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Storme Gray, Laura Steele and Rachel Mindell

Leaders Never Stop Emerging: Embracing the Next Generation of Philanthropic Changemakers

This episode of Impact Audio features Storme Gray, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, discussing how to support true equity and make space for the full human experience.

Leaders Never Stop Emerging: Embracing the Next Generation of Philanthropic Changemakers

35 MIN

Join Submittable with philanthropy leader Storme Gray in a discussion about how emerging social impact leaders can unlock the right doors and keep them open. 



What do emerging leaders in philanthropy need to succeed? And what can current leadership learn from the up-and-coming generation? In this episode of Impact Audio, Storme Gray, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, talks with Submittable about a more equitable vision for the sector—and how to make space for vital change. 

This episode digs into:

  • How philanthropic organizations can recruit and retain diverse talent

  • The value of curiosity, inquiry, and collective care 

  • How global interconnectedness shapes a new ethos for emerging leaders

  • The power of pausing your inbox 

  • Why everyone is a leader in their own right (and continuously emerging)

  • Advice for new talent seeking to make a career in philanthropy 

Thank you for listening. We hope the conversation inspires you.


Picture of your guest, Storme Gray

Storme Gray

Storme Gray (she/her) is the Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. A passionate change agent, servant leader, and advocate for justice, her professional career includes nearly 15 years of experience in the philanthropic sector, with a focus on youth development, racial equity, and inclusive philanthropic practice. And as a proud native of Camden, NJ, Storme credits her upbringing in Camden with providing her with the tenacity and authenticity that fuels her approach to the work. Storme’s career in philanthropy began at The Summit Foundation, where she supported efforts to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health and preserve and protect the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion. From there, she went to the Bainum Family Fund, where she oversaw a grantmaking portfolio of $1 million focused on educational, workforce, and youth development programming for at-risk, low-income youth within the DC metropolitan area. Storme has also worked with national philanthropic support organizations, such as the Council on Foundations, where she created leadership development programming for philanthropic professionals, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Picture of your guest, Laura Steele

Laura Steele

Laura Steele is a content writer and editor at Submittable. She also writes fiction and nonfiction. You can read some of her stories and essays at laurapricesteele.com.

Picture of your guest, Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is Special Projects Editor at Submittable. One of the highlights of her job is talking with social impact leaders about their work and learning more about how technology can help accelerate positive change.


Episode Notes:

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Interested in more resources about equity and leadership in philanthropy?

Full transcript:

Hello and welcome to Impact Audio, the podcast asking how we can do more good and do it better. I’m Rachel Mindell and for this episode, Content Marketing Writer Laura Steele and I talked with Storme Gray, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. Storme is an inspirational thinker, executive, activist, and advocate for future leadership in social impact—please take a moment to learn more about Storme on the web page for this episode. Thanks for listening.  

RACHEL MINDELL: Storme, hello. Thank you for being with us today. How are you? 

STORME GRAY: I am well for a Wednesday. It's good to be here. Thank you for the invitation. 

RACHEL MINDELL: We're thrilled to talk with you. So to start, will you tell us about Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy? Or do you say EPIP? 

STORME GRAY: Yeah, I usually say Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, EPIP for short. And we're a national network of early to mid-career professionals in philanthropy who are striving for excellence and equity in the practice of philanthropy. Our entire mission is really around empowering these same emerging leaders and elevating philanthropic practice in order to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. 

And a lot of our work is really grounded in that. We envision a future for the sector that is deeply inclusive and responsive to communities of color and communities that are historically marginalized. We envision a workforce, a work environment that is inclusive and welcoming. So that way, everyone can bring their full selves to work. 

We really believe that we all have a shared responsibility to advancing justice through our work regardless of one's positionality or formal authority-making within one's institution. 

RACHEL MINDELL: Fantastic. And then how about your role? And how did you get involved? 

STORME GRAY: Sure. How I got involved, I'll start there first. I was an EPIP member. Back in the day, I used to work at the Council on Foundations. And my boss at the time suggested that I find just peer networks for myself. And so I looked at some of the identity based groups in the area and happened upon EPIP and saw that there was an EPIP chapter in my area and so went to a steering committee or an event or something like that they were having. 

Got involved. Joined the steering committee shortly thereafter. Not too long after that, after a couple of years, I ended up joining EPIP's board around the time we were doing our most recent strategic plan back in 2016. 

