Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World


By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County

Ten years ago, this month, a book that I had the honor to co-author with Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor hit the bookshelves, entitled Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World.

Sondra and Martha are considered visionaries in the modern-day women’s philanthropy movement, are the co-founders of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, and have written numerous books and thought pieces on women’s philanthropy and giving circles.

In my role as Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, I decided to re-read it recently and was excited – but not surprised – that our book about the power of women’s philanthropy to change our world is still relevant today, and has something to offer pretty much anyone who works in or around philanthropy.

Here’s the highlights:
– We make a compelling case that despite the traditional male dominance of the field, it’s high time to pay more attention to the philanthropic contributions of women.
– We focus on how women’s philanthropy has led the way in virtually reinventing the world of fundraising.-
– We offer information on how and why women give, what it takes to develop a gender-sensitive fundraising program, how to develop a strategic plan to involve women as leaders and donors, and suggestions for working with women of wealth.
– We discuss that women are increasingly engaged in a variety of ways to give, including giving circles, global giving, transformative gifts, entrepreneurial giving, faith-based giving, family and couple giving, and social change gifts.
– We present new ways to better engage women in giving, insights into developing women leaders in the nonprofit arena, and advice on developing women as philanthropic leaders.
– And, we highlight that when women make a gift, are in a leadership position, or volunteer their time to a nonprofit or charitable organization, we tend to base our efforts on solid principles such as compassion, values, vision, and responsibility.

We believed then – and I contend now – that that not only are women perfectly suited to the challenges and opportunities of philanthropy, but because of our distinct approach to giving, we are uniquely, boldly positioned to continue to drive real and lasting change in the world.

And, that’s exactly what I see each and every day among our broad base of donors to the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, and our many nonprofit and business partners.

So, if you are looking for a good read about the strength and empowerment of women’s philanthropy, I am excited to offer Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World as a resource.

Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is a Founder, Former Chair, and now Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: buffybschwartz@wgchowardcounty.org and www.wgchowardcounty.org

Her Mind Magazine

The publication has become a beloved resource for women in Howard County. We report on the accomplishments, the celebrations and the challenges that Howard County women are involved with every day. And our advertisers serve as a go-to for information on everything from healthcare to business advice to your next night on the town. Thanks to our vibrant community, the magazine grows stronger every year.
WGC Image for Her Mind Blog Post

WGC Aims to Provide a More Equitable Platform for Women to Engage in our Work


You’d Think Someone Would’ve Mentioned It


“Moving Day”