Around this time last year, we celebrated EPIP’s 20th anniversary through our virtual conference, “R/evolution.” We reflected with our members (past and present) about how far we’ve come, we challenged the current norms of our sector and began to reimagine what the next 20 years of changemaking could entail. In our rapidly changing world, our sector needs more equity-minded leaders serving at all levels and functions within philanthropic institutions, because every choice made within philanthropy is an opportunity for equity to emerge. EPIP equips our members with human-centered leadership skills to advance more equitable philanthropic practice and foster inclusive work environments. Looking back at our history, EPIP has consistently evolved to meet the changing needs of early and mid-career philanthropic professionals, and I am proud of how much we’ve grown.
Looking ahead, EPIP is in a period of expansion to enhance the ways we support and amplify the needs, experiences, and leadership of our members. This year, we already welcomed four new staff including a liaison to support our chapter leaders and three senior leaders to enhance our member engagement, communications strategy, financial advancement, and internal culture. We also expanded our Communities of Practice in response to requests from our members, and our signature Philanthropology™ curriculum, which offers an in-depth critical study of philanthropy from a social justice lens. Additionally, I can’t thank our chapter leaders enough for the numerous programs they've created to engage members across multiple geographies, and for adapting to create highly interactive virtual programming during the pandemic. As our team continues to grow, I am filled with hope for what’s possible through our collective work.
As our expansion continues, EPIP will become a 501c3 organization by the end of 2023. With over two decades of supporting emerging leaders as a fiscally sponsored project, the time has come to take this next bold step in our journey, creating a sustainable home for the next 20+ years of emergent leadership. With this transition, you can expect to hear more about our internal efforts to become a more dynamic, anti-racist, and justice-focused organization in support of emerging leaders. This includes exploring liberatory governance practices with our board; building a healthy, affirming, and inclusive work culture; and further adopting racial equity as an integral part of our strategy.
As we move through this process, we will share reflections and learnings as an invitation to join us in reimagining what is possible when justice and equity remain at the center of our work.
What to Expect This Year:
With so much movement happening at EPIP, we are focusing our team’s energy on strengthening internal systems to support our expansion and maintaining quality programming for our members during this period of growth. To create requisite breathing room for our staff, EPIP will not host a national conference in 2022. Instead, we look forward to gathering with our members and community at the 2023 CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit!
In the meantime, there are a multitude of opportunities to participate in our enhanced programming this year! You can also find our team at various conferences throughout the sector. I invite you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop on how to engage in the programs mentioned above and keep an eye on our events page for opportunities to connect with your peers across the country.
Lastly, as we continue to grapple with the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking an abundantly cautious approach to hosting in-person programs and developing guidelines to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community feel safe, welcome, and included. We recognize the enhanced accessibility offered through virtual programming and are committed to providing engagement opportunities during and after the pandemic that meet our members’ diverse needs and preferences. Stay tuned for more information and invitations to weigh in over the coming months.
I am energized about what’s to come and look forward to staying connected with you as we share opportunities to inform this next phase of EPIP’s growth. Let’s continue to reimagine together!
Executive Director, EPIP