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  • Friday, January 13, 2023 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have spent the last 18 months speaking with numerous Philanos Affiliates through our "3 Questions With" series, and getting their thoughts on the work they are doing, including asking them 3 specific questions:  1) What’s the most interesting effort your circle is focusing on right now? 2) What is something your circle is currently challenged by? and 3) What Philanos resource has been most helpful to you this year, and why?

    Take a look at the good work happening in the Philanos network around the country!

  • Monday, January 02, 2023 8:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We welcome 2023 and all our chances to do better. We are especially cheered by the opportunity to meet in Baltimore on November 5-7, for our first national in-person conference since 2020 in Seattle. Early bird registration will open May 1 – watch for our upcoming communications.

    The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is our main host, along with an impressive regional contingent of co-hosts, including Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle, DMV Collective Giving Network, Giving Together Montgomery County, Many Hands DC, Maryland Philanthropy Network, and Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County.

    Multiple committees have planning underway, looking for inspiring speakers and shared wisdom. We are keen to highlight knowledge gained through collaboration, networks, and programs featuring our affiliates. If you would like to join our program committee, please hop on now, as we get busy building session ideas to populate our breakout tracks.

    And speaking of hopping – we have multiple Philanos programs coming up in January and February, beginning with next week’s webinar, Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Noon Eastern, featuring leadership succession models that work, presented by Greenville Women Giving (Greenville, SC) and ninety-nine girlfriends (Portland, OR). Register here.

    On Thursday, January 26th at Noon Eastern, our popular Comms Club will continue its deep dive into social media featuring LinkedIn, use of metrics, and member engagement tools. Marketing and communications teams will find these open discussions useful. Register here.

    And, on February 9th at Noon Eastern, we will start the first in a series of Tech Talks, headed by our Philanos Board Technology Chair, Amy Conard, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund. Amy is retired from a successful corporate career in Information Technology, and now consults with nonprofits to help them be more efficient and effective by leveraging software. So, if you have technology questions related to your work, bring them here for a smart place to discuss. Register here.

    Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day, our webinar for February features techniques and wisdom behind gathering and responding to feedback from our nonprofit partners—a real-life valentine message. Register here.

    Finally, January is also the month when we turn to recruiting new Philanos board and committee members. The work is always exciting, the company is exceptional, and there is not a better time or place to take a chance to get it right in all our communities through the power of collective giving. Please consider this opportunity for yourself or someone who might need a nudge. 

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2022 4:54 AM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    Our 3-hour event focused on trust-based philanthropy and included presentations by national speakers Pia InfanteKaci PattersonPhilanos Board member, Deepika Andavarapu, facilitated a discussion with Q&A followed by Philanos Spotlight and Willoughby Awards. Watch the presentations and Q&A video recording.

    Congratulations to our Spotlight Award Winners: (video recording)

    Baltimore Women's Giving Circle - Black Women Build Baltimore

    Impact Oklahoma, Oklahoma City - Pivot's Tiny Home Initiative

    Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund - Dream Builders 4 Equity

    "Philanos affiliates reach deep into their respective communities to address national pressing issues with local solutions. Our 2022 Spotlight nominations by Philanos affiliates throughout the country each highlighted the pressing needs of foster youth, families, and single parents to have a safe place to live and to build economic security.” Ellan Bernstein, Philanos 2022 Spotlight Chair and Board Secretary, Member, Impact 100 Philadelphia.

    Congratulations to our Willoughby Award Winner: (video recording)

    Katherine Fulton - Impact100 Sonoma

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2022 1:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sandi Slap of The Transition Network Philadelphia Giving Circle

    TTN Philadelphia Giving Circle improves the lives of women and children in Philadelphia through collective giving to nonprofit organizations serving their needs.  They are committed to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion and identify and seek to support organizations who share this commitment.

    We recently spoke to Sandi and invited her thoughts on their current efforts!

    What’s the most interesting effort your circle is focusing on right now?

    The Transition Network Philadelphia Giving Circle has designated 2022 as “The Year of the Child” to commemorate our Giving Circle’s ten years of giving.  This year, we are focusing exclusively on the needs of Philadelphia’s children.  To that end, we have hosted three educational programs which addressed the most pressing needs and issues facing our city’s children, including, education, mental health, mentorship, youth job training and opportunities and gun violence.  We have also embarked on a year-long fundraising initiative to enable us to make impactful grants to nonprofits serving Philadelphia’s children in 2023.

    What is something your circle is currently challenged by?

    We recognize that small grassroots organizations have a positive and direct impact on the lives of children in their neighborhoods.  Our newly adopted Diversity Initiative is aimed at increasing diversity in the size, leadership and approach to addressing problems among our nonprofit grant applicants in 2023 and forward.  We seek small Philadelphia nonprofits embedded in their communities with strong leadership and/or professional staffs of people of color who reflect the communities they serve. 

