Some of the most powerful philanthropic leaders in history were women. These women fought for others and knew the power of giving back to those around them. Today, there are women all over the world that have continued the legacy of women who give. Celebrities, business owners, heiresses, and ordinary people make up some of the greatest women philanthropists.
Here are 5 leaders in women’s philanthropy today:
1. MacKenzie Scott
Often associated with her divorce to Jeff Bezos, Mackenzie Scott is much more than just the ex-wife of the founder of Amazon. She is the 21st wealthiest individual in the world, yet has committed to giving over half of her wealth to charity in her lifetime, giving over $5.8 billion to charity in 2020 alone.
Scott focuses her giving on racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, climate change, and democracy. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, she donated money quicker than ever. She and her team worked to provide for communities that were struck with food and housing insecurity throughout the pandemic.
2. Melinda French Gates
The former general manager of Microsoft has made quite a name for herself in the philanthropic world. She is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on fighting disease, poverty, and inequity worldwide. Gates also has taken it upon herself to fight against inequality in the workplace, especially in STEM fields.
3. Lyda Hill
Lyda Hill has practiced philanthropy since the 1970s. After selling the business she created and investing in other businesses, she became extremely wealthy. This led to her giving back to not only her community but the entire world.
Her philanthropies are based around science and nature, to create advances that benefit many. Some of her most notable contributions include a generous contribution to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to inspire young people in the field of petroleum engineering, as well as a $50 million contribution to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shot Program which focuses on combating cancer.
4. Priscilla Chan
A former pediatrician and wife of Mark Zuckerburg, Priscilla Chan has charitable goals around education, healthcare, and science. Chan is the co-founder of “The Primary School” in Palo Alto, California which is a non-profit that provides K-12 education, as well as prenatal care. She and her husband have pledged to give away more than $45 billion in their lifetimes.
5. Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely is the creator behind the American intimate apparel brand “Spanx”. She is a true self-made billionaire and in 2012 was named the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
She has started her own philanthropy known as “The Sara Blakely Foundation.” Her philanthropic efforts are focused on helping women through education and entrepreneurial training. One of her most known contributions was donating over $5 million to female small business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.
The benefits of giving back
These women often inspire others to give back with their powerful philanthropic efforts. There are many benefits to giving back.
Giving back to your friends, family, and community can be a great way to build relationships. Not to mention, philanthropic efforts can tremendously improve your mental health due to the serotonin your brain releases upon giving gifts.
The gifts can be physical, like hats or t-shirts, or philanthropic efforts such as those performed by the women above. Other benefits of giving back include:
- Promoting good karma
- Spreads love
- Reduces anxiety
- Builds confidence
Although we may not have millions of dollars to give away, we can still give back in ways that will positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.