As part of this weekend’s special edition Saving the World’s Women, the NYTimes Lisa Belkin brings us an article on women’s philanthropy: The Power of the Purse.
If rich women sat out the original suffrage movement, they may be at the forefront of giving this time around.
The word is out that microfinance works for women around the world. Help women and you help the entire family and communities. The ripple effect is in play in ways that simply do not apply to men, the majority of whom are unfundable in the best-known microfinance programs.
It’s women who are the glue of households and communities around the world. Wealthy American women, noticeably absent from women’s rights issues and activism, just may weigh in “big time” in the philanthropy sector.
A study of more than 10,000 large donors by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University suggests that while men describe their giving as practical — filling in the gaps that government can’t or won’t — women describe theirs as emotional, an obligation to help those with less. via NYT
I weighed in this topic on Friday, Aug. 20 HopeTracker. Many of women givers are Cultural Creatives with values described in Belkin’s articles. I dareseay that many Cultural Creative women are married to or the widows of Modern men.
While the stereotype of the single, childless woman may be that she’s a self-centered, heartless, narcissistic woman who can’t possible own enough Prada in her closet, Oprah blasts away that stereotype, as the top celebrity giver in the world.
The NYT cites 145 funds globally with assets of nearly half a billion dollars, dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. This figure doesn’t include funds like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with many projects directly impacting women and children worldwide, of the Howard G. Buffett’s support of the International Women’s Media Foundation.
The Women’s Funding Network has plans to increase their fund a billion dollars by 2018, in a drive called Women Moving Millions, directled at women able to donate $1 milion or more to the fund. The goal was to raise $150 million in three years, a target exceeded this spring by $30 million.
What kind of change this X-linked economic paradigm will bring is still an open question. But what already seems clear is that women are finding their financing clout, and they might have found new unity to boot. “You’ve heard that old nursery rhyme?” asks Helen LaKelly Hunt. “The king is in the counting house counting all the money, the queen is in the parlor, eating bread and honey?” Not anymore, she says. Now “the queen is in there counting, too.” And she has brought a whole roomful of her friends.