UC San Diego’s Office of Gift Planning recently published the book “She Who Inspires,” based on their project to celebrate local female philanthropists. Although San Diego is filled with many women who make a positive impact on the community, this book tells the stories of 116 women who have worked to make San Diego a better place.
The Office of Gift Planning at UC San Diego wanted to recognize a portion of the many San Diego women who help the community. “We were realizing that there are so many incredibly generous women in our sphere,” says the executive director of UC San Diego’s Office of Gift Planning, Dani Dawson. “We wanted to learn more about the women behind philanthropy here in San Diego.”
The She Who Inspires project also encourages women to be philanthropists and contribute to the community. “Philanthropy isn’t just about big dollars and big names,” says Elise Wald, director of development in the Office of Gift Planning. “We wanted to dispel that myth. Philanthropy is about time, talent, and treasure.”
Dawson and Wald set out to interview and tell the stories of the women who have dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to improving the community. The two women reached out to their philanthropic friends and were later introduced to more local women philanthropists.
“We have a wide range of philanthropy highlighted in this book,” says Wald. “People who volunteer, people who are social justice advocates, people who sit on boards, people who give a little bit or a lot of money.”
Both Dawson and Wald are thankful that they can play their part by interviewing inspiring women and telling their stories.
“I’m really hoping that the women in the book feel proud of themselves and of the work they’re doing,” says Dawson. “In interviews, many of the women would rattle off all the amazing things they were doing, but there was still a part of them that was so humble.”
The women featured in the book were recognized at an informal gathering on Friday, Oct. 25. “It was a nice way to celebrate all these women and have them meet each other,” says Wald. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Just to see the response from the women was a proud moment for us.”
The She Who Inspires project was turned into a book with hopes that it will have long-lasting effects and will inspire more women to be philanthropists.
“We hope that young women and girls will flip through this book and find someone or something that resonates with them,” says Dawson. “We hope the book inspires them to go build their own philanthropic passions.”
To read “She Who Inspires,” visit https://bit.ly/2pYnXyP. To learn more, contact the Office of Gift Planning at UC San Diego at 858-534-2249.