December packaged with the majestic holiday season is a time for giving and recent admirable trends show that women are giving from the heart more than ever.
If you want to introduce the world to the importance and emerging power of female philanthropy, what better place to start than one of the most famous women in the world, Ms. Oprah Winfrey.
Aaceshowbiz.com reports Ms. Winfrey is Forbes Most Powerful Celebrity for 2013. The 59-year-old media mogul is back at the No. 1 position in the business magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 ranking after two consecutive years at the runner-up spot.
Despite not being the highest earner in the list, Ms. Winfrey’s wealth and stature thrust her to the top, edging out other top female celebrities. Unlike Forbes’ other net worth-based lists, the Celebrity 100 is decided on combined earnings and overall multi-media presence, particularly how the celebrity is viewed by American consumers.
Forbes.com supplements by laying the foundation with the outstanding achievements in female giving in the year 2012. Surveying the philanthropic work of 2012′s most powerful women is astounding.
The group has donated millions of dollars in art, helped innumerable individuals through international humanitarian organizations and raised consciousness (and cash) for causes closest to their hearts. Whether they are supermodels acting as goodwill ambassadors or businesswomen opening museums, 2012 was a good year for philanthropy.
Widely respected writer Caroline Cox shares women give nearly twice as much of their income to charity as men do – 3.8 percent vs. 1.8 percent – according to a Barclay’s Wealth study, and their organizations provide medical aid, education, electricity, jobs and more to communities across the globe in places like Uganda, Haiti, China, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Let’s please examine a few of the world’s top female givers and give credit where much credit is due.
Ms. Kelli Sasser is the Co-Founder of One Hundred Days and says she felt “compelled by Christ” to help the people of Rwanda rebuild their lives. During the Rwandan genocide, nearly one million people were killed in one hundred days – nearly 20 percent of the country’s population.
According to their website the organization’s mission is to help communities create sustainable solutions by meeting the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the people. They do this by partnering with individuals and organizations who want to use their resources and talents to help bring about lasting change.
Ms. Sasser has first-hand experience of cross-cultural work. She completed secondary school in Kenya before returning to the US to attend Auburn University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1990. After a stint in world of communications consulting, she returned to school and received her Master’s degree from the University of New Orleans in 1993.
She has extensive experience in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and has lived in the Czech Republic, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Sasser is a founding member of One Hundred Days, and has been instrumental in their marketing, creative design, and organizational development. Married to Scott she enjoys being mom, teacher, bus driver, sports fan, nutritional provider, and family leader.
“Li Ka Shing Tower, HK PolyU”
Ms. Solina Chau is the director of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the philanthropic channel of Li Ka Shing, Asia’s richest man. The organization has donated more than $1.6 billion to causes such as disaster relief and research in the medical field.
They state, “We believe in philanthropy with societal impact. Since 1980, we have been helping to reform education and further medical research. Healthcare and education are vital to society and have been central to our projects since LKSF was founded in 1980. We are helping hospitals, schools and universities across 19 countries so that they can have the best impact possible.”
Forbes.com prints Hong Kong billionaire and philanthropist Li Ka-shing – the world’s 8th richest person – has pledged $2 million to UCSF’s (University California San Francisco), “precision medicine” initiative, the university announced.
The gift from the Li Ka Shing Foundation is small in terms of Li’s overall charitable giving—he’s donated at least $1.65 billion to various causes and universities so far –but meaningful in that it will establish a relationship between UCSF and Shantou University, a university in China’s southeastern Guangdong Province that is supported by Li’s foundation and focused on building its life sciences curriculum. At UCSF, the Li Ka Shing Foundation gift will be used to create a worldwide network of researchers and doctors, leadership exchanges between China and the U.S., and forge a program to create more precise medicines.
Two other Bay Area universities have already been recipients of Li Ka-shing’s largesse. Li’s foundation donated $40 million to the University of California, Berkeley for a new biomedical research facility named after him that opened in October 2011. Stanford University is home to the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, a medical education building that opened in the fall of 2010 and includes facilities for hosting conferences.
Ms. Cox also writes about Ms. Janice McKenzie-Crayton, a President and CEO, who for over 20 years has led Metro Atlanta’s Big Brothers Big Sisters, “one of the largest and oldest mentoring programs in the South.” The program, which celebrated its 50th year in 2010, connects mentors with children facing adversity to guide them toward lifelong success.
At their website, www.bbbsatl.org, they state, “We care about the future of our children. As the largest one-to-one mentoring organizations in the Southeast, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) currently serves over 3,390 youth in one-to-one relationships. Our service to our community extends beyond the city of Atlanta to the 12-county metropolitan area surrounding the city: Butts, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. Our staff of approximately 45 employees supports our city’s children and their families through friendships that are formed with caring adult volunteers.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Here are some interesting stats providing by The Denver Post regarding the emergence of women as leading philanthropists.
** Women represent 51 percent of the nation’s Ph.Ds, 67 percent of college graduates and more than 70 percent of 2012’s valedictorians.
** Women run more than 10 million businesses with combined annual sales of $1.1 trillion and make 80 percent of consumer buying decisions.
** 26 percent of working wives make more than their working husbands.
** Female-headed households are more likely to give to charity than male-headed households, and, at nearly every income level, women donate almost twice as much to charity as men.
** Women will inherit 70 percent of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years.
** By 2025, 60 percent of billionaires are expected to be women.
** Women now control more than half of the private wealth in the U.S.
At Female Competition International we greatly appreciate how the world is changing and evolving in terms of the participation of women in having a huge positive impact on the lives of millions less fortunate. As we view women’s wrestling as a dignified global sport, one of our major goals in the coming year is to highlight and express appreciation to women who are leading the way and setting a fine example in terms of unselfishly giving and changing the world one life at a time.
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Sources: Forbes.com, Brainyquote.com, citizengeneration.org, loop21.com,nytimes.com, thesolutionsjournal.com, foundationcenter.org, success.com, denverpost.com, aceshowbiz.com, huffingtonpost.com, onehundreddays.org, bbbsatl.org, photos thanks to Wikimedia Commons