More than ever before women are generating their own fortunes and in turn playing an increasing role in philanthropy. Not only are women continuing to shape how family wealth is given away, but they are emerging as key networkers and pioneers in the growing trend of giving circles. They are bringing people together to mobilize large, pooled resources for thousands of charities. And equally as impressive, they are leading some of the largest grant-making organizations in our country.
The Curtis Group was pleased to see Inside Philanthropy publish “The 15 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy” list last month. These are the female power players behind the new mega giving in our country. These are women leading philanthropy and thinking critically about how to give away the money of not just uber-wealthy Wall Street families, but of cutting-edge technology companies and multi-million-dollar-asset foundations. These female power players control tremendous amounts of capital designated to fund charitable organizations and they are impressive, dedicated leaders that everyone in the nonprofit industry should know about.
On a more local level, when we are counseling our clients on making a major gift ask, we remind them to include the spouse when meeting with a donor. It cannot be assumed that just because a man is the primary breadwinner in a family, he calls the shots when it comes to charitable donations. Likewise, if one of your board members is married, be sure to include his or her spouse in meetings when discussing a potential gift. In The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, which examines charitable activities among the country’s wealthiest households, 46% of respondents said they make charitable giving decisions jointly with their spouse or partner, and even more, 48% of high net worth donors, consult their spouses when deciding the designation of their largest gift. Bottom line, when it comes to philanthropy and gender, it’s an even playing field.