Women & Wealth Redefined, Reunited…

By Christine Mathieu, Money Coach-Wealth Intuitive, Author That Money Girl

Ever since I chose to transition from being a traditional financial adviser to becoming a Money Coach-Wealth Intuitive, I have experienced, both personally and professionally, a profound shift in the meaning of “wealth.”

blog1Did you know that the original definition of “wealth,” back in the 13th century, was happiness, joy, and well-being? Wealth was once known as an emotion or a state of being. I find that refreshing and affirming, for there are many individuals who currently define wealth as owning a great amount of physical possessions, luxuries, or cash. I have also found that when one places one’s focus squarely on generating physical wealth, such negative attitudes as judgments, scarcity, and non-fulfillment form.

When I was a traditional financial adviser, I spent the greater part of my day focused on accumulating physical wealth and advising my clients on achieving the same. Was I successful in that endeavor? Most certainly—I generated a healthy income and could easily afford the things I wanted, and then some. But it wasn’t until I lost it all in an abusive marriage and the ensuing divorce and bankruptcy that I began to realize what it truly means to be “wealthy.”

My journey in rediscovering wealth while guiding other women to do the same has allowed me a glimpse into the new Wealth Paradigm. When it comes to managing money, career, and family, women do it from the inside-out. Thoughts, feelings, and actions begin from the heart. Whether you are looking to give or invest your money, time or creativity, alignment with purpose and spiritual fulfillment comes first. Women know that it’s not about what they will receive in return for their generosity because they know that to give IS to receive. Giving and receiving are, in fact, one truth. To give wealth is to be wealth(y).

As a woman today, how would you define “wealth”? For me, I know I am wealthy when I am in alignment, sharing my gifts and knowledge. You see, being “rich” isn’t always quantified by dollars and cents. It’s about generating sustainable dividends by first feeding the soul. As for money and the physical stuff—that’s a happy side-effect!

Christine head shot 2012Christine Mathieu is the Founder & CEO of the Mathieu Center for Financial Wholeness. She is the “Rich Life” columnist for the Buffalo Magazine and author of “From Wisdom to Wealth.” Christine spent 20 years as a traditional Financial Adviser and she believes it’s now her turn to help other women realize their true wealth potential as she has. 


Empowering Women: The Story No One Knows

gpi_reporters_at_work_2013By Suzanne Skees

San Jose, CA: Dusk settles early on an autumn evening this month. It descends slowly in layers of orange and purple over tree-lined office parks in Silicon Valley, where tech stars never sleep and the rest of us dream of getting by. Inside Cisco Systems Building #10, a small group gathers to talk about their efforts, both here and abroad, to end poverty by connecting women with education, healthcare, and jobs; small-business ownership, activist journalism, and political office.

“California has the highest poverty rate in the country,” proclaims a woman in her twenties. “It takes three full-time minimum-wage jobs for a single parent of two children just to get by in this state.”

1.4 billion people on this planet live in ultra poverty,” adds a man in his thirties. The group brings nonprofits and funders in a conversation hosted by Catalytic Women, a network of small- to high-net-worth changemakers working to “disrupt” philanthropy via crowdfunding, collaborating, and grassroots partnerships. “Studies have shown,” says Catalytic Women’s founder Melanie Hamburger, “that when you give women a chance they reinvest in education, family, and the community.”

You may have heard the statistics. You may have heard Hillary Clinton’s bold claim that empowering women is key to any country’s economic and military stability:

“There is a stimulative and ripple effect that kicks in when women have greater access to jobs and the economic lives of our countries: Greater political stability. Fewer military conflicts. More food. More educational opportunity for children,” Clinton said. “By harnessing the economic potential of all women, we boost opportunity for all people.”

Maybe you’ve hear of exciting projects led by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof (Half the Sky), Nike (The Girl Effect), Oprah and Angelina and Melinda: organizations and women of world-renowned power are reaching a hand back to pull humankind forward through gender equality and opportunity.

2What no one knows, though, is the story I got to hear from the back of the room in the Cisco cafeteria. As the sky grew thick and dark outside floor-to-ceiling windows and inside, fluorescent lights blared on five ordinary people who shared their extraordinary stories.

