Women Sweep National Philanthropy Day Awards

by Elyse Wild

Each year, National Philanthropy Day is celebrated in cities across the world as outstanding community members are honored for their contributions. The 32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day celebration takes place from 11:00 — 2:00 pm on Nov. 15 at the JW Marriott (235 Louis Street NW). Awards are giving to individuals selected for exceptional philanthropic contributions; and this year, for the first time ever, all recipients are women. Honorees include Vicki Weaver, President, Spectrum Health Foundation and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation; Louise “Punky” Edison, Development Director, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology; Stephanie Kerr-Cathey, Muskegon Program Manager, Kids’ Food Basket, Muskegon; Veverly Austin, Founder, Girl, Get Your Fight Back; and Janean Couch and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Youth Grant Committee.

“We had a lot of nominations this year, and because of the strong impact these women have had on the community, they were chosen as awardees,” Steve Ozinga, Chair of the National Philanthropy Day 2018 Committee, stated. “They were strong nominations who were very supported by their staff. When you meet these women, it is an amazing experience.”

The honorees reflect an increasing trend in giving, says Catherine Rogg, President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Development Director for Paws with a Cause. Seventy-five percent of professional fundraisers are women, and according to Do Women Give More?, a report conducted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, women are responsible for 86 percent of household’s consumer purchasing decisions, and are more likely to give higher dollar amounts than their
male counterparts.

“Women in philanthropy are growing quite a bit,” Rogg expressed. “Women are really invested. A lot of them volunteer first and get to know an organization before they give.”

Along with the awards ceremony, the luncheon also includes a special 45-minute keynote address by renowned fundraiser and activist Dan Pallotta, whose 2013 TED Talk on our relationships with charities has been viewed more than 4 million times.

“We wanted to bring someone in who would be a draw,” Ozingoa commented. “But who would also challenge all of us to shift the paradigm on what we are thinking. Dan Pallotta’s message is so powerful and impactful.”

Purchase tickets at afpwm.org/get-involved/npd.

What: National Philanthropy Day 2018
When: Nov. 15,
11:00 – 2:00 pm
Where: JW Marriott, 235 Louis st NW
Cost: Member | $60
Non-Member | $75
Student | $35

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