Coaching for Effective Philanthropy

Coaching—helping others maximize their own potential for insight and smart decision making—is a critical skill for funders who want to take their giving to the next level. Equipped with essential coaching skills, funders are better able to help trustees, staff, and grantees gain awareness, discover new ways of thinking, and focus their energy on creating solutions.

Based on years of experience integrating coaching into Exponent Philanthropy’s work, as well as practical experience with foundation leaders as a core part of our Master Juggler Executive Institute, the new Coaching for Effective Philanthropy program translates popular business coaching skills to the field of philanthropy.

Learning how to coach will enable you to deepen your relationships, develop your capacity to serve and lead, and give you the satisfaction and fulfillment of bringing out the best in yourself and others.

The 2016 program is now full. Contact Andy Carroll to be the first to hear about our next coaching program.


“Our coaching group helps us think about developing ourselves as leaders and enables us to be more effective resources for our foundations.”

–Janis Reischmann, Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation

“I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of a learning cohort of colleagues with whom I may share some things in common and others who will offer new perspectives. I feel this is an opportunity to further develop myself and learn how to enhance my coaching skills—skills I use daily in decision-making, mentoring, managing, and engaging various stakeholders. I believe this training will help me become a better funder, leader, teacher, philanthropic professional, and person.”

–Sharmila Rao Thakkar, The Siragusa Foundation

Program Elements 

In-Person Intensive
September 25 | Chicago
Immerse yourself in coaching with this full-day training. You’ll be guided by faculty through a series of activities designed to help you explore the coaching mindset and strengthen your coaching skills. You’ll be prepared to embark on coaching sessions with the support of experts and peers.                     

*In conjunction with Exponent Philanthropy’s 2016 National Conference, September 26–28. We encourage you to maximize your travel budget by registering for both programs.

Virtual Coaching Sessions

Engage in four 90-minute coaching sessions with a small group of peers. You’ll internalize the coaching mindset and skills through focused practice with coaching, being coached, and observing others, coupled with targeted guidance from a certified coach.

During the sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to make progress toward one self-identified goal. You may hope to:

  • Activate a disengaged board member or colleague
  • Strategize how to “get it all done” with few or no staff
  • Diffuse power dynamics and conflict in the board room or workplace
  • Identify ways to improve a relationship with a colleague or family member
  • Articulate your values, passions, and the change you want to see in the world

Individual Self-Reflection

Dig into self-reflection, prepare for coaching sessions, and complete additional assignments from faculty that will enrich your learning journey.

Closing Webinar
December 13 | 1-3 p.m. ET

Reconnect with the full cohort to reflect on personal learnings and progress, learn from other participants’ experiences, and commit to continued growth using the coaching mindset and skills.

Application Procedures

Participation is by online application, and space is limited to ensure a first-rate experience for all involved. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interest is high, so we encourage you to apply today.

Applications will be reviewed to ensure that participants are committed to this unique training opportunity. As we fill the cohort, we will assess all applications to ensure a diverse range of experience, perspectives, roles, and geography. We will also consider the fit between applicants’ learning objectives and training design. Prior experience with or knowledge of coaching is not necessary for participation— newcomers are strongly encouraged to apply.

The 2016 program is now full. Contact Andy Carroll to be the first to hear about our next coaching program.



Our remarkable faculty are carefully chosen for their rich experience with philanthropy and nonprofits, as well as their accessibility and engaging presentation styles.

  • Jen Lachman, a certified professional co-active coach who specializes in strategic planning, leaderships coaching and development, board development, and facilitation
  • Andy Carroll, an Exponent Philanthropy senior program director with 30 years of experience in philanthropy management, training, and program development

See Faculty Bios