2016 National Conference








Pre-registration for this event has closed. But you can still register on-site!

Join us in Baltimore, September 13-15, for the only conference in philanthropy developed by rising leaders, for rising leaders. Come elevate your practice toward a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

  • Connect with peers and executives in the field in a thoughtful and creative space
  • Build knowledge and skills you can apply to your work
  • Address critical issues in philanthropy, drawing from Baltimore’s philanthropic, cultural and political context, as well as the experience of other leaders nationwide
  • Have fun!

“The conference was amazing…I’m already talking to other staff members at my organization about some of the sessions I attended and figuring out ways to incorporate the learning into our work.”

-- Feedback from last year's conference evaluation


Conference Hotel 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor

222 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202

Please Note: The discounted hotel room block for the hotel is now closed. Rooms may still be available. 

Please click here to view available rooms remaining at the hotel.


Conference Schedule

Tuesday 9/13

9:30am - 3:30pm

Chapter Leader Gathering (CLG) - (active EPIP Chapter Leaders) 

2:30pm - 3:15pm New Conference Attendee Welcome & Orienation
3:30pm - 6:00pm Learning Tours
6:00pm - 6:30pm Break
6:30pm - 8:00pm Opening Reception

Wednesday 9/14                          

9:00am - 10:30am Breakfast Plenary - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Accomplishments and Unfinished Business
11:00am - 12:30pm Workshops - 4 concurrent sessions
1:00pm - 2:30pm Lunch Plenary - Place, Power and Politics: Learnings from Baltimore (and Beyond)
2:30pm - 3:30pm Extended Networking Break
3:30pm - 5:00pm Workshops - 4 concurrent sessions
6:00pm - 8:00pm  Dine Arounds

Thursday 9/15                     

9:00am - 10:30am Breakfast Plenary - Signature Emerging Leader Salons
10:30pm - 11:30pm  Emerging Leader Salon Breakout
12:00pm - 1:00pm Networking Lunch

Please note that the schedule and programming is subject to change


Plenary Topics and Speakers

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Accomplishments and Unfinished Business

Through efforts like the D5 Coalition and individual foundation initiatives, we are seeing a mounting commitment within philanthropy to more fully realize its values of diversity, equity and inclusion. And yet, recent data from the D5 Coalition, Council on Foundations and others show we still have a long way to go. How are philanthropic organizations moving to build these values into their culture, structure and practice? How can individual staff members at all levels of their organizations lead from wherever they are to help their institutions start “walking the talk?” As foundations search for diverse executive talent, how can organizations better pave the way for emerging leaders they already have to stay in the field and grow into roles with increasing authority, responsibility and influence?

  • Susan Taylor Batten, CEO, ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities
  • Sampriti Ganguli, CEO, Arabella Advisors
  • Melissa DeShields, Partner, Frontline Solutions
  • Storme Gray, Program Officer, Washington Area Women's Foundation and Vice Chair, EPIP-DC (Moderator)

Place, Power and Politics: Learnings from Baltimore and Beyond

The field of philanthropy now has decades of experience investing in communities. What has philanthropy learned -- or yet to learn -- from those experiences and how is philanthropic investment evolving in Baltimore and across the country? How are foundations responding and adapting their approaches in response to the rise of movements like Black Lives Matter? What can we learn from the experience of leaders in Baltimore and nationally about how philanthropy can better support community-driven change?

  • Dion Cartwright, Program Officer, Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Jonalyn Denlinger, Member Services Director, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
  • Elder C.W. Harris, Pastor, Newborn Community of Faith Church
  • Dennis Quirin, President, Neighborhood Funders Group
  • Dwayne Marshall, Director of Programs and Partnerships, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Moderator)

Emerging Leader Salon: Leadership for Equity in the 21st Century

Developing one’s personal leadership stance can take a lifetime of trial, error and reflection. Further complicating this work, technological innovation and the rise of new movements for equity may be calling more established models of leadership into question. What does it mean to lead for equity at this moment in our history? How can our personal leadership evolve with the times and what ‘timeless’ leadership lessons should we hold onto? What can we learn from leaders in positions of formal authority and influence about these questions?

