One of the unique attributes of Women Give San Diego is that we make grants to help low-income women by engaging local women of all ages to contribute. The organization recognizes the importance of engaging the younger generations of women in philanthropy now. By offering tiered membership prices, our organization allows women of all ages to be involved with philanthropy. Members in their 20s are asked for a minimum gift of $250 a year; members in their 30s, $500 a year; and founding members $1,000 to $25,000 a year. As a result, nearly 40 percent of WGSD members are under the age of 40.
Co-Founders, Jan, Gayle and Linda – all Baby Boomers – have been actively engaged in philanthropy for over three decades, with a particular focus on women and girls. Their philosophy is that families and communities thrive when women and girls thrive as fully contributing members of the community. From the start, they intended Women Give’s membership to be diverse through age, race and social standing. Tuttleman says: “We didn't want to start another organization with our own peers.” Katz adds: “As leaders in philanthropy, we must continue to grow and engage young female philanthropists.” The three founders take this responsibility very seriously and are committed to modeling and nurturing the next generation of female philanthropists.
Gen X member, Katie Collins, feels that Women Give San Diego gives her a unique and affordable way to make an impact in my community. Jan, Linda, and Gayle serve as role models for the next generation of philanthropists and have inspired her to do what she can to help make a difference.
Women Give San Diego offers younger women the opportunity to be philanthropists by contributing their own funds and participating in the grant making process. The younger generations (Gen X and Y) do not have the wealth of the older generation (Baby Boomers and Traditionalists) donors. Many are repaying school loan debt, struggling with unemployment, buying their first homes, and starting their own families. Despite the lack of wealth, the younger generations are important to engage now so they can learn to become lifelong donors. The great benefit of Women Give San Diego members is that members of all ages receive the same benefits for their donations, despite the difference in amounts.
Another Gen X member who joined Women Give San Diego because she was excited to support, through her time and resources, efforts to help women living in a variety of challenging situations to succeed in their professional and personal lives. Her participation in this group is exciting because “our group includes women of all ages, and in all stages of their careers who work together with those who have established themselves as savvy, successful business women, and with those who are striving to take on new opportunities and sectors.”
In order for Women Give to thrive, we value and need the opinions and points of view of a wide variety of women, each from differing backgrounds, cultures and professions. If we are going to make a significant difference in our community, it is imperative that our giving circle reflect our region to our best ability.
Tuttleman: “I feel that once younger women get involved, they are the ones to be the champion of this cause in the future. They will be the ones to carry forth the mission of our organization in the future and raise awareness in our community.” Women Give San Diego honors all of its members through an age-based fee structure, acknowledging that, while the financial resources among us may differ, the perspectives each of us brings to the table is equally as important in effectively achieving our mission.
Katz sums it up: “Did I mention, that it's just more fun to work with women that are younger and smarter than us?” We absolutely agree with you, Linda.
Blog post written by Women Give San Diego member, Renee Herrell, M.A., CFRE who writes a popular profit on nonprofit topics: reneeherrell.wordpress.com