Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” is one of my favorite songs. I’m talking one of my “dance until I fall down” favorite songs. Between the empowering lyrics and hypnotizing beat, I feel like I can do any and everything thing that I put my mind to. And, I suppose that was the point of it all. But, yesterday, I got to thinking. What good is simply running the world? Why not do something to change it?
While many of us look to volunteering and service as a means to make a difference, the truth is that philanthropy still has a price tag to it. With the economy shrinking and grants drying up, I’m proud to know that women are stepping up to the philanthropic plate and putting their dollars where their hearts are.
In a recent Chicago Tribune article, the author talked about how women are exerting a new influence in the world of philanthropy and that makes me excited. Women care. We care about our families, communities, causes, neighbors, and future until it almost hurts. So, why wouldn’t we bring our power and influence into the world of “do-gooding?”
From the article,
Welcome to the world of female philanthropy – it’s not your father’s United Way. “Women are taking ownership,” said Andrea Pactor, associate director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, which has found that female-headed households are more likely to give to charity than male-headed households; and that in nearly all income groups women give more than men.
Women are exerting a greater influence on how philanthropy is done as they accumulate wealth and use their clout to change the way funds are raised and distributed. Roughly 1 million women in the United States each have assets of at least $2 million, according to 2007 Internal Revenue Service data, the most recent available. Wealth controlled by charitably minded women can be expected to grow as they build careers and inherit money from their parents and their husbands.
Ladies, doesn’t that excite you? One of the things that I am obsessed with is creating a legacy and making an impact that will outlive me. No matter how you start, begin looking for causes to support financially. It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a difference. Whether it’s buying supplies for a back-to-school drive or making purchases from sustainable companies, there are an infinite amount of ways for you to make your dollars count.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Merle Chambers, creator of the Chambers Family Fund. She says,
“This work is so wonderful, and you always get so much more from it than you think you give. It’s always important to remind ourselves that we are doing something of tremendous value and worth in this world, and it’s all right to enjoy it as well.”
I couldn’t agree more.