Season 1: The Age of Independents

The Age of Independents: Stephanie Ellis-Smith, Phila Engaged Giving

October 31, 2018
Two years ago, Stephanie Ellis-Smith used her passion, skills and experience to start Phila Engaged Giving, an independent philanthropic advisory. Stephanie's story is emblematic of business as a natural extension of the of the people who start them.

After  a career as a change-maker, Stephanie Ellis-Smith was ready for a change. For most of her career Stephanie had worked in the non-profit and social enterprise worlds, serving as a leader, board member and founder of some of the most impactful organizations in Seattle.

In these roles she had responsibility for all aspects of the organizations--from strategy to operations to marketing--but she had a particular knack for fundraising; the lifeblood of any non-profit. Not only was she good at it, she loved doing it.

That was when Stephanie realized that she could do something she loved--raising money--while potentially having an broader and deeper impact than she'd be able to have working in any one organization. Phila Engaged Giving was born.

Phila is an independent philanthropic advisory through which Stephanie works with individuals, families, estates, foundations and businesses interested in leaving a philanthropic legacy. She helps them clarify their goals, works with them to create strategies for achieving these goals and helps them to feel the satisfaction that comes with making an impact.

Phila is great example of how independent businesses are an extension of the superpowers, passions and experiences of the people who start them. Stephanie's awareness of her own skills and values laid the foundation for a thriving business that's having an impact on the lives of her clients and the organizations and missions that they care about.