Virginia Mills and Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
Philanos Marketing and Communications Committee Co-Chairs
Philanos strives to amplify your collective voices and your important work. We want to share with you all the ways we are communicating your stories to larger audiences, and how your involvement can help us spread the word!
How are we doing this? Through the Philanos Marketing and Communications Committee. We manage the overall marketing and communications for the organization, and communicate regularly about the good work of Philanos affiliates - to our network and beyond through our numerous marketing and communication vehicles.
Why are we doing this? We are promoting Philanos’ efforts and those of our affiliates to support and encourage the growth and sustainability of our individual affiliates, the advancement of the women’s collective giving movement, and the trends in the philanthropic sector.
Here’s five ways we are regularly communicating about Philanos and our affiliates:
Here’s five ways that you can help us spread the word about your efforts:
Here’s some thoughts on how you can get more involved with us:
We look forward to hearing from you so we can continually amplify your voice and promote your good work!
Wow – what an event! Thank you to the 100+ attendees of our virtual Award Ceremony where we announced our inaugural Willoughby Award recipient, Kyle Ruffin of Impact100 South Jersey, and our Spotlight Award winners Impact100 Metro Denver, Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis and Impact 100 Richmond.
The Spotlight Award is our opportunity to highlight how Philanos affiliates are strengthening the collective giving movement through grantmaking. The Spotlight Awards celebrate women-powered philanthropic efforts, highlighting grants that demonstrate the multiplier effect of impact investing in community nonprofits. We admire and celebrate these impactful grants that represent a slice of the grantmaking being done throughout the country:
Impact100 Metro Denver
for their 2018 Change Maker Grant to Trinity Haven to provide safe, affirming housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing housing instability.
for their innovative, Trust-Based Philanthropy-focused Neighborhood Catalyst Grant provided to the Fulton neighborhood, for community leaders to decide where the money would be utilized.
The Willoughby Award is in honor of Colleen S. Willoughby, the founder of both the Washington Women's Foundation, and Philanos. This inaugural award is honoring Kyle Ruffin as a visionary leader in philanthropy who, like Colleen, has taken the field into exciting, new directions:
Impact100 South Jersey: Kyle’s experience has inspired her to be a visionary leader in philanthropy beyond her affiliate and has received a $1,000 prize that she will have donated in her name to the nonprofit of her choice. Kyle’s philanthropic experience with many nonprofit organizations left her “othered and tokenized” as a black woman in the white philanthropy world. Over time however, she found her voice and became empowered to speak up. She recently initiated and led a program to showcase other women and people of color to tell their story about why they are already giving. Using her background in storytelling, she helps people tell their own stories which helps others recognize the vital role people of color already play in philanthropy and volunteerism. She is a champion of partnership over integration when it comes to increasing the impact giving back can have on a community.
“We gave these awards because it is a meaningful way to elevate the voices, stories, and important work being done in the field by Philanos affiliates and women leaders on behalf of us all in the growing collective giving movement” said Susan Benford, Philanos Chair. “Congratulations to these wonderful women, their giving circles, and their grantee partners for their community impact.”
We were inspired and moved by the wonderful opening words of Sara Lomelin, Executive Director of Philanthropy Together, who helped us celebrate these special award winners live and inspire us on how far forward the movement has gone. Philanthropy Together was created by many giving circles, to diversify and democratize philanthropy and we are proud to partner to strengthen the field.
Thanks to all those who joined us to honor these amazing women and affiliates among us who are part of our growing network, and are helping to elevate all of our work every day!
Kelly Walsh of Impact 100 Metro Detroit
Impact100 Metro Detroit's mission is to fuel transformation in Metro Detroit by uniting women through collective giving to support local nonprofit heroes and award high impact grants.
We recently spoke to Kelly Walsh, President of Impact100 Metro Detroit and invited her thoughts on their current efforts!
What’s the most interesting effort your circle is focusing on right now?
We're taking a strategic look at our calendar - moving the grant application window earlier to allow for more committee review. Our board is also discussing a shift of membership calendar to be aligned with our "Big Give" award event. (Our membership currently closes Dec. 31st with the award event late May. The shift would consider membership closing in April with the event in May).
What is something your circle is currently challenged by?
Brand building and communication - we're constantly working to find the right communication cadence for both members and prospects. There are 3 Impact groups in our region - which is awesome, but can be a challenge for women to understand the differentiators of each group.
What Philanos resource has been most helpful to you this year, and why?
We're new to Philanos, but have found the online resources and the connection to a large network of like-minded organizations to be wonderful.
Bronwyn Belling and Linda Eggbeer of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together [AAWGT]
AAWGT is working to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County, Maryland
We recently spoke to Bronwyn Belling and Linda Eggbeer - who are both past presidents and who currently help lead their Web/IT and Marketing and Communications efforts - and invited their thoughts on their current work - take a look!
We’re working hard to simplify and improve our entire grants process by carefully considering the many things we’ve learned over the past year. We’re using ideas generated by this year’s grant reviewers and our Racial Equity Study Group as well as thinking through the best practices other giving circles and the philanthropic community are employing. While we’re still in the iterative stage, it is a process that is stretching us. We expect it to yield positive results for our grant recipients and for AAWGT, an organization deeply committed to continuous improvement.
