Women as Philanthropists

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Civil Rights
History of Philanthropy
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: When we name big-dollar givers in history, we do not often hear the names of women. Historically women's philanthropy looks different. In this video, we look at examples of women's giving. This is not an attempt to define women's philanthropy, but to look at the less recognized, but still significant, giving of women as philanthropists.

Anticipatory Set

Women in history are more collaborative in their giving. They lead movements and give to support family and community through their voices, time, and money. Take notes about the different ways that women give. What do they give (money/time), what causes do they support, how do they work together, and for what purposes?



  1. How did Carnegie's libraries involve women, and how were the women of the community essential to the success of the libraries? 
  2. Who were the women in the Montgomery Bus Boycott? What did they do?
  3. What is a giving circle? How does it promote more effective giving? What would be the benefit of young people collaboriting in giving circles?
  4. What do you think is the benefit of looking at a sub-group of giving, such as women's philanthropy, hispanic philanthropy, or youth philanthropy?

Follow-Up Activity

Giving circles are one way for a group to pool resources and give more effectively. Research youth giving circles and write a paragraph about what you could do and impact with a group of your friends.