All the single ladies and people of color: Study looks at the changing face of philanthropy
March 29 2019

Darcel Rockett
Chicago Tribune

Bill GatesWarren Buffett. Richard Branson.

All members of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.

Lots of former and current CEOs. Mostly over 60. Mostly white.

A new study by the Indianapolis-based Women’s Philanthropy Institute — “Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color — aims to shift how people think about philanthropists. Some key takeaways include:

– Single women are more likely to give their time, money and talent than single men.

– Married couples are more likely to give than singles.

– Giving isn’t impacted by ethnicity.

– Communities of color appear to be more engaged in informal volunteering than white communities (giving time, but not to a formal program or organization). But they are less engaged in formal volunteering.

WPI interim Director Andrea Pactor hopes the research kicks off a bigger conversation within the nonprofit world, which she says is slow-moving. Given the country’s changing demographic, she believes the fundraising industry needs to embrace diversity.

“Some of the strategies that worked for reaching white male donors don’t work for women and in communities of color,” Pactor said.

Bronzeville resident Nicole Robinson is doing her part as one of seven co-founders of the South Side Giving Circle at the Chicago Foundation for Women (aka Queen Makers). The philanthropy startup, founded in 2017, invests in the economic, social and political power of Chicagoland’s black women and girls.

Members pay to be part of the group (starting at $500 for 35 and under) and collectively decide where the money goes. They focus on organizations that help black women and girls living on the South Side, and organizations whose leaders are black women. They meet in spaces and patronize businesses also led by black women. In the first year, the group donated $34,000 to five organizations.

Robinson said many of the women in the South Side Giving Circle wouldn’t call themselves philanthropists.

“Maybe a change-maker, or someone who’s interested in making their community better,” said Robinson, vice president of community impact for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Not everybody is a Zuckerberg, and we know our government leaders are trying and working on some of those issues, but while they’re trying, we don’t want to stand on the sidelines. We want to be part of making something happen. It’s empowering, especially if you’re disenchanted with the national narrative, disenchanted with what some might call ‘House of Cards’ politics here in Chicago.”

Robinson believes giving circles create a sense of community and collective effort — that often it’s people’s personal stories that bring them into the philanthropy circle.

Kami Guildner, a business coach and host of the podcast “Extraordinary Women Radio” is one such story.

“I grew up in farm country Colorado where we had a community circle. My mom would go, and if somebody was sick, they’d make food and take it over to them, or someone struggling financially, they’d pool resources together and help,” she said. “We all have our own personal stories that tie to philanthropy. When we stop to think about our stories of giving, we can start to identify with (philanthropy) in a different way.”

Pactor and Robinson hope the study moves the needle when it comes to fundraisers seeking donors and charities diversifying their boards — that both will learn to cast a wider, more diverse net.


Read original article here.