Tool Design & Development

A core function of EPLI is to design, develop, and prototype resources that help donors and the intermediaries who support them increase the effectiveness of their giving. All tools designed by EPLI are intended to be shared through a Creative Commons license. You can find a selection of some of our completed tools below.

LearnEP is a self-paced online course that is freely accessible for all who are interested in elevating their philanthropic practice. This course is designed to help you, your family, and your advisors engage in thoughtful conversations, be effective in your charitable giving, and anchor your philanthropy around what most deeply inspires you.


Access the Course

EPLI’s signature resource to guide emerging, high-capacity philanthropists through their funding journey. This book covers the essentials of improving philanthropic practice in one easy-to-follow resource (Digital version available now, print version available for purchase). 

Access the Guide

Purchase Print Copy


An action-oriented workbook and planner for donors, families and advisors who want to engage in thoughtful, inspired, and effective philanthropy. The best practices reflected in this toolkit are based on field research led by Stanford experts with donors, advisors, and nonprofits  (Digital version available now, print version available for purchase). 


Access the Toolkit

Purchase Print Copy

The PRD is an online tool comprised of approximately 280+ organizations across the United States working to support the philanthropic activities of high-capacity donors. 


Access the Directory

Additional Projects & Development

Project Overview: Online platform of curated tools for HNW donors

EPLI led the research that resulted in the creation of the Giving Compass, an online resource for high-net-worth donors who are seeking information about effective philanthropy. 

Guiding Questions:

How might we create a website where high-net-worth philanthropists can come to research answers to their strategic questions? 

How might we centralize online resources that are vouched for by other high-net-worth philanthropists and experts?  

How might we take what we’ve heard from high-net-worth philanthropist’s overlapping journeys and share commonalities in the forms of questions and relevant materials? 


In 2015, through a partnership with the Raikes Foundation, we interviewed over 50 users, then in 2016 built a prototype of what later became the Giving Compass.  When interviewing “active seeker” philanthropists, we heard consistent frustration with their difficulty in finding helpful materials to guide their strategy. Active seekers are trying to source the landscape (like articles, books, donor education programs, donor stories, and toolkits among other things) and are motivated to craft an effective plan. Yet, many don’t know where to start or where to go to find resources. They exist, but often only experts know where to find them because they are hosted by the authors that produce them. We believed the Giving Compass could help more high-net-worth donors apply effective philanthropy methods. 

Target Users:

Active Seekers: Curious, voracious consumers of knowledge who enjoy engaging in solving complex social issues. They seek the resources to help them tackle their philanthropy from a “build-to-learn” perspective, feel confident in their approach, and feel like they are applying the appropriate amount of rigor to their work.


If we provide active seeker donors with the (already existing) resources they need to navigate the donor education space, then they will know where to go to find information, will have relevant information, and will have greater confidence in mapping out their philanthropic strategy.

Giving Compass Prototype