011 Impact Assessment was conducted by Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc. It included a national survey of EPIP members, alumni, prospective members, and partners; in-depth interviews with 12 active members and 10 senior philanthropy leaders who have partnered with EPIP; and a review of existing EPIP data and documents. To learn more about EPIP's impact you can read the full report.

Friday, April 08, 2011

EPIP Provides Support and Opportunity for Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy

EPIP released the findings of it's 2011 Impact Assessment, in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and national conference held in Philadelphia. Below we share 7 key findings about how EPIP has provided support, opportunity, and leadership development for emerging leaders in philanthropy.

1) Emerging leaders have benefited from EPIP's efforts to connect new and experienced leaders in philanthropy. Almost all survey respondents (92%) reported that they have personally experienced EPIP’s efforts to facilitate generational change, primarily by participating in forums and events that bring together established and emerging leaders in philanthropy.

Nick Scheibel explains the benefits of peer networking in EPIP

2) EPIP members value peer learning and networks gained through EPIP. Two-thirds (64%) of members surveyed reported that as a result of relationships they developed through EPIP, they are participating in new professional development activities. Half (50%–54%) have met people they can turn to for help in performing their jobs well and regarding being underrepresented in the field.
"I’ve gotten to know so many different people in the field through EPIP. EPIP provides an amazing platform and network to new people in the field, irrespective of age." -- Rohit Burman, Director of the Culture and Public Broadcasting Program at the Metlife Foundation

3) EPIP supports leadership development early in careers. Many members interviewed described how EPIP provided unique venues to learn, practice, and advance their leadership early in their careers. This included opportunities to propose and lead sessions at conferences, plan events, serve on steering committees, and lead chapters. Senior philanthropy leaders also noted that EPIP provides an important “alternative route to high engagement” for emerging leaders.
“EPIP has done a lot to strengthen a pipeline of leaders into and moving up through philanthropy by giving people mentoring opportunities, confidence boosters, and the chance to develop skills like serving on boards, public speaking, or social justice thinking.” -- Caroline Altman Smith, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation

4) Participants use the knowledge, skills, and networks developed through EPIP to improve their job performance. 70% of all survey respondents who had been involved in EPIP longer than one year said that as a result of their involvement in EPIP they had established new professional relationships that have been beneficial to their work. Half (56%) described positive changes at their jobs as a result of their involvement in EPIP, including now seeing themselves as leaders in their field (26%) and improving their job performance (22%).
"We moved to a simpler grant process after I attended an EPIP conference, and that has improved our relationship with grantseekers. -- Survey respondent

5) EPIP helps members stay engaged in and advance their careers in philanthropy. Members interviewed described how involvement in EPIP helped reduce their feelings of isolation and helped them make critical choices related to staying in the field and charting their career paths.
"It was definitely motivating, inspiring, and compelling to be able to talk to others in the EPIP network when I was considering taking my first job in philanthropy." -- Christi Tran, Program Officer, Blue Shield of California Foundation

6) Participants value that EPIP is run by and for emerging leaders. Almost all (92%) of survey respondents reported that EPIP is different from other foundation associations they have been involved in, and this is primarily because it is run by and for young people (75%).

Jasmine Hall Ratliff describes how EPIP helps younger staff learn from experienced leaders in philanthropy.

7) EPIP helps grantmakers connect their daily work to broader social change. Among all survey respondents, 30% reported that they believe that since becoming involved with EPIP they can connect the ideal of social justice philanthropy to their daily job responsibilities. Sixty-four percent (64%) of members surveyed indicated that as a result of people they met through EPIP, they have established professional relationships with people with similar commitments to social justice philanthropy.
“I think a lot of people are equipped with tools to have better conversations about social justice philanthropy and being effective grantmakers, as a result of EPIP.” -- Sylvia Spivey, Development & Scholarship Associate, The Philadelphia Foundation

EPIP's 2011 Impact Assessment was conducted by Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc. It included a national survey of EPIP members, alumni, prospective members, and partners; in-depth interviews with 12 active members and 10 senior philanthropy leaders who have partnered with EPIP; and a review of existing EPIP data and documents. To learn more about EPIP's impact you can read the full report.

Friday, April 30, 2010

EPIP 2010 National Conference: The Full Recap

The conference is over, but the conversations and inspiration are still fresh in our minds.

Here's what the Chronicle of Philanthropy had to say about the weekend:
EPIP's amazing blog team covered the conference in full force:
We also recorded many of the sessions - watch video from the conference

  • EPIP offered a free livestream of conference content Friday-Sunday, Apr 23-Apr 25. Check out the recorded sessions hereLivestream sponsored by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

See you next year!

