Women donors at Dartmouth raising big bucks

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - Women donors at Dartmouth College are proving to be a powerful force when it comes to raising money.

“Getting 100 women to raise $100,000 was a first in higher education,” said Caroline Hribar with the Class of 2000.

But why stop there? As female students walk across the Dartmouth Green, dollars from women continue to roll into the Ivy League college. Now, more than 100 women have each bestowed a gift of $1 million or more to Darmouth’s “The Call to Lead” campaign, totaling $379 million. The fundraising campaign began seven years ago.

“This wasn’t the college responding to something. These were alumni-led initiatives, recognizing that women can and should be stepping up to the plate in a bigger way,” Hribar said.

And when it comes to money, the experts say women have a bigger piece of the pie than ever before. “The transference of wealth to women in this country is growing exponentially,” said Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund. She says by 2030, women across the country are expected to control upwards of $30 trillion in assets. It’s due to a variety of factors including longer life expectancies than men and more high-paying jobs. “Women not only hold a lot of financial wealth themselves but also want to put it towards causes that they really believe in.”

Top Dartmouth donors can designate where they want to contribute. “Some gave to sports, some gave to academics, some gave to the construction of new buildings,” Hribar said. She says generosity from women at the Big Green is nothing new. In fact, women have tended to give more often than men, but now the gifts are coming in greater amounts. “They have long had the skill and the ability and in the case of philanthropy, the resources to give, but they had not been taken seriously by institutions by people who could or would do that.”

The short-term goal at Dartmouth is to build on the success by spreading the model to other groups on campus.

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