Women and Philanthropy

/Tag:Women and Philanthropy

When did the ladies who lunch become the ladies who lead?

Make no mistake there’s been a quiet transformation of leadership in the philanthropic community. Perhaps you missed its subtle arrival. It’s not the flamboyant style of the mighty tycoons of the past, driven by ego; but rather it’s an elegant and fashionable movement driven by sensibility and purpose. Ladies who lead are making waves for the greater good by living authentic lives fostering the ideals of creativity, collaboration, and giving both time and money. Ladies who lead are using “time tested ‘women’s ways’ of leading, (that) have become the gold standard for great leaders of both genders, and the building blocks for success in today’s global economy,” writes Martha Mayhood Mertz in Becoming ATHENA: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership. What’s good [...]

Who do philanthropists answer to?

If one subscribes to the axiom that success is in the “eye of the beholder,” then the question becomes, “Who is the beholder?” Is it the philanthropist who gives? Is it the organization that accepts? Is it the beneficiary who receives? Who has the primary responsibility of defining success and determining the metrics with which to define what success means? If one maintains that philanthropy is not a commodity defined by market supply and demand but rather the result of a personal journey driven by values and beliefs, then perhaps to a great extent, the responsibility of defining success falls squarely on the philanthropist who gives. There is a significant and responsible discussion taking place in the nonprofit profession as [...]

Erase the Myth of Scarcity and Mindset of Fear

Women are the greatest economy on earth. Philanthropy offers women a platform for their abundance for two specific reasons: 1) The political and corporate sectors have yet to fully recognize the extraordinary value feminine strengths of caring, collaboration, connecting, and consensus building bring to our dysfunctional society. 2) Women’s attitudes regarding the accumulation and use of money are different from those of men. For men, the accumulation of money is the goal – it defines status and power. For women the accumulation of money is a means to an end – it gives women the freedom and the ability to impact society and support the causes that make their hearts sing. Yet, I believe, women’s full potential for abundant philanthropic [...]

Take time to think and reflect

Perhaps the time has come to re-examine our thinking about values and valuables. Is our country’s moral compass still pointing true north? Can conspicuous compassion temper conspicuous consumption? Does de Tocqueville’s doctrine of “self-interest rightly understood” have a place in our high-tech interdependent world economy? History gives us many places and people where one can look for some both thought provoking commentary and down to earth common sense. Author Mark Twain for sure; possibly the infamous New York Yankee manager, Yogi Berra for some; the ancient Greek philosophers for solace. Recently I was handed a list of “The Ten Cannots,” attributed to the 20th century religions leader, William J. H. Boetcker. They struck a chord with me, and so I [...]

Collaborate for philanthropic impact and survival

How does one survive and thrive in the age of specialization? No matter where we turn for advice -- in the medical, legal, financial or philanthropic field -- information is so fragmented. It's no longer possible to see the "entire picture." In many cases, even when several qualified experts analyze the same information, their advice to the client or donor differs greatly. How does everyone get on the same page? Is it even possible? I believe it IS possible by embracing the elements of collaboration, a process that fosters creativity, transparency, communication, consensus and impact. I believe it's imperative that nonprofit and for profit professionals collaborate to ensure the survival of the Third Sector (nonprofit institutions) as the tax reform [...]

The Energy of Philanthropy

Sixty-seven years ago, a 13-year-old girl caught in the horrors of the holocaust wrote in her diary, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank believed in the goodness and compassion of people. We certainly need more conspicuous compassion in the world. Today, four out of five people believe we have lost sight of the fundamental values upon which our country was founded. Philanthropy is one of the three sectors by which we participate in community, the other two being the political and corporate sectors. What makes philanthropy special is that it is the closest to the heartbeat of the ethics and values of our society. So the question [...]

