Women’s Philanthropy Summit promotes knowledge, empowerment

September 06, 2019

TYLER -- Women have traditionally invested in their communities by volunteering, donating financial resources and actively managing area nonprofits. Recognizing this impact, three local organizations have come together to host an event focused on the power of women’s philanthropy.
The inaugural Women’s Philanthropy Summit will be held Thursday, Sept. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rose Heights Community Life Center located at 2110 Old Omen Road in Tyler.

The event brings together the Women’s Fund of Smith County, East Texas Communities Foundation (ETCF) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), East Texas Chapter in a partnership to explore the opportunities and obstacles in women’s philanthropy.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this first ever collaboration between these three wonderful philanthropic organizations,” said Kristen Seeber, president and CEO of the Women’s Fund of Smith County. “Together we have designed a summit meant to help women reach new heights in leadership, service and impact as they learn about best practices in philanthropy.”

Keynote speaker for the summit will be nationally recognized speaker, Kathryn Miree. Miree serves as president and primary consultant of Kathryn W. Miree & Associates, Inc., based in Birmingham, Alabama. Miree’s firm provides a full range of planned giving, endowment and foundation management services designed to assist donors and nonprofits build long-term financial stability through planned gifts and endowments.

“We are excited to have Kathryn Miree speak at this event,” said Holly McFarlin, Public Relations Director for East Texas Communities Foundation. “Miree has a vast knowledge of charitable giving and understands that women play an important role in supporting their communities.”

Miree’s keynote, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective and Charitable Women’ will provide strategies for women as they consider how to maximize their charitable effectiveness.

In addition to the keynote session, attendees to the summit can pick from three break-outs. “The three diverse breakout topics provide a wealth of information and illustrate how collaboration helps philanthropy grow in our region,” said Whitney Patterson, president of AFP East Texas Chapter. “The summit will conclude with a question and answer session featuring our panel of experts.”

The three session topics slated for the event include:

• ‘Start with generosity. Navigating your giving goals.’

• ‘Making the most impact.’

• ‘From Startup to Success- The Journey of a Giving Circle.’

“The goal of the summit is to give participants practical advice and skills,” said Seeber. “We feel that the session topics and keynote will offer simple ideas that our participants can use to enhance their charitable giving.”

Seating for the Women’s Philanthropy Summit is limited, and reservations are required by September 12th. For further information and online registration, visit www.womensfundsc.org. Registration cost $25 per person, or $150 for a table of eight and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Marty Wiggins, chair of the Women’s Fund’s Education Committee, noted, “We believe in the power of education – in term of both philanthropic practices and community issues – to help transform communities. The Women’s Philanthropy Summit is an incredible opportunity for us to recognize and encourage women to lead, participate, and mentor. We will start that conversation about giving and show how we can make an impact individually as well as collectively.”

The Women’s Fund of Smith County – a giving circle with more than 300 members – is at the forefront of a national movement of women’s collective giving and grant making. Since 2009, the Women’s Fund has awarded high-impact grants totaling more than $1.6 million to Smith County agencies for programs that directly benefit the lives of women and children. For complete information, visit https://womensfundsc.org/

The Association of Fundraising Professionals is dedicated to advancing ethical and effective fundraising worldwide. The East Texas chapter of AFP maintains a membership of approximately 80 resource development professionals, executive directors of not-for-profit organizations and others who are involved in philanthropic endeavors. For further information, visit https://community.afpnet.org/afptxeastchapter/home

East Texas Communities Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving 32 counties in East Texas. The Foundation distributed $15.4 million in grants in 2018 and currently manages over $100 million in assets distributed over 361 unique charitable funds which support non-profit organizations and student scholarships. The Foundatio¬¬n, which was formed in 1989, has awarded $87.6 million in grants and scholarships since its inception. Philanthropy builds community and changes lives. East Texas Communities Foundation supports philanthropy by offering simple ways for donors to achieve their charitable goals. http://etcf.org/