EPIP was founded by a small group of young foundation professionals and individual donors who sought to work and learn with peers in order to transform philanthropy and confront generational issues in the social change community. EPIP began in spring 2001 as an informal network coordinated by volunteers through an National Organizing Committee, with some of Committee member Rusty Stahl’s time donated by the Ford Foundation. New England and New York City EPIP chapters were launched during this informal phase, throughout 2001-2002. In fall of 2002, EPIP became a project with a full time executive director housed at New World Foundation.

In this formalized phase, the organizing committee was expanded into a diverse Board of Advisors. Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC chapters were formed during 2002-2004. (Organizing efforts began in Philadelphia during this time as well.) Spring 2004 saw the first annual Philanthropology™ workshops held at our chapter sites. In fall 2004, EPIP left its start-up period with its first annual membership drive. Spring 2005 saw our first national Chapter Leader Gathering, which brought together leaders from our recognized and prospective chapters. In 2005, EPIP launched its field staff, with chapter organizers in Atlanta, New York City, and North Carolina’s Triangle and Triad communities. The last founding Board of Advisors member rotated off in summer 2005.