  • Jasmine Hall Ratliff, Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Chair Emeritus, EPIP Board of Advisors
  • Monisha Kapila, Founder and CEO, ProInspire
  • Ben Francisco Maulbeck, President, Funders for LGBTQ Issues
  • Tamir Novotny, Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
  • Rye Young, Executive Director, Third Wave Fund
  • Bianca Alston, Finance and Operations Assistant, Arcus Foundation and Steering Committee Member, EPIP-NY (Moderator)




Click on each workshop title to learn more

Please see conference booklet or Sched app for room assignments 

  • Foundation Advocacy Cliffhanger Stories - Christine Reeves Strigaro, Board Chair, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy • Regan Gruber Moffitt, Associate Vice President, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • Moving the needle on critical social problems often doesn’t happen without advocacy and policy playing an important role. Funders can play a bigger role in this area than many people realize. In this session, participants will dig into stories of foundations supporting advocacy, and then work in groups to imagine the "cliffhanger endings" themselves before the "true endings" are revealed. Content for the session is based on AFJ’s "Funding Change Playbook.”
  • Incorporating DEI in Grant Making: From Theory to Practice - Nancy Chan, Director, Consulting, Arabella Advisors • Pamela Fischer, Senior Analyst, Impact Investing, Arabella Advisors
  • In the endeavor to make their grant making effective, many philanthropists have adopted practices that may actually undermine their missions. In other cases, there may be blindspots resulting from implicit bias in their grant making, which can detract from funders’ missions. Whether intentional by design or not, the end result is that philanthropy at large has not been as diverse, inclusive, or equitable, as it strives to be in its rhetoric. Through their work at Arabella Advisors, Nancy Chan and Pam Fischer have distilled some promising practices to incorporate DEI in grant making, from resources available through D5 Coalition and other organizations. Through this interactive workshop, Nancy and Pam will share these practices with the EPIP community to: provide ideas on how to practically engage DEI participants’ own work; and engage EPIP members as a collective braintrust to enhance these recommendations, to benefit the philanthropic field more broadly.
  • Authenticity is Key: The 21st Century Ingredients to the Change Recipe - Christian Hill, Corporate Sponsorship Manager, National 4-H Council
  • With innovation, collaboration and creativity recognized as prime commodities for change in today’s world, authentic leaders are increasingly called to lead change. “The growing dissatisfaction with artificial and unrelatable leadership is what makes authenticity such a desirable quality—the attribute that uniquely defines great leaders,” writes Harvard Business Review. To that end, this workshop explores the relationship between authenticity and leadership, inspires participants to identify and leverage their natural advantages and unique identities, and discusses the competencies necessary to lead equitable change.
  • TRANSformational Impact: Increasing Social Justice Funding for Transgender Communities - Ryan Li Dahlstrom, Consultant, Funders for LGBTQ Issues
  • With growing political and media attention to transgender people, public awareness about transgender issues has never been higher. Yet, trans communities still face alarming disparities in health, housing, poverty and employment, safety from violence, and civil rights. Improving the lives of trans people requires multiple approaches and there are entry points for funders regardless of their funding priorities or size. In this session, leaders in the growing field of trans philanthropy will share analysis on trends, opportunities and gaps in trans funding and offer specific opportunities for EPIP members to get involved in the movement to support trans people, with a particular emphasis on trans people of color.

