On Wednesday, the day our challenge grant closed more than $25K over our goal, I couldn’t help but notice the serendipity when I saw this headline across my reader: "Women step up in philanthropy."
Don’t they ever.
The article focuses on women’s philanthropy in Utah, but illustrates the general and growing power of women’s philanthropy everywhere. What is true in Utah is certainly true here, where our Leadership Luncheon just broke a record breaking attendance goal of 1,500 and a fundraising goal of $1 million.
The lesson we learned? Never doubt the power of women’s philanthropy.
And it’s not just here.
In her piece, the author explains how women’s roles in philanthropy have shifted dramatically, from stamp lickers to the social change agents making the decisions and writing the checks.
The article states: "Women’s philanthropy is a rising trend. You’re seeing women have access to financial resources as never before," said Kathy LeMay, a professional "social change fund-raiser" and president and CEO of Raising Change. "Always, women have been combining their time, their talent and their treasure to make a difference," she said. "This is the time for women to have the greatest impact for women in history. Hands down."
The article discusses some of the fundamental differences between men in philanthropy and the way women do it.
"More so than men, women tend to become more involved in a cause than simply donating money on a regular basis, LeMay said. They also tend to better leverage their donor dollars by invoking what she calls the "three Cs" of philanthropy: connection, collaboration and community. Philanthropy is one of the vehicles where women can affect change … it’s a place where a lot of women find their voice," she said.
I couldn’t help but wonder if LeMay had been hanging around these halls when I read that, and taking a glance in at our committee meetings, at our board’s tremendous involvement, at a Leadership Awards deliberation meeting, at our site visits–where women are participating, every day, and lending their voice to our work, to their community.
Finally, the article ends on the note that women must live their values with their money. "Write checks where your heart lives," she added. "The possibilities are available to every single woman in that room. Together we’re stronger. Don’t try to go it alone."
These words sound like a page out of our Leadership Luncheon, where Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Executive Vice President of Community Relations, Freddie Mac and Chairman of the Freddie Mac Foundation, reminded us of the proverb, "To go fast, go alone. To go far, go with others."
Or out of African American Women’s Giving Circle member Claudia Thorne’s thoughts in this blog, and in her Washington Post op-ed, on all she has gained from giving together, on the importance of giving with the heart.
Today, this spirit is catching, particularly among women, whether they’re giving their time, their talent or their treasure. Whether they’re giving $10 or $10,000. Whether they’re giving in Salt Lake City or Washington, D.C.
Together, women are looking to give together, to give smarter, to give where they are, in their own backyard, to build better communities by supporting other women.
The Power of Giving Together. It knows no bounds.
To step up to find out how you can join the powerful wave that is women’s philanthropy in your backyard, click here if you’re in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
If not, visit the Women’s Funding Network to find a women’s fund or foundation near you.