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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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:Read more
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.Read more