There are so many unique and wonderful ways to recognize International Women’s Day, a day recognized around the world “celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” The day also stands for a call to action to accelerate gender parity.

One way to mark the occasion is by picking up a great read by a female author. The Book Club has picked a wide range of books ranging from nonfiction guides to inspire strategic communication to fictitious plots about estate plans. This month I’m adding Brave Not Perfect, by lawyer and political activist Reshma Saujani, to the digital bookshelf. I recommend this text to all taking on a challenge, but especially nonprofit leaders. Saujani is also the founder and CEO of the tech nonprofit, Girls Who Code. With this background of working to inspire and support women in the tech industry, she’s penned a gorgeous, influential book on daring to take a chance. Saujani takes her own experiences and encourages readers to seize the opportunity to fail and then build resilience off of those experiences. Her drive to build gender equality in tech is clear, as is her feminist message about casting off the expectation of perfection.

Nonprofit leaders, like Saujani, will undoubtedly appreciate the encouraging boost from this book to surpass all the hurdles that go into forming and building a mission-driven, successful entity.

What are your thoughts on Brave Not Perfect? I would love to hear them! Also, if the book inspires you to make certain you have a valid estate plan in place so that you can disperse your estate in accordance with your wishes, don’t hesitate to contact me! You can also get started on your estate plan with my free, no-obligation Estate Plan Questionnaire.

women talking about philanthropy

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate, I’d like to highlight just a few of the many women who have made their mark on history by practicing smart, impactful charitable giving. Undoubtedly these women believe in advancing philanthropy through “walking the walk” and moving the needle forward on what the modern philanthropy looks like. No longer is philanthropy limited to signing a big check, today’s do-gooders are creative, dedicated, and using social entrepreneurship to draw attention to pressing concerns of the world.

Melinda Gates

Gates, who has received her MBA from Duke, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 with her husband. The couple has donated more than $36 billion to different charitable initiatives! Gates has been integral in expanding the reach of the foundation to include areas of focus ranging from global education to developing preventive measures and treatments for life-threatening illnesses, like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. At the helm of the Foundation, Gates has persistently worked to combat global poverty and has raised awareness about important issues that demand practical solutions like “time poverty.”

Oprah Winfrey

No surprises here! The benevolent media mogul has given hundreds of millions to educational causes (including establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls), endowed her own charitable foundation, and has supported a wide range of other charities ranging in fields from environmental, to arts and culture, to humanitarian. Oprah also regularly uses her platform of fame to encourage her fans/viewers to support charities they care about.

Sara Blakely

Youngest self-made female billionaire and founder of Spanx, Blakely was an early signer of the Giving Pledge, a call to action by founders Bill Gates and Warren Buffett encouraging billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. Additionally, her company’s foundation supports programs designed to empower underserved women and girls through education, entrepreneurship, and the arts.

Dr. Marilyn Simmons

Simons is president of the Simons Foundation. With a Ph.D. in economics, Simmons was uniquely poised to grow the 1994-established private foundation into a leading funder for math and scientific research.

Dr. Priscilla Chan

As a pediatrician, Chan has incorporated her medical training into the charitable and 501(c)(4) arms of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which operates with ambitious goals such as “to cure, prevent or manage all disease in the next generation’s lifetime.” Also, in 2016, Chan founded The Primary School, a private, nonprofit school in East Palo Alto, California that offers both a high-quality education and healthcare services.

Inspired yet to make your mark and leave a lasting legacy? Of course, this is just a short list. This blog post could go on for days if we let it, as so many women are power players when it comes to charitable collaboration and effective resource management.

Believe me, you don’t need to be wealthy to make a difference and maximize what you can/want to give to your favorite causes and nonprofit organizations. Contact me to discuss strategies that are unique/work for you.

There are many fantastic ways to celebrate and honor Women’s History Month. To help add to the festivities throughout the month of March, I recommend turning up my latest Spotify playlist.

women's history month

Featuring a collection of empowering, inspiring songs sung by rockstar women. Feel free to crank up the tunes when you: need a positive boost, want to dance it out, or even when you’re brainstorming about how to support gender parity through charitable donations or dedicated nonprofit programs.

Who are your favorite female artists you love to jam out to? I’d love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter. And if this playlist inspires thoughts about forming a female-focused nonprofit, or building a more representative board, or enhancing programming centered on women’s rights or women’s history? Don’t hesitate to contact me via email or phone (515-371-6077).