    What Philanos resource has been most helpful to you this year, and why?

    The webinars on Philanos’ website have provided valuable insights and information for our Giving Circle on trust-based philanthropy and grantee membership programs, among other things. Our Giving Circle is always focused on new ways to increase the impact of our mission and this type of guidance assists us in doing just that.

  • Friday, August 26, 2022 2:13 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    By Ann Marie McGee
    Philanos Communications Co-chair
    Impact 100 Redwood Circle, CA

    Women’s Giving Circles are Making a Difference Across the Country. Check out news from these 22 Philanos Affiliates.

  • Friday, July 29, 2022 12:12 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    The 2022 - 2023 Philanos Board of Directors met in Denver in June to plan for the future.

    "It was wonderful to be with these amazing national leaders to plan for our organization's future and for the women's collective giving movement" said Philanos Board Chair Susan Benford. "We are looking forward to many new opportunities to support our 78 affiliates in the coming year."

  • Tuesday, July 05, 2022 7:16 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    By Rebekah Bonde
    Philanos Board Treasurer
    Washington Women’s Foundation

    In 1998, I sat in the congregation of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, listening to a Sunday morning 'Moment for Mission'. Two women shared of their experience in a collective giving group and how they were learning an intentional modality of grant making that was changing how they viewed philanthropy. I was transfixed. It was one of those rare moments that etched in my brain because it felt immediately significant, and I noted three things: 

    1. The buy-in was $1,000, which was more than my monthly rent as a 27-year-old in the nascent stages of her career.
    2. What would it take to participate in this level of giving; and
    3. Who in the world is Colleen Willoughby?

    18 years later, I am in Colleen's kitchen pulling out things to make an impromptu cheese and cracker platter at her direction and talking about scarves and Gen-X giving patterns.

    I could spend the next several minutes itemizing Colleen's many accomplishments at Washington Women's, the Evans School at UW, or even the fact she has a Wikipedia entry. But I'd rather tell you about how her work directly changed me even though she had no idea who I was until I joined the Philanos Board (née WCGN) in 2015.  

    After my husband and I moved from Seattle to Austin, TX, a neighbor introduced me to Impact Austin as a way to use my professional skill set in a meaningfully volunteer manner and to meet other women seeking to make an impact in their community.  I joined and attended my first WCGN conference in 2012 when Kathy LeMay spoke, and she asked us to write an audacious goal on a piece of paper that we had to fulfill within one year.  It was always my worst fear to be called upon in public, and since I'll probably never have to do it…I wrote down "speak in public about philanthropy."

    I saw Colleen at that conference and oh-so vaguely remembered something about Washington Women's.  Colleen spoke about the genesis of WaWF, about how important it was for women to give philanthropically in their own name, and why she chose $1,000 - the level at which you first get your name printed in a charity's list of donors.  And then the memory of the 'Moment for Mission' came flooding back, and I had to pinch myself: "I can't believe I'm here."

    Within 12 months of that conference, I was (very nervously) giving my first talk, standing up and being called on by name. I made my first donation as ME, not "the wife of…" And I found a calling that has elevated not only my voice and my financial impact, but more importantly my sense of self. I never, ever thought I would chair a Board of Directors, or sit on a panel of city leaders as an Impact Austin representative or write for a national publication on behalf of Philanos. Yes, all this because of the women's collective giving movement because Colleen started a movement. How ironic that when we all come to the collective we meet ourselves front and center, sometimes for the first time.

    Since that first conference, I've spoken at several Philanos conferences, captained a boat race, ran to meet a political idol, and aggressively shook her hand on a street corner in Washington DC, stood up and said more at work, and even orated to a large group of Presbyterians when selected as my church's 'Woman of the Month'.  I think about the 27-year-old women who were in the audience that day, looking at me and wondering, "What would it take…". 

    Most of us start in the audience, and now we are in front talking to the next generation of women.  We are the leaders of today so we can model leadership for tomorrow. And let me tell you, you never know who is listening. It's probably someone you've never met and never will, until…

    Thank you, Colleen.

    Watch the 2020 PowerUP! slideshow tribute to Colleen!

