Transformation Through Virtous Philanthropy

Mission: To inspire generations to abundantly fulfill their wealth legacy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting REAL

Before you give a gift, take the "REAL" test.
If you are a strategic giver, you probably don’t wait until the end of the year to make your gifts. A true partnership with an organization means that you give year-round and you have a plan as to how much you give and why.

You are a voluntary philanthropist and you use the “REAL” test each time you make a donation of your time, talent or treasure.

R: Is my gift Relevant to my values?

E: Is my gift one that Engages the heart and well as the mind - does it connect to my passion?

A: Can I take Action and is there Accountability from the organization for the impact of my gift?

L: Can I Leverage my contribution of time, talent and treasure with others to make a greater impact in the community for the need identified? Does taking action help me live the life that will be my Legacy of values and valuables?

Next time you're thinking about making a gift, take the “REAL” test!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Warm Holiday Wishes!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a New Year filled with health and happiness!

The December e-newsletter hit inboxes yesterday. If you didn't receive it, visit to subscribe. Click here for a link!

Stay warm!

Margaret May

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's Your Philanthropic Personality?

Our research shows that even though women are very individualistic in their approach to giving, they tend to exhibit identifiable behavioral traits as to how they give. This is a budding area of research, and although it has yet to find its way into the mainstream, it is worthy of note.

The giving styles relate to one of four flowers: rose, daisy, carnation, and lily. Some suggest that the theory is an outgrowth of the boomer flower power movement of the 1960s. No one style is dominant, and each serves in one way or another to complement the other three styles. All four styles are necessary for the full potential of virtuous philanthropy.

"Rose" women make up a significant number of leading-edge boomers born between 1943 and 1955. They are forthright about their idealism. The work they do represents their willingness to take risks and be demonstrative about their giving. They are among the most loyal supporters and persuasive leaders.

"Daisy" women are eclectic in their giving patterns. They have the ability, enthusiasm, and network to draw others into their giving arena. Many times they prefer to leverage their time and money and explore several aspects of a single funding issue.

"Carnation" women strive to support grassroots initiatives and are likely to volunteer and get to know an organization before giving moderate to large sums of money. They prefer to do their own research and are willing to be proactive in seeking out issues that may be under the radar or out of vogue with funders.

"Lily" women tend to be more empathic givers. They are talented observers and have a keen intuition in finding the solution to a problem or issue that has personally touched their lives or the lives of family members. Quite often they will encourage their family to unite to support a cause.

For more, read "Women, Wealth & Giving: The Virtous Legacy of the Boom Generation" by Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion.

Spirited Woman's Top 12 Holiday Book Picks

Thank you Spirited Woman for including "Women, Wealth & Giving" as one of your Top 12 Holiday Book Picks! Order soon to receive this book about women and philanthropy in time for the holidays - it makes a great gift! Visit for this and other gifts that inspire and empower.

Click here to see all 12 books that made the Spirited Woman list.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Characteristics of Virtuous Philanthropists, Conclusion

Dame Anita Roddick
The stories of our virtuous philanthropists share a common thread, a bond that weaves their lives together even though they may not know each other. The bond is echoed by the late Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop. When asked to comment on her decision to sell $150 million of the company's stock and give the proceeds to charity, she said, "They thought that eccentric of me. But you can't take it with you and you're a long time dead."

Dame Roddick died in 2007, at the age of 64, from a cerebral hemorrhage, after a long battle with hepatitis C from a blood transfusion, which had gone undiagnosed for several years. She fulfilled her promise to leave her estate to charities on the same moral grounds that she gave to her life as an active campaigner for environmental and social issues, including helping disadvantaged children in Europe and Asia through Children on Edge, an organization she founded in 1990. A truly virtuous philanthropist, the late Dame Roddick saw it as her responsibility to fulfill her legacy in the way she conducted business, clearly outlined in the company culture and mission and in her quest to promote ethical consumerism.

Here in the United States, that same ethical consumerism and social capital of community and philanthropy is exemplified in fashion designer Sigrid Olsen's confidence that she can pull it all together, and by philanthropist Tracy Gary, who, on inheriting $1 million at the age of 21, proceeded to give it all away. Gary wanted to see that money go places and accomplish things, and she has, with her organization, Inspired Legacies.

These and other women like them personify the qualities of many women boomers who are innovative, responsible and compassionate change agents. These are women who don't bury their gold in the ground. As Marilyn Wechter reminds us, "We need to create a community, and that's one of the things that philanthropy does. It creates a community of like-minded people who come together for a cause they champion, for something they believe in, because they envision the world a better place."

And with the work of our boomers, it will be.

For more, read "Women, Wealth & Giving: The Virtous Legacy of the Boom Generation" by Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion.