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Help shape the field of philanthropic advising!

Survey identifies resource gaps to prepare advisors for
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Philanthropy Advisors in the U.S.:
Understanding Education, Experiences, and Gaps to Achieve Greater Impact

The field of philanthropic advising is rapidly evolving. New charitable tools and approaches have become available, and clients are eager to become more involved in creating measurable impact. Meanwhile, more advisors are entering the field to help clients meet their philanthropic goals. Yet, the profession itself remains undefined and somewhat fragmented across disciplines. Is the field ready to support philanthropy advisors in meeting the new opportunities ahead?


This survey is part of our ongoing research to define and understand the unique experiences and professional needs of today’s philanthropic advisors. 


Who are the philanthropic advisors of today? What challenges do they face in their work? What kinds of support and resources could help them generate more impact in their communities?

We aim to create a more visible, trusted, and recognizable profession by increasing the flow of philanthropic resources to support the social good. Our latest survey, Philanthropy Advisors in the U.S.: Understanding Education, Experiences, and Gaps to Achieve Greater Impact, is one step toward this vision. 
The survey results will be shared across the field to help strengthen the profession, foster greater cohesion across specialties, and increase the capacity for transformative philanthropic impact in our communities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this project?


In late 2022, a diverse group of sector leaders convened to participate in Mapping the Future of Philanthropic Advising—a series of discussions on the state of philanthropic advising and how best to develop more visibility as a profession. Throughout those discussions, it became clear that the field is rapidly changing and is filled with potential: opportunities to dedicate and utilize resources for social impact are increasing while a number of advisors are entering the field from a variety of professional backgrounds. We see increased diversity among new philanthropic advisors, greater demand for professional development and networking, and growing interest in shaping a more connected field with shared competencies and standards of practice. By the end of the two-day summit, sector leaders had identified key goals—increasing visibility, understanding, trust, and demand for philanthropic advising.


Philanthropy Advisors in the U.S.: Understanding Education, Experiences, and Gaps to Achieve Greater Impact is one of several initiatives launched by Daylight Advisors to achieve these goals. Advisors, firms, and families may use the results to inform recruitment and hiring, career planning, salary benchmarks, DEIB initiatives, professional development, and best practices, among other topics. 


What does the research involve? 

We are inviting philanthropic advisors across the U.S. to participate in the survey between July 31 and September 18, 2023. The survey asks questions on various topics, including career progression, professional development experiences and needs, business practices, challenges, and demographics.


Who can participate in the survey?

All philanthropic advisors are encouraged to participate! This includes anyone involved in navigating the who, what, why, and how of using resources for philanthropy and social impact. 


How much time will it take to complete the survey?

The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. 


If I participate, will my information be private?

Yes, all collected information will be kept private and confidential. Your name will not be tied to your responses, and the dataset will not be shared. All identifying information, such as names or organization names, will be anonymized. The findings will be reported as aggregates. Furthermore, if a portion of a quote is used to illustrate a key theme, a pseudonym will be used. 


How and when will I see the results of the survey? 

A final report will be released in conjunction with webinars on the survey findings in late 2023 and early 2024. The report will be publicly available on our website, where you can sign up to receive updates on webinars and other developments.


What do I receive for completing the survey?

Those completing the survey will have the option to register to be among the first to receive the final report by email before it is released to the public. To register, enter your email address in the last field of the survey.


I have another question not addressed here. Who should I contact?

Contact the lead researcher, Heather O’Connor, Ph.D., at

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