Tools & Prototypes (original)

The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy (original)

Introducing: The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy 


The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative is pleased to announce the Beta Release of its signature new resource to guide emerging, high-capacity philanthropists through their funding journey.


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The Story Behind the Guide

Project partner, Kathy Kwan (Eustace Kwan Family Foundation) explains the motivations and intentions behind the Guide to Effective Philanthropy. 



The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy is a new publication to help emerging philanthropists understand the essentials of improving their philanthropic practice in one easy-to-follow resource. Born out of the experience of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Guide is designed specifically for individual donors interested in significant and sustained giving. The individuals picking up this Guide are likely at an inflection point—a moment where they realize they would like to be more purposeful with their charitable giving. These donors may have recently experienced a wealth event or may have accumulated wealth through their working years. They may have a history of responding to requests for donations from their alma mater, children’s schools, religious institutions, or friends. They may have even volunteered their time to an organization or through board service. For anyone embarking on their funding journey, this Guide is critical.

The Guide to Effective Philanthropy aims to help individual donors:
  • Understand “giving vehicles,” and basic funding strategies
  • Articulate their values,issue interests, and related causes
  • Develop a “giving budget,”
  • Learn where and how to connect with others in the sector,
  • Understand what methods nonprofits employ to achieve their goals,
  • Learn how to evaluate a “theory of change,”
  • Learn how to find effective organizations and conduct due diligence,
  • Understand how to make a gift, as well as gracefully exit a gift relationship,
  • Involve their family in their philanthropy, and
  • Understand essential concepts in “impact investing.”


Already read the Guide?

This first publication of The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy is in a BETA iteration. We welcome and encourage readers to contact us with feedback, suggestions, and personal stories from your own philanthropic journey. Our goal is to refine the Guide to be as useful as possible for you, the donor. Stay tuned for a v1.0 publication in the coming months!


If you have already accessed and read through the Guide, please submit your inputs and feedback here


To write to us directly, please send questions and comments to: 


Supplementary Materials

EPLI Issue Cards

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EPLI Budgeting Coins

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