Entrepreneurial Philanthropy: Celebrating Change-Making Women Past, Present, Future Featuring Dinner Keynote by Jessica Jackley.

Our bi-annual symposium is an event that our members, and many in the community at large, look forward to. The opportunity to gather, learn, celebrate our mission and understand how our shared philanthropy can improve our community is valued by so many.

When our committee began planning for the September symposium last fall, we hoped that things would be back to “normal” by now. There has been much progress made towards that end, but many questions remain. Can we host an event for 500 people? Should we, and if so, how? When faced with the choice of trying to meet our 2021 date or choosing to postpone, we considered many factors. These included potential venue restrictions, sponsor support, and formal and informal discussions with IWCF leadership and members. Thanks to the 93 respondents who provided valuable feedback in our membership survey. The results indicated that members preferred either an all in-person event (when safe to do so), or a postponement. The third and fourth choices were a hybrid or virtual event. These rankings do reflect the importance of the opportunity for our attendees to gather in person, rather than virtually. In addition, it’s difficult to ask for sponsor support without knowing exactly what the parameters of a large gathering will be in September, and for some it’s too soon to support this type of an event.

Unfortunately, after much discussion, the symposium committee has determined that there are still barriers in place that make it difficult to produce an event with the outcomes that we aspire to. So, although we won’t be meeting this fall, we will be working to put together a substantial agenda for our October 2022 Symposium. We have sponsors willing to extend their support for another year, and we have rescheduled our speaker and venue. We look forward to our celebration of women changemakers in philanthropy, and hope you will join us then!

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Molly Harder, symposium chair, at blackaby1@yahoo.com