The Center for Effective Philanthropy provides data,
feedback, programs, and insights to help individual and
institutional donors improve their effectiveness.
We do this work because we believe effective donors, working
collaboratively and thoughtfully, can profoundly contribute to
creating a better and more just world.
Do you believe rigorous research can have a great impact in the
real world and serve as a catalyst for change? Are you inspired to
transform research into practical recommendations that can inform
philanthropic practices and help foundations, other grantmakers,
and individual donors more effectively tackle societal issues?
Do you believe philanthropy is most effective when research
findings are used as tools to inform approaches and practices that
enhance its impact?
Are you driven to implement rigorous research methodologies and
data-informed analyses to bring about results?
Are you inspired to learn from CEP’s audience and create
accessible research products that serve their needs? Can you be a
voice and advocate for what effective philanthropy looks like,
making the case for the value of philanthropy and its role in
strengthening communities and addressing pressing challenges?
Do you enjoy building teams and working across disciplines?
If so, we invite you to keep reading to explore the opportunity
to create, lead, and facilitate the adoption of actionable research
to make an enduring difference in the philanthropic sector and
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE
The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is a nonprofit
organization that offers independent analysis of data on the
practice of philanthropy and, at the same time, serves as a
powerful voice for the importance of good grantmaking and giving
practices. Put simply, CEP provides data and influences
philanthropic funders – foundations, other grantmakers, and
individual donors – to enhance their effectiveness.
CEP’s work includes conducting assessments that gather
actionable feedback from key stakeholders, undertaking data-driven
research, providing customized advisory services to funders,
facilitating thought-provoking events, and publishing incisive
commentary on the CEP blog. CEP also disseminates its insights
through speaking engagements, the Giving Done Right podcast, media,
videos, trade journals, social media, and other vehicles.
CEP received its initial funding in 2001 and has offices in
Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. CEP has a
staff of 60 and an annual budget of $14 million. CEP staff values
its work culture, which emphasizes empowerment, accountability,
teamwork, collegiality, diversity, and mutual respect.
At CEP, we strive to balance in-person time with flexibility and
the needs of each person, their team, and the larger organization.
We believe culture,
communication, trust, training, and certain kinds of creative work
benefit from in-office interactions – and we believe that the
flexibility of remote work also has many advantages. Staff are in
one of our two offices at least two days per week, and everyone
enjoys the option to work fully remotely from anywhere four weeks
per year. The Vice President for Research could be based in either
For more information on The Center for Effective Philanthropy,
please visit https://cep.org/.
The Vice President for Research defines the organization’s
research agenda and has leadership and oversight of all aspects of
research projects related to the effective philanthropic practices
for both philanthropic foundations and major individual donors.
This includes conceptualization, design, execution, analysis,
writing, presentation of research results, and speaking and writing
publicly on behalf of the organization. The VP for Research helps
to fundraise for research initiatives. In addition to managing a
research team of six, the VP for Research also works closely with
other members of the CEP staff as needed. The VP for Research is a
member of the organization’s senior staff and reports directly to
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Key responsibilities include:
Defining and managing the execution of CEP’s research agenda
- Identifying new areas and topics for research.
- Designing and managing research projects.
- Ensuring the utility, quality, and rigor of research questions,
methodologies, data analyses, and reporting of findings.
Externally representing CEP by:
- Writing about CEP’s work for sector and mainstream
- Presenting CEP’s work at key national, regional, and local
speaking engagements and conferences.
- Developing and maintaining external relationships.
- Elevating the discussion on what it means to be a good
grantmaker or donor and the barriers that impede
Managing and collaborating with teams and contributing to
- Overseeing a team of six.
- Working closely with the programming and external relations
team on the production, dissemination, and promotion of research
reports and insights.
- Advising assessment and advisory services team and the
YouthTruth team on a variety of research-related topics, such as
data analyses and survey design approaches.
- Advising on CEP’s organizational strategy.
Supports fundraising for CEP’s research by:
- Developing research ideas and proposals for project
- Identifying and cultivating potential funders, working
collaboratively with the President and the Vice President for
Programming and External Relations.
- Developing and maintaining relationships with funders.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate will be an experienced professional with the
following skills, qualities, and experience:
- At least 10 to 15 years of research experience in roles
demanding exceptional analytical skills and writing research
reports based on quantitative and qualitative findings for use by
- Demonstrated mastery of basic (e.g., including t-test,
chi-square, analysis of variance and linear regression) and
advanced (e.g., factor analysis, multilevel modelling) quantitative
methodologies. Firm understanding of methodologies and data
analyses with the ability to manage expert researchers.
- Proven ability to develop complex and robust surveys and
- Excellent people management skills, with the ability to
effectively supervise a team, be a mentor to others, and act as
someone who works to develop team members towards organizational
and career success.
- Exceptional project management skills, with the ability to work
collaboratively in teams and manage multiple projects with complex
deliverables in a fast-paced environment.
- Aptitude for learning new methods of analysis and data analysis
- Ability to quickly build relationships and comfortably interact
with high-level senior executives.
- Experience mentoring or teaching research and data analysis
- The highest level of personal integrity and commitment to rigor
- A work ethic consistent with CEP culture: sharp attention to
detail; track record of being highly organized, responsive, and
team oriented; ability to accurately set goals and consistently
meet commitments; proven success in a dynamic environment.
- Transparency, honesty, accountability, self-awareness, and
continuous learning and self-reflection.
- A strong and positive leadership presence and the ability to
act as a compelling spokesperson for CEP and its research,
humility, and integrity are all a must.
- An advanced degree with a slight preference for a doctorate
degree in related field (e.g., economics, education, sociology,
political science, psychology, sociology, etc.).
Nominations and applications, including cover letters and
resumes, should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at
The Center for Effective Philanthropy is an equal
opportunity employer. CEP does not discriminate on the basis of
race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression,
pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility,
veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or
any other category protected by law. CEP strongly encourages and
seeks applications from women, people of color, members of the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.