And then I joined the staff in 2017 as the director of programs. And then in 2019, I became the interim executive director. And in January of 2020, right at the top of the pandemic before the world went topsy-turvy, I became the executive director. So that's a little bit about my involvement in EPIP. 

And I really see my role as executive director as two-fold. One, I believe I have a deep responsibility to my staff to model the kind of behaviors within our stated values that we profess externally. Then, I also have a responsibility to our members in the sector to make sure that their voices and experiences are uplifted, that we are providing them with the necessary professional leadership development-- the tools, the skillsets, the community-building, the relationship-building. 

And a responsibility to the field, the philanthropic sector itself, to make sure that we are always in a space of inquiry around equitable grantmaking practices. 

What's in the way of those? I think you all, I'm sure, have a number of conversations about it. We could spend an entire episode talking about that. But really pushing us to live into our highest values as a sector and doing that from my own little lens here at EPIP. 

RACHEL MINDELL: How did you initially get your start in philanthropy? 

STORME GRAY: So I came into philanthropy straight out of college, which I think is a rarity when I talk to a lot of colleagues in the sector. Most folks fall into philanthropy from another sector. But I actually came into philanthropy anticipating going into nonprofit work, not realizing that the organization that I actually worked for was a foundation. So I started at a local family foundation based in the DC area, the Summit Foundation which was at the time called the Summit Foundation or the Summit Fund of Washington with both a domestic and international focus. 

The grants manager took a liking to me and mentored me a little bit and helped me to really understand philanthropy better. And that was my entry into philanthropy, really seeing what it looks like on a day to day basis, working with grantee partners, strategizing, being responsive, and demonstrating deep listening and partnership with grantee partners. 

And I got that all in my first job in philanthropy which I consider to be very fortunate because I know that that's not always the experience. But as someone coming straight out of college and right into the sector was very eye-opening experience for me. 

And so when I went to my next position, which was at another foundation, the Bainum Family Foundation, I believe is what they're called now. They used to be the Commonweal Foundation back in the day. I got to see grantmaking with another lens. And their whole focus with youth was youth development. And I saw, in going on site visits, myself in the kids that were being served. 

I'm from Camden, New Jersey. I did a lot of after-school programs growing up. And I realized then that foundations have the opportunity, have the privilege and responsibility, of funding some of these after-school programs and services that are so critical in the lives of young people. 

And I realized that it was my responsibility, as someone that understood that world that came from those spaces, to actually do something with it. And so I decided to stay in philanthropy and make it a career because I recognized there was an opportunity to make a positive difference. And that's what has always been most important to me-- just giving back. 

RACHEL MINDELL: Absolutely. So you're working with the next generation of philanthropic leaders. What do you think is top of mind for them? What do they care most about? 

STORME GRAY: I would say they care most about the state of our world and the state of the sector. I think that is really not much different than what a lot of us are dealing with right now. I think our members in particular really want to see philanthropy living up to its promise both externally with grantee partners, but then also internally with how they relate to staff and how they support staff and how they foster an environment that is deeply collaborative, responsive, equitable, and just. 

I think the constant question that we've seen over the years coming from our members is, how do I make a career pathway out of philanthropy? What does that look like for me, realistically? How do I build those networks and be in community with others to help me get a clearer sense of myself and the gifts that I have to bring to the forefront in philanthropy? 

And then, what is my responsibility? What is my responsibility in working in this deeply privileged sector that we call philanthropy to do something different than maybe what we've experienced before, to work in deeper partnership and collaboration with our grantee partners, to right some historical wrongs, to be more expansive and abundant and generous in thinking about philanthropy? 

LAURA STEELE: Those are some incredible ideas. And I'm just curious from your perspective, what do you think current leadership can learn from this up and coming new generation? Or what sort of ideas should be absorbed now and put into action now? 

STORME GRAY: So I'm a big believer in intergenerational knowledge sharing and learning. I believe you can't know where you're going until you understand where you've been. And so I think the biggest thing that the leaders of today could learn from their early mid-career, maybe younger staff-- the power of inquiry, the curiosity. 

I think sometimes we settle on a routine. And that routine works for a time. There comes a time when that routine may need to be reevaluated because circumstances change. Variables change. And one of the things that I have always thought is the most powerful aspect of I would say youth. I'm not even talking about young professionals. 

But I think about young adults, children, is this natural curiosity, this willingness to examine to see if it still works to understand the route to figure out, is there a way that we could do this differently? 

