Member Spotlight: Cathy Raphael Describes Her Values-Aligned Giving Plan

WDN member Cathy Raphael sees creating a values-aligned giving plan as a journey. She’ll dive into some Real Talk about it in our upcoming series, but before that, they joined us for a quick interview. 

Cathy, we are overjoyed that you’ll be joining us for our series Real Talk! Why is important for the philanthropic community to have open and honest conversations about creating values-aligned giving strategies and portfolios? 
It seemed I was always an anomaly – a progressive white woman with inherited wealth. I didn’t know anyone else like me until I got involved in philanthropy and joined WDN. One of the best things about being a WDN member has been hearing about other members giving strategies and philosophies. Not only has it helped me inform my own, but it has also helped me breathe. To know that there are others working on all the diverse issues I care about, who want to create the changes I want to see in the world – what a relief! I could focus on the issues that were most important to me.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being, “not at all” and 10 being “couldn’t be better” how happy are you with your individual giving strategy? Is 10 a number everyone can and should aim for?
My giving plan went from ‘haphazard’ to a more structured approach. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’m probably at a 9 with my individual plan at this point.

Your session is called My Giving Journey. What do you hope your fellow members will walk away with?
I hope people walk away with a sense that whatever they are doing is a process that can evolve as we evolve and can change as the circumstance around us changes. I also hope they come away with a sense of camaraderie. Talking with my co-speaker Sarah DeLuca during our planning call I was aware of both the similarities and differences in our lives and our giving journeys. We’re part of a progressive movement and our work isn’t done yet. And, we’re not alone.

Hear more from Cathy and learn how to develop and strengthen your own giving plan in our series. We’ll also get down to some Real Talk about wealth, gender, family, and identity in philanthropy. WDN members can register here.

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