  • Cassie Chandler runs a healthcare program for 5.4 million microfinance clients in 24 countries for Freedom from Hunger. She’s seen whole communities change when women gain access to adult education, financial management, and family healthcare. She’s used to training local partners on the ground, particularly in Latin America—Cassie’s niche—but tonight, she talks about how Nandini in rural India transformed herself from a struggling small farmer who bought seeds through a loan shark, to a trained pharmacy vendor and village educator whom her neighbors trust enough to call “Dr. Mom.”
  • Kimberly Ellis works within a 14-state network to get more Democratic women elected into office via Emerge California. Having graduated from the program she now leads, Kimberly also serves as commissioner for community development in Richmond, CA. She believes many civic problems could be solved through balanced political gender representation (currently 25%), and that all families could benefit significantly through equal-pay salaries (currently ranging from 77 cents on the dollar to 64 cents for Black and 55 cents for Latina women). Simply put, she just wants parity. “If you don’t have a seat at the table,” Kimberly quips, “you’re probably on the menu.”
  • Steve Schwartz cofounded a nonprofit that creates jobs for ultra-poor women in India. “Handouts don’t work,” he says, “because what our clients want is long-term, sustainable, dignified employment. He says in just over two years, Upaya Social Ventures has helped three businesses (dairy farming, weaving, and domestic labor) create 506 jobs; and they’ve made a very public pledge at the Clinton Global Initiative to double their numbers in the next year. Steve served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa with his wife and walked the city slums and country paths in India with the women he now considers his reason for being. He shows a picture of an employee, Poonam, spinning thread from tussar silk. Poonam’s family tripled their income and jumped from one to three meals a day when she got her new—permanent—job. “Poonam learned the fine art of silk weaving from her grandmother, who learned it from her grandmother,” Steve tells us. “Now she’s got a reliable income stream at a fair wage.”
  • Brynne Speizer’s mission with Opportunity Fund is to connect California’s working poor with access to savings, loans, and business and financial training. Rattling off statistics on poverty and unemployment, she halts mid-sentence. “Doesn’t it make you mad?! It makes me mad, that in this beautiful place where we live, life is so hard for millions of families.” She talks about two clients who inspired her: Kiara, an East Palo Alto student who opened a savings account and socked away $6,000 to help realize her dream of attending Wesleyan College; and Tina, a restaurant owner famous for her barbecue who almost lost everything in the Great Recession. She took out a loan (average small business = $7,000) and is now cooking up a storm. “All these women need is access,” Brynne stresses.
  • Cristi Hegranes landed her dream job as an international journalist in Nepal, but it only took her two weeks to realize she was all wrong for the job. “Local women had everything I didn’t,” she said, “except access to a major publishing outlet.” She created the Global Press Institute to train and employ women to write quality investigative, activist features. Currently, Cristi manages 26 news bureaus and employs 135 women, and she’s building revenue by distributing their stories through such outlets as National Public Radio and Reuters. Cristi talks about Rwandan reporters Gloriose  and Noella, whose award-winning series on sexual predators has influenced new legislation there. Here with Cristi is one of her first employees (2009) and the embodiment of her ambition—Manori of Sri Lanka, who just got promoted from reporter to regional editor for Asia. “We’ve asked, and 98% of the women who’ve been through our training program report feeling empowered as a result.” And the percentage employed by GPI?—100.

1My family and I feel incredibly lucky to be the wind beneath the wings of 29 organizations working to create equal opportunity for all, in the U.S. and around the world. Join us by getting to know our world-changing partners at Skees Family Foundation. Whatever your gender, log onto Catalytic Women, join a local event or giving circle, and share your story. Let’s talk about what ordinary folks can do. And let’s take up more space and volume than the corner of a corporate cafeteria: Between us, we could have stories to fill a coliseum.

SuzanneSuzanne Skees works in international development as director of the Skees Family Foundation, which supports innovative self-help programs in the U.S. and 37 developing countries in education, enterprise, health, infrastructure, and peace.  Writing for online and print media, Skees shares stories of what can happen when students and survivors, entrepreneurs and families, receive tools they need to build a life of choice from such organizations as Dayton Christian Center,Dayton International Peace MuseumFreedom from Hunger, Jamii Bora, Karimu,PBMR Hub Center for Chicago Youth, Summer SearchThe Ihangane Project, The School Fund, Summer Search, Upaya Social VenturesV-Day, and Vittana.

Volunteering. It’s never too early to start

What’s the best age to start piano lessons? How about gymnastics or soccer? If you’ve seen toddlers meandering around a soccer field, staring at the sky, you know that some parents think it’s never too early to begin.

volunteeringAs parents and role models, we want to expose our children to all sorts of enriching experiences, and one of the most rewarding is volunteering. There are three powerful reasons I think middle school is an ideal time to introduce kids to the concept of serving others.

