You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Be a Philanthropist

By March 15, 2019September 4th, 2020Finance
Women in Philanthropy


Giving doesn’t have to hurt.

By Kristin Scott

If you are a working woman in the Midlands, chances are you have been asked a time or ten to take part in a fundraiser or volunteer in some capacity. It has probably also crossed your mind that you worked hard for your money, maybe even while singing Donna Summer’s, “She Works Hard for the Money” in your head.

But giving, whether you donate money or other resources, makes an impact on your community. You have the power to be the difference in the lives of the people around you. Each of us has a duty to give back to our community and make it even better. Don’t you want to live, work and play in a culturally, economically and socially healthy community?

You do not need to make $100,000 a year, or even $30,000, to make a difference in your community. Success and resources are not always defined by finances or connections. You can offer your time, talents, creativity or expertise. Every organization needs talented, able bodies as much as it needs money in order to run successfully.

The trick to impactful giving is finding a cause you that ignites your passion. There are organizations in your community full of women who are passionate about causes you care about and they need you.

“As women we need to lift up other women and encourage them to reach their full potential. The reality is that not every woman has the same resources and often needs a helping hand. It’s important we come together to help support and lift up our fellow community members,” said local philanthropist and Women in Philanthropy member Erin McCaskill

Skills and ideas are just as valuable as a financial donation

When asked to reflect on her experience with women volunteers, Sarah Brennecke, the director of Women in Philanthropy at United Way of the Midlands, said, “I have the unique privilege to interact with women with a wide variety of personality types, backgrounds, passions, and careers. In my three years here, this is what I have found to be true: When women come together with a common goal, we can be unstoppable.”

Women in Philanthropy is a women-run organization under United Way of the Midlands. WIP awarded $50,000 to Homeless No More, an organization that helps homeless families, women and children in our community. But Homeless No More needs more than money to make their efforts a success. They need volunteers to help with the Ready, Willing and Able classes that provide tutors and training in career readiness.

As philanthropists, we show that people in all walks of life are important and valued. Your time, extra change, or ideas can make all the difference in someone’s life or their community. And anytime you donate your time, money or talents, you’re acting as a role model to younger generations. Your involvement shows younger men and women what they can aspire to and achieve despite their current circumstances.

“I am the mother of two little girls, and I want them to grow up to be strong, independent women that understand the importance of a community and giving back to support the people that are the heart of the community,” says McCaskill.

Don’t know where to start?  Visit to see where you can place your talents and resources to affect change in your community.

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