Phil Buchanan




The Center for Effective Philanthropy


Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, is a passionate advocate for the importance of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Hired in 2001 as the organization’s first chief executive, Phil has led the growth of CEP into the leading provider of data and insight on philanthropic effectiveness. 

Phil is author of Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count, published in 2019 by PublicAffairs and named the “Best Philanthropy Book of the Year” by Inside Philanthropy. He is co-host of a podcast, also called Giving Done Right, with CEP’s Grace Nicolette. Phil is a frequent blogger for the CEP Blog, author of op eds that have appeared in a variety of publications, and a frequent commentator on philanthropy in the media. 

Phil is co-founder of YouthTruth, an initiative of CEP’s designed to harness student perceptions to help educators and funders accelerate improvements in K–12 schools and classrooms. In 2016, he was named the Nonprofit Times “influencer of the year” and he has been named 11 times to that publication’s “Power and Influence Top 50” list. Phil serves on the boards of directors of the National Council on Aging, where he chairs the Governance Committee. 

Born in Toronto, Phil grew up in Oregon before attending Wesleyan University, where he majored in Government. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and dog.

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