I would also say, going back to my earlier point, this idea of collective care. Care in the workplace, it's so bizarre to see the conversation-- and bizarre in a good way to see the conversations that are emerging now around workplace culture, around supporting staff and teams, about investment in the professional and leadership development of their staff and teams, of creating a healthy work culture. 

And I would say this generation of leaders are wholesale all in, I think, on identifying how to work in a way that does not diminish one's wellness. How to work while also being human and holding space for that? And it's messy, right? We try to do it at EPIP internally. 

And we've been on this journey for a number of years. And there have been some really beautiful lessons learned along the way. But I think this willingness to try is something that the next generation can offer or just incoming generations can offer. I think sometimes we get so set in our ways that we forget that there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goal. 

LAURA STEELE: Well, that's great that makes so much sense too, not just in philanthropy, I think. But yeah, it just sort of extends outward in a really broad way. So I know one of our recent guests, Leon Wilson, he talked about how the philanthropic sector hasn't historically been great about actively recruiting from communities of color and how that's really limited who's represented in leadership and staff roles. 

So do you have advice on how current leaders can really work to attract and then also invest in the next generation without perpetuating the inequity that becomes baked into the processes around hiring and then leadership development once someone is within the organization? 

STORME GRAY: How much time do we have for this conversation? 

LAURA STEELE: As much time as we need. 

STORME GRAY: OK. So this is one of the things that I get very excited talking about. So I guess I'll just start. The first question is, how do philanthropic organizations recruit more diverse talent? I would say, it starts with your internal practices. It starts with your current talent. Where is the diversity within your organization? 

And if the diversity-- the racial diversity, let me be clear. Where is the racial diversity within your organization? If it is concentrated mostly in the administrative early entry level positions and not reflected at the most senior leadership levels, then that's an issue that I think as an organization, if it were me, I would want to address first to explore why that is. 

What are the hiring practices? What are the promotional practices that continue to perpetuate that bias? Why is it that my junior level staff don't seem to ascend to senior levels of leadership within the organization? How am I valuing professionalism, intelligence, and these leadership characteristics that we think about? 

I think for me, just talking about my time at EPIP, it has started with an inquiry about, how do we capture or how do we define and privilege what is professional? What is expertise? Who has knowledge? Who is wise? Who is worthy of leading an initiative or speaking at a conference? And how do we determine that? What is the basis of that? Where are the biases therein? And how do we begin to address some of that? 

And so for us as an organization, it started with looking at our hiring practices. And we made some revisions. We post all salary ranges to our job positions because we deeply believe in the right and responsibility of the individual to have some kind of financial autonomy to determine whether or not the salary that we are offering is in alignment with their own assessment of their value as an individual and as a professional. 

We take a look at our job descriptions, recognizing that some job positions-- mostly administrative-- are heavily gendered towards women and the feminine. And so how can we create more gender-neutral job descriptions in addition to being clear about the salary ranges? 

We offer really, I think, great benefits. But we also have very candid conversations with any recruiting firm that we're working with to say we are looking for a diverse set of candidates. And where possible, we try to work with diverse consultants, minority, women-led entities. And we were able to, in our last round of hiring, actually, we did three searches at once and brought on three tremendous diverse leaders into our organization. And that's in part the work of the hiring consultant with the folks around the table. 

And so I think what I would say to foundation leaders, nonprofit leaders, philanthropic organization, PSOs, it really starts with an interrogation of your current practices.  

If we've tried this routine for the past several hiring cycles and seem to get the same kind of candidate, then isn't it time for us to actually try a different way, be a little bit more experimental and see, what if we tweak this a bit? What if we go in and recruit in the places in spaces where we know the kinds of candidates that we want to see exist? What if you made a stipulation within your internal hiring practices that if we're not getting a diverse pool of candidates, we go back to the drawing table and reassess? 

And yes, that slows down the process. And I know a number of us are short-staffed right now. It slows down the process, but are we searching for expediency? Or are we searching for the best possible candidate to help support our organization in advancing our mission, to give us just the kind of perspective and insight that would be deeply valuable and impactful to our work in the long term? 

And so there are a couple of things that we do at EPIP along that hiring practice. We actually go in blind with resumes. So we actually don't want to see your resume, not until you made it to the final round. We're more interested in understanding who you are as a person, whether or not there is in alignment with our values with your values, if there's a cultural fit. And we want to hear about your professional skills. 

