Twenty years ago, a group of passionate leaders new to philanthropy imagined a home for themselves in the sector - a place where they could make connections, develop as professionals, and explore ways to change philanthropy for the better. Together, they built that home - partnership by partnership, grant by grant, local chapter by local chapter. Their commitment and dedication - and most importantly, their imagination - made Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy possible.
In the two decades since, both EPIP and the philanthropic sector have grown. EPIP now includes fourteen chapters that connect and support leaders in philanthropic communities across the country, a network for people of color within the sector, programming that brings philanthrofolk together to think differently about philanthropy’s role in social change and their individual roles within that work, and a mission and vision that explicitly centers the push for greater equity and social justice in all that we do. EPIP has carved out a much-needed space within the sector as both a continued home for emergent, inclusive leadership and an advocate that strives to make space within philanthropy for that leadership to thrive. And yet in many ways our work has just begun.
Our 20th anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come...and how much further we have to go in the journey towards liberation. Philanthropy has a responsibility to aid in the creation of a world where all people thrive, where communities have a voice in determining their own destiny, and where people of color are empowered partners and leaders in the work of creating lasting justice. EPIP has the responsibility - and the vision - to support, develop, and connect the leaders who will turn that potential into reality. Like EPIP’s founders, we are imagining - and reimagining - what this sector is and can be. As we celebrate all that we have accomplished this anniversary year and look ahead to all that we can build going forward, we invite you to join us.
Storme Gray, Executive Director
Anthony Simmons, Chair, Advisory Board

A Look Ahead: How We're Celebrating Our 20th

Leadership Re/Imagined


Reimagined leadership is open. It is honest. It is vulnerable. And it is messy at times. But when we talk about leadership, when we talk about justice in philanthropy, reimagining is the work - OUR individual and collective work.

Towards A New Vision Of Leadership ->

A Look Back: A Few Key Moments from EPIP's First 10 Years


Rusty Stahl, Alejandro Amezcua, and Wendy Heller decide to create a space for young people attending the Council on Foundations’ annual conference. 40 people attend and future key organizers of EPIP meet, including Allison Goldberg, Laura Loescher, and Sanda Balaban.


The Ford Foundation makes a grant to establish EPIP as a formal entity under the advisement of then Senior Program Officer Linetta Gilbert. Colin Greer, president of New World Foundation, offers the foundation as fiscal sponsor at a low rate, and provides in-kind office space within their UWS suite. Rusty becomes EPIP’s first staff member.


EPIP becomes an officially recognized “Affinity Group” of the Council on Foundations. The first member-chapter manuals are developed for EPIP Chapters across the country - led by Board Co-Chairs Melissa Johnson and Rohit Burhman.


EPIP's Professional Development Fund (now the People of Color Network) established to widen the leadership pipeline through the provision of leadership development opportunities specific to emerging philanthropic practitioners of colorFirst EPIP Chapter Leader Gathering held in San Diego. Spokes begin to form between the various EPIP hubs around the country.


Building on salon sessions held at the previous year’s Council on Foundations annual conference, EPIP creates and curates a “Next Generation Track” at the Council on Foundations Leadership Summit.


EPIP holds a conference in Philadelphia and celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Festivities include an anniversary party on Mooshaloo Boat featuring dancing, awards, and camaraderie.

Share Your EPIP Story

Have a favorite EPIP memory? Still remember a conversation at an EPIP conference that helped shape the way you see philanthropy? Want to share your journey in the sector with the next generation of philanthrofolk? We’re looking for EPIP community stories from our founding in 2001 through to today. Fill out the interest form below to let us know how you're interested in sharing your story - and stay tuned to EPIP on Twitter and Facebook for even more opportunities to make your voice heard!

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