WGC Members, Partners, and Friends,
Welcome 2021! We have entered this new year ready to continue engaging members of our community to pool our dollars so that we can make grants to support women and girls and have a greater impact together than we might otherwise have alone. This is the value of collective giving, and we appreciate those of you who have supported the WGC the last 19 years, and welcome our many new members!
READ THE FULL ENEWSLETTER HERE
I hope all of you will join us at our upcoming 2021 Virtual Annual Celebration - "Celebrating (S)heroes Among Us" on Monday, March 8, 2021 - International Women's Day. Our Host, Candace Dodson-Reed will discuss “Democratizing and Diversifying Philanthropy Through the Power of Collective Giving” with our Keynote Speakers, national philanthropic leaders Valaida Fullwood and Sara Lomelin, on how the landscape of philanthropy is shifting, and how collective giving is continuing to play a transformational role in bringing in many more — and more representative — women donors to the table to create more equitable communities, and make a difference through the power of giving, together.
Tickets are available for purchase and we have numerous sponsorships available, starting at $100. Many thanks to the 70 sponsors who have already chosen to invest in our 2021 Annual Celebration! It takes a special individual or business to understand the value of investing in women and girls - thank you. And, we have partnered with some of Howard County’s best to provide guests with numerous food and drink options for purchase, pick-up and to consume during our March 8, 2021 Virtual Annual Celebration. We appreciate the opportunity to support local female business owners, and/or highlight female vintners, and hope you like the diversity of options from around the county for non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, appetizers, desserts, and/or entrees from our partners at Sobar, Cured | 18th & 21st, Ranazul, and the Wine Bin!
This year, we are proud to feature five (S)heroes Among Us who have led critical efforts on behalf of organizations that we have funded this year through our Emergency Response Network, who are focusing on widespread community needs affecting women, their families, and the broader community:
Jen Broderick - Bridges to Housing Stability
Erika Strauss Chavarria - Columbia Community Care
Bita Dayhoff - Community Action Council
Dr. Mariana Izraelson - Grassroots Crisis Intervention
Vanita Leatherwood - HopeWorks of Howard County
And, we are highlighting “(S)heroes Among Us” before, during, and after our Annual Celebration - all of YOU. All women are (S)heros in their own ways - women admired for their courage and outstanding achievements. This year we will be honored to acknowledge the many ways women are supporting our community through our beautiful Virtual (S)hero Mosaic. Over 350 women in our community have been highlighted by friends and family so far, and we have room for everyone! Please take a moment to highlight YOUR Howard County (S)heroes today.
I look forward to "seeing" you at our March 8, 2021 Virtual Annual Celebration - join us!
Barb Van Winkle
WGC Advisory Board Chair
The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is proud to elevate the voices and giving of our members, nonprofit partners, and friends throughout the year. I have invited my friend and colleague Malynda Madzel to guest write my column this month and highlight the voices of those making a difference in our community. – Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
Her Mind Magazine, January 2021
By: Malynda Madzel, Chair, WGC’s “Our Giving, Our Stories” Committee
Last year the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County highlighted 31 women each day in August in celebration and support of Black Philanthropy Month. As a former WGC Advisory Board member and long-time supporter, I was excited to lead this effort and elevate the voices of women of color in our community who give back in so many ways. And now, I am honored to continue to lead the WGC’s effort to develop ways to do this year-round.
One way we aim to inspire philanthropic leadership and increase giving is by amplifying the voices of those making a difference in our community, including our youth.
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in recognition of the work of this network of community activists is doing in support of racial and social justice, I recently asked the youth leaders of HoCo for Justice a few questions – here’s what they had to say:
I am proud of the youth who are leading HoCo for Justice. Elevating the important stories of how our youth are giving and volunteering is critical as we work to engage others in collectively addressing issues in our community, and our country. I thank all those making a difference in Howard County – for your voices, your stories, and all that you do to make our community better.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom, 1958
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: email@example.com and www.wgchowardcounty.org
Jen Broderick, Executive Director of Bridges to Housing Stability, Recognized as a WGC Featured (S)hero
HoCoRespond funders denounce heinous attack on nation’s democracy
The Community Foundation of Howard County, the Horizon Foundation, the United Way of Central Maryland and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County jointly condemn the acts of violence perpetrated on our United States Capitol and our elected leaders on January 6 in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the certification of a fair and democratic election. This attack on the peaceful transition of democratic power – which is so core to our principles as a nation – is an affront to us all.
We join other foundations across the county in condemning this egregious act of domestic terrorism rooted in racism, intolerance and bigotry. We affirm the salience of our work centered in racial equity, which drives us to create a better future in which we all thrive and a future in which injustices in health, housing, criminal justice and social services are overcome.
Furthermore, as philanthropic leaders and as stewards of humanity, we commit to continuing to work together to make 2021 a year that not only combats COVID, but one that affirms democracy.
Franklyn Baker, President and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland
Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO, Horizon Foundation
Barb Van Winkle, Advisory Board Chair, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County
Beverly White Seals, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Howard County
The WGC is a fund that gives grants … it’s what we do!
