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How Can I Help? Women and Philanthropy

History of Women As Philanthropists

philanthropyWomen in America have always been agents of change even when they had few officially recognized rights. In Colonial times, women tackled a host of issues like moral reform, care of widows, children and the mentally ill, conditions for women prisoners, aid for soldiers, temperance, abolition of slavery, suffrage, libraries, the environment, culture, health issues, and more.
Women’s sense of their “place” changed dramatically in the 1800s. Women stretched to become skilled fundraisers, passionate advocates, powerful leaders, dedicated volunteers, irresistible forces for social change, and tireless workers. Women of every ethnicity joined voluntary associations to raise money and especially to care for women, widows, and girls.

Women Started Colleges and Charities

Women started Mount Holyoke Seminary, Smith College, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, American Red Cross, and YWCA to name a few. Women established three-quarters of the public libraries in the United States, many before Andrew Carnegie became involved and later to raise the 10 percent match he required. Women in the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt families started the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of Art.
Despite a slump in women’s philanthropic activities from the 1920s to the 1960s, women took an active role in the Civil Rights effort, feminism, and infiltration of the workforce. The 1970s saw formation of the Ms. Foundation, the first women’s fund in the United States.

In 1980 Supreme Court Forces Men’s Clubs to Admit Women

The philanthropy arena expanded for women in the 1980s when the Supreme Court ruled groups like Jaycees, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis could no longer exclude women. It wasn’t long before women were serving as the officers running these philanthropic clubs. More recently women have organized to support equal rights for women, drunk driving laws, breast cancer research, economic development and employment opportunities for women, and many more.
In 2007 Women Moving Millions collected million dollar gifts from individual women around the world. In two years, 174 women had each made a large gift.

What Is the Status of Women and Philanthropy Today?

Today more than 140 women’s funds around the globe belong to the Women’s Funding Network, representing a collective $465 million in working assets. All across the USA, 131 United Ways have developed women’s leadership councils. Every year, more than 56,000 women volunteers in women’s leadership councils raise more than $155 million just from other women.
The National Women’s Leadership Council of United Way Worldwide (NWLC) is the largest women’s philanthropic organization in the world. It raised $1 billion dollars from women during the last 10 years, half of it during the economic downturn 2007-2011. That’s power!
Women—and the men who support their efforts—are clearly a powerful force in leadership, philanthropy and advocacy. Because they live longer than men, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute predicts women will end up in charge of much of the $41 trillion expected pass from generation to generation over the next 50 years. Single women are more likely than single men to make a philanthropic gift and women’s inclination to give influences their husbands to be more generous as well.

Look What Women Philanthropists Do To Improve the World!

improveA recent report from a senior volunteer leader for the United Way. All across the USA, 131 United Ways have developed women’s leadership councils. Ever year, more than 56,000 women volunteers in women’s leadership councils raise more than $155 million  JUST FROM OTHER WOMEN.

Women change the world for the better!

The National Women’s Leadership Council of United Way Worldwide (NWLC) is the largest women’s philanthropic organization in the world. NWLC just celebrated having raised $1 billion dollars from women during the last 10 years, half of it during the economic downturn 2007-2011. That’s amazing!
The United Ways that have instituted Women’s Leadership Councils have an overall gain in their local annual campaigns ranging from 4% to as high as 12%. It’s a market-based and carefully researched fact: involve women in leadership, philanthropy and advocacy and watch things grow.
 

Women Who Help Other Women Are So Amazing

FLiP Female Leaders in PhlianthropyToday I had the privilege to meet with 12 spunky, successful women who are taking their professional experience, their money and  time out of their busy schedules to help women  transition from poverty.  These are just a few of the woman who are helping other women to become self-sustaining women caring for themselves.
They are often alone in the care of their children. By simply donating gently used business clothes to give to women who need work clothes seems a simple way to help other woman.
The mentoring and the exchange that takes place between a woman who has made it and a woman who really wants a better life can be so very powerful.  There can be no better feeling watching another woman find her joy, and surprise that there are so many women who care about her well-being.

Just One Woman Helping Another – That’s All It Is

The Suit Yourself Program is not about money it is about the respect and kindness one woman gives  to another woman.  She gains  self-confidence and pride in herself.  You cannot measure any of this in dollars, gold, or any material stuff.  This is about one woman helping another woman along.  Can their be any better reward?  I think not!

A Simple Way to Help Another Woman

Do not let the day go by without helping one of your sisters along, it can be as simple as a kind word or a  pat on the back.  Make today a better place for woman by giving her a hand up……not hand out….You both will gain so much.  I am proud to say I am one of these woman and the  Women’s Initiative of the United Way can help women who have fallen on hard times pick themselves up and make better lives for themselves and their children.  We all must help to bring another woman along if we want this to be a better world for her and especially her daughter and her grand daughter.

Have a great life…Dr. Nancy
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