Women have always been givers. Look at Marie Curie. Her findings led to effective cures for cancer. Then there’s Harriet Tubman, who freed not only herself from slavery but also rescued 70 other slaves. Think of Mother Teresa and her distinguished charitable work that stretches across the world.
Women’s humanitarian efforts are well documented in books (Ruth Bader Ginsburg for gender equality), highlighted in movies (Norma Rae for organizing a union), and splashed throughout the media in today’s world (too many to mention here).
But what about just looking in the mirror and at those around you? We are nieces, daughters, wives, moms and grandmas who are working toward a common goal: To make the world a better place filled with peace, compassion, and goodness. Deep down we are selfless creatures hungry to support our loved ones and help people we have never even met.
As women leaders, our role as givers should be a no brainer. We must encourage philanthropy for ourselves and our peers. We should demand charity in conjunction with commerce. It’s up to us to make these things happen!
Women play a major role in the workplace, and we have the capacity to give back to our communities. If you haven’t had the time to give in the past—whether monetarily or through volunteerism—then now is the time to do so.
And, starting today, Lead Up for Women is going to join you in this very concerted effort.
Lead Up and Give Back
It’s safe to say women have big hearts and with that comes even bigger responsibility. Lead Up for Women’s current creed encompasses three pillars: Leadership (shares women’s inspiring stories); Business (highlights business powerhouses in various industries); and Lifestyle (focuses on finding the proper work/play balance.)
We are now adding a fourth pillar dedicated solely to Nonprofits. This new section is a gift to every woman who has ever wanted to make a difference. With this pillar we will:
- highlight the efforts of the women who have turned their pain into something positive;
- make you stop, take notice, and step up for what is right; and
- walk the path of self-actualization by reaching your full potential when it comes to spreading the good that we all have inside of us.
Our newly dubbed “A Pivotal Space” section will make you ask yourself “am I doing enough?” If you aren’t, then it’s time to pivot toward the contribution process.
According to Charity Navigator, an estimated $410.02 billion was given to charitable causes in 2017. Individuals accounted for 70% ($286.65 billion) of the giving, representing a 3% increase over 2016. The primary charity recipients were religious groups, education, human services, and health charities. The best part of the data is that donating individuals—not big foundations or corporations—are responsible for the vast majority of annual donations. You don’t have to go broke to make a difference. You just need to do so in your own way, which can be your time instead of your dollars.
Passionate Women Making a Difference
As altruistic beings, we appreciate others who are changing the world.
Look at 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019. Her protests regarding climate change started with handmade signs and grew to a global climate strike in September that had four million participants. Thunberg, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is the publication’s youngest person to ever earn this designation.
Talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey created “The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program” (scholarships are given to students who will use their education to give back to both the U.S. and abroad) and also funds “The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa” (for young women who have provided service in their communities to create change.) Outstanding work from a woman who began her broadcasting career at the age of 17.
Melinda Gates and Microsoft chairman/husband Bill founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps improve the lives and health of those in developing countries and in the U.S. This foundation is the world’s largest private charitable organization in existence.
World Humanitarian Day recently celebrated many unsung heroes who have produced authentic results for the world including volunteers in the Red Cross or Red Crescent (these women—who make up more than half of the membership around the world—are among the first to respond in disasters, epidemics, and conflicts), the late Asma Jehangir (human rights activist who founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan), and Alina Azhar (the first Pakistani woman to receive The Diana Award for her humanitarian efforts.)
Just Keep Swimming
“Finding Nemo” was an iconic movie chock full of wisdom. The forgetful yet motivational Dory used the mantra “Just Keep Swimming” to stay calm, get a grip, and power on. Her persistence, which was key to helping find Nemo, should be an inspiration to all of us when tackling the non-profit component in your life.
Here is a list of how women leaders can unite our efforts and help those who need it most:
Start your own nonprofit – Define your mission via a strong business plan before you take the leap. Surround yourself with a team of experts (financial gurus for funding strategies and initial set up, non-profit lawyer, an advisory board, and a knowledgeable support system) to guide you through the process.
Pick your cause – Select a specific industry that you are passionate about ranging from children and health to veterans and animals. Then find the right charity for you by doing plenty of research (check out websites and reviews, as well as seek input from those who currently are associated with organizations you are interested in.)
Dream big – Once you narrow down your selection, it’s up to you to select how you visualize your pivot. Your generosity—ranging from financial support or weekend volunteering to lending your expertise as a board member—will be greatly appreciated.
Share Your Story
A Pivotal Space is a place to share your wins, your hopes, and your talents. Help us inspire others to make your best choices and live healthier lives.
So get ready as we embrace an exploration of epic proportions…together. Let’s do this!