Please see conference booklet or Sched app for room assignments

  • Baltimore Rising: Reflections on Place-Based Philanthropy in the Midst of Social Movements - Janelle Gendrano, Program Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation • Sergio Espana, Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation • Danielle Torain, Senior Associate, Baltimore Civic Site, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, the Annie E. Casey Foundation made immediate and long-term investments in response to the civil unrest and uprising in the Foundation’s hometown. The process of determining those strategies and priorities led to ongoing internal reflection centered around critical questions: what kinds of investments and engagement practices best address systemic inequities, and how can organizational policies and grantmaking processes within philanthropy unintentionally exacerbate those inequities? This session will show how one foundation chose to respond to a time of crisis inextricably linked with structural racism and economic inequity. Participants will have opportunities to discuss practical and institutional challenges with their peers in regards to addressing issues of racial and economic inequity, both in times of crisis and every day as grantmakers. Participants will also have opportunities to share successful tactics that move grantmaking practice toward an intentional equity frame.
  • Smashing Silos: How Funding Organizing AND Leadership Can Support Real Systemic Change - Jeanné Isler, Vice President for Learning and Engagement, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy 
  • We have seen the limitations on impact when foundations only focus on single issues or silos. Silo smashing isn’t easy, but it’s important to building sustainable leadership and an empowered infrastructure in our communities. In this interactive session, we will share findings from two reports that focus on achieving policy victories through multi-issue advocacy work and learn specific ways—including a prioritization on leadership development—that foundations can invest in Smashing Silos to achieve policy wins. This workshop will include collaborative activities that explore specific place-based scenarios of how foundations in both Ferguson and Baltimore smashed some of the biggest silos by supporting multi-issue advocacy and leadership development in Black communities. It will cover the place based work that happens in Ferguson and Baltimore and how foundations can successfully produce systems change by supporting multi-issue advocacy and leadership development in those communities.
  • Disrupting the Status Quo of Funding with Indie Philanthropy - Arianne Shaffer, Co-Founder and Director, Indie Philanthropy
  • When we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion, we often focus on the question of who: who has access to resources, who has decision-making power over grants and whose work should we be funding. In this session, participants will not only explore the importance of who receives funding but also how funding is done: How do we move beyond traditional (often transactional) philanthropy in order to create new systems of giving that share power with those most impacted by the issues we fund? Our session will focus on the study of three methods of funding that practitioners could adopt in order to make their funding practice more values-aligned: Community-Based Decision Making, Flow Funding and Giving Circles. Join Indie Philanthropy to get inspired by innovative methods of philanthropy that promote diversity, equity and inclusion and walk away with a tailor-made action plan to implement within your organization.
  • All Hands on Deck: Building a “Change-Making” Organizational Culture from the Bottom-Up and Top-Down - Tyler Nickerson, Director of Investments and State Strategy, The Solutions Project • Rachel Mosher-Williams, Director of Learning and Impact, Community Wealth Partners • Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
  • There is a myth about organizational culture that suggests there is one “right” culture that, if adopted, will lead to happy staff members. As grantmakers increasingly seek to be more transparent, collaborative, and recruit young diverse talent, they are beginning to recognize their opportunity to build internal cultures that make transformational change possible. This session will work with attendees of all experience levels and diverse backgrounds to understand how focusing on internal culture makes achieving change more likely by focusing specifically on the role EPIP-ers play. Using an interactive platform, participants will walk away with a practical framework for building culture, a multi-dimensional understanding of how equity plays a key role, ideas for working with colleagues at all levels to improve culture, and inspiration to actively engage rather than giving up and go elsewhere.


Offsite Learning Experiences for Tuesday afternoon are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Onsite Learning and Healing Experiences will take place throughout the days on Wednesday and Thursday. 


Conference Supporters & Sponsors

Thank you to our 2016 Conference Supporters and Sponsors!







Advocate-Level Sponsors/ Supporters

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. Our work focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity, because children need all three to succeed. We advance research and solutions to overcome the barriers to success, help communities demonstrate what works and influence decision makers to invest in strategies based on solid evidence. For more information, please visit www.aecf.org.
  • The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit kresge.org.
  • The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. For more information, please visit www.wkkf.org.

All Sponsors/ Supporters

Interested in sponsoring this year's conference? Learn more here.

Please direct any inquiries to tamir@epip.org.


Planning Committee 

Thank you to our member Planning Committee for leading the way on much of the conference design and set up!

Alison McNeil, McNeil Creative Enterprises

Allison Domicone, Hirsch & Associates

Andrea Garvey, Schott Foundation

Anna Dilernia, The Children’s Trust

Arielle Milton, Kresge Foundation

Bianca Alston, Arcus Foundation

Cassandra Zawilski, McKenzie Foundation

Christian Hill, National Four-H Council

Claribel Vidal, Ford Foundation

Dan Frankenfeld, MAP for Non-Profits

Dominique Turrentine, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Elisa Gilson, In Our Backyards

Farrah Azizi, Philanthropy Consultant

Ismael Venegas, California Wellness Endowment

Jaclyn Le, RGK Center for for Philanthropy and Community Service

Janelle Williams, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Janet Sandoval, Avery Dennison

Jennifer Shanks, Siragusa Foundation

Jessica Monge Coria, First 5 LA

Jonalyn Denlinger, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers

Julia Yang-Winkenbach, Unbound Philanthropy

Katie Troyer, Medtronic Philanthropy

Maggie Snyder, ECMC Foundation

Megan Milliken, Town Creek Foundation

Melody Fitzgerald, Meyer Foundation

Priya Gandhi, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Storme Gray, Washington Area Women's Foundation



Thank you to all who supported our sponsorship fundraising drive and who applied to the lottery. Thanks to your generosity we will be able to provide spots for 8 people to come to conference with a full scholarship.


Employer support for attendance

Download our Employer Approval Letter template to help make your case for attending the 2016 EPIP National Conference.

Need help building a case for financial support? Here's a deck designed by our member planning committee that is full of great tools and clear suggestions for how to make a compelling ask. Read more & download the tools here.