Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Empowering women -- as grantees and donors

This is a guest post by Melanie Hamburger, principal at Catalytic Women, an organization devoted to helping women give in impactful ways.

Kiva does so much to educate the public about the importance of supporting and empowering women in the fight against global poverty. But there’s another essential group of women that influences our communities and the world to make change: Women grantees and donors.

Women in developed countries make most spending decisions and the bulk of giving decisions. We’re more likely to incorporate our values into how we both spend and give, and strive to engage our children with community issues.

Last month, Catalytic Women -- an organization committed to helping women give in impactful ways -- hosted expert Kirby Rosplock, director of research and development at GenSpring Family Offices, at a Bay Area forum on women’s global economic influence. Her overarching message was clear: Women are ideally positioned to build out and fully engage with solutions for the planet’s greatest challenges.

 Kirby came armed with statistics demonstrating exactly how important women’s socially-driven giving can and will be:

1. By 2013, women will contribute $9 trillion in global disposable income. Half that amount will come just 6% of all women (those who make over $45,000 a year).

2. Within the next 10 years, women will control over two-thirds of U.S. consumer wealth.

3. When women aren’t making spending decisions, they are still key influencers -- impacting 90% of consumer electronics purchases worldwide.

4. A girl born today will, by age 30, be part of an economy where women earn more on average than men.

Women, with our amazing ability to make connections, are uniquely poised to create a new kind of capitalism and broaden definitions of “wealth.”

Catalytic Women is working toward this goal by curating and convening philanthropic education with a focus on emerging markets of women donors: women in technology, women wealth advisors, and women leading family giving. You can learn more on our website and keep track of upcoming programs on our events calendar.

We hope you’ll support Kiva’s efforts to build women’s financial capacity in the developing world -- and check out Catalytic Women to celebrate the financial influence of women right here at home.

This post is by Principal at Catalytic Women Melanie Hamburger, who is curating a community of women who are informed, engaged and interesting in helping make the world a better place. This post is part of a May guest series honoring mothers, women and the lenders who help them build brighter futures.

Photos courtesy of Catalytic Women.