Advising for Impact Certificate Program

Advising for Impact Certificate Program

A high impact philanthropy program for wealth advisors

As more and more donors seek to use their wealth to create greater social impact, there is growing recognition that wealth advisors can provide valuable support to those efforts. However, few wealth advisors have been trained in philanthropy for social impact, and alumni/ae of our flagship funder education program as well as participants in our Talent for Giving workshop suggest that without such training, wealth advisors not only miss opportunities to support clients, but they can sometimes be viewed as impeding clients’ social impact goals.

Who is this program for

The Advising for Impact program is designed to lay the foundation for professionals seeking to incorporate social and philanthropic impact into their wealth advising practice. Program participants should manage client resources and serve in a strategic advisory capacity to their clients. Wealth advisors, staff at family offices, and philanthropic services professionals at private banks are examples of the types of professionals for whom this program has been designed.

What you will learn

Delivered in a convenient online format, this program teaches the fundamental principles of high impact philanthropy and how you can support your clients’ aspirations to achieve greater social impact. The curriculum is designed around the core components of CHIP’s  Funder Education Program, adapted for those who are in an advisory role.

You will:

  • Strengthen your knowledge and confidence to advise client families and Next-Gen members on their giving goals and strategies.
  • Gain tools to help clients clarify their philanthropic identity, values, and vision to drive their social impact decision-making.
  • Understand philanthropic and impact investing vehicles and how to help clients build a philanthropic portfolio that better deploys resources for their social impact goals.
  • Distinguish your practice with meaningful high impact philanthropic advising skills taught by an Ivy League university.
  • Create meaningful and measurable impact for your clients by using a high impact advising lens to lead clients to the most impactful funding opportunities.

Join our inaugural cohort

If you are interested in program admission, please complete this interest form and our team will contact you regarding next steps for applying to the program.

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What factors influence clients’ philanthropic goals and how do these goals intersect with personal and financial goals. To ensure advisors are prepared to support clients in their philanthropic goals, we will cover what every advisor needs to know about the current language and structure of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystems in the U.S., the largest nonprofit and philanthropic systems in the world. Through case examples and tools developed through the Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s Funder Education Program and Talent for Giving, participants will leave the kickoff better prepared for early conversations to support each client’s unique path to greater social impact.

What makes a person give, anyway? Beyond legal and tax considerations, donors actually choose to be philanthropic for a variety of reasons. This session examines motivations for giving and the values that inform those motivations. Participants will learn about the most common giving profiles and tools such as a ‘giving inventory’ that can help engage clients in discussing their past motivations and begin clarifying their future philanthropic goals.

As the saying goes, no man is an island, and philanthropy is shaped by a number of factors beyond the individual motivations explored in the previous module. Family dynamics and the intergenerational transfer of wealth are powerful forces influencing philanthropy in our time. In addition, overlooked ethical implications and new philanthropic structures shape how principals choose to give. Participants will examine these factors and evaluate how each influences their clients’ philanthropic decision-making.

Who doesn’t want to generate “high impact”? But what does “high impact” in the context of philanthropy really mean? And how do you apply the principles of high impact philanthropy to the diversity of causes and interests clients may have? This module builds on the Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s 13 years of applied research and teaching on how to achieve greater social impact. Participants will learn CHIP’s definition of high impact philanthropy and common myths regarding achieving high impact. We will explore how a variety of program models and opportunities to give can fit into a high impact philanthropic portfolio. Most importantly, we will discuss the ways advisors can support the creation of such portfolios.

How can you and your clients assess the performance of their philanthropic and social impact activities? Program evaluation is a powerful tool for gaining insight into needs, improving programs, and demonstrating impact. But much like work towards achieving financial goals, in order to reap these benefits, you need to know what you want and how to get it from your performance assessment activities. What is the difference between monitoring and evaluation? Is establishing metrics the only way to get actionable data? When is the right time to start evaluating? This session of the course will equip participants with a high-level framework to support clients’ philanthropic goals.

Helping clients apply the principles of high impact philanthropy is new territory for many advisors. As with any new endeavor, participants will face challenges as they introduce social impact considerations into the work of supporting their clients’ philanthropic goals. By encouraging participants to define success on their own terms, this session will help mitigate the anxiety of trying something new. We will identify common pitfalls, share best-practice solutions, and generate suggestions from peer participants to begin building a community of practice beyond the formal conclusion of the program.

Application Process

To start the admissions process, please complete the inquiry form and our team will contact you regarding next steps for application.

We are expecting high demand for this session, but will be keeping the program small to allow program faculty to build an appropriate class and customize certain modules to address the goals and perspectives of admitted students. If you find that your plans have changed and you cancel more than 60 days before the program, CHIP will refund 90% of your fees or transfer 100% of your fees to a future session. With less than 60 days notice, we will transfer 100% your fees to a future session.

Registration Rates


Special Rates

Penn Alumni registration: $4,250

We encourage multiple attendees from the same organization. For more information about group rates, onsite trainings, and custom engagements, please contact Mariah Casias at

Certification Option

Those who have successfully completed our Advising for Impact program are eligible to apply for a certification in high impact philanthropy. Two certifications are available.

Basic certification. To receive a basic certification in high impact philanthropy, participants must receive a passing score on an exam designed to test applicants’ knowledge of the key concepts and tools covered in the Advising for Impact program.

Advanced certification. To receive advanced certification, participants must receive a passing score on the basic certification exam and submit a capstone project to be reviewed by center faculty. Certificate awarded upon acceptance of the capstone project.