Tag Archives: women philanthropists

Women and philanthropy

Women and philanthropy“Women rock!” “Women rule!” “If you want something done, ask a woman.” “Women hold up half the sky.” Its women’s history month and time to highlight women’s role as philanthropists and fundraisers.

Join us in paying tribute to women and girls who nurture and support families and communities across the country and around the globe. Sometimes we are recognized, often we are not. We are the grandmother putting money in her granddaughter’s pocket as she heads off to college. We are girl scouts selling cookies, sorority sisters raising money for scholarships, and girls running in St. Jude’s fundraising marathons across the country.  We are Oseola McCarty, a Hattiesburg Mississippi washerwoman, giving $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi, and Wylodine Taylor Patton the alumna leaving $487,500 to LeMoyne-Owen College. We are Helen LaKelly Hunt and Ambassador Swanee Hunt launching “Women Moving Millions,” encouraging women to give $1 million gifts and raising over $500 million to change the lives of women and girls. We are Gayle Rose creator of Team Max, a “vigilante philanthropy” group of young people giving to others in honor of her generous son Max who lost his life in a car accident.

We give as individuals, and we give collectively through women’s foundations and giving circles. We are the Women’s Funding Network, founded 30 years ago, and now the largest philanthropic network in the world devoted to women and girls with 160 members from 30 countries on six continents. We promote philanthropy, encouraging others to give through online portals such as Black Gives Back, started by Tracey Webb, a woman of course.

We are presidents and CEOs of regional and national foundations, setting the philanthropic agenda, funding research and making grants that affect every aspect of life. We are Jan Young (The Assisi Foundation of Memphis), Judy Belk, (The California Wellness Foundation), Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Carol S. Larson (David and Lucile Packard Foundation), Patricia E. Harris (Bloomberg Philanthropies), Audrey Yamamoto (Asian Pacific Fund) and Helene D. Gayle (CARE).

As professional fundraisers we raise funds for social organizations, political parties, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, arts institutions and more. We are Jann Honore, a fundraising executive with more than 30 years experience with UNCF raising money for generations of college students. We are Maricar Boyle, focused on health, education and the environment; Dionne Jackson with Lehigh University; Gurdeep Sihota He’Bert, executive director State Center Community College Foundation; and Iris R. Ramey, Vice President for Development, Hampton University. We are Marianne G. Briscoe, President and Managing Director of Brakeley Briscoe, a leading fundraising consulting firm that provides services across the Americas.

The list of women who make a difference is longer than long. If you want to meet a woman philanthropist, look in the mirror or into the eyes of the women and girls in your life.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Black Gives Back

Tracy Webb, women fundraisers, women philanthropists, next generation philanthropists, African American philanthropy, fundraising, BlackGivesBackIf you want to challenge your thinking on the relationship between African Americans and philanthropy you need to follow BlackGivesBack.com. Founded by Tracey Webb in 2007, BlackGivesBack.com takes the stereotype of African Americans as the recipients of others’ philanthropy and illustrates – with images and words – that African Americans are busy giving to diverse causes.

We met with Webb this past fall, and followed up with her recently, asking about the driving force behind BlackGivesBack. “I grew tired of not seeing the rich stories of African American giving in the media. We’re often stereotyped as recipients of philanthropy when in fact we give away 25% more of our income than whites. This has been documented by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Cultures of Giving report published in 2012. Black giving is what created many churches and institutions still in existence today.”

An active donor, Webb is also the founder of Black Benefactors, a giving circle in Washington, DC. She gives and encourages others to join together and increase the impact of their giving. “I have learned that while we want to give back, we may not have the knowledge on where to start or how to do it effectively to create desired change. By joining a giving circle, you can learn more in depth about needs in your community and how to give more strategically. I have observed in the past few years that this type of collaborative giving model is on the rise, especially among millennials.”

“One event that I have found inspiring is the annual Community Investment Network (CIN) conference. CIN is an organization that provides support and resources to giving circles in communities of color. As the founder of a giving circle, there’s something powerful about being surrounded by grassroots givers – everyday people committed to giving back in their communities. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this October in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Webb was inspired at an early age. “Philanthropists that are the most inspiring to me are my parents and family. I grew up in a family of givers and I was never told to give back. I learned it from watching them. I’m about to embark on researching my family history and I’m excited to learn more about the giving of my ancestors. I’ve heard some amazing stories!”

Webb is busy growing BlackGivesBack. “My hope and vision for BlackGivesBack.com is to revamp the site with new features and expanded content. I want it to serve as a hub for learning about issues impacting our community and the organizations and individuals committed to addressing them. And as our buying power continues to increase, I hope that readers will include giving in their family budget to support non-profit organizations in addition to their place of worship.

Learn more at www.BlackGivesBack.com and www.thecommunityinvestment.org.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Young Women Philanthropists

Young Women Philanthropists, Saad and Shaw, Philanthropists

Photo credit: Young Women Philanthropists

We were recently inspired by a group of young professional women who came together on a Saturday morning to discuss fundraising for their upcoming conference. These women were under 40, energized, and engaged. They were getting ready to launch their sponsorship program and wanted guidance regarding how to solicit.

We appreciated their reaching out and inviting us to meet with them. During our time together they discussed conference goals and content, brainstormed potential sponsors, and practiced role playing. They closed with a list of action items and a date (the following Wednesday!) for their next meeting. All this was accomplished in less than 90 minutes. These are women of action.

We were inspired to be in their presence for a number of reasons. First, they launched their inaugural conference in 2013 in response to their need for a way to connect with other young professional women, to learn from women who are a bit more established in their careers, and to create a supportive environment of like-minded women here in Memphis. They called their conference the Modern Day Woman Conference (MDWC) and it was a great success with over 200 women attending. The 2014 conference topic is balance: how do we create balance in our lives? How can we grow in our careers, be active in our communities, and enjoy our roles within our families? These are questions women of all ages grapple with. Too often we grapple with them as individuals, or with a small circle of friends. The MDWC 2014 creates a public forum for the discussion.

The conference is organized by Young Women Philanthropists (YWP) an auxiliary of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. Here’s how they define themselves on Facebook: “We are young, energetic, professional, resourceful, confident, family-oriented, insightful, influential, persuasive women committed to learning, contributing, and owning… PHILANTHROPY!!”

We love that! They focus on educating, empowering and training the next generation of philanthropic women leaders through active participation in fundraising. “We are training today to fill the shoes of the more experienced philanthropists tomorrow.”

This racially diverse group of women is busy setting their agenda, helping to create the city they want to live and work in, and giving back. They are supporting each other, and looking to women who are a bit more experienced in life, work and philanthropy to help guide their growth. We share their story to inspire you to join with others in creating community solutions.  If you are under 40, you are the future of your community and our country. We need your collective engagement. Claim the title of “philanthropist” – one who loves humanity – and join with others in creating the world you want to live in.

Learn more about young women philanthropists at www.wfgm.org.

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Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.