Growing and Giving Together
Written by Yolanda Webb
Impact100 Metro Denver is fortunate to have several mother-daughter members who engage with and support Impact100. Throughout the month of May, we will feature interviews with mother-daughter members.
As a mother and grandmother, I am eager to pass along to my daughter and granddaughters my love of giving back. My North Star has been my own mother whose work as a social worker inspired her work in philanthropy. This Mother’s Day, we wanted to be inspired by the Mother-Daughter duos making philanthropy an important part of their relationship here at Impact100 Metro Denver.
We asked the following Mother-Daughter duos to describe why working in philanthropy is important for them and their relationship.
Margaret Prentice/Sarah Swanson
What are your philanthropic goals?
MP: I never sat and thought about “my philanthropic goals.” This year John and I started the year identifying the organizations important to us and where we wanted to direct our giving. Except for John’s alma mater and my churches, we’ve generally supported organizations that serve people who have considerably less than we have.
SS: My goals are normally to focus on giving for systemic change. But what I love about Impact100 is to give collectively to an organization I might not have chosen on my own and then to not only know that I’m making a difference in our community, but to be able to see change happening — which we absolutely do through our updates from previous grantees.
How has your mother-daughter bond impacted your philanthropy?
MP: I don’t know that it has. Sarah chose to continue participating in Impact100 after her first year “scholarship from Mom” and that pleased me enormously. I love seeing Sarah demonstrate her leadership skills on the Grants Committee – and that gives me a great deal of joy. I know that our 6-year-old grandson Jack knows about Impact100 too – he loves to say “Impact100” followed by a giggle.
SS: We each come to philanthropy with different experiences and by sharing what we’re learning with each other, we’re deepening our ability to contribute within our community.
What’s your hope and dream through your giving for the future of Colorado?
MP: I dream of a time when homelessness is not the issue as it is today. In New Jersey, we didn’t see the homelessness the way we do here in Denver. I volunteer at St. Francis Center where every Thursday, I see the faces of the homeless. Equally important, I hope that we, as citizens of the world, wake up and make tough choices to preserve our planet. The environment was not my priority in New Jersey – poor people were. Now, living so close to these dry lands and fires that spark so easily, I’m much more conscious of our stewardship to this beautiful country and the world.
SS: It would be naive to say that I hope all of the problems we know many are experiencing are eliminated, but my hope is that people realize that we can alleviate the challenges of many through targeted giving.
What or who inspired your giving?
MP: I grew up in a middle-class family in Texas and giving was pretty much the Sunday offering plate at church. As a young adult, I served on the Stewardship Committee at my New Jersey church. There, I became aware of how people parsed their giving between church and their “causes.” As a dear friend said, “I tithe – but it doesn’t all go to the church.” I was inspired by longtime church members who included significant gifts to the church in their wills – they were my role models. I like the lists by charitable organizations showing people’s contributions – they represent role models for the rest of us – to step up and give more generously.
SS: My mom has always made giving, whether financially or with her time, a top priority. Growing up with that has made it a natural part of my life and I hope to instill the same value in my kids.
What do you enjoy about Impact100, especially sharing it as a family?
MP: I love that Sarah and I are learning about our new city in ways I hadn’t imagined when we moved here in 2018. We mostly interact with the “haves” – and not the “have nots”. For both of us, serving on the Grants Committee has introduced us to amazing organizations working towards transforming the lives of the “have nots.” I didn’t say just “improving” their lot: our Impact100 goal is to invest in organization projects that work towards transformational change. And that means a good return on our charitable giving.
SS: Individually I love that I’m learning more about what’s happening in our community, and together, we’re deepening that understanding so we can be better stewards in our community.