The Power of the Purse

The Power of the Purse

Last November I was honored to participate in the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ workshop “Transforming The Philanthropic Landscape” featuring women “givers” in the Inland Empire. After hearing the statistics on women and charitable giving and the rise of organized philanthropic groups of women across the country, I publicly promised to start a regional Women’s Giving Circle in my capacity as board member of The Community Foundation of Inland Southern California. 

Women have a chance to make a real impact here in the Inland Empire through collective giving. We control more of the philanthropic dollars in the household. In fact, in nearly 90 percent of high worth households, women are the sole decision-maker or at least an equal partner in charitable resource distribution. By 2030 women will control 2/3rd of the wealth in the United States. And women will inherit 70 percent of the intergenerational wealth over the next three decades. It is clear to me that by engaging women in the power of community philanthropy, we will help cultivate a culture of giving that will benefit the entire region. 

It is a focused effort we desperately need. 

According to The Community Foundation’s Community Indicators Report, a well-funded nonprofit sector is integral to a vibrant, healthy, and stable community. But unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, funding for philanthropic investment by private grant makers is a startling $5.46 per capita in San Bernardino County and $23.33 in Riverside County. To provide context of how devastatingly meager those numbers are, Los Angeles County, our neighbor to the west, receives $190.56 per capita in philanthropic investment and Orange County, our other neighboring county, receives $103.86 per capita. 

According to the California Budget and Policy Center’s Women’s Well-Being Index, women of the Inland Region – Riverside and San Bernardino County rank 48.1 and 48.6 respectively on an index of 0-100 in Overall Well-Being based on the five dimensions: Health, Personal Safety, Employment and Earnings, Political Empowerment, and Economic Security. Economic security for women, in particular, is essential to the health and vitality of the entire community. When women thrive, their families and communities prosper. 

The mission of The Community Foundation Women’s Giving Circle is to engage women of influence in the power of community philanthropy. And while it will not in itself bring parity to the huge disparity in funding, we believe it will educate and organize philanthropic-minded women and provide opportunities for purposeful and strategic giving. The goals are to: empower women givers to increase giving locally, educate donors on women’s economic security issues including poverty, food insecurity, affordable housing, and child care, award grants to nonprofit organizations whose programs and services promote economic security for women and their families, and combine resources, talents and interests to the benefit of women and children, proving that women of compassion can make the greatest difference by working together for change. 

We are hosting an inaugural event on September 21, 2017 at the Riverside Art Museum from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, and our featured presenter will be Claudia Sangster, Senior Vice-President, Family Education and Governance, Northern Trust. Her topic: “Women, Wealth and Philanthropy: Harnessing the Power of the Purse.” If you’re interested in joining us RSVP by September 15 to kpotter@thecommunityfoundation. net or call 951.241.7777.

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