What Does Being a Woman in Philanthropy Mean to You?
A: There’s been an increase in the number of women philanthropists, and significant obligation comes along with that. Women tend to create broad impact, because we are interested in community-wide, long-term change. In other words, we don’t just feed; we teach others to grow crops, fish, etc. Since there is also an increase in social needs, whether it’s gender discrimination, immigration, etc., we must teach others how to be philanthropic. Anyone can be! If you aren’t sure where to start, find a local giving circle, where your gift of any size has a multiplier effect, and you can learn from others.
A: Being a woman in philanthropy means driving change. Women dominate the sector, and we invest in our own work; we’re more likely to donate than men and when we do, we’re comparatively bigger givers. It means investing in women globally. There are increasingly more organizations fighting for equal rights, opportunity and justice for women and girls, and over 90% of donations to these causes come from women. These investments give a voice to underrepresented communities and spur positive social change around the world. It means advocating for ALL women. Although women are the majority of nonprofit employees, there is unequal representation in nonprofit leadership. We need to create space and opportunity for women—especially women of color—and fight for our deserved place in positions of power.
Director of Strategic Engagement & Communications
A: As a woman in philanthropy, I have grown to respect my gifts of intuition, empathy/connecting and lived experiences. What women have known anecdotally through our work is now getting validated by emerging research. Today, the philanthropic field is gradually acknowledging the richness, complexity and diversity of giving by women. While most data for giving is based on gifts to traditional charitable sectors, women know (and data is confirming) that we give in many difference ways—volunteering in the community, unpaid care and labor, as well monetary and non-monetary gifts to friends and families within the U.S. and beyond. Women are traditionally seen as giving gifts based on relationships. While that is true and social fundraising is confirming this trend, we cannot ignore that technology is also helping women to be more closely involved with the causes they support and the impact that nonprofits make with their gifts.
Fundraising and Communications
Police Athletic League
To see the full NonProfit PRO editorial advisory board, visit nonprofitpro.com/editstaff.
Editor's Note: This Member Spotlight was originally published in the 2019 July/August Issue of NonProfit PRO.