Thursday, March 11, 2010

Women and Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World

By Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor
With Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
(Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint)

Coming to book stores this fall.

Excerpted from the preface:

Women and philanthropy, women’s philanthropy: how the meaning of those words has changed. When one of us, Martha Taylor, began talking about the subject in 1988, people often looked confused. Some even said that “women and philanthropy” was an oxymoron. Many others believed philanthropy was strictly associated with men because it was men who had the money. If women gave at all, it was to what their husbands or their families gave. So they said. From both her academic and practical perspectives, Martha knew that something was wrong with this philanthropic picture. Were women not giving? If so, why was that?
            She began asking questions: Why weren’t women giving to their universities in the same numbers they were represented as students and alumna? Why were so many more men than women in positions of leadership within advancement? Why were so few buildings, programs and scholarships named after women? Why were schools of liberal arts, education, human ecology, social services and nursing not being funded to the same degree as business, engineering and athletics? Martha asked co-author Sondra Shaw-Hardy, a fundraising colleague in Madison, Wisconsin, to help her learn more. Together we set out to find answers.
            We interviewed hundreds of women philanthropists and development officers throughout the country, conducted numerous focus groups and presented to scores of community and national organizations and institutions. The result, at the urging of Martha’s mother, Esther Hougen Taylor, was our first book, Reinventing Fundraising: Realizing the Potential of Women’s Philanthropy, published in 1995 by Jossey-Bass.

The Bold New Philanthropy
Philanthropy has changed a great deal in the last two decades. Even a few years ago, scarcely anyone was talking about passion, values, vision and responsibility. Now those terms and usage are commonplace. Now they mean women’s philanthropy. In effect, women’s philanthropy has led the way and “reinvented” fundraising.
            But some still don’t understand that “women’s philanthropy” is no contradiction in terms. Too often women are still not taken seriously as philanthropists; and when they are, the ways women are approached to give don’t take into account how women give and what they care about.
            We felt called upon to address these continuing issues, to spread an understanding that women now make up more than half the population and are perhaps the largest of their donor constituencies. We feel there’s a need to update the concepts of fundraising that best appeal to women and will lead to the creation of more women philanthropic leaders.
            Add to this that most nonprofit computer systems are designed to credit only one donor—the man. And finally, women’s philanthropy has not yet become a mainstream term meaning, “shaping a better world.”
            We also turned up other topics that people also wanted explored:
What is behind the women’s philanthropy movement?
In what ways have women changed philanthropy?
Has women’s philanthropy brought about social change? In what ways?
How can women donors’ loyalty be maintained after a gift has been made?
What ethnic and cultural differences are important in women’s giving? How are younger generations of women giving?
How can non-profit institutions develop more women donors and what does that mean to their future?
Are women accepting the power of their new status as philanthropic leaders?
How should women be encouraged to become philanthropic leaders and to encourage others to become leaders as well?
What might the world look like if women’s philanthropy was the accepted way for everyone to give?

            Once again we set out after answers, approaching colleagues in the field, many of whom were working with women donors, developing different approaches and programs and eager to share their results.
            Women philanthropists themselves were also extremely forthcoming. They talked to us about the joy they received from giving and the responsibility they felt to give to their communities, nation and the world. They shared stories quite different from ones we heard in the 1990s.
            This time around, women were anxious to lead the way in philanthropy and to educate, inspire and encourage others as well. They were happy to be recognized for their gifts—to be role models for others. They had become bold about their philanthropy, not only in terms of large gifts but in daring, dauntless and audacious efforts to make a better world.           
            Much of what we record in Women and Philanthropy will become the norm for all future fundraising. Women’s philanthropy has reinvented fundraising and will continue to do so.

A Tour of the Book
Many, many topics bear on women’s philanthropy—values, passion, compassion, ideals, socialization, generation, gender and experience among them. Appreciating this is important to understanding how best to engage women as donors. We recommend reading Women and Philanthropy in its entirety, starting at the beginning. The chapters group themselves into four general themes: gender differences and potential, how women give and their motivations, reaching women donors and the impact of women’s philanthropy.
            Each chapter includes examples of women philanthropists and their giving  motivations, ways to apply the knowledge gained from each section and concludes with “Takeaways” summarizing the chapter material. 

Acknowledging the Differences: Chapters 1 and 2 —Why women’s philanthropy is different and its importance to the future of nonprofits. 
 Chapter One describes gender differences in women and men’s actions, giving and communicating. Reasons for these differences are discussed as well as strategies to address and recognize these special traits and their importance and benefit to nonprofits.
            Chapter Two documents women’s potential for giving and reviews the expansion of women in the workplace, their economic gains, increased career choices and educational achievements. This chapter describes how women have taken control of their finances and consequently their lives. It identifies the new woman philanthropist, how much she is giving and where. Chapter Two concludes with how one university invested in women and changed the culture of giving at the institution. 

The How’s and Why’s of Women’s Philanthropy: Chapters 3 through 5 —How women give, what women want, and their characteristics are as donors.
Chapter Three looks at the modern women’s philanthropy movement and the media’s role in creating and shaping it. Stereotypes of women’s giving are detailed with ideas for overcoming any barriers that may still exist. 
            Chapter Four describes the motivations of women givers using the core 6 Cs: create, change, commit, connect, collaborate and celebrate, as well as the 3 new Cs that have resulted from women’s philanthropy: control, confidence and courage. It also suggests how to incorporate the Cs into development efforts.
            Chapter Five features items issues that impact women’s giving, including life stages and life styles, with a particular emphasis on generation. Through stories and case studies from each generation, readers will learn how to approach women “of a certain age.”

Building Bridges to the Other Half: Chapters 6 through 9 — strategies to involve more women in philanthropic leadership and build life long relationships and loyalties.
Chapter Six contains important information about how to assess an organization’s readiness to better engage women donors: development office strategies; successful methods to reach women through the annual fund, major gifts, planned giving and other fundraising programs; and prospecting for women donors.  
            Chapter Seven describes the qualities that women bring to philanthropy and how those qualities can benefit nonprofits.  The importance and benefits of including women in nonprofit leadership positions are contained in the chapter as well as suggestions for developing women leaders and philanthropists.
            Chapter Eight is all about women’s philanthropic program development. The focus is on women’s philanthropic initiatives in higher education and giving circles.  Explanations are provided of how the philosophies and characteristics of these programs are applicable to all other nonprofits as well.
            Chapter Nine examines the five stages of women’s philanthropic journey and how women view nonprofits at each stage. A particular focus of the chapter is on donor education. A complete syllabus is provided using “best practices” and showing how best to present this new financial and philanthropic program to women.

The Future of Philanthropy: Chapters 10 and 11 — the impact and future of the women’s philanthropy movement.
Chapter Ten looks at how bold women are elevating philanthropy to new levels.  Special attention is on women’s funds and increasing diversity in women’s philanthropy.  New iterations of women’s giving are described as well as how they occurred: the women, the cause and the result.
            Chapter Eleven addresses the need to institutionalize women’s philanthropy and speculates about how the world might look if women working together and with nonprofits used their particular traits, power and philanthropy to address the bracing issues of today. 

Who Will Want to Read Women and Philanthropy
The book is intended for all those wanting to know more about philanthropy. It will appeal to all genders, races and diverse communities. It will be of particular interest to development officers, philanthropists, volunteer fundraisers, staff and board members of nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporate executives, fundraising consultants, women’s organizations, computer software firms, marketers, politicians and government officials, educators and anyone interested in the status, roles, responsibility and power of women in American society.

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