Friday, August 6, 2010

Ms. Moneybags

Ellen Remmer, President and CEO of The Philanthropic Initiative, writes on Philanthropy Central that "Women will in large part shape the future of philanthropy." She points out that women are making more money than ever before, and are taking on more leadership roles within civic and nonprofit organizations. (As every fundraiser knows, your loyal volunteers are often among your strongest donor prospects!)

Oh, my goodness, those Canadians are so darned cool.
Just LOOK at how they take action in support of women's economic wellness.

I consider myself moderately philanthropic. My best guess has me giving a bit over 2% of my salary to nonprofit interests. Remmer's piece made me want to give more generously, partly for the privilege of being one among the sea of women using their economic power to effect positive changes in the world, and partly in appreciation for my own . My four years at boarding school opened up the world to me, and led me to a college experience for which I am ever more grateful as time goes on. Neither would have been possible without: the sacrifices (and backbreaking hard work) of my parents; nor the charitable gifts of many; and the extreme generosity of a few women "sponsors." These set me on my course as a professional fundraiser and an amateur philanthropist, forever paying forward the joy and privilege of what I received from others (mostly women, as it happens).

Women & The Economy, a project of United Nations Platform for Action Committee (UNPAC), confirmed my hazy recollection of this factoid: "Studies show that women are responsible for buying 80% of household goods." As they put it, "Women's role as care givers has meant that women play an especially prominent role in buying things that provide sustenance for home and family."

Philanthropy definitely falls under the category of "sustenance" in my book, and I love the idea of moms and stepmoms, grandmothers and aunties, unpacking a spiritual shopping bag of generosity and laying their philanthropic inspiration out on the kitchen counter where the kids can absorb it as they reach for a (real, edible, non-spiritual) after school snack.  Goggles and cape: optional.

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