Women, Wealth and Giving – The Power of No

Money means power. We’re ambivalent about it – the money and its influence. Yet last year, individuals in the U.S. donated $212 billion to nonprofits. Philanthropy is big business.

 Women, in particular, are ambivalent about wealth and the power it brings. While women make the majority of spending decisions in a household, we do so very differently than men. We focus on the people and relationships involved, more than the transaction itself.

 Philanthropy feels very different than a financial transaction, yet that’s what it is. We aspire, we decide, we give.

 Women control 33% of wealth in North America, so let’s assume that women made $70 billion of the gifts last year. The thoughtful, intelligent women who gathered at a recent Catalytic Women forum on effective philanthropy shared a common concern: the difficulty of saying “no” to a nonprofit once we’ve made a gift.

 Donors can be an effective market mechanism for the nonprofit sector, directing resources to the best programs. But to do it well, we need to get better at saying no.

 In corporate America, a mediocre widget maker looses sales to a better widget maker. You wouldn’t keep buying the lesser product if a better one is available. But how do nonprofits measure up? A second-rate nonprofit program can continue as long as donors fund it. (In more than two decades working with nonprofits, I have yet to meet anyone who intends to do mediocre work, but it happens.)

 Our sense of loyalty conflicts with our desire for community impact. Yet we do change our minds about which organizations we like best. We learn as we give. (This is a good thing.)

 Our interests should evolve and change from where we gave years ago. Hopefully, we’ve learned more about the issues and the capabilities of nonprofits working in that area. What about those gifts we make to a friend’s favorite cause, which may not be ours? These are good reasons to learn to say no.

 As we think of our resolutions for 2012, what would happen if we removed a few nonprofits from our list? We might:

  • Free up more money for the better functioning nonprofits.
  • Find new models that create community change because we’re looking for alternative organizations to support.
  • Get to know some groups better as we consider directing more money and attention to the most effective nonprofits working in our area of interest.
  • Reflect and share our own knowledge of serious social and environmental programs as we evaluate our gifts to organizations.

For women who want to give with impact and struggle with saying no, there’s a resource. Catalytic Women offers discussions and online resources on strategies and tactics for effective giving. I invite you to visit, explore and add to our ever-evolving resources at www.catalyticwomen.com.


Sources: Charity Navigator, “Leveling the Playing Field” (Boston Consulting, 2010), Money for Good (Hope Consulting, 2011), “Women’s Interest, Attitudes and Involvement with Their Wealth” (Kirby Rosplock, PhD, 2007).


  1. 249081 713010Some really good and utilitarian details on this web site , also I believe the style and design holds good features. 34273

  2. 966962 524166Ive writers block that comes and goes and I require to uncover a method to get rid of my writers block. It can occasionally be so bad I can barley make sentences. Any suggestions? 601010

  3. Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  4. 473709 763277Id must verify with you here. Which isnt one thing I often do! I get pleasure from reading a put up that will make individuals believe. Furthermore, thanks for allowing me to comment! 994237

  5. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  6. I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  7. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  8. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  9. you are in reality a just right webmaster. The web
    site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done
    a wonderful process on this topic!

  10. 126369 226202You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for that issue and located most individuals goes along with along along with your internet internet site. 325516

  11. 270853 135843This really is a great topic to speak about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. This post probably wont do properly with that crowd. I will likely be confident to submit something else though. 523044

  12. 170514 831917Excellently written write-up, doubts all bloggers offered the identical content since you, the internet has to be far greater spot. Please stay the very best! 621488

  13. Great blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?

    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other experienced individuals that share the
    same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.


  14. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But
    imagine if you added some great photos or videos to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with
    pics and clips, this website could definitely be one of the greatest in its field.
    Wonderful blog!

  15. 8711 46945This internet page is often a walk-through for all of the details it suited you with this and didnt know who to ask. Glimpse here, and youll undoubtedly discover it. 125326

  16. 47022 925862Spot on with this write-up, I really suppose this internet website needs rather much more consideration. most likely be once a lot more to learn a lot more, thanks for that information. 317884

  17. 985320 97346The the next time I just read a blog, I really hope that this doesnt disappoint me approximately brussels. Get real, Yes, it was my option to read, but I truly thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is normally a couple of whining about something which you could fix when you werent too busy looking for attention. 274037

  18. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  19. Thanks for your writing. I would like to say that a health insurance dealer also works for the benefit of the coordinators of your group insurance. The health insurance agent is given an index of benefits searched for by individuals or a group coordinator. What a broker will is hunt for individuals or perhaps coordinators which in turn best match up those needs. Then he presents his ideas and if each party agree, this broker formulates an agreement between the two parties.

  20. 215035 409902Our own chaga mushroom comes with a schokohutige, consistent, charcoal-like arrival, a entire lot of dissimilar towards the style of the normal mushroom. Chaga Tincture 582498


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here