And then, later, we'll take a look at your resume. And you can put the titles and things back in. But it actually turns things on its head so we're not prioritizing the pedigree, but we're actually looking at the person. And that's how we have oriented ourselves within our hiring practices. And we've had some really valuable lessons along the way. But again, it started with an experiment. It started with the question, what if? What if we could do this differently? What would it look like? 

And so we tried, we learned some very valuable lessons, adapted, try it again, and it continues. But each iteration, I think we get a clearer understanding of what it looks like to actually value the person from the outset. So that way, when they come into the organization, they already feel valued because they were valued as a candidate. They're going to be valued as a staff person. And then when they leave, they're still valuable. They're still a part of this larger social good ecosystem, recognizing that their time at our organization was just a stopping point to their next journey. 

So I would say for leaders that are seeking more diverse talent, take a look at your hiring practices. 

Take a look at the folks that are within your senior leadership because it's not just about recruiting diverse talent. It's your ability to manage and understand diverse talent, which requires a significant amount of internal inquiry, some gut checks, as you do this work because there are biases that show up in terms of how we perceive our staff and how we perceive ourselves. No one is immune from them. I have them myself. And I recognize and continue to work at them every day. 

But if you want to have a diverse workforce, you have to create the space where their workforce feels welcome and safe to bring who they are to work. That it is heard and seen as valuable. And they can actually have the space to be the kind of leader that you hired them to be. 

RACHEL MINDELL: What a beautiful response. Wow. I completely agreed too that it starts at that first touch point. It starts from the interview and hiring process. It sets the course for the whole relationship, so I love those values. So I want to go back to the idea of collective care because I was writing an article in 2020. And I reached out to you. And I got an auto reply from your email that was so incredible that I shared it with other people. And you had paused your inbox to reaffirm your humanity. 


RACHEL MINDELL: So I would love to hear, outside of an email pause, what steps do you take to reaffirm your humanity personally and professionally? And then as a follow up, how can leaders model that kind of behavior? 

STORME GRAY: OK. So this is another one of those questions that puts me in my happy place. 2020, so I said before I started, the role at EPIP as executive director in January of 2020, my very first role as an executive director. And it was around a time in my life where both professionally and personally, I wanted to, as I put it, to experience liberation in my body as a Black queer woman in my lifetime. 

Recognizing that if I were going to wait for systems of oppression to no longer oppress me or those who look like me, I would be good and dead by the time that may come. But recognizing that I had the individual power and authority within myself to liberate myself, and what that really meant for me was affirming my humanity. 

Oftentimes, Black women are not afforded the opportunity to be human in mixed company-- to be human in the workplace, to experience sadness, frustration, anger, those things all make us human. And I wanted that for myself because it stifled a part of my experience as a human being. And I felt like it would also stifle my experience as a leader. And so as we stepped into the pandemic, March, March 13, I buried a father figure, I called my stepdad. March 14, I went into quarantine as we all did around that time. 

And when I came back into the office after bereavement and I looked at my team, I saw that folks were just crushed and struggling to figure out how to be a professional, how to be at work. And we were a remote staff before the pandemic. But how to be in this space where there was so much fear? And how could I look them in the face stoically as though I had all the answers when I knew inside my heart was also breaking? 

So we had some really honest conversations. And I realized in the course of leadership and servant leadership that all of me needed to show up-- the deeply optimistic, the self-care fiend, deeply spiritual, and empathetic listener. And all of that needed to show up. That was the time. 

And so actually, one of my colleagues, Pat Eng at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, AAPIP for short, I saw that she put up an out-of-office message when there was the increase of anti-Asian hate crimes that was happening around the time of the coronavirus spreading. 

And that prompted me to put up my own away message, saying that I was taking a pause. Not necessarily pausing or stepping away from emails altogether-- though I'm sure a number of us wish that we could-- but really being intentional in resetting expectations. Yes, we're all working from home. But that does not mean that we're all sitting at our computer screens waiting for someone to send us an email. So that way, we can spur into action. 

It was setting a tone. It was sending a pause, setting intention. Or as Auntie Maxine would say, I'm reclaiming my time. I'm reclaiming my time as a human being. I'm reclaiming my time as a Black woman. I'm reclaiming my time as a Black woman leading an organization in the middle of a global pandemic. And what that meant was I needed to be very intentional about how I utilize my time, my energy, and all that I brought to bear in service of the organization and of our members, which meant that I had to put a pause, a boundary up. 