We've been part of the Howard County community for 19 years, have raised over $1 million to support our efforts, and have given over 100 grants to nonprofits that support women and girls in our community. Since we formed in 2002, the WGC has granted over $625,000 to our nonprofit partners in Howard County.
2020 Grants Snapshot:
In 2020, the WGC gave a total of $124,071 to our nonprofit partners in Howard County. We gave $29,550 as part of our planned grants to programs that benefit women and girls, $37,921 that was matched with $6,600 through our Emergency Response Network, and $50,000 through our HoCoRespond partnership.
In March 2020 the Community Foundation of Howard County, Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland and Women's Giving Circle of Howard County announced new emergency funds and actions to support community members affected by COVID-19, and established HoCoRespond.com to support Howard County nonprofits on the frontline of support, focusing on assisting with food security, housing, childcare and healthcare. To date we have collectively given 46 grants to 34 organizations for a total of $608,500 in HoCoRespond COVID-19 Emergency Funds to Howard County nonprofits since March.
Our 2021 grantmaking cycle is currently underway - stay tuned for additional information.
The WGC’s grant focus is on programs that increase the life skills of women and girls, encourage the healthy development and personal authority of young girls and raise the awareness of gender disparities in our community. In 2021 we will continue with our extended grantmaking scope to support our community through the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.
The WGC is an endowed fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County.
Learn more at www.womensgivingcircle.org
By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director
For Philanos, a national network that serves to catalyze the movement of women in philanthropy by connecting women’s collective giving grantmaking organizations.
Giving circles and collective giving groups are working to address power in philanthropy. Why? Because there are times that funders inadvertently hinder nonprofits doing the work they know best.
According to the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (the Project), this can slow down progress, perpetuate inefficiency, and obstruct nonprofit growth and innovation. Trust-Based Philanthropy reimagines that dynamic. Infused by core values of power-sharing, equity, humility, transparency, curiosity, and collaboration, the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project believes philanthropic efforts will be more successful and rewarding if funders approach each grantee relationship as an ongoing partnership rather than a one-time transaction.
The Project outlines a trust-based approach that relies on six interrelated principles which, when practiced together, can help alleviate power imbalances:
If you were able to join the Philanos monthly webinar series on October 13 on Women's Giving Circles & Trust-Based Philanthropy, you heard an introduction to trust-based philanthropy for giving circles - what it is and how it can be reflected in collective giving.
The webinar presented its principles and practices, the reasons for its emergence, and the impact it has had on the social sector. We heard from two perspectives: Colby Swettberg, Chief Executive Office of the Silver Lining Institute in Boston spoke from the nonprofit perspective; and Philip Li, President and CEO of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation in New York City, spoke from the funder perspective. In addition to sharing their experiences, they helped us understand how we might apply trust-based philanthropy principles to the collective giving model – how we educate our members, how we evaluate applications and organizations, and how we remain open to supporting organizations we may not know very well.
Philanos Affiliate Member Impact 100 Seattle is committed to incorporating trust-based philanthropy principles and practices throughout their grantmaking philosophy.
In fact, they proudly and publicly state their grantmaking philosophy as believing in trust-based philanthropy to drive enduring improvements in the Puget Sound Region. As a somewhat new organization, they are working hard to address some of the unhealthy power dynamics in traditional philanthropy.
Here are their grantmaking principles:
“We are offering support beyond the check ... we want to be an organization that grants with curiosity” said Jennifer Larsen, Impact Seattle 100 Vice President. “We worked hard to remain in a learning posture throughout the process and sustained an equitable process throughout.”
The principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy have been important for funders across the country in general, and in particular the last ten months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philanos Affiliate Member ninety-nine girlfriends has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting their work to be responsive to the situation at hand in their community. As they state publicly on their website, “ninety-nine girlfriends plays a unique role in our region in connecting women in collective action and supporting nonprofits. All of us must pivot as the pandemic moves through our community ... ninety-nine girlfriends will play our role in ‘flattening the curve’ to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and the severity of its impact on our community.”
Ninety-nine girlfriends has been vocal about leveraging best practices by philanthropic leaders across the country and highlighting Trust-Based Philanthropy principles to their philanthropic response to COVID-19. In fact, they have highlighted recommendations from the Council on Foundations and the Whitman Institute.
The Council on Foundations created a Call to Action to guide philanthropy’s commitment during COVID-19, where over 600 organizations have signed.
Among the recommendations are to:
COF’s recommendations are based on the work of the Whitman Institute, advocating for Trust-Based Philanthropy. There is much we will learn about the Trust-Based philanthropic response to COVID-19 in the months and years to come.
Giving circles and collective giving groups across the country are increasingly listening, learning, and responding by incorporating Trust-Based Philanthropy principles and practices throughout their grantmaking philosophy and seeking to help alleviate power imbalances.
And, Philanos is committed to being an ongoing resource and partner to our Affiliate Members across the country on the principles and practices of Trust-Based Philanthropy.
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is a member of the Philanos Communications Committee and is the Executive Director of Philanos Affiliate Member, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, Maryland. Buffy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.