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CEP’s Definition of Philanthropic Effectiveness

Date: July 22, 2021

Phil Buchanan

President, CEP

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Individual donors and foundations alike seek to be effective in their giving. But what does that actually mean? The Center for Effective Philanthropy – an organization that has effectiveness as its middle name – has grappled with this question since we received our initial funding and hired our first staff exactly 20 years ago.

We have sought, with input from many, to define philanthropic effectiveness. Recently, we revisited the definition with our staff and board and sought to update it based on our latest thinking and learning. Below (as well as on our site) is the definition of philanthropic effectiveness we put together. Let us know what you think! Did we get it right? What’s missing? How would you define philanthropic effectiveness?

CEP’s Definition of Philanthropic Effectiveness

Phil Buchanan is president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, author of Giving Done Right, and co-host of the podcast by the same name. Follow him on Twitter at @philxbuchanan.

Editor’s Note: CEP publishes a range of perspectives. The views expressed here are those of the authors, not necessarily those of CEP.

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