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

March is Women’s History Month – Reflect on “Your Reasons”

“You have your reasons.” It’s the distinctive tagline on a multitude of colorful banners heralding the many consumer delights found at City Place - West Palm Beach, Florida’s popular tourist attraction and shopping center. Conspicuous consumption is the flavor of the day at the plaza. And surely every visitor has a reason (or reasons) for parting with their money, which “makes the world go ‘round.” Like many who work in the downtown area, I frequent City Place for lunch or an after work social hour with friends. This month we were getting together to celebrate Women’s History Month, the theme being “Women’s Education, Women’s Empowerment.” In 1987, a congressional resolution was passed designating March as Women’s History Month. Not being [...]

Heartfelt Giving Supports Healthy Heart Living

February is National Heart Health Month and the Division of Health and Human Services has a national agenda called Million Hearts™ to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. They want to empower more people to reduce sodium and trans fat intake. Needless to say, this is great news for the physical part of our heart. But what are we doing to enhance the benevolent spirit in our heart? In today’s tumultuous world, what good is a healthy physical heart if the world we live in is ugly, mean-spirited and sick? In our book, Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation, my co-author Niki Nicastro McCuistion and I write [...]

Philanthropy through the Pipeline

Recently something about the name “Pipeline Fellowship” caught my attention as I was surfing the net. Well, in all honesty it brought to mind strains from the 60s Motown hit, “I heard it through the Grapevine.” I guess it was the rhyme of ‘pipeline’ and ‘grapevine’ that caught my musical ear – but that's where I thought any similarity between the two entities would end. Nevertheless, I’m glad my ear, rather than my eye, made me stop and read. For here is where I found out about a remarkable organization that combines the best of three elements: women, philanthropy, and for-profit social ventures. Founder and CEO, Natalia Oberti Noguera, launched the Pipeline Fellowship to activate more women angel investors and create more [...]

Ask Margaret: What Color is Your Abundant Heart?

Q: Does your heart follow philosopher Thomas Hobbes?  A: Philosopher Hobbes defined philanthropy as "desire of good to another, benevolence, good will, charity, good nature." Yet despite these words, Hobbes had difficulty thinking anyone who was a philanthropist did so except to "enhance the esteem or 'honor' in which he was held in the community or to promote his own security and power." Q: Perhaps you believe the words of Thomas Browne?  A: Browne, an English physician who is credited with the expression "charity begins at home," believed that charity required both cool-headedness and humility. Q: Do your deeds follow in the footsteps of Andrew Carnegie?  A: Carnegie expressed in his 1889 essay Wealth, which later became known as The Gospel of Wealth, [...]

By | December 15th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Ask Margaret

Q: What, in your opinion and experience, is the most compelling reason that women donate their money? -- Shannon, West Palm Beach  A: There are typically three reasons that compel women to give: 1. Tax benefits -- IRS charitable deductions as permitted on Form 1040. 2. Participation in a program sponsored by the organization; volunteered time and talent to the organization; or a connection to an organization through a friend or family member. 3. A personal experience or a family member's experience with services from the organization; or a strong affinity with the cause or mission. Do you have a question about women and philanthropy, wealth management or planned giving? E-mail Margaret at mm@margaret-may.com. Your question might be featured in an upcoming [...]

Bookmark: Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

Each month, Margaret features a person, place or favorite thing that inspires her, with the hope that it will inspire you, too. Golf is great, but an "Encore Career" may bring more satisfaction and yes, perhaps even happiness to a generation of boomers who find themselves getting in the mood to take up Peggy Lee's mantra, "Keep on dancing...if that's all there is..." And that dancing is leading them right off the dance floor and directly into the freedom to do some fancy footwork in an "Encore Career." Marc Freedman's book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, tells the stories of men and women moving beyond their midlife careers into a new phase of work. This [...]

By | November 22nd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ask Margaret

Q: A recent article, “Two-Thirds of Donors Plan to Cut Back on Giving This Fall,” appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. If such is the case, what can charities do to be proactive? A: Continue to subscribe to the KISS principle. The media, especially 24/7 TV and talk radio, has many smart, educated and normally happy people running around like Chicken Little believing “The sky is falling.” Is saying it's so making it happen? Are we wishing ourselves more doom and gloom than necessary? OK, what does all this have to do with keeping donors on the books and happy, and perhaps even increasing their year-end contributions? Here are three KISS ideas: 1) Say “thank you,” 2) Say “thank you” again [...]

