Financial Women’s Association on Ways to Give Back this Holiday & Impact the Financial Industry

“The power of giving back can have a lasting impact well beyond Giving Tuesday,” says Financial Women’s Association (FWA) Executive Director Jennifer Openshaw.

The nearly 60-year-old association today announced that it will host its annual holiday benefit — this year featuring champagne, chocolate and fashion designer Nina McLemore (whose clients include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Janet Yellen and Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi) — at the Paley Center on December 9th.

How can consumers and leaders in the financial industry give back? Here are five ways.

  1. Attend a Charitable Event – Why not have fun, network, and support a cause? From universities to religious organizations to other causes, ‘tis the season for powerful events. But make the most of them: build new relationships. The FWA’s Champagne & Chocolate Holiday Benefit will support mentoring that has already helped 5,000 young women advance in the financial industry.
  2. Save Big or Live Large via Charity Buzz – Ever heard of CharityBuzz?  This innovative website offers a unique way to have an impact while enjoying extraordinary experiences. From hotels, luxury properties and airlines to walk-on roles on a top TV show or lunch with Michael Bloomberg, you can bid on items and save (or spend) big bucks. Tiffany & Co. has donated a "Breakfast at Tiffany" for four along with a private tour of the Tiffany Workshop in support of the FWA. To bid on one of the many luxury items found within this auction, go here.
  3. Donate Stock to a Charity – ‘Tis the season to give, and if you’ve been one of the lucky ones who did better financially than you expected, maybe you’re up for sharing more of it. You can give cash or stock to a charity. Those who choose to give can also donate cash, such as through the FWA ( and receive the tax deduction for the full value. But be sure to act by December 31st.
  4. Support a Cause  - Traditional rules of thumb suggest one donate 10 percent of his/her earnings to charity.  Remember, a $1,000 donation equals an approximate out-of-pocket cost of $700, depending on your tax bracket. But should you choose many causes or just one?  A few guidelines to consider include:
  • Consider Your Values & Preferences – Before you write a check, consider what’s important to you. What impact do you want to have?  Promoting peace? Economic independence? Advancement of women? Locally, nationally or globally?
  • Choose Organizations that Align – Check out the organization’s mission. Visit its website and/or talk to others to understand its purpose. You might even consider an organization that your children help you choose.
  • Consider Effectiveness & Size – You can usually determine an organization’s effectiveness by looking at their annual report, newsletter and/or program information. Other ways are to see who else supports the group, such as businesses, or to actually get involved. As for size, larger organizations might be more known with more supporters than smaller ones, but younger or smaller charities might be an opportunity to have a greater impact given the typically fewer number of donors.
  • Consider How Much – You can choose one organization or perhaps a few. If you’re getting to know an organization, consider an amount you might consider renewing next year as you become familiar with the organization.

5. Mentor Someone – Even if you’re not able to donate money, you can devote your time. This holiday season might be a time to commit to helping someone who might not have the same resources or access to get ahead as you. In a recent FWA survey, 71 percent of FWA members indicated a desire to give back through mentoring. One young woman, Yan Bai of Baruch College, says: “I have multiple job offers that I wouldn’t have had without the FWA’s mentoring program.” Other places to mentor include iMentor and your own employer. Or, simply open-up yourself to the possibilities around your own network and neighborhood.

For questions about tax deductions or personalized tax guidance, please consult a tax advisor.

About the FWA

Founded in 1956, the FWA provides a forum to help advance the leadership of women in the financial community. The New York-based organization partners with companies to share best practices and provides opportunities for members to build their careers, meet industry leaders, earn the support of powerful women and major companies, and contribute to the next generation of female leaders. The FWA’s community activities include mentoring, scholarships and training programs that have helped over 5,000 young people. 

Note: A copy of the FWA’s latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, by contacting the FWA, 215 Park Avenue South, Suite 1712, New York, NY 10003 or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau 120 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10271).To access the FWA annual report, go here.

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Jamie Epstein, FWA

(212) 533-2141 x301