The face of our nation is changing, as is the face of Longwood, and with that shift also comes a change in the face of philanthropy. Nearly 50 years ago, the top philanthropists in the nation were white, older men. Now, the face of philanthropy is changing and its women and young people who give the most.
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To keep ahead of this trend, Longwood has developed a slate of affinity giving programs, which seek to engage typically smaller communities, including women, young alumni, athletics supporters, and those who support the performing arts.
Millennials and now Generation Z is changing the face of philanthropy: online giving is in, philanthropy is done through collaboration instead of as a singular act, and the notion that “anyone can be a philanthropist” is truer now than ever before.
And alongside industry leaders, Longwood believes that those numbers will steadily increase as Generation Z is mixed into the fold.
Overall, Longwood is pushing three main tasks for our younger givers: 1) participate personally—others will give if they see you doing the same. Make a gift of any amount to any cause at any time, and know that your gift is making a difference; 2) activate your network—much like professional networking, we need to you to remind your friends to give back and talk to them about how important making a gift to Longwood is for our alma mater’s future; and lastly 3) celebrate with us—we want you to be our cheerleader and know that we are yours. Longwood is always here for supporters and friends, and we hope you will cheer us on like you have for the past 180 years, and for 180 more.
On a warm and sunny weekend in late September, over 100 women journeyed from far and wide to attend the inaugural Women & Philanthropy Summit, a weekend celebration themed around empowering female leaders to serve in their communities and give back to causes they hold dear.
With their canvas bags in hand and their fellow philanthropists at their side, the attendees joined other leaders at keynotes, receptions, and sessions that allowed them to hone their focus and discover the ways and means by which they could serve and give back.
The weekend began with a student session, where established alumnae and philanthropists had the chance to speak with students and serve in a mentor role. The session was about finding your "person" and allowed today's citizen-leaders the opportunity to find someone who they could lean on for support and encouragement.
Friday evening also included a panel discussion during dinner, with Board of Visitors member Colleen McCrink Margiloff '97, former Alumni Board of Directors President Tammy Bird Jones '81, and Foundation Board member Janie Wall Evans '67. All three alumnae are prime examples of the type of leaders and philanthropists that Longwood is proud to have support from. The three discussed how they found their way to a small school in the heart of Virginia, how they got their footing in philanthropy, and how gifts of both service and treasure make a huge impact.
Saturday's programming included sessions around community engagement, finding your passion, making time to give back, and forming philanthropic missions.
Alumnae including Megan Clark '05, Sue Vilic Carter '06, '10 MS, Kathleen Manning Holroyd '96, Amanda Renwick Lloyd '04, Jeris Hill Johnson '88, and Ronda Scarrow '80, alongside SGA President Haleigh Pannell '20 and Provost Larissa Smith, provided lessons and personal stories to explain the ways in which they realized and acted on their philanthropic lifestyles.
The day also included a keynote from the Board of Visitors member Nadine Marsh-Carter, J.D. who serves as the President and CEO of Children's Home Society of Virginia, and a keynote from Liz Burnett and Stephanie Becker, the Co-Founders and Executive Directors of Better2gether RVA.
Saturday was wrapped up with a thank you and farewell from Patty Kingsley Ramsey '69, who serves as the Chair of the Women & Philanthropy Council.
From the candle-lit rooms which saw the vision for Longwood first being drawn almost two centuries ago, to the classrooms and boardrooms where females lead and learn today, the Summit further proved that there is power in numbers, whether you choose to give of your time and talents, or make gifts that leave a lasting legacy for years to come.
Contact Penny Pairet, Director of Annual Giving, (434) 395-2927 or email@example.com.