EPLI Research


EPLI conducts applied research to understand the nuances of philanthropic practice and improve its outcomes. We examine the realities of philanthropy for high-capacity donors, as well as for members of the donor-supportecosystem. We then develop practical tools, resources, and education programs designed to increase the effectiveness of giving.  


Guiding Questions


Donor Motivations:

What motivates high-capacity donors and next generation donors to improve their commitment to solving social problems? How do we inspire them to become more strategic philanthropists? 



Donor Needs:

What are the current needs of those practicing philanthropy? How are available resources addressing those needs? What are the unmet needs? What experiences, resources, and information help donors clarify their goals and increase their impact?


Leveraging Intermediaries:

How can intermediaries in the donor support ecosystem (e.g., advisors, wealth managers, estate planners, and accountants) expand their understanding of philanthropic best practices and help increase donors’ philanthropic impact?



Upcoming Research Projects

EPLI conducts research to better understand high-capacity donors’ philanthropic interests, motivations, and behaviors. This year the research team at EPLI will pursue three lines of inquiry: how the occupations of high-income individuals shape ideas and norms related to charitable giving and capacity for charitable giving; how donors who espouse values related to social justice apply those values to their charitable giving practice; and how donors interested in political advocacy choose between various types of organizations when considering which efforts or individuals to support.

Research Participation


If you are interested in participating in one of EPLI’s interview or survey studies, please fill out the form below and a member of the research team will contact you if you are a good fit for one of our studies. Thank you for your interest in participating!


Interest Form

Articles & Papers

 Below is a list of EPLI research papers, articles, case studies and other publications. For more, see our tools and resources.


External Articles & Publications

Are Donor-Advised Funds Good for Nonprofits?

By Stanford Law School Policy Lab on Donor Advised Funds

July 2020

Read More

Wealthy Donors Need to Go Outside Their Bubbles and Support Local Organizations Driving Social Change

By Erinn Andrews, Lori Bartczak, Rebecca Shamash, and Piyush Tantia

Fall 2020

Read More

Are Donor-Advised Funds Good for the Nonprofit Sector?

By Daniel Hemel, Joseph Bankman, and Paul Brest

March 2021

Read More