I challenge the stereotypical image of philanthropists, venture capitalists, angel investors, and others as being solely male. There are uber-successful women using their money and influence to change the world.
- 64% of donations are made by women, Huffington Post
- NPR dubbed 2020 the Year of the Woman Donor for backing political candidates
- Funding focused on women and girls represents a measly 1.6% of all charitable giving, PhilanthropyWomen.Org
- Just 11% of Venture Capitalists are women and only 12% of investments go to startups with #femalefounders, Inc Magazine
The good news is that there are more women investors and philanthropists than ever before. And, a few of these amazing women are doing both.
One of these women is Megan Markle who invested in Clevr Blends as her first foray into startup investing. Clevr Blends is ‘the world’s first instant oatmilk wellness latte’ and their website states ‘We are a woman-led, mission-driven wellness company. We think you deserve to feel amazing, no matter how crazy life gets.’
Meghan sure has the street cred as a woman who lives a crazy life. Her passion for gender equality began at age 11 when she wrote a letter to the president of P&G asking him to change their Ivory dishwashing liquid commercial from “women are fighting greasy pots and pans” to “people are fighting….” And he did!
Another is MacKenzie Scott, who just made the news by donating $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International, making it her largest publicly disclosed donation to date.
Many may know her as “Jeff’s ex,” but Ms. Scott has business accolades of her own. She is the author of two novels and a Princeton grad who worked for Toni Morrison while at Princeton.
With a firm belief in human rights, gender, and racial equity, her philanthropic efforts have helped dozens of nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. So far, she has donated to organizations that support racial, LGBTQ+, and gender equity, and has supported climate change, public health, and economic mobility. She’s made the largest donation to date ($20 million) to the American Indian Graduate Center, among a long list of other worthy and often-overlooked organizations.
And, then there’s Oprah.
It all started in 1997 when Oprah started The Angel Network. In its first year, The Angel Network raised $3.5 million and paid $25,000 in college scholarships for 150 deserving students.
25 years later, she’s the world’s richest Black woman with a net worth of $2.7 Billion, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation funds projects that focus mostly on education, learning, and leadership development.
Her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, being the most famous of her efforts, began with a promise to Nelson Mandela.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if these women appeared on Shark Tank taking their rightful place in one of the white swivel chairs someday?
I’d also like to see nonprofit pitches too.