Monday, March 15, 2010

"Philanthropy as an Expression of Feminism: Aligning a Traditionally Masculine Concept with a Decidedly Feminist Ideal"

I met Betsy Duncan Diehl two weeks ago at a Power of the Purse event in Columbia, Maryland.  She came up after my presentation and introduced herself and told me about the paper she is writing to complete her Master of Arts in the Humanities degree.  I was fascinated by the topic as well as the writer.

Before me stood this lovely, statuesque young woman who could have been a model in addition to the director of annual giving at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.

Betsy plans to have the paper completed sometime next month and said she would be happy to share it with you.  Her email address is:  But I just couldn't resist including the final section of her proposal to show how exciting her research will be for all of us interested in this important topic of women and philanthropy.

"I will use my concluding section of my research paper to reiterate the parallels discovered between philanthropy and feminism and explain the significance of this pairing in terms of professional fund raising. I will offer suggestions and recommendations as to how this research can translate into devising a more targeted and successful approach to engaging female donors with philanthropic organizations in a mutually beneficial partnership. I expect to discover that viewing philanthropy as an expression of feminism is not only beneficial to women, but rather beneficial to society at large due to the possibility of engaging a broader segment of the population in an activity that was once reserved for an elite group of patriarchal benefactors."

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