‘Women have always given back to their communities through their service,” says Arline Stephan, executive director of Capital Health Foundation, “but it is a newer concept for women to thoughtfully and strategically give away their financial assets in a planned and meaningful manner. Giving circles empower members to play a more significant role in philanthropy than those members could without the financial leverage provided by the group. An outgrowth of investment clubs, giving circles require a minimal amount of time and energy on the part of members, yet result in substantial financial contributions.”
Stephan wanted to engage the women in the Capital Health community in such a way and started Capital Women in Philanthropy to encourage philanthropy among women with shared values and to promote women as philanthropists; make grants through the Capital Health Foundation that support Capital Health’s mission and vision; recruit a membership that reflects the communities served by Capital Health; and effectively steward the charitable dollars entrusted to the Foundation.
Members give $250 or more to a fund held at the Capital Health Foundation. In October, Capital Health departments submit grant proposals and applications to Capital Women in Philanthropy.
Since 2008, nearly $65,000 has been granted to such programs as an exercise program for oncology patients, the Pharmacy Medication Safety Community Education Initiative; support for grieving parents; the End of Life/ Comfort Care Unit; and health education for the HIV/AIDS program.
Why women’s philanthropy, you ask? Women have become a force in world of money, says Stephan. Two in five businesses in the country are owned by women, women live longer than men, and they will end up in charge of much of the intergenerational transfer of wealth over the next 50 years; according to Diversity Best Practices and Business Women’s Network
Capital Women in Philanthropy holds one reception a year where recipients of the prior year’s grants report on their programs. The 2011 reception, which is open to the public, takes place on Wednesday, April 13, 5:30 p.m., at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville. Registration is $40. Call 609-394-4121.