15/04/2014 - 14:12

100 Women finds a philanthropy niche

15/04/2014 - 14:12

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A new philanthropy fund focused on improving the lives of women has garnered support from some of the state’s highest-profile businesswomen.

100 Women finds a philanthropy niche
SEEKING 100: Alicia Curtis has started a collective fundraising body to help women in need.

A new philanthropy fund focused on improving the lives of women has garnered support from some of the state’s highest-profile businesswomen.

Toro Energy chair Erica Smyth, former The Law Society of Western Australia president Maria Saraceni, and lawyer and retired British Army Officer Rabia Siddique have all committed to new fundraising body, 100 Women.

The organisation is set up as a ‘giving circle’ with an aim of recruiting 100 women willing to pledge $1,200 per year to become members.

The collective funds of at least $120,000 raised will then be awarded to grant applicants focused on improving the lives of women, both in WA and internationally.

Organisation founder Alicia Curtis told Business News 20 women had signed up as members in the two weeks since 100 Women was launched at the end of March.

Ms Curtis said she had always been conscious of challenges facing females and was motivated to start 100 Women after reading the book Half the Sky, which addresses the plight of women across the globe.

“I couldn’t give away $120,000 myself but coming together with 99 other women I can have the opportunity to see the difference that collective giving could have in our community,” Ms Curtis said.

All contributors to the fund will have a say in how the $120,000 is allocated; for the first year it will be split into three $40,000 grants.

Ms Curtis said she also wanted to raise the profile of female philanthropists.

“When you ask people what they think of when you mention the word philanthropy, many of us think of male philanthropists,” she said.

“There are some great women philanthropists here in Australia and overseas but we tend to have our heads down and working hard on the issues rather than reaching out and using the media to showcase what we can achieve through philanthropy.”

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