Tuti Scott’s Playbook for Women’s Philanthropy

Gender and Giving Jul 29, 2019

As the founder of Changemaker Strategies (formerly Imagine Philanthropy), Scott coaches leaders in the social sector and helps individuals be more strategic in their giving.

She’s also focused on the intersection of women, money, and power.

A lifelong athlete and certified fundraising executive for 15 years holding various positions at the Women’s Sports Foundation, Scott extols the virtues of sports as extraordinary training for female leadership. Scott says that the lessons learned through team sports around knowing your fundamentals, risk-taking, shared goal setting, practice, agility, discipline, focus, and what winning and losing looks like help prepare women for leadership in and outside of the boardroom.

And, growing leadership has been part of the evolution of women’s philanthropy. According to Scott, boards and leadership are working to become more intentional about diversity of all kinds. Leaders are listening more and elevating more perspectives. Donor behavior is also changing. Scott is seeing more donors move from giving as charity to giving as social impact and advocacy. These donors are aiming to influence policy and developing more partnerships as part of strategy.

Scott believes gender lens investing is a critical opportunity for more women to align their investing and charitable giving with their values. She defines gender lens investing as “an intentional action of moving money to investments that advance gender equity.”

To ensure women are prepared when they step onto the field of gender lens investing, she has organized the “What Will It Take – Women and Money” event (Sept. 16 and 17 in Austin, TX). It’s intended to bring people together to learn and share experiences about giving and impact investing with a gender lens. Among the speakers is Ellen Remmer whose Invest for Better campaign about gender lens investing was featured in an earlier Giving Compass post. Recognizing the ongoing intergenerational transfer of trillions of dollars, Scott said, “This is a catalyst moment to get the broader conversation started.”

How to Start Your Gender Lens Investing Journey

Scott says women should “own” their money story and step into the potential of its power in the world. When this happens, there will be “more flourishing, more creativity and resources will be managed with utmost respect for all people and for the planet.”

She offers three ways to start:

  1. Assess your values. Get clear about the values you hold most dear whether it’s health, wealth, creativity, equity, or something else.
  2. Educate yourself. A good place to start is the resource section of Changemaker Strategies where Scott and her team have assembled a wealth of information at your fingertips.
  3. Build your community. This work does not happen when you are alone. Invite family, friends, and advisors to join you in the journey.

Recognizing that money conversations need to be grounded, she recommends moving those conversations to the four “Ps” -- purpose, planet, profit, and people. It can remove tension and emotion and bring forth more opportunities for women to invest with a gender lens.

Scott believes that every person has to investigate their potential to be a changemaker (it’s the reason she changed her organization’s name). Each of us has a role in improving the world. What is your next play?