Young Women's Giving Circle marks new generation of philanthropy in Howard County

A new generation of female philanthropists is growing up in Howard County thanks to the Women’s Giving Circle and 14 teenagers who feel as passionately about helping others as their mothers and grandmothers.

The Young Women’s Giving Circle formed last year as a pilot project, with the goal of teaching high school girls how to become an informed and intentional force for good in the county.

Led by high school seniors Jackie Dawson, of Mt. Hebron, and Julie Factor, of Glenelg, members of the small circle with big intentions spent the past 10 months attending workshops on grant making and fundraising, interviewing and visiting various nonprofits, all so they could learn how to raise money and then give it away to a cause they care about.

“It’s important to teach it (philanthropy) to younger girls and keep spreading it,” says Factor. She and Dawson also serve as youth members on the Women’s Giving Circle advisory board. The YWGC will conduct fundraisers through spring and present their gift to the selected nonprofit, Girls on the Run, at the end of the school year.

“If you establish philanthropy at an early age, it will probably become a lifelong approach,” says WGC board chairwoman Cynthia Taliano.

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