Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Women, Wealth & Giving"

Recently, I spent the day reading Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion’s  new book, Women Wealth and Giving: the Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation.”  Margaret May had given me the book in January with a sweet inscription inside and I had looked at various parts of it but never actually read it from beginning to end.  My impressions as I reflect on it today are that I am so sorry I missed being a boomer, and that anyone who cares about women and philanthropy should have this book. 

It seems we all like to relate to something in which we see ourselves and the details in this book about being a boomer are not only profound, but they are vastly entertaining as well.   For instance they write, "In the 1960s, we knew we could not trust anyone over 30, yet as the flower children who had issued that warning found careers, got married, and raised children or chose alternate lifestyles, we assimilated into the very system we had rebelled against.” 

I am always looking for new phrases and quotes to use when speaking, as well as new subjects or ways or expressing old ideas, and they are all are bountiful in this book.  A plethora of sources were used and I highlighted and turned down dozens of pages to use in future speeches and writing.  Being a wealth planner, Margaret May has included an abundant number of invaluable exercises, centering around women finding their values and turning those values into philanthropy.

Although I do not know Niki well, I first met Margaret May several years ago in Indianapolis at a women and philanthropy symposium put on by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.  Over the years we would occasionally run into one another at various meetings and conferences and then during the last couple of years, we often exchanged thoughts about writing a book--the discipline required, the long days and nights, the loneliness, and the joy of finishing.  Her book was published in January and ours will be out in September.  We have been assured by our shared publishers that the books will be marketed together. 

Our books do share the same topic: women and philanthropy, but are quite different in the information contained and genuinely enhance and complement one another.  I am proud to be Margaret May’s friend and colleague and extremely proud of her contributions to this amazing movement of women and philanthropy.  Bravo Margaret May!

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