Stanford PACS Education for Philanthropy Professionals


We are pleased to announce dates for the next Education for Philanthropy Professionals programs: 

Spring Program:  April 15-30, 2021
Fall Program:  October 7-22, 2021


As a philanthropic professional in a leading role within a family foundation or family office, you are in a unique position to guide your principal and execute on their vision for changing the world. In order to be successful, you must understand the principles and practices of effective philanthropy; navigate the principal’s ideas, budget, and priorities; be familiar with trends and best-practices in the field; and continue your own career growth through professional development and networking opportunities.




Now accepting applications for the 2021 Spring Program






Virtual | Part-time | 6 half-day sessions over three weeks
Capacity capped at 24 participants*



Spring Program 2021 (apply now):

Day 1 & 2 Apr 15-16,  9:00am-2:00pm
Day 3 & 4 Apr 22-23,  9:00am-2:00pm
Day 5 & 6 Apr 29-30,  9:00am-2:00pm (Pacific Time/West Coast USA)


Fall Program 2021 (application window TBA):

Day 1 & 2 Oct 7-8,  9:00am-2:00pm
Day 3 & 4 Oct 14-15,  9:00am-2:00pm
Day 5 & 6 Oct 21-22,  9:00am-2:00pm (Pacific Time/West Coast USA)



Prospective participants will be asked to complete a form application, respond to open-ended questions, and confirm their availability and commitment to the program.




Includes Tuition and Materials



March 19, 2021 (Spring Program)



Questions? Contact:
Tel: 650 498 7646



The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative (EPLI) at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) has developed a virtual, executive-style learning program delivered through six half-day sessions over three weeks. Cohort sizes will be limited to ensure in-depth, hands-on learning and opportunities to network with peers. The program will be taught by experienced EPLI faculty and staff and will include discussions with several guest speakers and Stanford professors on a variety of specialized topics.


View the previous program’s agenda here 





The program will include a review of the foundational principles and practices of effective philanthropy, as well as discussions of methods for applying them to your own practice. In particular, it will address:

  • How to help align principles values and focus areas
  • Differences among giving vehicles
  • Understanding social problems, their causes, and strategies for solutions
  • How nonprofits solve problems and how to develop your own theory of change
  • How to monitor and evaluate nonprofit progress
  • How to find, vet, and conduct due diligence on organizations
  • Best practices for structuring gifts to organizations
  • How to develop relationships with grantee
  • How to collaborate and fund with others in the sector
  • Contemporary trends in philanthropy


The program will also cover a number of additional topics such as:

  • Strategies for engaging family members and managing family dynamics
  • Value-aligned and impact investing
  • The relationship between philanthropy and democracy
  • Approaches to social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work in the philanthropic sector






  • Senior executives at small-to-mid-sized family foundations or individuals managing charitable giving within a family office
  • Philanthropy advisors or consultants who have taken on central roles supporting one or more individual philanthropist
  • Family members playing a substantial role in directing their family’s philanthropy through a charitable vehicle such as a foundation or donor advised fund 



Guests representing organizations in the field of philanthropy will be featured to speak on other select issues and themes.
(2021 Spring Program speakers to be announced)
  • Policies and Procedures (FAQ)

    Application and Eligibility: 

    We will review applications on a rolling basis rather than based on the deadline.  Unless candidates do not meet minimum requirements, acceptances will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis until we reach capacity. Note: acceptance is not guaranteed, and where possible, priority will be given to professionals who best meet the program’s criteria.  

    Be sure to observe time zone differences when considering your availability.  


    Acceptance and Registration: 

    Acceptance does not automatically register you for the program. Selected candidates will be required to complete course registration while given instructions for paying program fees.  


    Program Fees 

    Your philanthropy education program fee includes tuition, course materials, and access to additional tools and resources. 

    Fees are subject to change, as are programs, dates, and faculty. 


    Payment Procedure 

    Upon admission, payment details including an invoice and online payment link will be sent by email. Full payment of the invoice confirms your enrollment. Payment is accepted by bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover). 

    NOTE: Please observe any payment deadlines, as your reservation is not secure until payment is processed. Past the deadline, we may pass available slots onto waitlisted candidates.  



    Certificate of completion: 

    At the end of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion. The program does not offer an accredited degree from Stanford University, and at this time, does not qualify for continuing education credits. 


    Cancellation Policy 

    We anticipate circumstances and availability issues arise unexpectedly for our participating professionals.   

    If you wish to cancel and receive a full refund, you must submit your request in writing at least 20 days prior to the program start date. If you submit your request within 19 days of the program start date, you are not eligible to receive a refund. Cancellation requests are valid only upon Stanford PACS confirming receipt of your request. 



    Should you have any further questions, please email