Volunteering is an excellent way for middle-school students to learn about their community and themselves. They are mature enough to understand the concept of civic responsibility, the value of helping less fortunate people and the significance of donating time, money and service.

Second, adolescence is typically a time of an intense focus on oneself and peers. It’s a challenging time of self-discovery. Volunteering eases that relentless inward glare by encouraging tweens and teens to connect with people of different ages, experiences, backgrounds and values.

Finally, a solid foundation of volunteer experience that begins in middle school shapes a young volunteer’s view of the world and amazes college admissions officers. One important way to tell a student’s story in an interview or college application is through lessons learned in volunteering and community service.

Jeannie Burlowski (http://www.bebrilliantincollege.com), an expert advisor on college applications that stand out from the pack, offers vital advice about how to approach middle school: “Begin early to create the long record of service and leadership so important for future scholarship applications.” She says the middle school years are not too early to begin keeping a written record of community service hours. If you Google for “community service forms”, you will find dozens of links to record-keeping forms.

And remember that volunteering as a family is also a terrific way to learn about organizations in your community and make them part of your family charitable giving strategy. That strategy can be as simple as a change jar in the kitchen where everyone drops spare coins and bills that are regularly donated to the local homeless shelter.

Here are four on the San Francisco Peninsula that offer volunteer opportunities geared specifically for kids:

The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto is planning its seventh annual Mitzvah Day (to take place on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2014). If you have suggestions or want to get involved, please contact Luba Palant at (650) 223-8656 or lpalant@paloaltojcc.org.

My New Red Shoes has a mission all kids can relate to: to provide new clothing and back-to-school shoes for low-income kids. The Burlingame-based non-profit offers a number of service events centered on families, including kids as young as four years old: http://www.mynewredshoes.org/get-involved.html

Home & Hope (formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network) provides homeless families with temporary housing at local churches and synagogues. Families can volunteer to cook and serve dinner at the host site, play with the younger guests and even babysit. Find out more at http://homeandhope.net.

There With Care provides fundamental support services to families and children facing critical illness during medical crisis. Volunteer opportunities range from visiting children in the hospital to sorting in-kind donations at the TWC office in Menlo Park. Learn more at http://bayarea.therewithcare.org/.

I’d love to hear about how you encourage your children of all ages to volunteer and take part in improving their community. What volunteer work is meaningful to your family, and how do your kids participate?

It’s never too early to start.

070d8d0Emilie Goldman began her career in personal finance in 1993 as an investment analyst. In 2003, she earned the CFP® designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Emilie was a partner with Blue Oak Capital in Palo Alto, chief wealth management officer with Sand Hill Advisors in Palo Alto, and a portfolio manager with Hutchinson Capital in Larkspur, CO. She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and received her undergraduate degree in finance and marketing from the University of Denver. She is a Certified Financial Planner TM professional and a Chartered Financial Analyst. She is a member of the CFA Institute, the Securities Analysts of San Francisco, and the Financial Planning Association.


Double & Triple Bottom Line Philanthropy

Our October 2013 webinar discussion on Double/Triple Bottom Line Philanthropy explored emerging tools for high-leverage giving, answering: What are social venture philanthropy and impact  investing? Is microfinance a good use of my charitable dollars? Is there a role for a business-like approach that can maximize the return on my “investment” in philanthropy?

Many new tools for giving combine the best of business and philanthropy. Our discussion shared resources, trends and best practices in leveraging gifts to make the greatest impact on the issues you support. This brain candy allows me to revisit my corporate finance roots through a social benefit lens—I love talking about models that blend good business and good intentions.

In this conversation I got to tap the expertise of Catalytic Women members and advisors, and draw upon resources and best practices from our members-only library. View this practical discussion of how to make gifts that tap some of the highest return models of business to create significant impact in the world around us—and bring business tools to solving community issues. It also gives me a chance to realize my own vision for community change—by connecting smart women who are influential decision-makers in wealth and giving to the resources and information they need to feel confident and boldly move forward.

Talk about the best job in the world…

Inspiring Women Impacting Poverty, Film and Philanthropy

Talk about inspiring women in philanthropy… This past week I’ve been in Boston and beyond, meeting the leadership of Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Institute, 100 Women in Hedge Funds, 85 Broads, Criterion Ventures, and others at the Convergence XII gathering on gender lens investing. Wow. It’s a reminder of our powerful, understated approach to philanthropy, and the diverse ways that women have an impact on really big issues.

