EPLI Research

EPLI conducts applied research to understand the nuances of philanthropic practice and improve its outcomes. We believe that society is better when donors deploy their resources to serve their beneficiaries effectively. To that end, our lab promotes thoughtful giving by studying the realities of philanthropy for high-capacity donors and the professionals who support them. Our research findings improve EPLI’s educational programs and materials, and we widely share them for the public’s benefit as well.

Current Projects

EPLI is currently pursuing four lines of inquiry: how funders think about and distribute power in their philanthropy; how funders define participation and community engagement in their philanthropy; how philanthropic advisors inform the philanthropic practices of their clients; and how funders develop strategies for changing ideas, values, and beliefs at large scales.

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

Professions and Wealth: The Philanthropy of High-Earning Professionals

Apr 2023
Micah McElroy, Associate Director of Research, Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative, with contributions from Rebecca Shamash, Megan Farwell, Taylor Stephens, and Vera Michalchik

Guide to Effective Philanthropy

Sep 2022
By Paul Brest
Research Paper


Announcing: Australian Edition of the Toolkit

Oct 2021
The Australian Toolkit EPLI has partnered with Perpetual Asset Management Australia to create an Australian version of the Toolkit available for free online here.  

Research Paper

Bay Area Millennial Giving: Current Trends, Challenges, & Opportunities (May 2020)

Jul 2020
By Judy Park & Kavya Shankar  


Design Thinking and Strategic Philanthropy Case Study (August 2015)

Nov 2015
Nadia Roumani, Paul Brest, and Olivia Vagelos


Problem Solving, Human-Centered Design, and Strategic Processes (October 2015)

Sep 2015
Paul Brest, Nadia Roumani, Jason Bade


Logic Models: An Overview

Mar 2015
curated by Paul Brest