Our Blog - Live Generously

Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Christopher F. Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.

Audi Hilton Head Spotlights Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Everyday Matters: Every Day Matters


Women Flex Their Philanthropic Muscle
By Denise K. Spencer / May 1, 2015

My mother, working and raising her family in the 1950s, was charitable. In our middle class family, not a lot of checks were written to support nonprofits. But helping with scouting field trips, or supporting a bake sale with amazing pastries, or offering casseroles to grieving families—these were constants. And my mother, with her high school education, always managed the family budget; so for the checks that were written to support church and PTA, she was the one who made it happen.  With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself considering the giving lessons learned at her knee.

As a female with a grown daughter and a new granddaughter, I’m acutely aware of the changing roles of women in modern society. Women have always been charitable. But as they continue to increase their level of education and, as a result, their income, so too has their level of philanthropy increased. In fact, an October 2014 Fortune magazine article entitled “Dispelling Myths About Women and Charitable Giving” by Michelle Lodge goes so far as to say “On average, women are more philanthropic than men.”

In a 2010 Women Give study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, researchers found that American households headed by single females give 57% more than those headed by single males. Not only do women give more, they give differently. Nancy Heiser, vice president of wealth management at UBS, noted that her male clients look for tax advantages as a major reason for giving, while her female clients focus on ways to help others. Another difference is that oftentimes a man will direct his wealth to a single institution—like his alma mater, to fund a department chair or a building—while women tend to support a myriad of different causes. Valerie Adelman, a principal at Financial Asset Management Corporation, notes that women like to become personally involved on boards and committees and give both time and money, while men tend to “take out the checkbook and are done with it.” Women seem to appreciate the concept of collective giving, leveraging their dollars with those of others, and they often couple social and educational opportunities with their charitable efforts. As a result, women’s giving circles have become particularly popular in recent years.

We recognize that like all issues dealing with humankind, there are always exceptions. We also recognize that there is not a thing wrong with simply writing a check or supporting the one institution that you truly feel is worthy of your support. And whether a tax deduction or measurable outcomes or the good feeling you get from helping others is the main factor driving your giving, generally all come into play.

Fortunately, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is happily assisting several groups of women with their philanthropy, and is proud of their success in growing resources for grants and/or scholarships, and the impact this work is having.

Three women’s groups have current scholarship funds at the Community Foundation. The American Association of University Women Scholarship is for women 25 years or older who wish to further their education. Current or planned enrollment in accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school is required, and the recipient must be a resident of southern Beaufort County.

The Hilton Head Island—Bluffton Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has also established a scholarship. It is for African American female graduating seniors from Hilton Head, Bluffton or Ridgeland High Schools. Academic leadership and community service are significant criteria.

The Lowcountry Ladies of South Carolina have established the Alexandria Patterson Scholarship Fund, which assists adult students who are returning to school.

We are also proud to house two women’s giving circles. These groups grow the endowments they established through annual membership contributions and make grants to nonprofit organizations serving their specific geographic areas. We have the PEARLS of Hampton County (Philanthropic Empowerment Among Rural Lowcountry Sisters) and Women in Philanthropy, which serves Beaufort County.

Living generously can become a part of all aspects of your life. If you are part of a group that would like to do something charitable, regardless of your gender, consider a partnership with Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. We are eager to assist.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Make the Most of Year-End Giving Posted 2 months ago
    This time of year your mailbox is stuffed with end-of-year giving requests from nonprofits. If your bulging mailbox has motivated you to make a charitable donation, here are some things to consider before you write that check or click that “donate now” button.
  • Paying it Forward Posted 4 months ago
    Student loan debt. Three words that strike fear in the hearts college students and their parents. As college costs have skyrocketed, so has the amount borrowed to pay for it. Roughly 43 million Americans carry student loan debt, estimated to be about $1.51 trillion. (That does not include the estimated $119 billion in student loans from private sources not backed by the government.) The amount of student loan debt in the U.S. now exceeds both auto loan debt ($1.28 trillion) and credit card debt ($850 million). The only category of debt greater than student loans is mortgage loans.
  • All Together NOW Posted 7 months ago
    For many communities in the Lowcountry, “all together now” has taken on a more purposeful meaning. Seven local communities — Long Cove Club, Belfair, Palmetto Dunes, Hampton Hall Club, Colleton River Club, Hampton Lake and Moss Creek — have established funds with Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.
Read More »
Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

Connect With Us

E-News Signup

Follow Us