What We Do
At The Philanthropy Connection, members acquire the confidence to know that every dollar of their membership donations will make a positive difference in the lives of under-served individuals and families.
We ask women to give, we teach women to become informed donors, and we encourage women to forge lasting relationships with the non-profits we introduce them to or fund. In 2016, 100 of The Philanthropy Connection’s members donated to or volunteered with at least one of our grantees.
Our mission. The Philanthropy Connection’s mission is to inspire, teach, and enable women to engage in collective philanthropy in order to provide grants to charitable organizations that improve the quality of life for low-resource individuals and families living in Massachusetts.
Why we do this. Women are unique philanthropists: they donate more, take a more active role in organizations’ operations, prefer different causes than men, and want to witness the impact of their giving. Men tend to give based on who is asking; women give based on who is receiving. At The Philanthropy Connection, we instill in our members the confidence to know that every dollar of her membership donation will make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families.
Many women we know are willing and able to give, but don’t, simply because they have not been asked, or because they don’t have enough information to be confident that their donation will be put to good use. Many women who do give would increase their giving if they knew more about local organizations that are doing work they are interested in funding.
At The Philanthropy Connection, we ask women to give, while instilling the confidence to know that every dollar of their membership contribution will be put to good use.
We believe in the power of connections.
We believe that a diverse group of women, pooling their skills and dollars, can make a big difference in our community.
We believe that anyone can be a philanthropist.
We believe that relationships can be a source of support, encouragement, and new opportunities.
We believe in giving out loud, to inspire other women to give.
We believe in mentoring the next generation of women philanthropists.
How collective giving works. To join The Philanthropy Connection, women are asked to give a $1,125 membership donation; women 35 years old and younger are asked to donate $575. Each spring, $1,000 or $500 of each member’s donation is given directly as pooled grants to Boston-area non-profits. The more women who join, the more money we have to give away.
We keep our administrative costs low by using a largely volunteer staff and tapping into the talent pool of our membership.
We do not hold galas or fundraising benefits. Our events are educational and create opportunities for members to learn skills that help them become more informed donors (e.g., how to read non-profit financial statements and assess grant proposals); to learn about issues in the Boston philanthropic landscape and to meet and partner with non-profits addressing them; and to connect with and to learn from each other.
Each member decides for herself how involved she would like to be. Some members choose simply to write a check and attend our Annual Meeting to participate in voting for thoroughly vetted nonprofit finalists. Others choose to become deeply involved in committee work – evaluating grants, conducting site visits, or planning our member education events.
We are honored to have been awarded the 2017 Silver Seal of Transparency by Guidestar, the largest source of information about non-profits, in recognition of our processes and financial transparency. The Philanthropy Connection is also proud to be a member of the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN), a national network of 49 women’s collective giving groups. Together, over 10,000 women in the WCGN have given nearly $80 million to non-profit organizations throughout the US.