Ellie Buteau

Ellie Buteau

Vice President, Research, Center for Effective Philanthropy

Ellie Buteau, PhD, Vice President, Research, oversees the design, execution, and writing of CEP’s research and manages the organization’s research team. She is a leading authority on foundation strategy, foundation performance assessment, and foundation-grantee relationships and an expert in research design and statistical analysis. She has authored or co-authored numerous reports, articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts on issues related to foundation effectiveness – including Working Well With Grantees: A Guide for Foundation Program Staff and How Far Have We Come? Foundation CEOs on Progress and Impact. Ellie frequently speaks about CEP’s research at national and international conferences and was one of 12 nonprofit leaders selected nationally as a 2012 Independent Sector American Express NGen Fellow.

Before joining CEP in 2004, Ellie led the design and analysis of education and health-related research projects at Cornell University, Tufts University, and a variety of nonprofit organizations. She taught courses on statistics at Tufts University and published research in a number of journals. She received a PhD in Social-Personality Psychology from City University of New York Graduate Center and a BA in Psychology, awarded with Great Distinction, from McGill University in Montreal. Ellie is an avid consumer of pop culture, a fan of dance in particular, and has practiced yoga for many years.

Philanthropy and Policy: Undue Influence or Crucial Strategic Lever?

Minneapolis Ballroom ABCD

Forthcoming research from CEP will explore how funders approach the question of influencing policy at the national, local, and regional levels. When and how should funders influence policy? When do funders’ actions strengthen democracy, and when might they undermine it? What should be the guiding principles for funders as they consider the role of policy influence in their strategies? CEP’s research and a panel of philanthropic leaders will consider these questions.

Breakout session Plenary

Aspiration Gap: Nonprofits, Diversity, and the Role of Philanthropy


Nonprofit leaders know it’s crucial for their effectiveness to be diverse at the staff, leadership, and board levels. But, in many areas, CEP research reveals that their sense of how diverse they actually are is a long way from where they believe it needs to be. How can this be changed? What is the role of foundations in  supporting nonprofit efforts to become more diverse, as well as to foster inclusivity and equity? How are foundations themselves doing on these dimensions, and how might they get better?

Breakout session

Pre-conference Session – Greater Good: Lessons from Those Who Have Started Grantmaking Organizations and Reception

Minneapolis Ballroom EFG

New foundations and grantmaking entities (including donor-advised funds, LLCs, and others) face unique challenges in the first years of their giving. Countless donors and staff have sought advice from those who have come before them in areas such as board relations, staffing up, and daily operations. We invite all foundation leaders, trustees, and major donors of entities that have begun their grantmaking in the last 20 years to join an exclusive pre-conference session in which we will explore the findings from a new CEP report on new grantmakers’ best practices, hear candidly from leaders of early-stage organizations, and connect with […]