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Barbara Coffman
IU Foundation

Last modified: Monday, December 6, 2010

Women's Philanthropy Council established at Indiana University

Mission includes inspiring women to give of their time, talent and resources and become leaders in philanthropy

Dec. 6, 2010

Editors: A list of Women's Philanthropy Council members and their hometowns is included at the end of this release.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Gene Tempel, president of the Indiana University Foundation, today (Dec. 6) announced the founding of the first Women's Philanthropy Council at the university.

Convened by the IU Foundation's Board of Directors, the council's mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to the university and to develop women leaders in philanthropy.

Women's Philanthropy Council

Front Row (Left to Right): Linda Friedlander, Sue Talbot, Jane Jorgensen, Laurie Burns McRobbie, Dale Ellen Leff, Peg Brand, Helen Gibbons, Mike Shumate. Back Row: Judy Summerville, Judi Stewart, Jacqueline Simmons, Donna Spears, Kathy Anderson, Janet Smith, Marty Tardy, Ellen Gignilliat, Jane Martin, Pat Miller, Anita Cast, Ann Harrison.

Print-Quality Photo

"The Women's Philanthropy Council is an outgrowth of 15 years of research and engagement that included the Foundation's Colloquium for Women and the Academy for Women initiatives," Tempel said.

"With the establishment of this council, we aspire to create a national model for innovative programs that engage women in philanthropy and volunteerism in higher education," Tempel added. "Given the outstanding leadership of the council, and the demonstrated commitment of its members to a high level of philanthropic support for the university, I am convinced we can do it."

The founding chair of the Women's Philanthropy Council is Dale Ellen Leff of New York, N.Y., and the founding honorary chair is Laurie Burns McRobbie, IU's first lady, an active university advocate and community leader. Leff is an IU Foundation board member who was instrumental in formulating earlier programs to encourage women to give and volunteer for the university.

"The time has come for a high-level, university-wide initiative at Indiana University such as the Women's Philanthropy Council," Leff said.

Citing research from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the IU Center on Philanthropy, Leff said, "Women are no longer a niche audience -- they are the audience, according to Witter and Chen in the book, The She Spot. Our intention is that this council will guide women's philanthropic initiatives for the university, educate women about philanthropy and their philanthropic choices and engage more women, and men, in volunteer leadership positions across the university and on all campuses."

"Women's leadership is a vibrant and strong thread woven into the history of Indiana University," added J T. Forbes, executive director of the IU Alumni Association. "We are pleased to join our arms and minds with the IU Foundation and the Women's Philanthropy Council to develop even more opportunities for alumnae engagement and support of Indiana University."

Research shows that women are more charitable than men, Tempel said. Fifty-six percent of IU students and 44 percent of IU alumni are women. Women hold 51 percent of all management, professional and related positions in the U.S, and control 51.3 percent of the country's private wealth.

"Research also shows that women have different philanthropic and leadership behaviors than men," said Debra Mesch, director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute. "Because they are socialized differently and often work in the business world as well as run a household, women multi-task, care give and lead. Perhaps because of this socialization, women give and volunteer more than men -- a fact that research clearly supports.

"Women are also an increasingly strong economic force," Mesch added. "Income and education are key predictors of philanthropic behavior, and women have increasing access to both. Women earn 60 percent of advanced degrees in this country and control about $4.3 trillion of $5.9 trillion in consumer spending. They make 83 percent of all purchases in the U.S., including 62 percent of new car purchases and 90 percent of food purchases. Women make 80 percent of healthcare decisions.

"The Women's Philanthropy Council has all the ingredients for an effective run," said Mesch. "It has strong leadership from a dedicated group of highly engaged volunteer female leaders, a knowledgeable and experienced staff, and a commitment from the IU Foundation to allocate needed financial and human resources to ground this effort in research, ensuring the program's success."

In addition to other major philanthropic and volunteer commitments at IU, Women's Philanthropy Council members pledge $10,000 per term to support areas of their choice at the university. A portion of gifts may be directed by council members to fund special projects through an application process.

The founding members are:

  • Dale Ellen Leff, chair, New York, N.Y.
  • Laurie Burns McRobbie, honorary chair, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Kathy Ziliak Anderson, Nashville, Ind.
  • Kathryn Ryan Booth, Harrison, N.Y.
  • Peg Brand, Indianapolis
  • Anita Hursh Cast, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Gayle Cook, Bloomington
  • Connie Ferguson, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Jane Fortune, Indianapolis
  • Linda H. Friedlander, Carmel, Ind.
  • Helen Elizabeth Gibbons, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Ellen Jane Gignilliat, Chicago
  • Ann Shilling Harrison, Attica, Ind.
  • Nancy Bergen Hunt, Indianapolis
  • David Henry Jacobs, Jr., Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Jane Marie Jorgensen, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Jane Halagiere Martin, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Darby Anne McCarty, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Patricia R. Miller, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Lynn E. Reichle, Valparaiso, Ind.
  • Michael Dean Shumate, West Hollywood, Calif.
  • Jacqueline Ann Simmons, Indianapolis
  • Cindy Simon Skjodt, Carmel, Ind.
  • Janet Sue Smith, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Donna Lynn Spears, Richmond, Ind.
  • Sally Fox Springer, Syracuse, Ind.
  • Judith Ann Stewart, Portland, Ore.
  • Judy Ann Summerville, Columbus, Ind.
  • Alisa Hendrix Sutor, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Sue Hays Talbot, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Viola J. Taliaferro, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Martha Alice Tardy, Chicago
  • Marianne Williams Tobias, Indianapolis

For more information, contact: Holly C. Johnson, director of women's philanthropy at IU at 812-855-0908 or Information also is available on the Women's Philanthropy at IU Facebook page at: