I recently wrote about the launch of a women’s foundation in Dublin, Ireland and had no idea that Ellen Remmer, a friend and champion of women’s philanthropy, was a speaker until seeing a report in a Dublin newspaper article about the meeting and Ellen’s presence.
Along with the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese who also spoke, who could be a better advocate for women’s philanthropy and women’s issues than Ellen. She is the president and CEO of The Philanthropy Institute (TPI) in Boston and active in her family’s foundation that supports helping disadvantaged girls take charge of their lives.
Ellen has always been a strong supporter of women and philanthropy and has advanced it in her own competent and confident way; both quietly and effectively. She also serves on the Council of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
In an interview conducted while Ellen was in Dublin, she said that regardless of which charities or causes one supports, she is adamant that it’s not just those with money who can make a difference.
‘‘Money is a powerful tool and gives you a place at the table and allows you the flexibility to do things, but the thing I have learned is that it is about deciding you are empowered to be able to change things.
‘It is just easier if you have money, but in fact, we all can play that role. Money is just a tool, but just giving money without the rest of the package is not going to be very powerful.
‘That’s part of what strategic philanthropy is - you are getting smarter and smarter about an issue, you know the right people to bring into it and that’s how you get the leverage."
You can read more about Ellen on her blog.