Interpersonal Leadership

Relationship building is a core aspect of philanthropic practice. Strengthening one’s interpersonal leadership skills will allow for deeper partnerships with community, grantee partners, and other colleagues in support of shared goals.

This includes:

  • Developing and understanding of emotional intelligence and how to utilize it in communications with others
  • Using person-first and nonviolent communication to understand core needs of communities and grantee partners
  • Prioritizing the relational over the transactional to build more mutually fulfilling and long-lasting networks
  • Seeking to “do no harm” and being respectful of trauma, inclusive of recognizing one’s own trauma-related responses
  • Examining allyship and how to utilize one’s positional privilege to support others

You can also build on your interpersonal leadership by supplementing it with your personal leadership through Self-Advocacy, using it to move things within the sector through Advocacy & Policy, or taking a look at all seven ILF cornerstones here.


EPIP Interpersonal Leadership Blog Posts

EPIP Member Voices: Reflections In The Wake Of The Atlanta Murders (Part I of II)

Posted on August 02, 2021

In late March 2021, the murders of 6 Asian American women in Atlanta brought new attention to a disturbing and hateful trend of growing violence against members of the Asian American community, a legacy of the anti-Asian sentiment built and nurtured by white supremacist culture in America. As philanthropy – and many other groups and sectors within the US – came together to decry the hatred, many Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA/PI) individuals within the sector were left to grapple with the impact of a moment that resonated both personally and professionally.

Below, four Asian American members of the philanthropic community – Claudia Leung, Jonny Moy, Jennifer Nguyen, and Cristiana Baik  – share their perspectives on the violence, immediate philanthropic response, and hopes for the sector’s commitment to AA/PI communities long-term.

What follows is part one of two reflections from these four leaders within our membership.

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EPIP 2021 Conference Spotlight: Communities of Practice

Posted on May 07, 2021

Join us at our 2021 Conference, R/evolution, for the formal launch of EPIP’s new communities of practice and a celebration of our long-running People of Color Network (PCN)!

Over the last few months, we’ve been meeting with members, researching with other philanthropy serving organizations, and connecting with our CHANGE partners. As a result of this relationship-building and deep listening, we’re thrilled to be launching two new communities of practice at our virtual conference. Click here for more on the conference or to register.

The first community of practice, for emerging women of color, will serve dual purposes of strengthening the professional networks for early- to mid-career women of color in philanthropy and strengthening interpersonal leadership skills so that women of color advance and thrive in the sector. The second community of practice, in response to requests from white members of EPIP, will support white practitioners in building greater accountability in their work to combat white dominant culture within philanthropy, and to sharpen their allyship and advocacy skills. Finally, we’re thrilled to bring renewed energy and intention to our long-standing People of Color Network, for EPIP members who identify as people of color.

We hope you'll join us as we dive into these new opportunities for the EPIP community to connect and grow together!

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Leadership Re/Imagined

Posted on January 29, 2021

What is leadership? A year ago, when I accepted the role as EPIP’s Executive Director, I sat with this question for quite some time, reflecting on the models of leadership that I had seen held up as exemplary.

Leaders are fearless. 

Leaders are confident. 

Leaders are focused, stoic, unflappable, and always poised.

Those models didn’t resonate with me, though. And as the year went on, and the events of 2020 came crashing down upon us like unrelenting waves upon the shore, I realized why. Any model of leadership which removes the fullness of human emotions for the sake of performing perfection was more isolating than it was liberating. I wanted more than that for myself, more than that for EPIP, and more than that for the work ahead of us. 

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Members on Issues: A Millenial Funder in Old-School Philanthropy

Posted on April 11, 2018

How Generation Y is Shaping the Future of Philanthropy

Reflections by Angela Sanchez, Program Officer for College Success at ECMC Foundation, a national foundation that makes investments in postsecondary programs and initiatives. 


When ECMC Foundation (ECMCF) first brought me on almost three years ago, I wasn’t yet old enough to rent a car for an upcoming site visit. We were in the early stages of our staff growth and I was officially the youngest person in the office. I did the math—indeed, I was half a standard deviation younger than the average age among my fellow staff members. Only my immediate program director – a Millennial from the 80s – helped skew the average away from making me a full standard deviant. [read more]

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Interpersonal Leadership Events

EPIP has events that focus on interpersonal leadership throughout the year, both through our webinars and national programming and through our chapter work. Any upcoming events will be listed below, but past events include Grounding in Our Truths For More Effective, Genuine, and Humanizing Racial Justice Conversations (EPIP's Sankofa Summer), Building Coalitions Across Communities of Color (EPIP Philly), and Crucial Conversations Training (EPIP Minnesota).

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