Women’s Philanthropy Board hits $1 million mark in giving back to College of Human Sciences

Graham Brooks | Communications Editor

In conjunction with celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Women’s Philanthropy Board is celebrating an additional milestone by hitting the $1 million mark in money given back to the College of Human Sciences as the board recently announced the feat at its annual spring symposium in March.

Since 2002, the Women’s Philanthropy Board, the flagship program of the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, has mapped a comprehensive philanthropic footprint throughout the College of Human Sciences including scholarships, student and programmatic grants, research support, faculty awards and general funding.

Sidney James Nakhjavan, executive director Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies & Women's Philanthropy Board, has been involved with WPB since 2004 and said the comprehensive nature of giving is what has made WPB so successful the last two decades.

“What’s very exciting to me is that we’ve been able to provide scholarships, seed money, programmatic grants, faculty awards and contributions to the dean’s mission possible fund,” Nakhjavan said. “We’ve been able to impact a lot of people and a lot of programs. This collective group of philanthropists was determined to make an impact in the College of Human Sciences, and they have achieved a remarkable accomplishment.”

Kim Walker, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Board, said a couple of years ago the board realized the 20th anniversary was quickly approaching and it sparked some ideas that included the goal of reaching $1 million in giving.

“About three years ago, we knew that we were coming up on our 20th anniversary and what better time to hit that $1 million mark than our 20th anniversary,” Walker said. “We knew that we wanted to do a big celebration of that anniversary and so we strategically planned our giving to be able to reach that $1 million goal. When I talk to potential members about WPB and our mission, the idea collective philanthropy is a big reason people want to join. They know that a good portion of their gift each year is going to support Auburn students, faculty and programs within our College of Human Sciences. By pooling all our money together, we’re able to make a bigger impact.”

This year’s milestone is even more impressive given that the Women’s Philanthropy Board is primarily funded through philanthropic contributions, and not from budgeted dollars from the state.

When looking back on the last two decades, it’s impossible to ignore the milestones WPB has reached and the number of lives that have been positively impacted within the College of Human Sciences at Auburn. In the last 20 years, the Women’s Philanthropy Board has held over 157 programs and featured more than 250 speakers in real and virtual formats. WPB provides yearly educational programs to inspire and enable attendees regarding financial responsibility and philanthropic engagement.

Nakhjavan shared that, “Quality programming and giving back to the College of Human Sciences has always been at the core of what WPB does and are two of its most distinguishing features.”

WPB’s mission is to inspire, educate, and enable individuals to develop their full leadership potential; achieve independence as financial donors and decision makers; serve as mentors for future generations of philanthropists; and broaden the base of financial support for the College of Human Sciences.

For more information on the Cary Center and the Women’s Philanthropy Board, visit carycenter.auburn.edu.