In the fall of 2000, four Howard County women attended a meeting in Baltimore promoting women’s philanthropy, and this proved the catalyst for a two-year planning effort by 15 diverse women to create a philanthropic group targeted to the concerns of women and girls.
Several early issues emerged as historically significant: the desire to be inclusive, the commitment to creating a permanent legacy, and the reluctance to duplicate or detract from efforts elsewhere.
Decisions were made to start giving levels low to allow all women to participate, to immediately establish an endowment to ensure funds for women and girls in perpetuity, and to house this new Women’s Giving Circle within The Columbia Foundation (now the The Community Foundation of Howard County) as a Donor Advised Fund.
On February 26, 2002, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County was formally launched to the public at Kahler Hall in Columbia at a tea. More than 200 women filled the hall. Donations and pledges poured in as women opened their hearts – and their checkbooks.
A portion of all donated funds have become part of an endowment to ensure perpetuity and the balance will be immediately invested in initiatives to improve the lives, the health, the future, and the personal authority of women and girls.
WGC donors strongly believe there is a place for all women, from all incomes, and at all stages of our lives, to be philanthropists and make a difference in Howard County – and we invite you to join us!