Saturday, April 24, 2010



EPIP 2010 National Conference: Day 1 Recap

Yesterday, we kicked off the EPIP 2010 National Conference in Denver, Colorado. The theme for this year’s conference is "Building a Movement, Making an Impact” and we're excited to have a fabulous team of young nonprofit and philanthropy bloggers who did a great job covering the conference yesterday:

Robby Rodriguez co-author of Working Across Generations-Defining the Future of Nonprofit, started with a powerful reading from the book about transitioning from a intern at the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP)–an organization dedicated to fighting racial inequality–to taking the control of the organization at the age 28 in 1999. Robby faced a great deal of pressure: not only carrying the legacy of the organization’s founders and impact on the community but also dealing with age divide in the organization. Most of the staff was under 30, while the board was over 50; everyone was forced to take on different roles, adjust to new leadership, and re-examine motivations for being involved in with the organization. The crisis he faced embodies the challenges facing nonprofits today as different generations meet in the workplace.
Essentially, before we even begin to plan for new leadership, we need to open the discussion; examine assumptions about change and leadership; offer trust; acknowledge gifts within our organization; and talk about the future in terms of mission, impact, and succession planning.

Rosetta Thurman (nonprofit leader & consultant): Philanthropy Leaders Discuss Trends in Generational Change: It’s About Leading Together
Robby talked about the conversation about the nonprofit leadership “crisis” and how it’s changed in the past few years. In 2007, the worry was: “The boomers are leaving!” A 2001 Daring to Lead study said that 75 percent of executive directors planned to leave their jobs within five years. Yet, five years later, when a second Daring to Lead study was published in 2006, that percentage was the same. And the boomers still hadn’t left their jobs yet. So in 2010, the crisis is: “the boomers are staying!” And indeed, the boomers are staying. The youngest baby boomers are in their mid-40s, so they have at least 20 more years left in the nonprofit workforce.
Trista Harris (foundation professional): Council on Foundations 2010 Annual Conference
There is also this idea that there are no leaders in the sector. This happens when you have a vision of what leadership has to look like i.e. a six foot two white man with a degree from an ivy league college. If we can’t broaden our vision of what a leader is and check our assumptions, there will always be a “leadership crisis”.
Elizabeth Miller (foundation professional): EPIP Day One
We heard from Cynthia Gibson, who has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a consultant and senior staff person for national nonprofits and philanthropic institutions. Gibson talked a little bit about her new effort called the “Generational Change Initiative” which will examine these trends and how the definition of philanthropy and social justice will shift as we see dynamic changes in the workplace. Gibson also talked about what she called “a perfect storm of whiteness” when it comes to the lack of diversity amongst nonprofit leadership and what efforts must be made in order to combat this problem.
Check back for more daily roundups of all of our blog posts! And be sure to check out the live webcast throughout the weekend.

Coming at you LIVE from Denver, Colorado, EPIP will be streaming a webcast of conference sessions through Sunday, April 25. The full schedule of video events is available here. The video player will be available on the EPIP home page at

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting questions to speakers and offering comments using our video player’s chat function! Throughout the live webcast programming, there will be opportunities to ask questions to guests and speakers. Just sign on via Twitter or Facebook chat or tweet your remarks to @justgOOdtv with #epip10 and the producer will place your questions or comments in queue. We encourage you to participate!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Government has it Goin' On Regarding the Generations!

Last week, I had the pleasure to sit down to lunch with Sean M. Clayton, Human Capital Specialist at the US Department of Energy, and Jeffrey Vargas, Chief Learning Officer for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Shwew, I know - long and fancy titles and department names. But these two gentlemen were definitely not as laborious or difficult as the words after their names. Indeed, they were young, high-energy, and incredibly committed to helping the federal government address the important generational changes that are impacting its workforce.

They were practically bubbling over with passion and ideas for the issue!

A couple great insights that they shared and I would like to share with you.

"The human capital issues of tomorrow won't be solved without understanding the generational issues of today."


"It used to be that 'knowledge is power'. But now 'passing on knowledge is power'"

It is so nice to find colleagues with a shared mission working in an entirely different sector. Thanks to Sean and Jeff for their time and enthusiasm!

We got connected to Sean and Jeff via Max Steir, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, which according to their website is "a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to revitalizing our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works." I recommend you check out the great work that Max and his team are doing.

The Partnership for Public Service was founded by philanthropist Samuel J. Heyman. According to the Partnership's website:

"A veteran of the Kennedy Justice Department, Heyman created the Partnership in an effort to restore prestige to government service and reestablish the federal government as an attractive employer for America’s best and brightest as it was when he graduated from law school. Heyman’s actions were motivated by the looming retirement of his generation. He viewed this unprecedented loss of talent from federal service and the increasing inability of government to attract and retain top workers as one of the greatest threats to our national prosperity."

Two important notes on this founding story:

1. This is one of those interesting and rare moments when philanthropists almost directly support the development of government.(Other examples that come to mind are Ted Turner trying to give billions to support the United Nations, which didn't work so he created the independent UN Foundation, and John D. Rockefeller's offering governing control of the soon-to-be Rockefeller Foundation to the Congress, and them rejecting the offer. Can anyone offer other examples and how it worked?)

2. It is excellent to see a baby boomer recognize how his generation can contribute to helping the next generation enter into and shape an industry or field of work. I love the duel mission of engaging a next generation in both serving and transforming the way government works. I hope that more philanthropists and funders begin to see the need need for this right in their home turf - within foundations and the nonprofit sector. Imagine what could happen if a donor or donors saw it as their role to capitalize initiatives through which the next generation is engaged in serving and transforming the way philanthropy and the nonprofit sector work? Well, I guess you can guess where my mind goes on that one...