Women philanthropists need a network to make giving strategic, seminar hears

Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani of the education charity Reach Out to Asia says building alliances is key to the growth of philanthropy by women

Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani
Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani

A network for women philanthropists would help to make their giving more strategic, according to the founder of the Qatar education organisation the Al Faleh Group.

Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani, a philanthropist, businesswoman, member of the Qatar Supreme Education Council and director of the education charity Reach Out to Asia, was speaking yesterday at a seminar called Women in Philanthropy: Why "Women"?, organised by the Academy of Philanthropy at Cass Business School in London.

"An obstacle I see for women’s philanthropy is networking," she said. "Men network all the time; women do not. There needs to be an organisation set up as a network for women to help them give more strategically.

"The real surge in women philanthropists may be yet to come. We need to be building alliances, and leveraging financial capital to secure economic security and growth for women and girls."

Al Thani said women were already becoming bolder and more strategic in their giving as they learnt from their peers. She said giving circles and social investment clubs were helping them to pool their money to make bigger grants to local organisations.

"Women are positioned as never before to make a huge difference in philanthropy, not only with time but also with money," she said.

"Strengthened by increasing economic power and education, women are the rising wave of philanthropists."

Reach Out to Asia supports schools in Asian countries to reach the Education for All goals set by Unesco.

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