Library Blog

Women in Philanthropy

Two female volunteers smiling for Women in Philanthropy

March is Women’s History Month, when we remember the vital role of women in our nation’s history.

The Youngstown Foundation, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, and the Wean Foundation are Community Foundations within the Youngstown area.  All are located locally and work diligently to serve the people in our area.  We have two United Way’s in the area, one in Mahoning County and one in Trumbull.   They, too, work extremely hard to support the communities they are located in.  With the exception of the Youngstown and Mahoning County United Way, all are headed by women.  This led me to think about women in philanthropy and the various roles they play. 

I started my search with an interesting article that I recommend reading, found on the website, NonProfit PRO. The article on the site was from August 29, 2019, “The Rise of Women in Philanthropy” by Nhu TeShe begins her article discussing how women are taking on leadership roles, “There is a rise in the role of women in the sector.  She notes that women are bringing their own leadership styles into their roles.  Also, featured in this article are a number of successful women who give their input into the role of women in philanthropy. 

The article also provides a description of how women give.  The author, Ms. Te states, “when it comes to giving to charity, women are more empathetic toward the causes they care deeply about.”  Interestingly, “they have a tendency to give more than men.”  I suggest reading the article for more detail and a deeper understanding of the topic. 

Another web article that covers the topic is Learning to Give: Women and PhilanthropyLearning to Give’s mission is to provide quality, teacher-written lessons and resources to help k-12 teachers educate, equip and empower their students to be giving and caring citizens.”  Even though the materials are written for children, this site does provide important and interesting information on women and philanthropy that would be of interest to anyone of any age.  This article, written by Tricia Tomson and Aaron Martinbegins with a good, understandable definition of what philanthropy is.  It includes history of women and philanthropy and the importance of philanthropy.  Some key related ideas include: Giving Circles and Women of Color in Philanthropy.  Related resources are also featured.  

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute explains that the “Lilly Family School of Philanthropy exists to conduct, curate and disseminate research that grows women’s philanthropy.”  This site can help you to remain current on research being conducted on the subject of women and philanthropy.  

Philanthropy Roundtable’s 10 Exceptional Philanthropic Women, a Women’s History Month Spotlight, “features ten exceptional women who forged solutions to many of America’s most challenging problems through their generosity.”  This is a fascinating article featuring   most generous women from various walks of life and different time periods

Sally Freaney

Sally Freaney is the Grant Center Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. In addition to her many years as the Grant Center librarian, Sally has enjoyed careers at both a nonprofit hospital and for Mahoning County government.

She enjoys showing nonprofits how to expertly use the Foundation Directory Online database, confidently navigate the proposal writing process and successfully use the nonprofit startup assessment tool.

A coffee lover, Sally enjoys reading a good mystery novel.