So that way folks understood, hey, I'm going to get back to your message. But don't expect me to get back within the next five, 10 minutes. I'm reaffirming my humanity. I am getting very clear and centered and connected to my work. And I will definitely respond to you as soon as possible. 

But while you wait, consider how you may utilize your privilege-- however you define it, whatever privilege you have-- to up end white supremacist culture, white dominant culture and be in deeper service and allyship of Black indigenous and other communities of color. And I'll get back to you. 

And so that's what I did. And I was very scared to do it, I've got to say. I was very nervous about doing it. I think sometimes you think, oh, that's so brave. I was a wreck. Can I do this? Is that going to be OK? Is it going to be OK? Is it going to be received OK? Because that's also battling the perceptions that sometimes I think in the level of scrutiny, that new leaders, that Black leaders, that Black women have upon themselves. 

Is it OK for me to say that I'm taking time for myself? Am I allowed to do that? But I recognized, yes, because I give myself permission. And yes, because as a leader, as the leader of this organization, I need my staff to see that it's OK for you to affirm your humanity. And I will affirm it with you. But it started with me modeling that for myself and living into that space that I wanted to create. 

So that's how it came about. And it's still up to this day. I don't know that I'll ever take it down. Folks have been very generous and understanding and gracious. I've had more folks say they love it and have adopted their own version of it, which is amazing and so exciting to see as we all reaffirm our humanity in that way and recognize that email and reading email is only one aspect of our day to day jobs. 

And there's definitely a balance to be struck between being responsive and reactionary. But that starts with actually having the moment to take a pause and assess, what is it that we're responding to and why? And what is it that we're reacting to and why? 

RACHEL MINDELL: It made me take a pause which I appreciated. And in that way, it was a gift.

LAURA STEELE: There's so many great layers to that. I'm curious too just what it's been like professionally and personally to sort of step from that emerging role into a leadership role, and if you've had to stop and reframe that or if that feels like a very natural progression and it's been sort of easy to make those transitions. 

STORME GRAY: So it's been very strange because I believe that leaders never stop emerging. So when we talk about our work at EPIP, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, oftentimes, folks think, oh, young, under 40, the young folks that are in philanthropy. And we have to say, well, that's not who we are necessarily anymore. 

We're the space for emerging leaders, however they define or self define that. If you are coming into the sector and you are wanting to advance justice and equity through your work and this is your first role ever in the professional space or this is your first role in a philanthropic space, EPIP is a home for you. 

And so when I think about it through that lens and this idea of leaders never stop emerging, it's funny. My board chair and I joked about this because I still am in that space of like, I don't think that I've really changed at all. I'm the same me that I've always been, but the difference is the reactions of external folks to who I am now because of the positions and the title that I carry. 

I'm the same Storme, the same girl that loves anime and Double Dutch and all those things, that will ask the uncomfortable question and hold space. Those are the same aspects of me that I have always been. The difference is I now have a title that is externally respected. But internally, I have always respected my internal leadership and power. 

And I think that all of us have power internally, naturally born with it, gifts, that we can use and bring to bear. And so for me when I think about, I guess, my quote, unquote, "emergence," I don't because I feel like I've always been this. It's just now that maybe there's space for other people to see it, recognize it, and validate it in their own way. 

I will say that the role of being an executive director has also been very eye-opening for me because I approach it differently. I want to be in collaboration with my team, with my staff. I want to understand our pain points and figure out a way together. Recognizing that as the executive director, I'm often the face of the organization in the work, but there's no me without we, without my team. We do this together. And I do this with them. 

And we do this in service of our membership in the sector at large, recognizing that there are going to always be new folks coming into the sector. So how do we do this in a way where we're as responsive and thoughtful and as intentional with how we serve our members as we are with how we run the organization? 

I think the thing that I'm learning and recognizing ever so slowly is that there is a voice. There is a platform that I now have access to. That when I think back to maybe some of the younger days in the spaces that I was in where the questions that I used to ask were not wanted, not deemed as worthy or valuable or intelligent, or may have agitated folks because I was like, well, why aren't we thinking about this or that group? Now that same questioning is welcomed, is expected. It's valued because I'm a "leader," but we're all leaders. We all have power. We all have gifts.

And so for me, it continues to be this very strange space of, I know I'm a leader in the traditional sense in terms of how we define leaders. But my definition of a leader is that we are all leaderfull. We all have it within us to lead. And so I just continue to just operate in that space. And sometimes it gets me in trouble. And even getting in trouble, I think there's something to be said about getting into good trouble. 

