The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative (EPLI) at Stanford University is looking to hire fellows to help us improve the practice of philanthropy, specifically among High Net Worth (HNW) donors. This is a unique opportunity to work with the organization’s leadership team to conduct research and develop tools to help philanthropists direct their resources toward greater social impact. We are looking for exceptional candidates with strong research and writing skills, an interest and/or experience in philanthropy, and knowledge of human centered design is a plus.


What is EPLI:

The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative is an interdisciplinary team based at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) working at the intersection of human centered design, strategic philanthropy, and the behavioral sciences to design and test methods, messages, products, and services to increase donor impact. EPLI’s approach to motivating more outcome-focused giving is interdisciplinary and encompasses research, tool design and development, and stakeholder engagement and education.

The EPLI team comprises of Professor Paul Brest (Principal Investigator and Faculty Director), Erinn Andrews (Program Director), and Davey Kim (Program Manager). Our initiative is supported by grants from the Raikes Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit our website.

Stanford PACS is a research center for students, scholars, and practitioners to explore and share ideas that create social change. Its primary participants are Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and nonprofit and foundation practitioners. As publisher of Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), Stanford PACS informs policy and social innovation, philanthropic investment, and nonprofit practice.


Position descriptions

Hiring: 4 Fellows

To begin: We will reach out to candidates in late June/ early July to schedule interviews. Ideally fellows will begin in August.

Full-time: These are full-time contractor positions, for a duration of 9 months. The individuals will be expected to be present on Stanford campus up to 80% of the time, typically coinciding with EPLI staff and fellows. A shared space will be provided along with meeting rooms when needed. The fellows must have access to a laptop/computer.

Compensation: Fellows will be provided with a stipend of $50,000-60,000 for 9 months, depending on level of experience.

We provide a travel stipend to cover a portion of local ground transportation.


Project topics

Fellows will engage in one of the following projects:

  • Further development of an instructional Guide for new philanthropists. We will be launching the beta Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy in September 2019. We want to iterate on this version, collect user feedback, collect donor stories, publish in print and in digital format a v2.0, and develop a strategy to disseminate the Guide.
  • Further development of the Wealth Advisors Philanthropy Toolkit: a financial intermediary initiative on philanthropy. We have developed a practical resource to support wealth advisors, estate planners, and accountants in helping their clients improve their philanthropic effectiveness.
  • Expansion of our Philanthropist Resource Guide. This resource maintains a database of ~300 entities that support individual donors in a variety of capacities. We plan to expand the data we collect on these entities. We also plan to integrate content about Philanthropic Funds (pooled funding opportunities for individual donors) with this portion of our website.


Fellow Expectations

  • Participate in at least one meeting a week with the EPLI team
  • Participate in monthly EPLI team-wide meetings
  • Coordinate with the EPLI program manager, director, and PI on a frequent basis
  • Work on a collaborative team
  • Adhere to a clear work plan to complete projects outlined above
  • Periodically prepare and share presentations on the progress of the project


Candidate Criteria:

The Fellowships are best suited for behavioral scientists or social scientists, designers/design thinkers, or data scientists who want to be part of a unique lab working at the intersection of academia and the philanthropy sector, or for people with deep knowledge of the philanthropy sector to conduct research and develop user friendly tools for philanthropic intermediaries.  


Fellowship Candidates must have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Up-to 5 or up-to 10 years of professional experience in the field of behavioral science, social science, data science, design thinking, and/or philanthropy (compensation will be based on experience)
  • Prior experience in the nonprofit/philanthropy sector
  • Strong writing and analytical skills


If interested, submit your application here:

Application deadline is Wednesday July 3, 2019. 

For questions, please contact: daveykim[a]