A Time of Giving

Philanthropy photo     Beginning in the fall, we are all bombarded by organizations vying for our discretionary dollars. It is interesting to understand the distinctions of philanthropic giving and charitable giving. Charity focuses on eliminating the suffering caused by social problems, while philanthropy focuses on eliminating social problems.

Philanthropy is derived from the Greek word, “Philos”, which means loving, and “Anthropos”, which means humankind. The purpose of philanthropy is to improve the well-being of humankind by preventing and solving social problems.

Definition of philanthropist

Historically it is thousands of years old. there are references to philanthropy in the Koran, Bible, Torah, in the teachings of Buddhism and in the Japanese and Native American cultures. The first american philanthropists were the Native Americans, who emphasized concern for the common good.

Until the middle of the 19th century, philanthropy in the US was focused on religion and morality. but a new philanthropy began to grow outside of the authority of religion. It was a freely chosen, independent way for individuals to improve society in ways they deemed best. It has always played a very important role in American society.

Philanthropy supports libraries, schools, hospitals, performing arts and museums. It also supports research and social services that are all beneficial to society.
When you decide to give any portion of your hard earned monies to any part of the AAUW Funds, you are a true philanthropist. You are helping eliminate larger social problems. It becomes your legacy.

Give as generously as you can, but become a part of the growing legacy of AAUW Funds that support women and girls for the future.

images of philanthropy

VGIF News Flash: Multi-Year Grants

Entrepreneur training program by Center for Women's Awareness and Development in Nepal

Entrepreneur training program by Center for Women’s Awareness and Development in Nepal

The CA Online Branch is a member of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund.  In the November issue of the VGIF News Flash, you can read about how the multi-year grants begun in 2010 have made a significant difference in the lives of the grantees who are now in their final year of 3-year grants.

Book Group Reading List 2014/2015

September 25, 2014 –  “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
November 25, 2014 – ” Love and Treasure” by Ayelet Waldman
January 25, 2015 –  “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
March 25, 2015 –  “And the Dark Sacred Night” by Julia Glass
May 25, 2015 –  “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

AAUW LAF Express – November 2014

Did You Miss LAF’s Supreme Court Preview Call? You Can Still Listen In!

On October 22, AAUW members across the country joined LAF staff to learn about the most important cases the court will hear this term. Federal courts are sometimes the last, best hope for women who have experienced discrimination in education, employment, or health care. This year, the Supreme Court will consider a number of issues with the potential to significantly affect the rights of women and girls, including a case on interpreting the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and more fallout from the court’s disastrous Hobby Lobby decision.

If you missed the call, you can listen to it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tthbrz5SbKg#t=37 or read a summary of our discussion at http://www.aauw.org/2014/10/30/supreme-court-preview/. We’ll keep you updated on the cases as the court’s term progresses. Look for information about our wrap-up call next summer once the court has issued its decisions.

“Voter Abuse”: reflections on the 2014 ballot

Thought Onliners — especially those who participated in the program on the California Initiatives on the Nov. 4 ballot– would appreciate these comments from a new citizen and voter. You might have heard it on KQED’s Perspectives. It’s short, and she makes some excellent points.


She mentions that the ballot cost 91 cents to mail, yet there was no notation on the envelope about this.  I didn’t realize this and my husband and I mailed ours without extra postage.  I WONDER HOW MANY BALLOTS WERE THROWN AWAY because they didn’t carry enough postage.


Book Group News – November 2014

Our next book is “Love and Treasure ” by Ayelet Waldman.  This is a historical novel, taking us to WWII Hungary and the story of a train with a special treasure: GOLD. It poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past. (summary thanks to GoodReads)

Our discussion will begin on November 25.

Online Branch Program-CA Initiatives

1its my vote

AAUW CA has taken positions on four of the six initiatives that are on the California ballot this November.  The Online branch is conducting a program listserv discussion this week to learn more about these initiatives and AAUW’s position on them.  To read more about them prior to the program, visit the Public Policy page of the AAUW CA website (scroll down to the “Ballot Measures” heading). The program summary is now available at Oct. 2014 Program-CA Initiatives. There are many links in this document. Be sure to download it to your computer so the links work easily.

Donate Now to AAUW Funds

aauw-funds-120732415AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for all women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.  So every fall our branch holds a fundraising drive to target our philanthropic efforts to serve that mission.  Make your tax deductible donation to AAUW Funds, either giving to wherever the support is most needed, or to the fund(s) you particularly wish to champion.   There is a helpful chart explaining the various funds within the family of AAUW Funds, and the stellar work AAUW accomplishes for women and girls through those funds.

Anyone may make a tax deductible donation, not just AAUW members!  online-giving-139499749But if you are an AAUW member, have your membership ID number handy when using this donation page on the AAUW website.  Or members may simply login to the Member Services Database and make your donation there (look for “Individual Donations” in the left column once you’ve entered the MSD).

The CA Online Board encourages its members to consider designating donations to the incomplete CA endowments closest to completion, which you’ll find in the drop-down choices under Fellowships and Grants.  They are (in order of closest to completion):


  • Lindsey, Lucy/Margaret Hankle #4078 (Hayward-Castro Valley)
  • Gloria Taylor & Judy Pfeil R&P Grant #4360 (Berkeley)
  • Sunnyvale-Cupertino 50th Anniversary #4364
  • Vicki Lee DeMasi #4356 (Marin)


  • Coe, Vivian Lamont #4046 (West Contra Costa)
  • Ellis, Jessie & Wilder #4100

Not Enough Change – Gender Wage Gap

NotEnoughChangeThe newly released U.S. Census report shows that the gender wage gap has barely budged.  According to AAUW’s news release,  the median earnings of women working full time in the U.S. in 2013 were just 78 percent of men’s earnings — compared to 77 percent in 2012.  For minority women, the gap is even wider.

AAUW has been a strong advocate of the Paycheck Fairness Act to address this pervasive and persistent wage equity issue, but the U.S. Senate once again blocked it from coming up for a vote, so our work on this legislation is not done.  If you haven’t already done so, use AAUW’s Action Alert system to contact your legislators to keep this legislation and issue front and center.

UPDATE since originally published:  Look at AAUW’s detailed breakdown of the current wage gap figures, including an analysis of race and geography factors.