Women Philanthropists

I was sent an interesting article recently on the ways women are changing the face of philanthropy. There were some key statistics that jumped out at me:

• Women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years.
• By 2025, 60% of billionaires are expected to be women.
• Women now control more than half of the private wealth in the U.S.

However, the article notes, out of every dollar granted by U.S. foundations, less than 8 cents funds programs for women and girls.

We gotta get our financial house in order ladies. There is extensive research supporting the fact that when women are supported, whole communities benefit. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, compared to only 30 to 40% for a man. (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003. Cited from the Girl Effect fact sheet) Look at the work of innovations like the Grameen Bank: 97% of Grameen Bank’s borrowers are women, with a loan recovery rate of 96.67%.

We are at a crossroads, where women and girls will emerge with some serious firepower. More than ever it is imperative that women become informed, intentional and joyful philanthropists. Women are natural communicators and community builders, and the evolution of technology will support these endeavors and allow us to engage with the needs in our communities in new and strategic ways.

I’m thrilled to be in the development stage of the retreat I’ve been thinking about for the last several years. The materials and weekend schedule are being created, the Whidbey Institute has been reserved, and people are beginning to sign up. Knowing that I get to spend two days with a group of passionate women, discussing how we can fully integrate the role of philanthropist into our lives, has me devising gameplans for community transformations and brainstorming new ventures in giving. There’s nothing like a weekend away with other smart, caring women to inspire you to take action. I can’t wait.

(And there are still some spaces left for the weekend. If you’re interested, take a look …)

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