Is the Phoenix Rising in Philanthropy?

Perhaps, all the chaos and uncertainly in the world is the perfect nesting place from which the mythical, sacred fire bird is about to be reborn to reignite the flame of compassion, goodwill and benevolence in the human heart. In Greek mythology, Herodotus tells of the bird’s unique ability to be consumed by fire and reborn from the ashes. Throughout the ages, the colorful and stately phoenix’s appearance has been depicted as a sign of a coming age of prosperity and greatness for people and of nations. Recently, I’ve been pondering, in what personification the phoenix might rise, if indeed I allow myself the luxury to indulge in a mystical and meditative moment or two, as the frantic milieu of [...]

Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix?

Recently, I had the occasion to speak at the national Financial Planning Association (FPA) Conference in San Diego. One of the benefits of participating in such a venue is the joy of hearing the best of the best thought leaders in the financial planning profession. Once again, I was rewarded with an “aha moment” as I experienced George Kinder’s life planning and financial coaching session. The Kinder Institute of Life Planning takes a holistic approach when designing a wealth holder’s financial plan. Holistic to the point that one of the Institute’s participants, CFP Rick Kahler, in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a leading proponent and co-founder of the Healing Money Issues Program. Kahler and his colleagues at the Financial Therapy [...]

Is the Little Engine that Can Coming over the Mountain?

No it’s not a misprint. Yes, I am referring to a favorite children’s book of mine, “The Little Engine that Could,” written by Watty Piper, the pen name of Arnold Munk. There are several versions of the story, but the underlying theme is the locomotive on the train caring the toys breaks down as it begins its climb over the mountain. Several engines more mighty and powerful refuse to help, and finally the little engine, not nearly as mighty, appears, and against all odds becomes the heroine of the day, pulls the train over the mountain, all the while chanting “I think, I can—I think, I can." Yes, the heroine saves the day. And while not overtly using personification, the [...]

By | October 26th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , |0 Comments

Philanthropist Jane Addams’ legend lives on through Nobel recipients

In the 110-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize, only 12 women have been honored for their courageous leadership in the struggle for women’s rights. Among them is peace activist and philanthropist, Jane Addams, Mother Teresa, and Wangari Maathai. On Oct. 7, history was again made when Thorbjorn Jagland, the head of the Nobel committee, announced that three influential women from Africa and the Middle East were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. Two of the winners were from Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female president in post-colonial Africa, and the peace activist Leymah Gbowee. Tawakkol Karman, a prominent female figure in Yemen’s populist uprising this year, was honored for her work to establish a [...]

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, Perhaps Philanthropy Can!

I’ve been reading a lot about happiness these days. Well, more about how we are all unhappy and searching far and wide for our personal wellbeing. Aristotle calls it Eudemonia – wellbeing of the soul; Buddhism refers to it a Nirvana – spiritual enlightenment. As the song laments, “Money makes the world go round,” but what about our happiness, wellbeing and enlightenment? It seems the current economy reflects the fact that conspicuous consumption is fading into the sunset as more and more men and women search the horizon for the vibrant hue of conspicuous compassion in their life and work. Could it be that we are on the cusp of a transformative moment in history? And if so, can philanthropy [...]

By | September 19th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Five Ways Women Philanthropists “Speak Female”

In a recent workshop in Tampa for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, I presented my research on how to “Speak Female” and the impact it has to engage women to excel in their philanthropy. Women as philanthropists are no longer a niche market – it is THE market for philanthropy. To “Speak Female” is to be a role model for the next generation. Philanthropy is congruent with women’s goals and aspirations to make a difference in society. Women believe that the philanthropic platform serves as a voice to “Speak Female” and reshape the ethics and morals in our society and reset the compass due north for the next generation. To “Speak Female” is to be: 1) Empowered with the ability [...]

By | September 12th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , |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