Elisabeth Williams sees the future of philanthropy as female – with good reason. Research shows women are more likely to give to charitable causes than men, and give more generously than men.
By Marlena Hartz, Forbes
And their giving power is predicted to boom over the next few decades. The earning potential of millennial women is on the rise, and women will inherit 70 percent of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth that is expected to change hands over the next 40 years.
Williams, a former banking officer, launched a firm two years ago to harness the shift and advise women on how to give, invest, and shop for impact.
“Women in particular will be coming into substantial wealth over the next couple of decades, both in what they inherit and also in what they earn. They need guidance on how to invest it well, but also how to give it away well,” Williams told me.
I asked the firm founder to give aspiring and veteran philanthropists alike a few tips. Here’s what she had to say:
Marlena Hartz: What led you to launch your company in 2016?
Elisabeth Williams: I was frustrated with what I saw happening in the social impact space. I felt like there was more we could be doing to move the needle on our most entrenched social ills. If more donors are educated on how to invest well, a positive outcome is more likely.
Hartz: How is the philanthropy landscape evolving right now?
Williams: Social impact advising has historically been reserved for the ultra-wealthy elite. When you tell women who are not in that wealth category that there are resources available to help them be more effective in their giving, they just light up. When you tell a business owner she can create a giving program through her business and incorporate her team and clients into the effort, again, she just lights up.
I see incredible potential in this movement toward meaning and the ability to bring more and more women into this process. We need to recognize that everyone has gifts to share, regardless of how much wealth you have. We can’t rely on just the quote-on-quote leaders to solve our problems. It’s really being left to each of us individually to do our part, which is really exciting.