A Generous Heart

A Generous Heart

Changing the World Through Feminist Philanthropy

Do you have a generous heart?

Discovering your philanthropic purpose, and honing the tools and resources to act on that purpose, takes consideration and contemplation. Done properly, this work is a gift to yourself and to the world.

Philanthropy is an expression of thanks and hope that we can create change on the issues that matter to us – and a personal philanthropic plan enables us to live our legacies while we’re still alive. Yet, when done without being informed and intentional, philanthropy can create or sustain a power dynamic between the giver and the receiver. It can highlight our privilege and stroke our egos, which further widens the divide between the world we want and the world we live in.

In order for philanthropy to disrupt the status quo and create real change, we need a new lens.

Feminist philanthropy operates on the principles of solidarity, agency, and reciprocity. It has arisen from a movement of people who demand to be a voice at the table, to recognize nature as a guide, and to treat each other as one. Using feminism to develop our philanthropy engages a systems perspective, one that shifts our narrative from one of extraction to one of co-creation, and centers our giving on achieving wholeness and equity. When you approach your giving with this mindset, you’re better able to align your privilege with your purpose.

A feminist philanthropist is:

  • informed about their passions, the needs of their community, and the resources they have to make a difference
  • intentional about how they spend their resources
  • joyful in giving and receiving

A Generous Heart guides you on a journey to examine your intent and your passion, in order to create joyful change in the world and in yourself. You are a philanthropist – and you have everything you need to make a difference.   


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Since hearing Kristen's keynote address at the South Sound Philanthropy Summit, I often find myself echoing her words: 'Bring your whole self, because the world needs your whole self.' Relevant advice for us all. So how do we unleash our power, our courage, and move toward the unknown? Through the principles of A Generous Heart, solidarity, reciprocity and agency. My heart is still giving you a standing ovation. Thank you, Kristen!
-- Emily Happy
Principal, The Philanthropy Collective
Kristen has been steeped in philanthropy for the last twenty years. I am so impressed with the thoughtfulness she brings to the work and I have been inspired to "be informed, be intentional, and be joyful" with my own giving. I so appreciate the lens "feminist philanthropy" and systems-thinking brings to charitable giving in the modern world.
-- Erik Hanberg
Author of The Little Book of Gold: Fundraising for Small (and Very Small) Nonprofits and two other books about nonprofits

Click to Read an Excerpt