In a recent episode of Flashpoint Podcast with Cherri Gregg, Kiersten Marek joined women’s philanthropy leaders to discuss the power of women’s giving and the research showing that women philanthropists are more giving than men, and their strategy is often quite different.
In a recent episode by the Flashpoint podcast, the role of women in Philanthropy was discussed with three key members of the community. The podcast panel, led by Cherri Gregg talked about the impact of women philanthropists and how they stack up against their male counterparts.
Kiersten Marek, social worker and founder of Philanthropy Women, was accompanied by Mary Broach, the co-founder of Impact100 Philadelphia and Mary Bentley LaMar, the North Atlantic Regional director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Women care more about making the system equal
To start off the podcast, Cherri asked Kiersten to talk about the differences between men and women as it pertains to giving in philanthropy.
“I think the latest report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute is that women, in general and across the board, give more than men proportionate to what they have,” Kiersten said. “It sort of goes back to the widows mite and the woman who was giving everything was giving more than the billionaire that was giving the .5%.”
The latest report from Women’s Philanthropy Institute concurs that women are more giving. In their newest installment in their Women Give series, they found that women were more likely than their male partners to donate to charity.
Kiersten continued, “I think when you look at women’s philanthropy what you see are three factors, and this is also substantiated by the research, they are more focused on equality, they are more focused on inclusion and they are more focused on systems change. So they want to make the root cause changes that will bring about more harmony, more peace and more equality in our communities.”
Pinpointing the mention of women becoming more prevalent and high profile in giving as of recent years, Cherri asked Kiersten to speak on what she thought caused the shift. Kiersten described that the breakthroughs we see today are a direct result of activism within the philanthropic community.
Women philanthropists make powerful giving moves collectively
Turning to Mary Broach about the work of Impact100 Philadelphia, Cherri asked for a description of the way her organization works.
“It’s a very simple model. Women join by making and individual donation, either eleven hundred fifty dollars for women who are 36 and older or 575 for women 35 and under. You have to be 21 to join” She said, “We pool all those funds together… This year we have 431 women who are a part of Impact100 and we’re giving out 420,000 to the nonprofit community and the basic notion is to pool the funds into large grants. So we give 100,000 dollar grants, as many as we can in the pool, so for example this year we will give 3 $100,000 grants, 2 grants of $50,000 and then we’re starting a new program for small rewards of $5 or 10,000.”
It’s not just about the way that Impact100 helps its recipients directly either, as Mary goes on to describe a ripple effect that leads to those who are recognized leads to further grants, partnerships, collaborations and so on.
Sororities have been Pivotal in Social Justice Giving, Especially for African American Women
Cherri mentions that the inspiration for her to dive into this topic came from Mary Bentley LaMar’s work with Alpha Kappa Alpha, which she is prompted to describe.
“Without the Kappa Alpha, one of our initiatives is a one million in one day HBCU drive where the members raised over one million in one day for historically black colleges and universities and this is the third year in a row that we have exceeded that one million dollar goal,” She begins. “Now, on the regional level, and I am the regional director from Washington DC to Maine presiding over about 14,500 members and those members get together every year, we go into different communities for our conferences and we want to leave something of value in that community after we complete our conference.”
Virtually, the conference was held about Philadelphia, and the members came to the decision to award No More Secrets, Chosen 300 Ministries and the Black Doctors Covis-19 Consortium. In addition to their monetary donations, they were able to gift services to the organizations as well, such as a system to source feminine hygiene products for No More Secrets.
Like Mary Broach, LaMar expressed that this work had a ripple effect on the recognized organizations.
“When you do these things, it inspires. tThe publicity that this brought has increased the giving. It’s inspired action, not just in terms of donating funds, but also in terms of donating services. So it’s like a ripple effect and we’re all connected in different ways. Women are giving. We are nurturing.”
Women’s Power in Philanthropy is Under-Deployed
Mary Bentley LaMar’s words rang true to all of the participants of the conversation. The summation of their discussion leads to the conclusion that women’s role in philanthropy is rightly expanding. As the participants agreed, the power women have in philanthropy is limitless.
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