Women’s Philanthropy – Bright & Bold Leaders for IMPACT!

03/16/2017 11:02 am ET

This week bright and bold women philanthropists from across the nation and around the world convened – not once, but twice! – to celebrate strategic grants for collaborative community transformation. Keep reading for inspirational quotes from the rock-star keynote speakers and panelists ...

First, members of the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN) gathered in Jacksonville for WCGN’s sixth National Leadership Forum hosted by The Women’s Giving Alliance. The women’s collective giving movement continues to sweep the nation. The concept is simple, but the impact is exponential. Individual women pool together their charitable dollars to make high-impact, transformational community investments together.

WCGN represents more than 13,000 women who are members of 49 organizations in 24 states (plus Australia!) who have donated in aggregate more than $80 million. Collective giving enriches not only communities but also the lives of individual women by connecting them with other like-minded donors who inspire each other to volunteer, give and lead with passion and purpose.

Next, the dialogue about women’s philanthropic leadership and impact continued at the triennial Women’s Philanthropy Institute Symposium (WPI) in Chicago. WPI, led by the brilliant Dr. Debra Mesch, is a global nexus for research and education on gender and philanthropy. WPI has documented important truths about gender differences in philanthropy – women are more likely to give to charity than men, empathy is correlated to charitable giving, and women are more collaborative in their giving. Stay tuned for more! WPI recently received a $2.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its critically important work.

Follow @WPIinsights on Twitter for the latest research on gender differences in philanthropy.

The roster of rock-star speakers at the WCGN and WPI conferences leaves no ambiguity. Women’s leadership in philanthropy is powerful and boundless. Don’t miss their wisdom:

  • Transformation happens at the speed of trust. (Vini Bhansali, Thousand Currents)
  • Impactful philanthropists and social activists are nimble, authentic, inclusive and bold. (Casey Harden, YWCA USA)
  • Your net worth in your network! (Rose Afriyie; Co-founder, mRelief)
  • If you have passion, nothing can get in the way of your success. (Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab Foundation)
  • My dream is that saffron would replace opium as the primary crop of Afghanistan. (Kimberly Jung, CEO and Co-founder, Rumi Spice)
  • Powerful women’s movements – plural! – fueled by individual action are the future. (Kristin Gross, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University)
  • Don’t just talk about feminism – practice daily acts of sisterhood. (Vini Bhansali, Thousand Currents)
  • Women play a unique and powerful role in philanthropy. (Melinda Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Philanthropic leadership requires deeply listening with intention, purpose and respect. (Jacki Zehner, Women Moving Millions)
Applause for the amazing Jacki Zehner, the Wonder Woman of women’s philanthropy!

During the WPI Symposium, I also was honored to evangelize about women’s collective giving and share the powerful story of WCGN and my own beloved Women’s Impact Fund. If you already are a member of your local women’s collective giving fund, HOORAY! I challenge you to invite a friend, colleague, family member – maybe even your daughter – to join your circle today. If you are not a member, consider joining your local group. If there is no collective giving fund in your community, I nominate YOU as the next visionary founder to accelerate the women’s collective giving grantmaking movement! WCGN has tremendous resources to support your wild and wonderful journey. Check out The Community Investment Network and Amplifier too!

Sharing dreams for women’s collective giving and more, moderated by Dr. Deb Mesch of WPI with Marsha Morgan of Community Investment Network, Dianne Chipps Bailey of Women’s Impact Fund, Joelle Berman of Amplifier, and Hali Lee of Asian Women Giving Circle.
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