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Celebrating Women's History: Women in Nonprofit America


In celebration of women’s history month, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the crucial role that women have played in the creation and development of the nonprofit sector.


Dating back to the founding of our country, women have been instrumental in the coordination and execution of philanthropic activities in America. A great deal of initiatives were tied to religious ideals of volunteerism and stewardship to those less fortunate, and women were at the forefront of turning ideas into action. They proved themselves as effective fundraisers and spokespersons, and reached levels of leadership that would otherwise have been inaccessible due to their sex. 


Over the years, women gained strength, notoriety, and more importantly, confidence that led to reformations across the country. Many Northern women dominated the activism behind the antislavery movement. Women were at the forefront of labor reform and actively protested and petitioned poor working conditions. And, of course, women whose roots in nonprofit involvement were the leaders of the fight to grant women the right to vote. 


Today, women continue to dominate the nonprofit workforce. Our innate sense of compassion, empathy, and desire to do good, empower us to succeed at fundraising, lobbying, and activism. The nonprofit sector as we know it today, would not be what it is without the strong and determined women who came before us.


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