This year, I have had the privilege of co-chairing the Rainmakers Giving Circle. The Circle was organized under the auspices of The Women’s Foundation and provides grants to organizations that improve the lives of under-resourced girls and young women in the DC region. I’m pleased to report that we are now 34 women strong and celebrating our 11th year of grantmaking.
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What do you remember about turning 15? What I remember most about that incredible year was learning to drive. Getting a learner’s permit and being able to hit the road (with a licensed adult) was my first really big step toward independence and, if my mother’s terrified face over in the passenger’s seat was any indication, I was starting out enthusiastically but needed a little guidance. Her hand on the wheel helped steer me away from the mailboxes and signs that lined Roswell Road. Her slightly strained voice reminded me that I needed to switch lanes after checking my blind spot (and turning just my head, not the whole minivan). She taught me how to read a map to make sure that I was going in the right direction. Eventually, she kept her hands off the wheel and trusted me to change lanes without saying “car! Car! CAR!” to me with increasing urgency.
WPI releases personal reflections from giving circle founders, including African American Women’s Giving Circle!Monday, September 14th, 2009
Personal reflections from women founders of the early giving circles are included in a new booklet just released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Among the 18 interviews in Women’s Giving Circles: Reflections from the Founders is Lynn McNair’s story of her involvement with the African American Women’s Giving Circle at Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
November 22, 2006, when I posted my first post to this blog, seems like a lifetime ago (not in a bad way). And I know now that anyone who says that a job is just a job has never worked at The Women’s Foundation.
There is something about being with a group of women and sharing the collective spirit of a common purpose that turns delight into magic and conversation into revelation.
On Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a recruitment event of the African American Women’s Giving Circle. Though a little warm outside, the heat was no match for the cool conversation and comfort of good company.
Last Thursday was the kick-off of a new cycle of the Rainmaker’s Giving Circle.
Like many families, ours is considering ways to save more and spend less given the economic uncertainty we are all facing. This year, I considered saying “no” or “taking a break” for this cycle and waiting to see where things go with the economy and my and my husband’s jobs.
On Monday, I listened to the President’s first press conference. I could see that the weight of his responsibilities rest heavy upon him. The enormity of the responsibility that he bears for moving the country through these challenges times is certainly not enviable.
Yesterday in Philantopic, Foundation Center President Bradford Smith made the case for which nonprofits are "too big, too important or too (blank) to fail." In other words, these are the nonprofits that he’d give a bailout to, if he had the choice.
Looking at the recent grants issued by our two giving circles, they may seem a bit counter-intuitive given the current economic climate.
Some have asked me why I believe funding the arts for girls is so important when there are many other pressing issues and priorities in our city, and funds are so tight.
As donors try to think of a way to maximize their gifts at a time of such great need througout the country, a lot of attention is falling upon giving circles as an innovative way to give a lot–as a collective, without breaking the bank–as an individual.