Funder Executive Education Program

Center for High Impact Philanthropy

Center for High Impact Philanthropy


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Who should attend

This program is for grantmakers, foundation trustees, foundation executive directors/CEOs and other philanthropic leaders who are eager to create more social impact with their giving. The ideal participant has ongoing direct experience with philanthropy.

About the course

CHIP’s Funder Education Program builds on over ten years of helping funders and grantmakers worldwide achieve greater social impact.

What Will You Learn?

High impact philanthropy is getting the most “good” for your philanthropic “buck.” It is the process by which a philanthropist makes the biggest difference possible, given the amount of capital invested. This means focusing first on achieving social impact – i.e., a meaningful improvement in the lives of others (vs. other concerns such as maximizing the funder’s tax benefit or honoring a funder’s loved one). Participants will learn the tools and strategies needed to apply the principles of high impact philanthropy to their own efforts.

Program Format

This week-long program takes place on the University of Pennsylvania campus within a small cohort with no more than 25 participants. Due to the size of the cohort, each participant becomes an active contributor to the group discussion, enhancing the learning experience for the entire cohort and building individual connections that last well beyond the week. Each day includes lectures and discussion, with special networking events at the start and end of the program.

Program Modules


Our field is exploding with new affinity groups, advocacy groups, peer and external assessment organizations, regional and international associations, and re-branded older groups. This session will unpack this increasingly crowded space and inscrutable acronyms. Learn how you can identify like-minded funders and the latest state of art for your own funding interests.


Doing the right thing when you have power and money is harder than it seems. This session will help you to anticipate the ethical pitfalls that emerge in grantmaking and consider how following best practices and applying the “conscious use of self” can help you avoid them. Dive into case studies that explore conflict of interest, compensation, board composition, funder behavior, the implications of the power of the funder, equitability and social justice.


The American legal system sets significantly different rules for Not For Profit organizations and Private Foundations. What are your grantees’ responsibilities and what are yours? For private foundations, the penalties for violating the law can jeopardize the existence of your foundation and put board members at risk. Moreover, laws regarding NGO registration and accountability in other countries vary widely. Expenditure responsibility applies for domestic and international grantmaking but the 501(c) 3 designation can streamline the process, What does this mean for your grantmaking?


  • Establishing a culture, mission, and focus
  • Classic grantmaking approaches and analysis
  • Alternative models 1: Start ups, Arts, etc.
  • Alternative models 2: Impact, hybrid, multi-sector


Program evaluation is a powerful tool for gaining insight into needs, improving programs, and documenting impact. But to reap these benefits you need to know what you want and how to get it from evaluation. What is the difference between monitoring and evaluation? Is establishing metrics the only way to get actionable data? When is the right time to start evaluating? This session will equip you with a clear framework for making good decisions about how to use evaluation to support your philanthropic goals.


Good governance, to say nothing of US law, requires that every foundation have a board approved investment policy. To achieve maximum impact with those dollars, that policy should reflect the desired values and goals of what the foundation hopes to achieve with its dollars. This session will present how investment policies to achieve perpetuity have traditionally been set. It will also show how one established an investment policy for spend-out, how one can use various values screens and vehicles to more closely align the full scope of foundation assets. While this session will use a private foundation model as the basis of the discussion, the principles apply for individuals, trusts, and many donor advised fund strategies as well.


Trustees, principals, and family members who are involved in philanthropy must establish policies – some mandated by the law, others mandated by good governance. In the philanthropy world, especially in family philanthropy, everything can be experienced as personal. Therefore, while true for all organizations, there is particular value in proactively establishing policies regarding spending, compensation, conflict of interest, term limits, succession, board composition, data retention, whistle blower, and more – as early as possible. This module will review those policies covered earlier in the week, add those that are legally mandated, and recommend processes for establishing them as painlessly and productively as possible.


Every grant has an end, even if it is to renew. This session will help funders establish constructive guidelines for exit strategies for a variety of circumstances and will serve to complete the funding cycle process of the week.


Each participant will be invited to present or propose a case challenge from his/her own work for class review or discussion. These can be presented anonymously if desired. These conversations will provide an opportunity for very personalized take-aways from the week’s curriculum.


Christopher Geczy

Chris Geczy has been on the Finance Faculty at Wharton since 1997 and is Academic Director of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research. He is also Academic Director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative at Wharton Executive Education. He has a B.A. in eco...

Deborah Small

Professor Deborah Small's research interfaces psychology and economics, examining fundamental processes that underlie human decision making. Professor Small's research has been published in toptier academic journals across Psychology and Marketing. She serves as an Associate Editor for Journal o...

Katherina Rosqueta

Katherina M. Rosqueta is the founding executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the only university-based center with a singular focus on philanthropy for social impact. She leads a multi-disciplinary team that builds practical knowledge on how philanthropy can do more good. ...

Carra Cote-Ackah

Carra Cote-Ackah is a senior fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, co-chair of the Surdna Foundation’s Investment Committee, and executive director of Community Stewardship for Vanguard. As a senior fellow, she teaches in the Center’s executive education programs and serves as an ad...

Richard Henriques

Richard ‘Dick’ Henriques is a Senior Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Wharton Social Impact Initiative. In that role, he leads the Center’s work to develop practical guidance on how to deploy capital, alongside grants, to achieve philanthropic goals. He was the lead author of...

Richard Marker

Richard Marker is faculty co-director for executive education programs at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. Marker has been in the philanthropy world for many years: as CEO of a major foundation, a trustee of several others, and a speaker to foundations, wealth management firms, and philan...

Katherine Hovde

Katherine (Kate) H. Hovde is a senior advisor in education issues for the Center for High Impact Philanthropy in the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She has particular expertise in education policy, program design, and evaluation, both in the U.S. and abr...

Mirele Goldsmith

Mirele B. Goldsmith is an independent evaluator who helps organizations to use the tools of evaluation to improve their programs. With many years of experience in the trenches as a non-profit manager, she adapts the evaluation process to fit real-world time and resource limitations. Prior to est...

Donald Kramer

Donald W. Kramer is chair of the Nonprofit Law Group at the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP. Mr. Kramer has more than 40 years of experience dealing with the concerns of nonprofit organizations, not only as a lawyer, but also as a teacher, writer, publishe...

Ron Albahary

Ron Albahary is an instructor in the Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s executive educations programs and currently sits on the industry advisory board for Aligning Equity (working title), the Center’s joint initiative with Tara Health Foundation and Wharton Social Impact Initiative examining ...

Funder Executive Education Program at Center for High Impact Philanthropy

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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