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Funder Executive Education Program
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9/11/2017 to 9/15/2017
When: Monday, September 11, 2017 through Friday September 15, 2017
Where: The Center for High Impact Philanthropy
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19104-6179
United States

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Funder Executive Education Program

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP)’s funder education program is designed for principals, foundation trustees, foundation executive directors/CEO’s and other philanthropic leaders who are eager to create more social impact with their giving. This highly-rated program is based on ten years of pioneering work to help funders worldwide achieve greater social impact. Participants will learn the tools and strategies needed to apply the principles of high impact philanthropy to their own efforts.

For more information about onsite trainings and custom engagements, please contact Anne Ferola at


Program Agenda 

The Philanthropy Ecosystem

Our field is exploding with new affinity groups, advocacy groups, peer and external assessment organizations, regional and international associations, and re-branded older groups. This session will unpack this increasingly crowded space and inscrutable acronyms. Learn how you can identify like-minded funders and the latest state of art for your own funding interests.

Philanthro-Ethics: Power, Ethics, and Best Practices

Doing the right thing when you have power and money is harder than it seems. This session will help you to anticipate the ethical pitfalls that emerge in grantmaking and consider how following best practices and applying the “conscious use of self” can help you avoid them. Dive into case studies that explore conflict of interest, compensation, board composition, funder behavior, the implications of the power of the funder, equitability and social justice.

Overview of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Law

The American legal system sets significantly different rules for Not For Profit organizations and Private Foundations. What are your grantees’ responsibilities and what are yours? For private foundations, the penalties for violating the law can jeopardize the existence of your foundation and put board members at risk. Moreover, laws regarding NGO registration and accountability in other countries vary widely. Expenditure responsibility applies for domestic and international grantmaking but the 501(c) 3 designation can streamline the process, What does this mean for your grantmaking?

High Impact Philantrophy

Who doesn’t want ‘high impact’? But what does it really mean and how can you, as a funder, incorporate high impact philanthropy into your own grantmaking? This session builds on the Center’s 10 years of applied research and work with individual, foundation, and corporate funders seeking to achieve greater social impact from their giving. We’ll dispel common myths about social impact, provide the Center’s working definition of high impact philanthropy, and explore how innovation and advocacy can fit into a high impact philanthropic portfolio. Then, through a series of cases and paired/small group exercises, participants will explore key facets of high impact philanthropy, applying these principles to their own grantmaking.

Funding Strategies

1.Establishing a culture, mission, and focus
2.Classic grantmaking approaches and analysis
3.Alternative models 1: Start ups, Arts, etc.
4.Alternative models 2: Impact, hybrid, multi-sector

Evaluation: What every funder should know about program evaluation

Program evaluation is a powerful tool for gaining insight into needs, improving programs, and documenting impact. But to reap these benefits you need to know what you want and how to get it from evaluation. What is the difference between monitoring and evaluation? Is establishing metrics the only way to get actionable data? When is the right time to start evaluating? This session will equip you with a clear framework for making good decisions about how to use evaluation to support your philanthropic goals.

Aligning Investment and Spending Policies

Good governance, to say nothing of US law, requires that every foundation have a board approved investment policy. To achieve maximum impact with those dollars, that policy should reflect the desired values and goals of what the foundation hopes to achieve with its dollars. This session will present how investment policies to achieve perpetuity have traditionally been set. It will also show how one established an investment policy for spend-out, how one can use various values screens and vehicles to more closely align the full scope of foundation assets. While this session will use a private foundation model as the basis of the discussion, the principles apply for individuals, trusts, and many donor advised fund strategies as well.

Policy Setting

Trustees, principals, and family members who are involved in philanthropy must establish policies – some mandated by the law, others mandated by good governance. In the philanthropy world, especially in family philanthropy, everything can be experienced as personal. Therefore, while true for all organizations, there is particular value in proactively establishing policies regarding spending, compensation, conflict of interest, term limits, succession, board composition, data retention, whistle blower, and more – as early as possible. This module will review those policies covered earlier in the week, add those that are legally mandated, and recommend processes for establishing them as painlessly and productively as possible.

Exit Strategies

Every grant has an end, even if it is to renew. This session will help funders establish constructive guidelines for exit strategies for a variety of circumstances and will serve to complete the funding cycle process of the week.

Participant Cases

Each participant will be invited to present or propose a case challenge from his/her own work for class review or discussion. These can be presented anonymously if desired. These conversations will provide an opportunity for very personalized take-aways from the week’s curriculum.


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