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Phil Buchanan

CEP President

Phil Buchanan, president of CEP, is a passionate advocate for the importance of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Hired in 2001 as the organization’s first chief executive, Phil has led the growth of CEP into the leading provider of data and insight on philanthropic effectiveness.

Phil is author of Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count, published by PublicAffairs and named the “Best Philanthropy Book of the Year” by Inside Philanthropy in 2019. He is co-host of a podcast, also called Giving Done Right, with CEP’s Grace Nicolette. Phil is a frequent blogger for the CEP Blog, author of op eds that have appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times and Financial Times, and a frequent commentator on philanthropy in the media.

Phil is co-founder of YouthTruth, an initiative of CEP’s designed to harness student perceptions to help educators and funders accelerate improvements in K–12 schools and classrooms. In 2016, he was named the Nonprofit Times “influencer of the year” and he has been named 12 times to that publication’s “Power and Influence Top 50” list, most recently in 2023. Phil serves on the boards of directors of the National Council on Aging (where he has chaired the Governance Committee) and the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

Born in Toronto, Phil grew up in Portland, Oregon before attending Wesleyan University, where he majored in Government and was awarded the Butterfield Prize for character, leadership, intellectual commitment, and concern for the Wesleyan community. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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