AAWGT’s Racial Equity Study Group, which has met monthly since January 2019, recommended this spring that a DEI Committee be created to conduct a comprehensive examination of the way the organization functions with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Due to COVID and the time and care we took in assembling the diverse group that we did, we finally were able to convene our first in-person meeting last week. The conversation made clear that there are a range of viewpoints about how we should go forward, including what we should focus on first. This is challenging but not surprising as we work to create and implement a plan that will serve our organization well.
We’ve used a number of resources including Philanos’ excellent webinars that are offered throughout the year, the website (particularly DEI in Action), the Comms Club, and direct connections to other giving circles facilitated through Philanos.
Jennifer Bennett, Impact San Antonio
Impact San Antonio brings women together to provide substantial grants to nonprofit organizations in the Greater San Antonio community through the power of collective philanthropy.
We recently spoke to Jennifer Bennett, President of Impact San Antonio and invited her thoughts on their current efforts!
One of our goals is to educate our membership on the needs in our community and to do it in partnership with other like-minded local organizations. We recently connected with an organization of women of color and are brainstorming topics. We plan to offer the program to the broader community, not just our membership. We hope to spark more action in tackling problems, while also increasing awareness of our organization and encouraging greater diversity of our membership.
We recently reviewed our conflicts of interest policies relating to agency interactions. Through robust debate on options and their implications, our board found a balance to achieving fairness and objectivity, while avoiding unintended consequences. We recognized that too strict a policy would exclude women from serving on our board who serve in executive roles on local nonprofit boards or who work at those agencies. We want experience like that because it will help us improve how we operate and our decision-making.
The “We Give Summit” in May was a tremendous resource for great ideas and best practices being used by other women’s giving circles that we could apply to our organization. One terrific aspect of my experience was being a presenter with 2 other wonderful ladies on how to grow membership in a pandemic. Through our collaboration I learned about some of their successful approaches that we plan to implement to enhance our member retention and acquisition results.
Honoring Changemakers Among Us The Willoughby and Spotlight Awards
October 14, 2021
This year we are excited to announce the Willoughby and Spotlight Award winners at a virtual event on October 14 at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern. Guest Speaker Sara Lomelin, ED of Philanthropy Together, will help us celebrate these special award winners live and inspire us on how far forward the movement has gone. Philanthropy Together was created by many giving circles, to diversify and democratize philanthropy.
We hope you will join us to honor these amazing women and affiliates among us who are part of our growing network, and are helping to elevate all of our work every day. Register here.
Maureen Romito, Impact Las Vegas
Impact Las Vegas empowers women by giving collectively in a way that positively transforms our community.
We recently spoke to Maureen Romito, Founder and Executive Director of Impact Las Vegas and invited her thoughts on their current efforts!
As an organization, we have primarily operated with a very limited number of volunteers. As Founder, I have been guilty of doing many administrative and operational tasks myself rather than encouraging volunteers. This is changing, however so I have been documenting processes and cross-training board members, but this shift is causing us to focus more on volunteering than we have ever done in the past.
It has been difficult to communicate the reality of this change and for our Membership to understand exactly what it means. Even the board, despite numerous discussions, strategizing, and planning meetings has been slow to realize that the change is happening. Encouraging a larger group of volunteers than we have ever had to do in the past is currently our biggest challenge.
As my final news as Philanos chair, I am delighted to share that during our May board meeting, we had an extraordinary event I want to share.
After a discussion about the number of women who have been nominated for The Willoughby Award, a board member, our founder Colleen Willoughby, made a pledge to endow the award for 5 years. Additionally, retiring board member Dale Clifford made a 10-year endowment pledge, a memorial to her mother, Laura Egerton Lothrop. We are incredibly grateful for their vision and generosity.
Applications for The Willoughby Award are due June 30 and our Spotlight Awards are due July 15. Every affiliate has outstanding leaders and grants, we want to hear about yours.
Philanos Declaration of Unity
We are stronger together.
No member of our society should ever feel threatened, or invisible, or devalued, or experience acts of violence. All people deserve to live full and abundant lives free of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression.
We are stronger together.
Every characteristic that makes an individual unique—height, weight, physical and mental ability, eye color, ethnicity, education, gender, race, geographic location, religious preference, sexual orientation, and more—is an asset if we choose to believe that.
Our vision is that communities in which women’s collective giving organizations exist are healthier, safer, more equitable, and thriving. This vision can be our community’s reality.
We are committed to equity, diversity, collaboration, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability because therein lies our strength.
Philanos supports philanthropy which is anti-racist and anti-bias through education, resource sharing, training, and open and honest discussions.
Philanos encourages affiliates to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their grantmaking, and to fund organizations whose leadership includes the population they serve in order to recognize and value lived experience.
We are stronger together.
Women know the power of collaboration and that we are stronger when we advocate for our vision together. Philanos accelerates this collaboration with our affiliates, partner networks and fellow philanthropists.
Philanthropy Together along with Philanos and other networks are hosting the We Give Summit throughout the month of May!
The We Give Summit is designed to ignite and unite all of us in the powerful movement of collective giving.
Open to giving circle members, philanthropy experts, community leaders, and social impact newcomers, we've been learning, growing, and dreaming together across four weeks in May as we joined sessions centered on this year's theme: Stronger Together.
Here's a quick event overview:
If you've been participating, we hope you've been enjoying it so far. If you haven't yet had a chance, it's not too late to join in the learning and fun! See the full schedule and register here.
And, make sure to check-out the Philanos-hosted sessions that have taken place, and those coming up:
Learn, grow, and think big with hundreds of everyday givers during the final weeks of May - join us!
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