Member Anne Manning caught up with new member Farida Kathawalla, to see what she’s gotten out of her membership so far. A lot!

Q: Farida, please tell us about yourself.

image1I am an accountant and I have lived all over the world. I have moved nine times! When I came back to the US in 2010, I re-evaluated my life; I wanted to figure out my passion. After living in so many places, including developing countries, I decided I wanted to do something to give back. I knocked on a lot of doors, asked a lot of questions, and ultimately made a huge change. I work with global non-profits now, raising money for organizations outside the US. My focus is empowering women and lower-resourced folks who don’t have a chance for a better life. I work on projects relating to women’s empowerment and newborn survival and health.

Q: With all your experience with global philanthropy, why did you join TPC?

I wanted to learn about what was going on in Boston. When you work internationally, you tend to discount the need in your own backyard. The people I network with believe America is such a rich country and that the government takes care of people’s needs. I always thought that the real needs were in places like India. I’m learning that’s not true.

Q: What have you learned as a member of TPC?

So much!

I’ve never been a part of a group that pools money before. I’ve learned the collective force is very powerful. As a group, we can do so much more than we can as individuals. We can make better decisions and our dollars can have greater impact. There’s nothing better than that!

Farida’s grant review team (Farida is in the front right)

I’ve learned that the vetting process TPC uses is well-conceived and well-executed. It gives me great confidence that our grantees are legit and will use our money very, very well.

I’ve also learned so much from other members. I went to my first grant committee meeting recently. It was a real eye-opener and definitely one of the best two and a half hours I have spent in my life. I read all the proposals and I filled out the rubric, finishing the process with very definite opinions about all the potential grantees. When I heard what other team members said, I was blown away… their insights and recommendations were so different than mine! I was so literal and they were so perceptive. That was both humbling and energizing.

I’m looking forward to going on the site visits next.

Q: Do you have any final words for our members?

I am self-employed and therefore work by myself for much of the time. TPC has given me an opportunity to engage with women who think like me and have the same focus in life. Everyone I have met is so committed and dynamic. I want to thank you all! I look forward to giving with you for a very long time.