CEP’s research projects delve into issues that are central to funder effectiveness, examining common practice and challenging conventional wisdom.

Our research is informed by rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis of large-scale data sets, in-depth qualitative interviews with philanthropic leaders, as well as by profiles of high-performing organizations and staff.

CEP’s research brings data and insight to bear on pressing challenges related to philanthropic effectiveness. CEP’s research team focuses on executing research that meets the highest standards of rigor and utility. Our publications are trusted resources that guide practice among foundation leaders, staff, and donors.

Research is supported through grant funding from general operating support funders as well as foundations providing project support.

Research initiatives currently underway include: an analysis of what nonprofits want and what foundations are emphasizing when it comes to capacity building; a look at how foundations are assessing what’s working and what isn’t; a study on what nonprofits want from their funders in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a project that seeks to identify and understand common challenges that new grantmaking organizations face.

CEP is a Charter Member and the first research organization focused on the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to join the Transparency Initiative, a program developed by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the leading organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S.


To find out more about CEP’s research agenda, contact Ellie Buteau.

Profile of Ellie Buteau

Ellie Buteau

To provide grant support for CEP’s research, contact Grace Nicolette.

Grace Nicolette