Written by Emily Mullins
In the family dynamic, it's a well-known fact women often make or contribute to the financial decisions of the household. But society often expects the donation decisions to be made by men. The United Church of Christ Office of Stewardship and Philanthropy is hoping to debunk that notion at its 2014 Development Conference in January, in Phoenix, Ariz.
"Only relatively recently have we began to take seriously the fact that women and people of color have played and will play an increasingly important role in philanthropy," said Don Hill, director of the UCC Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship. "To be successful, fundraisers and executives need to prepare themselves for this reality by more fully understanding the traditions of and approaches to giving in these communities."
The UCC, partnered with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is hosting the annual conference in an effort to explore best practices around stewardship. From Jan. 22 to 24, 2014, the discussion will center around women in philanthropy, an issue church leaders have been interested in exploring for some time. Women are very influential in the family and the financial world, and they have their own resources. New research is challenging perceptions about who is philanthropic, and women are emerging as a significant force in giving circles.
The event, at the Phoenix Airport Plaza Hotel, will delve into the reasons why women give and how to create a culture of giving for women and their families.
"There are lots of fundraising trainings out there, but our fundraising team has found particular value in gathering with others who work in communities of faith-our context does make the work different in some respects - and especially with our close partners in ministry in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ," Hill said.
The conference's keynote speaker will be Lesly Bosch Annen, who has 20 years of broad-based experience in major gift fund-raising, charitable estate planning and philanthropy education. She is an independent philanthropic advisor to HealyPartners, where the focus is on the "why" of giving. A recipient of the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation, Bosch Annen specializes in assisting individuals, family groups and corporate and family foundations with their philanthropic planning and intentionality.
"It is a myth that only large churches with wealthy members benefit from fundraising and philanthropy training," said Hill. "The principles of fundraising apply equally to our congregations, and an understanding of them may in fact be more important to our smaller congregations which might not have among their members professionals in the field who can help guide programs."
For more information, call the Christian Church Foundation at (800) 668-8016.