Generating ideas, connections, and action

LLC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Rahsaan Harris of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy

I met Rahsaan Harris, the Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, at the Independent Sector meeting in San Francisco last April.  I knew instantly that Rahsaan was a kindred spirit as we joined a round table conversation about the IS initiative on Leadership Talent in the sector.  I was excited by conversations with Rahsaan and his colleague Kate Seely about network leadership and the contributions of next generation leadership.  After the meeting I had additional conversations with Rahsaan and Kate about how to be intentional about our partnership and collaboration.  Rahsaan walks the talk when it comes to acting on what we all know are good ideas but sometimes get to bogged down to follow up on.  I was very enthusiastic when Rahsaan asked me to share some of LLC's thinking about collective leadership at their national meeting and we are equally excited that he will be attending our national meeting, Creating Space.  We are happy to be spotlighting Rahsaan’s authentic partnership spirit which we know is a precursor of great things to come.  







EPIP is a national network of foundation professionals and other social change agents that practice personal philanthropy. We promote excellence in our members' philanthropy in communities and in the social change field at large. We are a learning, teaching, and networking organization. Members are encouraged to learn by doing. EPIP exists to ensure that all emerging foundation professionals reach their potential as leaders and stewards of philanthropic resources. We also want to support others emerging as community leaders through personal philanthropy.


We're often asked what we mean by "emerging." Traditionally, our membership has consisted of young people under 40 navigating careers in philanthropy, so most people associate our use of this term with age. But for us, it's a bigger idea than that. We have grown our organization into one of the most diverse in the field. We reflect America's changing ethnic and social demographics and attract members from diverse professional backgrounds. After being around for a decade, we now recognize that you don't have to be young to be new to the field of philanthropy. We also recognize that everyone should be encouraged to practice philanthropy in their own lives, in small and large ways.


We support emerging leaders and individuals that want to engage philanthropically. Our organization supports emerging thought nurtured in places outside traditional, old-guard philanthropy. We promote diverse perspectives and value innovation for meeting societal challenges. We recognize institutional and community-based forms of philanthropy.


We believe diversity makes a difference. That is why we are intentionally lifting up our diverse membership as a talent pipeline for the field. We are dedicated to spotlighting new voices and advancing innovation in philanthropy and social change efforts. EPIP brings new coalitions of change agents together across race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and sectoral experience to tackle vexing societal problems through collective leadership. We realize we are stronger working together.



We are thankful that Deborah Meehan and the Leadership Learning Community shared thoughts on collective leadership with our membership at our 2013 EPIP National Conference in Chicago, April 6th. That thinking helped us create a collective vision of how we can lead together. Our vision was captured in a diagram that can be found at




Inline image 4