Empowerment, Part 2

Empowerment is visioning. It is taking responsibility for your actions and controlling your future. Empowerment allows you to draw on your knowledge, combine it with your experience and your values, and act from an internal locus of motivation, acting with strength and taking initiative. It traditionally has not been the strength of women, who too often turned over their power to others. As activist Petra Kelly reminds us, "We must work from our own values and elevate their influence to those of men. There is a saying, 'where power is, women are not.' Women must be willing to be powerful. Because we bear scars from the ways men have used their power... women often want no part of power." We [...]

Empowerment, Part 1

All life is an expression of a single spiritual unity. We can no longer afford false divisions between work and community, between ethics and economics. But how can we change from a system which values endless increasing profit and materialism, to one in which the core values are community, caring for the environment, creating, and growing things and personal development? The answer: We empower people. ~ Dame Anita Roddick (1942-2007) Give yourself power Empowerment is something you give yourself, not something you get from someone else. And it is not a zero-sum process, where one person's gain is balanced by another person's loss. Rather, it is the dynamism and intensity that a woman uses to bring focus and clarity to [...]

By | July 1st, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , |0 Comments

Leaders from the Nonprofit Sector Commit to Grow Philanthropy in USA

Charleston, S.C (July 19, 2011) – Thirty-six of the leading U.S.-philanthropy experts, including nonprofit leaders, technology suppliers and consultants, and associations, recently gathered to discuss how the nonprofit sector can work together to grow the level of individual giving by Americans. The Growing Philanthropy Summit, held last month in Washington D.C., was sponsored by Blackbaud, Inc. and Hartsook Companies and was hosted by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. “We believe it is possible to significantly grow the level of individual philanthropy in the United States,” said Adrian Sargeant, professor of fundraising. “While over $290 billion dollars was given to good causes in 2010, individual donors are no more generous now than when data was first collected some 40 [...]

By | June 23rd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Margaret May Damen earns Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., June 6, 2011 – Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC, president of the Institute for Women and Wealth, recently earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) professional designation from the Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Damen is co-author of “Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation,” published by John Wiley & Son, NY in 2009. She is also the planned giving director for the United Way of Martin County Foundation and planned giving and endowment officer for the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. Damen is a local board member for the Palm Beach County Planned Giving Council and a national [...]

By | June 6th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Only if we help shall all be saved

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”  -- Dr. Jane Goodall  Stephen G. Post and Margaret May In Chicago last month, at the Advisors in Philanthropy Conference (AiP), I met and talked with Stephen G. Post, author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is also president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. I wanted to meet Post to find out more about the institute and to seek out collaboration of my hypothesis that “eudaimonia” (the ancient Greek word for “well-being”) is the ultimate [...]

By | May 20th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Cultural Arts: Silence is Not Golden

In the 21st century, silence is not golden when it comes to the cultural arts heritage of America. One could say, “Silence is death,” to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony and The New York Opera, if what I read is correct in the April 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal. I picked up a copy while traveling this week between speaking in Chicago at the Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP) conference, and attending the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) board meeting. If this trend of silent concert halls and dark theater stages continues, we all would be wise to look in our communities to learn of the health and wealth of our beloved cultural organizations. And not only our cultural [...]

By | May 3rd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Who am I? Really!

Statistics tell us that a baby boomer will turn 55 years old every seven seconds for the next 20 years. The psychologist Carl Jung notes that later in life, individuals have the opportunity to look deeper into themselves and recover renewed vitality and zest. Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman cites Al Gore as the “poster child” for what author Marc Freedman calls an “Encore Career.” In my book “Women Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation,” I write about the Three Principles of Abundance, one of which is to find ways to answer the question “Who Am I?” Finding part of the answer implies you have freedom and desire to get in touch with your human spirit and [...]

By | April 22nd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Would the government shut down if women were in charge?

I have been perplexed these days by the inability of our nation’s leaders to compromise for the greater good. No, this is not a political article or a "He vs. She" commentary. You know the old saying, “He said that she said that he had...” That’s what the sound bytes remind me of when I listen to current political rhetoric. Sounds to me like all 'ego talking' and no 'heart listening.' From my point of view, when it comes to playing King of the Mountain in Washington there is no doubt the testosterone levels are off the charts. What has happened to collaboration, to compassion, to reason? This is not "Monday Morning Quarterbacking." Some plain common sense would be nice [...]

By | April 8th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Community and Social Capital, continued…

Intellectual and moral associations provide the venue for women to gather as the season arrives for them to lead the compassionate resolution of their consciousness revolution. Their ability to optimize the practical application of the “six degrees of separation” theory allows them to reach out and build the network necessary for collaboration and communication of their message to a chosen destination. It is both the independence and the interdependency of this vibrant and dense social capital that fosters “a radius of trust,” a term attributed to economist Lawrence Harrison, currently Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. And as each social capital association extends its matrix through bridging social capital networks to embrace another [...]

By | February 28th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments


When women choose to invest their energy and leadership capacity in virtuous philanthropy, they envision an energetic, diverse and vibrant community of which they are a part. This means the human community of relationships, not cold steel buildings. In 1910, suffragist Rheta Childe Dorr proclaimed, “Women’s place is in the home, but home is not contained within the four walls of an individual home. Home is the Community.” The modern thinking, planning, self-governing, educated woman came into a world that is losing faith in the commercial ideal, and is endeavoring to substitute in its place a social ideal. One hundred years later, community is still home. It is the sanctuary for women, sensitive to the nuances of eclectic and nontraditional [...]

