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Targeting women

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Triangle United Way aims to boost giving by women.

By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. [06.22.04] — Triangle United Way has launched an effort to spur philanthropy among women and get them more involved in social issues.

With an estimated 700 women making “leadership” gifts of at least $1,200 to United Way, the new Women’s Leadership Initiative aims to increase that number by 20 percent in the 2004 annual drive, says Emily Andrews, senior vice president and brand manager at First Citizens Bank and chair of the steering committee for the new initiative.

“That’s going to be a pretty big goal,” she says. “In the first year, we may have as much success as we would at any other time because of interest and excitement.”

The initiative kicked off with a May 18 with a luncheon for 160 women that featured talks by philanthropist Mary Semans of Durham and by Ann Denlinger, superintendent of the Durham Public Schools and chair of United Way’s board of directors.

The group also has scheduled an education forum Sept. 22 at Briar Creek Country Club that likely will focus on one of several topics participants at the luncheon were asked to select, including community needs, leadership, collaboration and volunteerism, and development of philanthropic interest.

The idea, says Andrews, is to motivate women to be philanthropic, raise their awareness of community needs, and help them develop their “time, talent and treasure” to address those needs.

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