And, speaking of an inspiring woman, I have a request form Katherina Rosqueta, a member of Catalytic Women’s advisory board and executive director of The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. They have been commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to conduct a study on donor learning groups—especially for funders in the area of vulnerable youth and families.

This is right up our alley of convening women who exert their financial influence on our communities—so we’re asking on their behalf… Do you have some experience with this issue, including significant annual philanthropic contributions? Do you know someone who does? If so, please consider a phone interview with Jennifer Landres.

Another recent conversation—this time with two thought leaders in film, Executive Director Devyani Kamdar and Founder Joon Yun of the Palo Alto Institute and International Film Festival—reminded me of the close link between film and philanthropy as powerful strategies for achieving impact. Catalytic Women is thrilled to be sponsoring the Local Shorts Program on Friday, September 28, at 6:30, which includes several Bay Area documentaries illuminating a cause.

All this talk about documentary film made me curious about producing a film to raise awareness of an issue. Like many of our programs, I reaching out to others I admire to see if it was a topic on their minds. With the help of these creative thinkers, we will launch on October 9, in Silicon Valley, a series for Women Giving Under the Radar—and looking for high-impact giving opportunities at all levels. I am thrilled to be working with Nora Silver, Director of the University of California Haas School’s Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, Linked In, ImpactAssets and Kim Wright-Violich on this program.

This series will profile favorite high-leverage giving tools from a dynamic panel of experts, followed by “open space” (attendee-directed) small group discussions on topics related to women’s wealth and giving. We’re trying it out in Silicon Valley—come let us know what you thnk and how we can expand it to smart women in other regions.

Mothers and Daughters: Sharing Stories and Legacies

In honor of Mother’s Day and our mothers—whether near or far, or with us in spirit only—our May salon-style discussion offered a heart-opening conversation about how to use stories in our giving as we share values between mothers and daughters. We explored questions that are vital to our relationships with one another and the organizations we support, but can be hard to ask. Why does my daughter volunteer on certain boards and not others? I’m curious about mom’s choices when it comes to giving, but don’t want to offend her by asking. It was, yet another, enlightening conversation among women.

During this experiential program we learned how to open up with family and friends about philanthropy and legacy, creating inquiries and explorations to share and connect. Funny how creating comfort around those meaningful stories and values in our lives allows us to articulate priorities in our role as women in giving. Emily Bouchard’s skillful facilitation guided us in sharing memories and stories, and creating enduring connections within our families. It was an interactive, compassionate Mother’s Day discussion that left a lasting impact.

Emily specializes in the emotional impact of wealth in people’s lives. She is the Managing Partner of Wealth Legacy Group and Founder of Blended Families, LLC, and has been working with high net worth families since 2004. Along with coaching individuals, couples and families, she consults with advisors to enable them to respond effectively to their client’s emotional needs related to financial and estate planning. A leading expert in the field of step and blended family dynamics, she has been featured on numerous TV and Radio shows including The Today Show and NPR, and has been quoted in the New York Times and Newsweek. She has authored several e-books and speaks on issues related to wealth psychology. Her book, co-authored with Paul Hood, Estate Planning for the Blended Family (Self Counsel Press) is due out this spring. And, best of all, Emily is another talented member of our advisory board. Talk about a group of catalytic men and women!

I love this job.

Kirby Rosplock on the Power of Women


This month, I had the great pleasure of hearing expert Kirby Rosplock speak on The Power of Women: Our Global Economic Influence—at a Catalytic Women forum on the growing influence women have on global wealth. Kirby address the big questions, like As a woman, how do I engage, empower and inspire myself and others? How do I lead a fulfilled and productive life with wealth?

There is unprecedented emphasis on the global impact brought about by the power of women. Today, over one billion women participate in the workforce worldwide and, within the next 10 years, women will control 2/3 of the consumer wealth in the U.S. Over the next few years, women will spend an incremental $5 trillion or more on goods and services – a sum that is larger than the emerging markets of China and India combined. Representing 51% of the global population, women are now more than ever poised for leadership and are uniquely positioned to influence change … in themselves as well as others.

Dr. Kirby Rosplock discussed the growing influence women have on global wealth and giving, shedding light on gender differences in the perception and knowledge of wealth. Kirby’s engaged and interactive conversation with Catalytic Women made clear how women approach wealth management, legacy and philanthropic intentions, and the important role women play in our global economies and communities.

