Philanos will present this award at our future conferences to a woman in the Network whose experience and affiliation with her collective giving organization has empowered her to become a visionary leader among women in philanthropy. The award will focus on the leadership aspect of collective giving and honors Colleen Willoughby's legacy as a visionary leader in philanthropy including the founder of Washington Women's Foundation (WaWF) and Philanos.
Award winner will be recognized for taking philanthropy and leadership in new directions, challenging the status quo –– as Colleen did in 1995 –– to inspire more women to find and amplify their voices today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Philanos' vision is that throughout the next 25 years, Colleen's visionary leadership continues to inspire new, groundbreaking leaders in philanthropy.
Colleen Willoughby challenged the status quo of traditional philanthropy 25 years ago when she found it deeply troubling that women did not have an organized vehicle for using their own money — and they controlled plenty of it — to invest in their communities in ways that reflected the issues they cared about, and in ways that also reflected their collaborative style of leadership.
Colleen's idea of collective giving grantmaking changed the face of philanthropy forever, not just in Seattle where it began with Washington Women’s Foundation, but across the country and the world. She inspired and mentored groups in New York, Boise, Ketchum, San Diego, Roanoke, Jacksonville, St Louis, Minneapolis, Austin, and Charlotte, and as far away as Shanghai and Melbourne. She expanded the movement in 2009 by establishing Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN), now Philanos.
2021 First Willoughby Awardee
Kyle Ruffin Impact100 South Jersey
Colleen S. Willoughby
Founder – Washington Women's Foundation and Philanos
Listen to her "Reflections on 25 Years in Collective Giving"