River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

Home » News/Events » River Partners Launches a New Effort to Engage Women & Philanthropy

River Partners Launches a New Effort to Engage Women & Philanthropy

Research from philanthropic institutions across the country is showing an interesting new trend in giving. Despite only 22 of the Fortune 500 Companies having female CEOs, and women taking home just 78 cents on the dollar in average salary, it turns out that women are actually in control of more than $14 trillion in household wealth in the US (that’s more than half of all personal wealth). Women are also expected to outlive their male partners by up to five years. Not only are women in a unique position to direct enormous charitable giving in the coming decade, but they tend to give more and in different ways than their male counterparts. Women seek out communal philanthropic opportunities by pooling donations to make a bigger impact as opposed to making single large donations. On average, women tend to give more than men.

As an organization that turns every $1 donation into $10 in matching funds, River Partners invests 95.4% of all donations into project expenses that benefit the most impoverished communities in California. Given that our mission and approach to environmental improvement deeply resonates with women, we decided to form the Women’s Impact Network Committee (WINC).

We presently have the privilege of working with a team of twelve dynamic professional women who are serving on WINC. These are women with robust networks who are graciously volunteering their time, talent, and resources in making introductions to River Partners, acting as ambassadors for the organization, and spreading the word about our mission and work to their clients and centers of influence. Our goal is for WINC to be a quid-pro-quo where members benefit by not only the brainstorming sessions and information that is shared during our meetings, but also by members developing offline relationships with the professional women who serve on the committee who could be helpful to them and their businesses. We will selectively invite a few more women of influence to serve on this Committee.

To learn more about WINC and our networking efforts, please contact River Partners’ Director of Development, Affi Ansari at aansari@riverpartners.org. You can download a WINC flyer here.

Inaugural members of WINC (alphabetical order):

Affi Ansari is Director of Development at River Partners. Affi formed and founded WINC in order to expand River Partners’ outreach to individuals, private and corporate foundations as well as family offices. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/affi-ansari-21125414/)

Lynne Bairstow is the Communications Manager for the Raise the River coalition of nonprofits which, as a part of The Redford Center, works to restore water and life to the Colorado River Delta. She is also Managing Partner of MITA Ventures, which supports cross-border tech innovation. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynnebairstow)

Alexa Benson-Valavanis is President & CEO of North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF). Alexa took the post in 2005. Under her leadership NVCF developed a new business model aimed at driving social innovation locally and around the globe. During her tenure NVCF has established more than 500 charitable funds and raised more than $65 million for social good. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexa-benson-valavanis-65a2411/

Maggie Boberg is Central Valley Regional Director at River Partners. Maggie identifies and fundraises for River Partners’ habitat restoration projects from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Bakersfield, California, feeding the largest estuary in Western North America. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggie-boberg-a7451244/)

Katharine Earhart is a Principal and Institutional Wealth Manager at Alesco Advisors. Katharine solves investment challenges for nonprofit foundations and endowments, and works closely with high net worth individuals on their financial and investment goals. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/katharineearhart/)

Anna Farrell is the owner of The Farrell Design Group. Anna’s motto is “You want your customers to fall in love with your brand... we write the love letter.” (https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-farrell-2a451a12//)

Thao Hoang is Business Development Manager at Chubb. Thao specializes in personal insurance for the affluent market. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/thaothoang/)

Christine Lim is Senior Development Officer at the East Bay Community Foundation. She will spearhead the Foundation’s professional advisor engagement strategy as well as build and strengthen relationships with existing and potential donors (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lim-5503881).

Barbara Anne Murphy, Esq., is a Partner at Farella Braun + Martel LLP. Barbara provides comprehensive tax planning (gift, estate, charitable and income) for ultra-wealthy, charitably inclined individuals and families. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-murphy-aba39147/)

Julie Rentner is a Board Member and former Regional Director at River Partners. Julie has devoted her career to measurable environmental improvement in impoverished communities in California and volunteers on several nonprofit boards across the state. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-rentner-harrison-98846110/)

Lita Reyes is a philanthropic advisor at Lita Reyes Philanthropic Consulting. She is passionate about making meaningful impact on people and our planet. She advises individuals, foundations, and family offices on responsible funding strategies. One area of focus is intergenerational/millennial engagement with an emphasis on environmental, societal and corporate governance. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/litareyes/)

Elizabeth Sevilla, CLU, ChFC, is a Tax Partner at Seiler LLP. With over 25 years of experience, Elizabeth has been serving the ultra-high net worth individuals and multi-generational families as a tax practitioner specializing in individual, estate, gift and trust tax compliance and planning. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-sevilla/)

Leigh Shimamoto, JD, CFP, is Principal and Managing Director of Wealth Management at Vernal Point Advisors, LLC.  Vernal Point is a wealth advisory firm focused on serving individuals, families and foundations, serving as a trusted  partner in the formation of their clients’ financial plans, family office solutions, and investment programs. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/leigh-shimamoto-bb82b43/)