EPIP’s Board of Directors is proud to announce our decision to change Storme Gray’s title from Executive Director to President of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. This decision marks another step in EPIP’s ongoing expansion as we prepare to become a 501c3. Storme’s leadership in the sector spans over 15 years including eight years driving change within and through the EPIP community. Informed by her EPIP service as a chapter leader, board member, and Director of Programs, Storme’s leadership as Executive Director the past three years has led the organization to grow exponentially as part of a multi-year expansion plan.
Storme led the organization through the pandemic and complexities of 2020 while maintaining the organization’s fiscal health and shifting to virtual program delivery. She created a pathway for the organization to become a 501c3 and an expansion plan that will enable EPIP to enhance its effectiveness supporting members and the sector at large. She continues to work with staff to integrate aspects of liberatory leadership into EPIP’s daily operations and to continuously create a more inclusive work culture. A few tangible elements include developing bold internal policies rooted in equity including an updated compensation plan, a revised performance review strategy focused on harm reduction and human development, flexible work hours, a robust safety plan for navigating the pandemic, and so much more to ensure staff are supported as they lead EPIP’s work.
Storme has led our process to become an independent 501c3, started working with the board to explore and embody liberatory governance practices and nearly tripled EPIP’s staff in just 3 years, enhancing the organization’s internal capacity to better support EPIP members. With the support of the phenomenal team that Storme has cultivated, EPIP grew its revenue by over $5.5M since 2020 including securing 7 new donors and welcoming over 30 new institutional members. EPIP has also grown its signature Philanthropology™ curriculum (with over 125 members engaged during its pilot year in 2022), led three communities of practice to support EPIP members, and launched a professional development institute to support EPIP’s chapter leaders across the country.
Storme’s vision for our sector and our world is one where everyone is free, and I am consistently motivated by her commitment to radical truth telling, taking a human-centered approach to leadership, and making a way for things to be done differently in our organization and our sector. She has consistently been a change agent in the sector speaking truth to power through engagements like the 2022 keynote panel at the Council on Foundations HR Retreat addressing how to take care of your people as an organizational leader, a recent podcast with Fund the People about the critical need to invest in the diverse, emerging workforce in philanthropy, and a discussion on Submittable’s Impact Audio podcast exploring how to create the right conditions for diverse emergent leadership to thrive, just to name a few. And if that was not enough, Storme most recently chaired the search committee for CHANGE Philanthropy’s next Executive Director while leading a search for EPIP’s first Chief Financial Officer, and supported planning for ABFE’s Black Women in Philanthropy Retreat on radical rest.
The first time I personally met Storme was during her tenure as an ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellow and our relationship has grown to a place of deep trust and mutual respect over the years. I've been able to have conversations with Storme around my own leadership and vulnerability and have learned so much from her approach to racial equity work and her vision for creating liberatory structures where people can be free. Storme came to EPIP with extensive experience in the philanthropic sector, with a focus on youth development, racial equity, and inclusive philanthropic practice. As a board, we have witnessed the benefits of her wisdom and how she embeds her approach into the way EPIP operates.
As we move through the next stages in EPIP’s evolution, our board is energized by the work ahead and proud to have Storme’s leadership and the leadership of the extraordinary team she has brought together to drive the next phases of EPIP’s evolution.
Chair, EPIP Advisory Board
Maria Cherry Rangel, Treasurer | Whitney Wade, Secretary | Michelle Jaramillo | Dion Cartwright | Arianna Cisneros | C'Ardiss "CC" Gardner Gleser | Arielle Milton | Dr. Cassie Schwerner | Alexis King Wilson