Confident in Their Decisions 
Every day, virtuous philanthropists reinforce their commitment to the issues and concerns they support by not allowing adversity to drag them down. These perennial optimists lead others through uncharted territory in search of lasting solutions to systematic problems confronting the well being of their world. They remain restless until their goal is met and exceeded. They remain responsible for their actions and yet open to working with others, and are both leaders and followers for the same cause, knowing and respecting all diversity of thought and individualism.

Such an example of a confident, virtuous philanthropist is Margaret Smith, CEO of Dormus, one of the San Francisco Bay area’s largest independently owned kitchen and home accessories stores.

In 2000, she was honored by the Women’s Hall of Fame, which recognized her work as a past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and for her work in 1995-96 negotiating a $1 billion loan program for entrepreneurs with Wells Fargo Bank. Smith is the immediate past chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research.

As an entrepreneur, she herself has been generous with her time and talent and money for more than 30 years. Much of her volunteer leadership work is for the benefit of entrepreneurs worldwide.

“My volunteerism at the center is more cause-based. I really believe in the causes of women entrepreneurs and in the validation of the social, economic, and political impact they are making on the world and the world economy.”

One of the concerns Smith has championed for several years is how to build positive messages and focus on solutions built on what is right, not what is wrong, in our world.

“People still want to make a difference, they still want to volunteer, and they still want to adjust or address social issues. We’re just focusing on what is wrong rather than celebrating what is right and moving forward with it. Women entrepreneurship, that is right. There’s a whole culture of financially independent, thinking people who have inculcated special values into the workforce. It’s a $4 trillion business. That’s what’s right. So let’s encourage this right and move forward.”

For more, read “Women, Wealth & Giving: The Virtous Legacy of the Boom Generation” by Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion.