The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) provides data and creates insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness – and, as a result, their intended impact. This mission is based on a vision of a world in which pressing social needs are more effectively addressed. We believe improved performance of philanthropic funders can have a profoundly positive impact on nonprofit organizations and the people and communities they serve.
CEP pursues its mission through data collection and research that fuel the creation of assessment tools, publications, and programming. Since receiving initial funding in 2001, CEP has produced widely referenced research reports on foundation performance assessment, foundation strategy, foundation governance, and foundation–grantee relationships. CEP has created new data sets relevant to foundation leaders and hosted highly regarded programming focused on key issues related to funder effectiveness.
More than 200 foundations – including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – have used CEP's assessment tools. Many have implemented significant changes on the basis of what they have learned, according to third-party assessments. CEP has been credited in the press with "shaking up" the foundation world and is viewed as the leading institution in providing performance assessment data to foundations in the U.S. and, increasingly, internationally.
We believe that committed individuals will grow and develop in an environment in which they are trained, mentored, and supported. We value hard work and productivity, but also recognize the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. CEP is committed to fostering an environment in which each employee has a strong sense of ownership for the work that they do, and the work of CEP as a whole. Strengths of CEP's work culture are entrepreneurialism, accountability, teamwork, collegiality, diversity, and mutual respect.
CEP is based in Cambridge Massachusetts, with a second office in San Francisco, California.