And I think in this role, I recognized the importance of modeling that willingness for my team and for our members and for the sector. So it's an additional level of responsibility for sure, but it's one that I shoulder gladly because there are so many that came before me that shouldered it and gave me this space to be able to show up as boldly and authentically as I am. So that way, I can pass it forward to someone else. 

LAURA STEELE: That's such a beautiful way to frame it. So what's coming up for EPIP? 

STORME GRAY: Yeah. So it's been a good time for us in spite of the pandemic. So last year, we celebrated our 20th anniversary. So EPIP turned 20 years old, 20 years of supporting diverse emerging change-makers in our sector. And so a lot of our work has been thinking about the next 20, the road ahead. Where are we heading? So we've recently expanded our communities of practice. 

For the past several years, we've had a People of Color Network, which is exclusive to EPIP members of color to provide space for folks to just find one another and fellowship, but also do some really targeted professional development at the intersection of what I call a tenure in racial identity within the sector, and so an outgrowth of that one community of practice. 

We have now, as been often, have two more. So we have an Emerging Women of Color Space. That's a community of practice for our members who identify as emerging women of color. And then we also have a White Allyship Space which is a community of practice for EPIP members who identify as white to really address some of the challenges that may come up when dealing with white dominant culture both how it shows up within oneself like how we embody it and how it shows up in our work and how it may provide be a barrier really to being in deeper allyship with our colleagues or the communities that are being served through grantmaking practices. 

And then this year, we have launched Philanthropology, which is basically an introduction to philanthropy with a social justice lens. 

Taking a look at the full scope of the philanthropic ecosystem from grantmaking institutions to PSOs to philanthropic advisory services to consultancy, taking a look at the sector that we are in, gaining a historical understanding of how our sector came to be inclusive of the wealth extraction that led to philanthropy existing as a sector, but then, also taking a look at the personal responsibility. 

It's one of those things that once you know, you can't unknow. So what do I do with this? What is my personal responsibility as a leader? Because we are all leaders in our own right, what is my responsibility? In my lane of privilege and authority and access, what can I do? What is my own personal leadership stance to be a leader for equity? So those are the two programs that we are actually doing in partnership with a number of our EPIP chapters and some of our institutional members this year. 

It's a really exciting time for us as an organization. We're in a period of really re-imagining the future of philanthropy. 

Reimagine was our theme for our 20th anniversary. And we continue to be in that space of reimagining and begun to expand a little bit and expand some of our programmatic offerings, expanding our team, expanding the ways in which we partner with other organizations in the sector to create a fuller, more deeply aligned, and connected social good sector. 

RACHEL MINDELL: Fantastic. It has been so wonderful talking with you today. To close this out, I want to ask you, what advice would you give people who are considering a career in philanthropy? 

STORME GRAY: Be prepared to make it and shape it as you want it to be. I think philanthropy is a very broad sector. And so saying that you want to come into philanthropy is great. Be clear on what it is that you would like to do, but also be open to the possibilities of the unknown. Be willing to be experimental and get to know folks. Find your people. Build community. Gain additional perspective. 

There's the saying, one foundation works the way that one foundation works. One PSO works the way one PSO works. So each organization is deeply unique. So I would say, for those who are looking to come into philanthropy, definitely do your research about the sector itself, but also be willing to go with the flow a little bit. 

Philanthropy is not one of those sectors where I think there's like a step ladder to success or step ladder to leadership. It feels circular, swirly. It just takes its own shape and form. And I think for those who are looking to come into the sector, be willing to shake your experience. And recognize that there are multitude of ways to be engaged in the philanthropic sector and to make an impact beyond the role of grantmaker. 

It's definitely one of the most powerful roles, one of the most direct roles. But I myself am a firm believer that if you are working in the philanthropic sector, you are already in a place of privilege. And as such, you have the ability to actually make a difference. So figure out what that is for you. 

Thanks for spending time with us today. Be sure to check out our episode notes to learn more about EPIP and to access great resources on meeting the future of philanthropy. 

Impact Audio is edited and produced by Jordan Marvin, Laura Steele, and yours truly. Submittable is a cloud-based social impact platform designed to help your team make better decisions and have a bigger impact. We’d love to partner with you to maximize social good and create lasting change through smarter technology—find out more at Submittable.com. And until next time, take good care. 

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