Belief in Their Dreams

Virtuous philanthropists have an unshakable faith in their ability and in the capacity of others to achieve and sustain the goals they want their philanthropy to achieve. Their vision is long term, and considers that what is started by one generation may need to be completed by another. They see their life story as an inspiration for others and a legacy of significance for family, friends, and the community. These women bring harmony and balance to their lives and to the lives of others, one person at a time.

Beverly Holmes, former senior vice president fr Retirement Services at MassMutual Financial Group, now chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, not only believes in her dreams, she has seen them come true during her life.

At a very early age she made a conscious decision that philanthropy would be a part of her life. “I wanted to save women and children from all of the atrocities going on in the world that negatively affect their live, and I still believe I can make a difference,” says Holmes.

Soon after graduating from college and finding that employment opportunities in the nonprofit sector were great but the pay was not, she turned instead to pursue a career in the financial service industry, since her undergraduate degree was in human resources with a special interest in finance.

That was 30 years ago. From then to now, as Holmes has been a successful leader adding billions in assets, and new revenue, and profits to her company, she always held very dear her focus and attention on the nonprofit and education sectors, especially areas that impact women and children. Says Holmes:

It was a conscious decision on my part that giving back was something that I would do the rest of my life, once I met my financial goals. From my perspective, I knew I had to be financially secure to spend the kind of time that I wanted to spend helping people nationally and internationally. I knew I could make my dream come true.

Holmes established a scholarship for young women at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, Mass., specifically for women who have little in the way of money to obtain a college education.

“I was particular to emphasize the field of study would be in finance and at the same time have a human service element.”

“For me to know,” Holmes says, “that this scholarship will live on after I am gone gives me a wonderful feeling of joy. I am hopeful that it will have tremendous impact in the lives of women who get to complete their degree and that they too will go on to give back to their community and make a difference in the world.”

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