Lantern League FAQ
- What is a women's giving circle?
- Why is Lantern League a "women's circle" and not just a giving circle?
- The mission of this circle is to support education for women and girls. Why this narrow focus?
- Why is Presentation High School mentioned as an option for the money I donate?
- The membership fee is $1,000 annually. Why was this amount chosen?
- How will the circle's operations be funded?
- Besides the annual financial commitment, what is the time commitment for the Lantern League?
- How will grants be determined?
- How much is awarded to each grantee?
- Are administrative expenses included in grant budgets?
- How can I match a company gift to Lantern League?
Currently women control more than 51% of America’s wealth; in the next ten years that number will grow substantially. Evidence reveals that women are attracted to specific causes and give for different reasons than men. The priorities of most women are health, education, and the environment. They want their money used to make an impact in the lives of people. They want to see results, and they want to be involved in the organizations they support — rather than just write a check. In many marriages, men still control where the philanthropic money goes. “Women must learn to give in their own name — in parity with their spouse — to causes that support their values and be recognized as role models of philanthropy. This will cause a ripple effect for the good.”
Seventy percent of world poverty impacts women and children. Less than 10% of philanthropic dollars goes to causes directly and exclusively impacting women and girls. Women, in particular, should be very alarmed by these statistics and must seek change! Education is the key factor for raising the quality of life for women everywhere. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize Laureate leader of Burma’s democracy movement said: “The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” Besides raising funds for worthy causes, the secondary purpose of the circle is to educate its members about philanthropy and finances.
The Lantern League was originally founded by two women who work at Presentation High School. The mission of the school is to provide education for young women, therefore the stated purpose of the school coincides exactly with the mission of this circle. On a practical level, rather that focus time, energy and resources on establishing a separate foundation to gain 501(C) (3) status (a lengthy, complex, and potentially expensive process,) many women's giving circles throughout the country prefer to partner with existing nonprofits. In this case, we partnered with Presentation High School which is a non-profit and has its own 501C3. Visit the "Join" page of this website for details on how you can join Lantern League. For those choosing an option that includes Presentation High School, the school will present a list of projects to the circle, and members will decide which have the highest appeal and are most worthy of funding.
Philosophically, women’s giving circles are designed so that each member contributes the same amount. In this way, each woman is an equal partner for a noble cause, and no one person’s membership is more valuable than anyone else’s. Breaking it down, $1,000 annually represents about $3.00 per day — a figure that a great many women can afford. Payments may be made by cash (check) or credit card. We do have additional levels, $500 for Young Philanthropists for graduates of high school until age 30 and $100 for High School Students.
During our first year, we were very fortunate to have a generous donor underwrite $10,000 for our operating costs. Since the majority of our costs are donated, and we operate leanly, we were able to use the original donation for many years. We have depleted the donation and are now accepting gifts to fund the operating costs. Any amount is appreciated.
Many companies offer matching-gift programs. If you are interested in a company matching gift to Lantern League through Presentation, please contact Director of Advancement Alice Dewhirst '78 Ursano at (408) 264-5110 ext. 2447 or email@example.com for important details.