Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World

April 07, 2014

The Parable of the Fence and Other Lessons

Posted on LinkedIn Influencers on April 4, 2014.

I just spent the past two days in Chicago at the #womenleading Philanthropy Symposium, created by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Family School of Philanthropy. Over 300 people attended this conference, including many of the true trailblazers in philanthropy. The organizers could not have chosen a better title, because women’s leadership in giving is quickly emerging as a powerful and distinctive force. The Institute’s research on this trend has been critical for advancing the conversation on women’s roles in philanthropy, and research is crucial in framing how people think about issues, which in turn often leads to behavior change.

I recently wrote a previous article discussing how there are a number of trends worth paying attention to with regards to women in philanthropy, such as the growing financial power of women, the rise in women only giving circles and donor networks, and the infusion of a gender lens in both men and women’s giving strategies. I wrote that with the simultaneous rise of these trends, they are all coming together to create a zeitgeist. This idea was reinforced by the conversations and discussions at this conference, and left me with some important takeaways.

One of the biggest was the fact that the women, and the few good men, who were gathered in Chicago were not taking a business as…

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April 01, 2014

FROZEN Breaks Records and Cracks the Hollywood Glass Ceiling

FrozenPublished on LinkedIn Influencers on April 1st, 2014

This past weekend, Disney’s animated hit Frozen passed a historic landmark. Not only has Frozen become Walt Disney Animation Studio’s first billion dollar movie, but Frozen surpassed Pixar’s Toy Story 3 to become the highest grossing animated film of all time. Frozen currently sits in the top 10 highest grossing films worldwide, and with co-director Jennifer Lee at the helm, Frozen is also the highest grossing film with a woman director, and the highest grossing film to feature not one, but two female leads.

However, that’s not all Frozen has achieved, because this film is not just a hit, it’s become a pop culture phenomenon. The internet is filled with covers of its ubiquitous smash hit song, “Let it Go”, fan art abounds on social media, as does fan fiction, Youtube videos, and blogs dissecting every moment of every scene. The film has won Oscars, Annies, a BAFTA and Golden Globe award, and both the DVD and soundtrack have sold millions of copies. Frozen has struck a very powerful and vocal chord with audiences, and everyone; girls, boys, men, and women, are voicing their love for this film in ever increasingly creative ways.

Even more impressive is the fact that Frozen is not just an anomaly regarding women in film, but in fact was released in one of the best years for women onscreen in decades. 2013 will be remembered as the year that Catching Fire was the top grossing film domestically, the first time since records were kept that a…

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March 25, 2014

State of Philanthropy: Women on the Cusp of Transformative Power

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Published on Linkedin Influencers on March 25, 2014. This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers analyze the state and future of their industry. Read all the posts here.

Philanthropy. The word means “love of humanity” and its origin comes from the Greek words “philo” (loving) and “anthropo” (mankind). In 2011, Americans donated nearly $300 billion to charitable causes, accounting for about 2 percent of the GDP, and employees of non-profit organizations account for nearly 10 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. Giving drives a huge part of the US economy, and signs show that it will only get bigger. A powerful force that is driving both the growth and the shift in philanthropy is women. As women grow their financial resources, they are also growing their philanthropic impact, and this is resulting in big changes not only in the philanthropic sector, but in the broader business landscape as well.

It is estimated that by 2030, women will control nearly two-thirds of the wealth in the United States, whether this wealth is self-made or through inheritance. Previous studies on women of high-net worth, and a soon to be released report from The Center for Talent Innovation on the Power of the Purse, show that these women care a lot about using their financial resources to make a difference in the world. Savvy financial advisers understand this, and they are…

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