Thursday, November 10, 2011

Preparing to Launch a Women’s Philanthropy Program

With so much interest shown in developing women's philanthropy initiatives, it was time to include the following material written by my co-author and blog contributor, Martha Taylor, vice president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation.  Martha says:

"Before starting or expanding a women’s philanthropy program, make sure you have the following components to ensure your success.

1.    Staff and management commitment. One or ideally two (or more) staff members envision the role of a women’s program at the institution and decide to take it on as a project. Some organizations have formalized an internal “women’s philanthropy task force” and involved several staff persons. Management needs to endorse exploring the effort and back it up later with staff and budget.

2.    Core group of women volunteer leadership and major donors. Before beginning a program, seek the input of a core group of women volunteer leaders and donors. Brainstorm with them about how to engage women with your institution.

3.    Clear vision, mission, goals and values. The program will succeed long term if it has a well defined mission, vision, goals and values—all standard good practices in a development office. Volunteer leaders and staff work together to formulate goals and objectives.  You should know how many women are giving to your organization, how much and at what giving level.

4.    Business plan and evaluation method. Develop a business plan and analysis of how the program will fit into your development operation. This internal analysis includes benchmarking to assess your progress.

5.    Organizational culture that supports women’s giving. Complete an internal audit concerning your operations, the role of women in your organization, the potential of women as an audience. Standard operating procedures in the organization should respect women and women’s perspectives."
    Martha A. Taylor, Vice President, University of Wisconsin Foundation
    From Woman and Philanthropy: Bolding Shaping a New World

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