As Director of Research and Development in the Innovation and Learning Center of GenSpring Family Offices, Kirby oversees the development of GenSpring’s Wealth Management Process and directs corporate research efforts. In 2006, she completed GenSpring’s Women & Wealth Study involving over 100 affluent women from across the country whose combined net worth exceeded $2 billion. The study explored women’s approach to managing their wealth, involvement, awareness, decision making, attitudes, values and practices for wealth preservation, as well as wealth transfer intentions. The next year she led a follow-on study with affluent men to learn the differences and similarities of their views, attitudes, involvement and practices around wealth. And in 2008, she spearheaded the Alignment Study, comparing and contrasting men’s and women’s different approaches to wealth along with their similarities. She recently led an international study exploring the relationships among family business owners and their advisors.

Kirby is a popular speaker on topics related to family wealth. She has presented at the Women and Wealth Forum, Family Firm Institute, Family Office Exchange, Institute for Private Investors, UW-Madison’s Family Business Center, Family Wealth Alliance, Family Office Symposium, Family Enterprise Research Conference, Family Capital, International Family Enterprise Research Association, and at GenSpring’s Women’s Retreat and Family Symposium. She has been interviewed by Robert Frank, author ofRichistan, and Sean Cole of NPR’s Marketplace, and has been featured in Wealth Manager Magazine. Kirby has authored articles, white papers, scholarly writings and book chapters on women, families and wealth, including a doctoral dissertation on “Women’s Interest, Attitudes and Involvement with their Wealth.”

One thing I love about Kirby is that she walks the talk. Before joining GenSpring in 2004, she was in management consulting as a business consultant, coach and facilitator to entrepreneurs, affluent families, family offices and family businesses. She has helped manage private equity funds as a licensed broker-dealer. But here’s what really gives her uniquely valuable perspective on these issues. Having grown up in a large, complex, affluent family with multiple family businesses, her personal experiences compliment her professional expertise. She is a 4th generation member of a male-dominated family business and is a trustee of her family’s foundation. It hasn’t been easy for her to get there and it’s inspiring to hear her story.

Let me know if you’d like to know more about Kirby’s journey and expertise—I’m happy to introduce you to one of my very favorite catalytic women.

Yvonne Hunt on Women’s Intellectual Capital

Yvonne Hunt

Lucky me to get to hear talented Yvonne Hunt, of Legacy Ventures, speak at our March program on Amplifying a Woman’s Financial Capital with her Intellectual Capital. She discussed the human capital that women and others bring to decisions about nonprofit organizations and the serious social and environmental issues they address, answering some of these questions: As a woman, how do I amplify my financial capital with my human capital? How do I go beyond making a gift to bring the breadth of my life experience to the issues that are my passion—and with the limited time I have available?

Given the opportunity, most of us want to make a positive difference, but may need guidance in how to do that more effectively on the issues we care about most. By sharpening and achieving our philanthropic goals, each of us has the ability to make a profound impact in the world around us, leveraging our resources—both our money and, especially, our unique life experience.

Yvonne Hunt offers a unique perspective to the work she does to cultivate and connect the Legacy Venture community of entrepreneurs, leaders and philanthropists, enabling them to exchange ideas, insights and inspiration that help make a bigger difference in the world, individually and together. She brings a passion in the area of diversity and inclusion, with an emphasis on advancing issues critical to women and girls, and has long recognized and supported the important role women play in the world and the need for empowerment programs. Yvonne talks about real life examples of women making a significant difference in the world, and offers guidance on how we, as women, can best approach philanthropy work—amplifying financial capital with human capital. Hearing her talk really allowed us to explore and discuss the important role women play in using our unique expertise, insights and human capital in creating meaningful change in our communities.

As Chief Philanthropy Officer of Legacy Venture, Yvonne works closely with Legacy’s management team and members to amplify their impact as catalysts for change. A native of Great Britain, Yvonne joined Legacy Venture in 2009 from Hewlett-Packard, where she served as Vice President of Global Philanthropy and as Executive Director of the Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation. In that capacity, she guided HP’s global philanthropic efforts and helped direct $47 million in grants to non-profit organizations in education, microenterprise development, and the environment. Prior to her philanthropic role at Hewlett-Packard—where she worked for 24 years—Yvonne served as the company’s Vice President of Internal Communications, responsible for advising the CEO and engaging 200,000 employees in HP’s strategic initiatives. Today, in addition to her work at Legacy Venture, she is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley, on the Advisory Board for Shriver Reports (focused on Women in America), and an alumna of The Philanthropy Workshop West program.

