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Challenges to serving the community through board service – two recent articles

March 27, 2013

A quick post about two articles of interest this week on board service:

The Price of Board Membership in this week’s Crain’s Chicago Business details the pros and cons to nonprofit board member “give-or-get” requirements as fundraising strategies.  They certainly guarantee revenue and help to engage board members in the organization’s work. But could those annual minimum donation guidelines or policies also serve as a deterrent for those who may be unable to commit those amounts or be put off by the high cost to participate, and therefore ultimately left out of the opportunity to serve?  


And then, this piece Boards are Not Ready for the Next Generation of Trustees in the Chronicle of Philanthropy explores the very real challenge of board service as a young person… A rising generation of younger donors could bring new money to nonprofits and fresh ideas to their boardrooms but many nonprofits are not up to par when it comes to performance, operations and management to keep innovative, thoughtful and high-energy young people focused on impact and effectiveness engaged.

In their report “Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy,” the philanthropic consulting firm 21/64 and researchers at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University describe next-gen donors as driven by personal values, often those passed on from their parents and grandparents, and motivated strongly by potential social impact instead of recognition or obligation.

As we’ve discussed here before, volunteering and board service are critical ways to enhance our involvement in the important work around the services, education, outreach and advocacy our community organizations provide.   What can we do to ensure serving in this manner is a positive experience?  Do you have an interesting story to share about your volunteer service?  SAPP would love to hear from you!

Professional development and networking opportunity for foundation, nonprofit, and social entrepreneur leaders – Chicago, April 4-6, 2013

March 27, 2013
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As we’ve posted here before, the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) National Conference is coming up next week, April 4-6, in Chicago.  You can pre-register through Friday and onsite registration is also available.   And today:  If you’d like to hear more about the conference, and this would be your first time attending, join us for the New Attendee Webinar today, March 27, 12:00 pm CST.  Please register here; you will receive a confirmation after completing the process.

The EPIP Conference is an exciting opportunity for those who are passionate about improving the sector and who want to meet other up-and-coming leaders in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.  As a national network of foundation professionals and social entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in the practice of philanthropy, EPIP’s mission is to develop emerging leaders committed to building a just, equitable, and sustainable society. EPIP exists to ensure that emerging foundation professionals are effective stewards of philanthropic resources and all social entrepreneurs reach their leadership potential.  The conference topics covering leadership development, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropy are sure to be of interest to many.

There are discounted rates available for  nonprofit partners, affinity and other philanthropic group members (for example, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), Donors Forum of Illinois, ABFE, AAPIP, HIP, Funders for LGBT Issues, NAIP, the Women’s Funding Network), reach out to EPIP for more information.

Please read on for more details and we hope that we’ll see you there next week!

EPIP is also seeking ideas for its “Innovations Gallery” and Emerging Leaders Awards.  You can register, submit ideas and nominate here:

  • Register for the EPIP National Conference April 4 – 6  in Chicago.
  • EPIP Innovations Gallery: Submit an idea. Show your talent.
  • EPIP Awards: Nominate emerging leaders who are changing the world.


EPIP’s 2013 National Conference in Chicago April 4 – 6, 2013

The 2013 Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) National Conference will take place Thursday, April 4th through Saturday, April 6th at the Chicago Hilton in downtown Chicago. The national conference brings together over 300 of the most talented and diverse nonprofit emerging leaders to focus on how to use their time, talent, and treasure to make the world more just, equitable, and sustainable.