By | February 24th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Women working together to make a difference

Today’s woman is changing the traditional model of philanthropy. Marie C. Wilson, founder and president of the White House Project says, “The boom generation is starting to realize it is leadership that you fund. We’ve been raising awareness in politics, business and media. You get them to see that if you want to make change in anybody’s leadership, you have to put money behind changes that show more women as leaders, more women in power and politics and more women in business. You have to make those kinds of connections.” And while women are taking more risks in moving individual philanthropy, family philanthropy and community foundations in a positive direction, they are also finding ways to work together to have [...]

By | February 18th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

7 Covenants of Virtuous Philanthropy

Virtue is coming back into vogue. The Baby Boomers suspended their dreams in the 1960s during the consciousness revolution. Now, 40 years later, they have the time and the money to live their dreams and start what they finished, creating a more idealistic and egalitarian world. Today, I share with you the 7 Covenants of Virtuous Philanthropy. Synergy among the seven covenants creates the full spectrum of women’s philanthropic footprint. A voluntary philanthropist is one who, empowered by the Three Principles of Abundance (Feb. 4, 2011 blog), lives a life harmonious with the seven covenants in reasonable and caring ways appropriate to her hopes, dreams and desires for the greater good of all humanity. 1. Courage for a virtuous philanthropist is [...]

By | February 10th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Living the Three Principles of Abundance

Today, I'd like to share 10 steps that will bring abundance and happiness to your life - and make the most of your gifts of time, talent and treasure. These steps will help you live the three principles of abundance: 1. Every woman has a legacy 2. Every woman is a philanthropist 3. Every woman makes a difference 10 Steps 1. Spend time alone and listen to the songs in your heart. 2. Acknowledge your ability and freedom to be a voluntary philanthropist by moving out of your giving comfort zone by making a commitment to a "stretch" gift. 3. Create a mental mantra of your vision for a better world to remind you of your empowerment to make a [...]

By | February 4th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Kitchen table values carry us through life’s adversity

Have you noticed that when adversity strikes in our life, we tend to reflect inward to find the strength and courage to carry on. We seem to know that deep inside our spirit is a reserve of moral fortitude waiting to rekindle our energy for creative solutions to move us forward to greater harmony and peace in our lives. For many of us, including myself, that moral fortitude comes from the values that we learned in childhood. My grandmother's kitchen was full of love, good music and good food, nourishment for both the body and soul. My grandmother loved to listen to classical music on the radio, especially the Saturday afternoon Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. She would sit me on [...]

By | January 26th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Are you making a difference?

Q: How do you know if you are making a difference? A: If you are living your legacy as a voluntary philanthropist, then you are making a difference. It’s only human to question and want to see results, but by what standards should we measure? Believe in your values; lead by example; listen to your heart. You know the world would be less but for the kindness of your actions, your thoughts and your love. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean,” Mother Teresa said. “But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” “Empowerment Cycle”  For many, empowerment is not simple, but it is intuitive. To bring clarity to the process, [...]

By | January 20th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Getting REAL

If you are a strategic giver, you probably don’t wait until the end of the year to make your gifts. A true partnership with an organization means that you give year-round and you have a plan as to how much you give and why. You are a voluntary philanthropist and you use the “REAL” test each time you make a donation of your time, talent or treasure. R: Is my gift Relevant to my values? E: Is my gift one that Engages the heart and well as the mind - does it connect to my passion? A: Can I take Action and is there Accountability from the organization for the impact of my gift? L: Can I Leverage my contribution of time, talent and [...]

By | December 28th, 2010|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a New Year filled with health and happiness! The December e-newsletter hit inboxes yesterday. If you didn't receive it, visit to subscribe. Click here for a link! Stay warm! Margaret May

By | December 22nd, 2010|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

What’s Your Philanthropic Personality?

Our research shows that even though women are very individualistic in their approach to giving, they tend to exhibit identifiable behavioral traits as to how they give. This is a budding area of research, and although it has yet to find its way into the mainstream, it is worthy of note. The giving styles relate to one of four flowers: rose, daisy, carnation, and lily. Some suggest that the theory is an outgrowth of the boomer flower power movement of the 1960s. No one style is dominant, and each serves in one way or another to complement the other three styles. All four styles are necessary for the full potential of virtuous philanthropy. Rose "Rose" women make up a significant [...]

By | December 8th, 2010|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Spirited Woman’s Top 12 Holiday Book Picks

Thank you Spirited Woman for including "Women, Wealth & Giving" as one of your Top 12 Holiday Book Picks! Order soon to receive this book about women and philanthropy in time for the holidays - it makes a great gift! Visit for this and other gifts that inspire and empower. Click here to see all 12 books that made the Spirited Woman list.

By | December 4th, 2010|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Characteristics of Virtuous Philanthropists, Conclusion

The stories of our virtuous philanthropists share a common thread, a bond that weaves their lives together even though they may not know each other. The bond is echoed by the late Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop. When asked to comment on her decision to sell $150 million of the company's stock and give the proceeds to charity, she said, "They thought that eccentric of me. But you can't take it with you and you're a long time dead." Dame Roddick died in 2007, at the age of 64, from a cerebral hemorrhage, after a long battle with hepatitis C from a blood transfusion, which had gone undiagnosed for several years. She fulfilled her promise to leave [...]

By | December 2nd, 2010|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments