Summer will soon be over! (Take a moment to shed a tear if you wish). In 93 Days of Summer: What’s on Your Reading List? I shared a few books that were on my desk. This week I have been reading Kathleen’s Loehr’s:
I have met Kathleen who was with Indiana University and is now with Aspen Leadership Group. I wrote to Kathleen yesterday to say that I’m only halfway through her book and it’s already dramatically shifting my perspective.
Gender Matters is a thought-provoking piece focused on women and philanthropy. Here are a few early takeaways:
- Women hold an increasing amount of wealth. (I have also noted in the past that about 20% of Boomer women nevers had children of their own — are you thinking estate gifts?)
- All donors are not the same, what works for men will not necessarily (probably will not) work with women.
- Stand-alone programs which are not integrated into a larger vision and framework are likely to fail. (And when they fail 5 or 10 years from now when the idea of engaging women resurfaces someone will say, we tried that and it didn’t work).
This topic matters because so many donors to your nonprofit are most likely women. (Don’t believe me? Run a list of your top 100 donors or 250 donors, check the names). Even if your donor base is well balanced these questions remain:
- Are you engaging women in ways that are meaningful to them?
- Are you involving women in ways that will inspire them to help further your mission (including making gifts to ensure that your services have an impact)?
One final note, the above may focus on women but one could ask similar questions about donors from a diverse array of backgrounds. You can learn more about diversity from
- Angelique Grant, Ph.D. (Senior Consultant and Certified Diversity Recruiter at Aspen Leadership Group),
- Armando Zumaya who also offers thought-providing perspectives about diversity, and the
- Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-IDEA — Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access).
You are also welcome to contact me about a session that I can present about diversity and fundraising.
Are you engaging women in meaningful ways that has increased their philanthropic giving to your educational institution or nonprofit? If so, what has proven successful?
Sophie is the President of i5 Fundraising and Senior Program Coordinator and a Lecturer for Penn State’s certificate programs in fundraising.