The theme for this year’s EPIP national conference is LEAD. The experience will expose conference participants to innovative ideas, provide stellar examples of emerging leaders, and create pathways to leadership. Plenary sessions, concurrent workshops, learning tours, and career coaching opportunities will arm attendees with tools to become knowledgeable advocates for positive change. Some conference highlights include:

§ General Sessions/Keynotes

  • Thursday Opening Session Taking the Lead: A Call to Action for the EPIP Membership – Rahsaan Harris, EPIP Executive Director
  • Thursday Luncheon Leading Practice: By All Means… Leveraging Philanthropy’s Wealth – Terry Mazany, President/CEO, Chicago Community Trust & John Rogers, Founder of Ariel Investments
  • Friday Morning Leading Ideas: Community Alternatives to Violence “It Shoudda Been Me” by Dr. Doriane C. Miller, MD  (Theater Performance & Panel Discussion)
  • Friday Luncheon Awards and Networking
  • Saturday Morning Emerging Leaders and Salons featuring seasoned and emerging and seasoned leaders in philanthropy – Caren Yanis, President/CEO, Crown Family Philanthropies; Nicole Robinson, President, Mondelēz International Foundation; K. Sujata, President/CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women; and others
  • Saturday Closing Leading Ideas: A New Leadership Paradigm inspired by the Allstate Foundation


Donors Forum of Illinois Members Special Rates

Donors Forum members have been offered access to the EPIP Individual Member rate at $575 ($200 in savings). Select yes for EPIP member (this is the only way they will see the member rate on the next screen), register at the appropriate Individual Member Rate and at the last screen Submit Payment, enter Donors Forum IL member in the Discount Code box.

Non-profit access to conference, YNPN Chicago Partnership

If you work at a nonprofit, register here. Share this opportunity with your colleagues and friends and help bring funders and nonprofit professionals together to help expand the connections within our sector.

Affinity Group Discount

Members of ABFE, AAPIP, HIP, Funders for LGBT Issues, NAIP, or the Women’s Funding Network are eligible to attend the EPIP Conference at a discounted member rate using these codes. To sign up as an Affinity Member and qualify for member rates, indicate that you are not an EPIP member on the first page of registration. Complete your contact and demographic data. On the page listing registration fees, there are two fees that applicable for Member rates:

  • Non Member $775.  If attending the full conference, choose this rate.  On the payment page, enter the discount code: EPAF13  (and click Apply) to receive the discounted rate.
  • Daily – Non Member $375.  If attending for one day only, choose this rate.  On the payment page, enter the discount code: EPAF14  (and click Apply) to receive the discounted rate.

Please email EPIP’s Kate Seely with any questions.

Sign-Up for Learning Tours

Extend your EPIP conference experience beyond the Chicago Hilton. Join one of three Learning Tours for an in-depth, hands-on exploration of Chicago philanthropy, nonprofits and culture. Tours will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 2 pm – 5 pm. Spots will be first-come, first-serve. The three tours are:1) Arts & Culture-Initiated Redevelopment; 2) Transformative Urban Green Infrastructure through Public/Private Partnerships; and 3) Youth Led Social Change. Click here for more info and to register.

Sign-Up for Coaching Sessions

The career coaching, offered at an extremely reduced rate of $25, is always a hit!  Part of the  EPIP Effective Leadership Career Program, coaching is an important way to increase your own effectiveness as a professional and a leader. Sign up today and reserve your spot.

New Global Citizen Celebration, Friday Night

EPIP is proud to be teaming up with the African Women’s Development Fund, YNPN Chicago, Fashion for the Good, and C Milano for an unforgettable night at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. EPIP conference registration includes the price of admission to this event.

EPIP partners with Media Impact Funders for a Saturday night Event
Media Impact Funders presents the Henry Hampton Award for Detropia at COF Annual Conference
DETROPIA – A film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Saturday, April 6, 8:30-10:30pm
Continental Ballroom C

Dessert, Drinks, Music, and Discussion
$30 Admission (not included in EPIP Conference registration)
Join us in a celebration of the Henry Hampton Award for DETROPIA, a requiem for the death and rebirth of a great American city. Detroit, on the brink of bankruptcy and facing staggering losses in both population and manufacturing jobs, is the stage for this evocative film. As city officials conduct the most dramatic “downsizing” of an American city ever seen – demolishing thousands of homes, and cutting basic services, DETROPIA tells the nearly surreal story of residents striving to make ends meet, refusing to abandon hope and working to help Detroit envision a radically different future. Kick off the conference with music from the Motor City, libations and a powerful story of transformation and resilience.

About Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)
EPIP is a national network of foundation professionals and social entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in the practice of philanthropy. Our mission is to develop emerging leaders committed to building a just, equitable, and sustainable society. EPIP exists to ensure that emerging foundation professionals are effective stewards of philanthropic resources and all social entrepreneurs reach their leadership potential.

EPIP sparks innovative problem solving and is a pipeline of change agents.
EPIP is a platform for social entrepreneurs to be seen and recruited to make a difference in the world.
EPIP members learn by doing…making a difference in their jobs and in their communities.
EPIP members consciously work to improve their leadership skills.
EPIP is a safe space for emerging practitioners to exercise leadership, take risks, and get feedback. 
EPIP provides a diverse voice in philanthropy.
EPIP is future thinking. We point to the horizon where problems will be solved. 

EPIP is a vibrant peer network of over 600 professionals participating through individual and institutional memberships. Members span 35 states and represent a diverse array of professional roles and grantmaking entities (e.g., foundations, giving circles, government, and corporate structures). More than 50% of EPIP members self-identify as people of color. We offer local and national opportunities for in-person and online participation.

For more details on the conference, visit the EPIP website.

University of Chicago Science of Philanthropy Initiative Fundraising Ideas Contest – Cash Prizes!

March 27, 2013


Want to try a new fundraising approach? Do you think an approach should be retired? Do you need proof a fundraising technique works? Submit an idea to the Science of Philanthropy Initiative‘s Idea Contest!  SPI is offering up to $5,000 for ideas.

The Science of Philanthropy Initiative at University of Chicago is sponsoring an Idea Contest intended to solicit fundraising ideas from charities that can be tested by SPI researchers. SPI is looking for ideas that will further the science of philanthropy and change the way development professionals fundraise.

Learn more and submit ideas by June 14, 2013.

Good luck!


South Asian donor Vasu Chanchlani in the news

March 26, 2013

Vasu Chanchlani (c/o Globe and Mail)

The Globe and Mail ran an in-depth profile this weekend about Vasu Chanchlani and his family, focused particularly on his philanthropy.  (Some of you may recall that we featured Mr. Chanchlani’s recent giving last year.)

I thought the article did a great job of showing the evolution of an individual’s philanthropy, and particularly the shift from giving back to the homeland to also making major philanthropic investments in the new country – in this case, Canada.  And the shift towards giving as a priority, after putting down roots and accumulating wealth in a new country.

Sharik Currimbhoy pledges $12M+ to Columbia University

February 18, 2013

Sharik Currimbhoy

Just catching up on some gift news from the end of 2012 – Columbia University reported that Delhi-based entrepreneur Sharik Currimbhoy pledged $12.2 million “to support research and fellowships with a focus on India and emerging markets.”  Currimbhoy is a Columbia alum, and had focused his previous philanthropy to his home country of India – this is his first international gift at this level.

I thought this tidbit from the Economic Times was fascinating, and hopefully highlights the different motivations of South Asians in their philanthropy, including lucky dates and inspiring others!:

[Currimbhoy] chose 12.12.12 to officially announce his gift because he felt it was a lucky date and would also grab the attention of other members of the university alumni. He now hopes that his gift will inspire many of them, especially those from India, to contribute towards their alma mater.

More news from Columbia here and here.  Congratulations and thank you to Sharik Currimbhoy!

Two Notable NYTimes Articles

January 27, 2013

The New York Times has some great coverage of philanthropy these days.

The first article was a few weeks ago – many of you must have seen it, and we had some discussion about it at our Facebook page.  The article describes the rising influence of Asian-Americans in philanthropy in the New York area, including profiles of a few South Asian leaders.  (And here are Andy’s thoughts on the article from Asian American Giving.)

The second was just yesterday, celebrating the fact that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given more than $1 billion – yes, that’s Billion – to Johns Hopkins University.  Whoa.  We need more South Asian givers like that!