There are many roles and careers within the philanthropic sector, but all require building the knowledge and voice to advocate for your needs. Self-advocacy and the development of a personal approach to leadership are vital tools to help build a path within the philanthropic sector.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Understanding the philanthropic landscape and how to chart a career path within it
  • Effectively handling salary negotiation, promotion, and annual review conversations
  • Developing one’s own unique approach to leadership

Self-Advocacy Resources

Want to get started on your self-advocacy journey? There are a number of organizations in the philanthropic sector that offer fellowship programs that can provide guidance and support, including ABFE's Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program, HIP's Líderes Fellowship Program, the American Express NGen Fellows Program, TFN's PLACES Fellowship, SECF's Hull Fellows Leadership Program, and Funders for LGBTQ Issues' GUTC Leaders Fellowship Program

You can also build on your self-advocacy by developing stronger relationships through Interpersonal Leadership, bringing an equity lens to your personal leadership journey with Equity Analysis, or taking a look at all seven ILF cornerstones here.

EPIP Self-Advocacy Blog Posts

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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Paving the Way for Women of Color Leaders in Philanthropy

Posted on January 22, 2021

From funders to founders, chapter leaders to champions, EPIP would not be the organization it is today without the leadership of women of color. In summer 2020, five women of color leaders from EPIP’s past and present came together for a conversation about the past 20 years of EPIP, their personal leadership journeys, and what the philanthropic sector can learn from the past to change its future.

Listen in as EPIP ED Storme Gray, EPIP Board of Advisors Treasurer Michelle Jaramillo, former EPIP Board Chairs Jasmine Hall Ratliff and Melissa Hewitt, and EPIP's initial angel funder Linetta Gilbert have a no-holds-barred conversation about the role of EPIP in their individual journeys and philanthropy as a whole. 

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Four Things We Learned From Emerging Post-Pandemic: Being a Future-Focused Leader Now

Posted on June 23, 2020

Recently, philanthropic futurist (and EPIP Minnesota chapter founder/former EPIP Board Chair) Trista Harris joined EPIP to talk about the ways that futurism can help the philanthropic sector imagine (and help create) the post-pandemic world.  The full talk is here but four pieces of wisdom that stuck with us were:

1) Stop loving the problem. Avoid making whatever problem or social issue that you’re trying to solve the sole focus of your work. Your discussions (both internally and with grantees) should be about what is being built in addition to what is being overcome.

2) Look for the future in the present. Make time to look at trends, best practices, and places where the changes you want to implement are already happening. You can always learn from the work of others.

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This Year, Plan Your Professional Development From The Heart (Yes, Really)

Posted on January 25, 2018

January is a great time to consider your own growth both professionally and personally. Use this time to plan from the heart. True development is about aligning your professional goals and skills with your deep, personal sense of purpose. Resist the temptation to go through the motions with your plan.

This January, take some time to ask yourself these questions:

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Tips on Building a Career in Philanthropy

Posted on March 10, 2015

By Stephen Alexander, Program Manger, Exponent Philanthropy

For career-minded professionals working in philanthropy—whether in program or administrative roles at foundations, philanthropy support organizations, consulting firms, or academic centers—the field can be a difficult space to navigate. Career paths tend to be limited and unconventional, and, although funders are making great strides in going public with their giving, the field has yet to overcome its tendency toward anonymity. 

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Self-Advocacy Events

EPIP has events that focus on self-advocacy 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 Emerging Post-Pandemic: Becoming a Future-Focused Leader Now (EPIP National Webinar), Planning Your Path for the Future (EPIP New York), and Leadership Journeys (EPIP Colorado). 

No upcoming events.

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