  • Tuesday, July 05, 2022 4:15 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    Philanos July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 Board of Directors

    Susan Benford, Chair, member of The Philanthropy Connection (Boston, MA) and Impact100 Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

    Margaret (Maggie) Glasgow, Chair-elect, member of Greenville Women Giving, (Greenville, SC)

    Ellan Bernstein, Secretary and Education Co-chair, member of Impact100 Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

    Rebekah Bonde, Treasurer, member of Washington Women’s Foundation (Seattle, WA)

    Deepika Andavarapu, member of Impact 100 Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

    Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Communications Chair, member of Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County (Columbia, MD)

    Amy Conard, Technology Chair, member of Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (St. Louis, MO)

    Sandra (Sandy) Cook, Affiliate Engagement Chair, member of Impact100 Metro Denver (Denver, CO)

    Stephanie Cook, member of San Diego Women’s Foundation (San Diego, CA)

    Heather Jauregui, member of Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation (Boise, ID)

    Deborah Majewski, Education Co-chair, member of Women’s Impact Fund (Charlotte, NC)

    Ann Marie McGee, Communications Vice Chair, member of Impact 100 Redwood Circle (Santa Rosa, CA)

    Clare O’Brien, member of Impact 100 Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

    Paula Perkins, Governance Chair, member of Impact100 Wichita Falls (Wichita Falls, TX)

  • Tuesday, July 05, 2022 3:50 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    June 30, 2022 6 board members retired after years of Philanos service.  Several were founding board members who have exceeded their service both in term limits and development of the Philanos Network.

    Colleen Willoughby 
    Washington Women’s Foundation, Seattle, WA

    Colleen Willoughby is a force for women’s leadership development and their engagement in civic life.  It began early.  Visiting Washington, DC as a high schooler and sitting in the seat of the first ever female US Senator Margaret Chase Smith during Girls Nation, Colleen had an epiphany which has been her North star.  Like the Senator, she inherently believed in effective civic leadership and respect for women’s roles in our civil society. She has dedicated much of her life to creating opportunity for women to learn, participate and to continue their leadership development.  Read more

    Laura Midgley 
    Washington Women’s Foundation, Seattle, WA 
    Wood River Women’s Foundation, Kechum, ID

    Laura served as the founding board chair of Philanos (then called WCGN) from 2013 to 2015. She’s an active member of two Philanos affiliates, the Wood River Women’s Foundation in Ketchum, ID (since 2014) and Washington Women’s Foundation in Seattle (since 2002), where she was a WaWF director for nine years and served in numerous leadership roles. She proudly co-chaired PowerUP! The Spark That Ignites Change, Philanos’ national conference in February 2020 for 370 leaders who convened in Seattle to advance their understanding and commitment to equitable grantmaking and inclusivity in our organizations. She led securing nearly $200,000 in grants, major gifts and earned revenue for the network that still contributes to its sustainability today. Read more

    Virginia Mills 
    GIVING WoMN, Minneapolis, MN

    Virginia is a founding board member of Philanos (formerly WCGN) and served as the second board chair of Philanos, from 2015-2017. She is a member of GIVING WoMN in Minneapolis, MN and past member of both The Philanthropy Connection and Womenade Boston, MA.

    When asked how she came to this network, Virginia tells of a “completely freaky” set of circumstances that led her to this board, but those who have known her well would reply that this was no coincidence.  In 2009 she had just joined the GIVING WoMN Board in Minneapolis as a co-chair of marketing.  Her fellow co-chair told her, “We can go to this event in Boise and meet some other women leaders of like groups,” and Virginia agreed.  When her travel partner got ill and couldn’t attend, Virginia showed up alone to a meeting where she knew no one.  She met Vicki Sheehan from St. Louis in the hotel restaurant, who took her under her wing and introduced her to the group of women that would become the founders of WCGN (Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network), now Philanos.  Read more

    Avani Desai 
    100 Women Strong, Orlando FL

    Avani credits Paula Liang, past Chair of Philanos, for bringing her onto our national board.  Avani was, at that time, President of her affiliate, 100 Women Strong in Orlando, FL, when Paula engaged with her around the planning of the national WCGN conference in Jacksonville in 2017.  She was recruited to the board to assist with technology, social media and building a partnership for DEI work among their affiliates. Read more

    Karen Holly
    Impact 100 Indianapolis, IN

    Karen Holly, like retiring board member Avani, has also served for two terms (six years) on the Philanos Board – beginning when it was still the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN).  Karen is a past president of her affiliate, Impact 100 Indianapolis, where she demonstrated a real heart for membership as their membership chair.  Read more

    Gwen Wesley 
    Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund, MO

    Gwen came to the Philanos Board, and the Board went to her because of her expertise in strategic planning.  Founder Vicki Sheehan was instrumental in this match, and they both are members of Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund.  Gwen came on the board in 2019 to craft a strategic plan during a period of rebranding and renewal, and six months into her work, the pandemic hit. Read more
  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 12:10 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

    Philanos Chair, Susan Benford was a guest on IMPACTability™: The Nonprofit Leaders’ Podcast – The Collective Giving Movement, powered by Soukup Strategic Solutions.

    During this podcast Susan was asked, What is collective giving, and how could it benefit your nonprofit? How does a group start a giving circle?

    Susan also shared how giving circles can leverage individuals’ small donations into a large, significant gift.

    Lots of nonprofits are curious about giving circles. Listen to Susan’s practical insights in this podcast.

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