Meet Carol Andreae
Getting involved with women and girls was a natural for me, having gone to an all-girls’ school, an all-women’s college and then becoming a director and career counselor at a women’s career center. I jumped at the chance to be part of the founding of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio (WFCO).
My family has a history of philanthropy, with the message, “Give, but give quietly.” With the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, I saw an opportunity to support a cause that creates sustainable solutions for women and girls. It felt like the perfect fit. Knowing that I wanted to make my commitment was easy. Of course a million dollars was a significant pledge. I had never given at that level, but the hardest part for me was being open about it and giving publicly.
As a life coach and career counselor, I worked with women about their relationships with money. Maybe, I thought, some of my concerns around money were ones that were holding others back, and by taking a public stand on my philanthropy, I could encourage others to do the same.
By announcing my gift, I was able to have a larger impact. While it meant breaking family taboo, it allowed me to step into my own power in ways I didn’t expect. I accelerated the work behind my donation by speaking out about the issues I care about: women and girls and long-term social change. I realized the story was bigger than the $1 million gift. It was about an investment of passion – my money, but also my time, knowledge and leadership.
One of the most moving rewards after my gift was announced was when a woman came up to me and said, ‘Your gift inspired me so much—I used to give $25 per year, but now I am going to give $50.’ She said, “If you can stretch yourself, so can I.”
In 2007, I made my BIG + BOLD pledge to the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. Its mission is to transform the lives of women and girls by mobilizing the collective power and passion of all women working together.
Nichole Dunn Describes the Impact
President & CEO, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
When Carol chose to make her gift public, it immediately inspired another $1 million donor to come to the table for our organization. Her testimony of being a woman philanthropist – and the timing of this gift, which came when other donors were pulling back due to the economic downturn – elevated and legitimized our work as a women’s fund. People started to take notice.
Her gift and story were a catalyst for others to step up into their philanthropic leadership and cast a spotlight on the importance of the Fund’s work in reaching women and girls throughout the central Ohio region. The WFCO was still quite young at the time, and while we had another non-public commitment of $1 million in a will, Carol’s public gift and impact was more immediate.
Carol’s gift allowed us to double our grant-making. Not only did she bring another million-dollar donor to the table with her announcement, but she also offered a match on new money for annual giving up to $25,000 afterwards. Her commitment to the WFCO gave us fiscal confidence and the strength and leverage to raise more money for women and girls. She helped us put more money into the community where it makes a difference.