March has been officially designated as Women’s History Month since 1987. For the past 30 years, it has been dedicated to highlighting the contributions that women have made in history and contemporary society. As an organization that celebrates women in business every month of the year, Advize was thrilled to be invited to the 6th Annual Collective Giving Grantmaker Leadership Forum. The Leadership Forum, hosted by WCGN was held in Atlantic Beach, Florida from March 12th–14th. Our Managing Director, Jeanmarie Loria, had the honor of co-presenting a panel that discussed how firms of all sizes can leverage social media.

While Advize could only attend the conference for one day, it was a galvanizing experience for Ms. Loria and her accompanying associate, Maggie Stankiewicz. Being surrounded by women assembling for the sole purpose of elevating the community was nothing short of inspiring – and it became evident that the concept of Collective Giving was finally breaking through and resonating with a younger generation. Collective giving is done through a charitable organization that pools the resources of its members to collectively decide when and how to award grants to those in the community. The idea behind collective giving is that it is more impactful to give as a group, where donors can deliver more substantial allowances. Collective giving facilitates higher levels of engagement, social connectivity, and opportunity for its members. Collective Giving initiatives are breaking free of the stigma that suggests only wealthy, experienced, and mature women can participate.

This year’s Leadership Forum was full of panels with inter-generational appeal, bringing in professional women in from their 20’s and up. This is great news for the health of collective giving networks, as participation from a more diverse demographic will open even more windows of opportunity. Ms. Loria was so inspired by the network of women, that she decided to fully enlist herself in a local chapter of 100 Women Strong, a strategic philanthropic organization focused on providing resources to women and children in need.

We encourage our peers and partners to look into other collective giving networks, to see what you can do for the community. No matter what you believe in, or what you support – there’s an organization and a community that could use your help. Remember the wise words of Helen Keller, Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”