This is a catalytic woman who knows her stuff, and has seen the issue from all sides. How lucky I am that my work has brought me into contact—and friendship—with Yvonne.

Elizabeth Share on Focused Philanthropy

Founder, Wise Giving

Founder, Wise Giving

I always enjoy seeing Elizabeth Share, an member of our advisory board who has become a good friend. This month she spoke to a group of catalytic women on Focused Philanthropy: Clear with Yes, Kind with No, offering strategies to solve a challenge for any among us who faced an onslaught of year-end requests for help in 2011. When to say yes? When to say no? How to decide which are the “right” gifts?

You know how it feels: making giving decisions requires difficult choices and potentially awkward conversations. Hearing Elizabeth’s wise counsel made be feel like I could start off 2012 right and learn when to say yes, when to say no, how much to give, and how to measure the impact of my giving over time on the issues I care about most.

Elizabeth has worked with many well-known women philanthropists in identifying a framework for giving that allows a woman to be clear, consistent and gratified with the impact of her philanthropy. Decisions about where to focus gifts can be much easier if you have a giving plan that articulates your family’s community values, the areas of interest that are your personal priorities, and the impact over time that you’d like to have on those issues. Elizabeth brings 30 years experience as an advisor to private foundations, a nonprofit fundraiser, and a foundation executive to her work with Wise Giving. She helps individuals, family foundations and those with donor-advised funds find greater purpose, joy and satisfaction in their philanthropy. She has worked with many family and private foundations, including the Isabel Allende Foundation, Wise GivingKhaled Hosseini Foundation, Chez Panisse Foundation, Grace Family Foundation, and Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation.

Before founding Wise Giving, Elizabeth served for ten years as Vice President of the Autodesk Foundation, overseeing operations and finances, and working closely with the president and executive team on major programmatic, strategic, personnel, and funding decisions for this nonprofit giving arm of the nation’s fifth largest software manufacturer. During her tenure there she facilitated a network of corporate funders (Autodesk, Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Charles Schwab, Arthur Andersen) to share crucial information and develop collaboratively funded philanthropic initiatives. She’s also served on the board of CompassPoint, where she led the Technology Task Force and played a key role in the merger of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management (in San Francisco) and the Nonprofit Development Center (in San Jose). And, like many of us, she started her career in corporate finance—as a financial analyst in the capital equipment leasing industry, where she priced leases, limited partnerships and leveraged buyouts.

Elizabeth always brings a calm, gentle, persuasive, and sensible approach to strategic giving. Sounds so simple but, as we know, it isn’t. Perhaps it’s her unique blend of talents, from social work to financial analysis. Elizabeth is just plain good at what she does. Sound like someone who can help you focus your own giving? I’d love to introduce you—just email me.

Family Wealth and Philanthropy: Engaging Across Generations

Our January program offered strategies to solve the unique challenges that families face in raising their children to give. Philanthropy can be an opportunity to build skills and empathy. How can mothers, aunts and grandmothers help children to become well-adjusted individuals, productive family members, and educated and caring global citizens? Our speaker, Dr. Dennis Jaffe, guided us on ways to engage children by creating positive dialogues in families of wealth: What do we tell them? How do we teach them? When can they participate in giving to those less fortunate?

In our resolutions for the New Year, we think of giving back. Money has many meanings in family and society. A family’s spending and giving patterns are shared across generations, yet children grow up in a different world than their parents. Women have especially important roles to play—as mothers, aunts and grandmothers—in the values of the next generation. This discussion addressed issues related related to women, wealth and legacy as we seek to raise happy, productive children and adults of the next generation.

D.JaffeDennis Jaffe is a professor of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. He advises families about leadership, wealth and philanthropy. His latest book,Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations, addresses the challenges of engaging children in family and community enterprise. He has co-authored Working With the Ones You Love: Building a Successful Family Business, as well as management books Rekindling Commitment and Take this Work and Love It. Dr. Jaffe has written more than a hundred articles on healthy family relationships around wealth management. For 35 years, as an organizational consultant and family therapist, Dennis has helped families to manage the personal and organizational issues that lead to successful and fulfilling transfer of wealth, values, commitments and legacies between generations. In 2005 Dr. Jaffe was awarded the Beckhard Award for service to the field from the Family Firm Institute. He received his BA degree in Philosophy, MA in Management, and Ph.D. in sociology, all from Yale University, and is a licensed psychologist.

And did I mention that Dennis is an advisory board member to Catalytic Women? Indeed, he is a catalytic man.