"Give First, Share Always and Lift as We Climb." This philosophy is at the heart of eWomenNetwork. Founder and CEO, Sandra Yancey, started the eWomenNetwork Foundation about the same time she started her company nearly 2 decades ago. From the very beginning, her vision of success included helping children in need and to empower women to succeed. Sandra will be the first to tell you that giving is the secret sauce to a successful business.
To Much is Given, Much is Required
Sandra's pension for giving stems from her traumatic childhood and the values by which she was raised. She grew up on public assistance after her father was killed in a car accident on her 5th birthday. Despite their difficult circumstances, her mother always felt there were others in greater need. She raised her 3 children to believe that you're never too rich or too poor to serve.
Sandra's mother ingrained in her children that "To much is given, much is required." So as Sandra's business grew into a multi-million dollar company, those values became ever-more prominent. Each of the hundreds of Accelerated Networking Events® (A.N.E.'S) that occur throughout the eWomenNetwork chapters across the U.S. and Canada include a proprietary process that spotlights each member expressing to the others what she needs most in her business. Everyone at the event comes from a place of giving, so the result is a networking event where everyone is there to serve.
Giving Leads to Happiness
Turns out science proves that giving actually makes people happy. Research by social psychologist, Liz Dunn, shows that most people's sense of happiness is greater when they spend more on others than themselves. One of Dunn's surveys of over 600 U.S. citizens found spending money on others predicted greater happiness, no matter what your income level is. Rich or poor, spending more on others than yourself leads to happiness.
Giving is Good for Business
Giving not only makes you feel good, but it's also good for business. Here's why:
- It's great for networking! While you're out working on a community project, you get to meet new people and develop meaningful relationships that could turn into customers.
- Giving makes you more well-rounded. You can learn a new skill or acquire new information that could be applied to your own business.
- It's a great marketing opportunity! The best marketing happens organically. While you're volunteering, people tend to want to learn more about you.
- Volunteering your time creates a culture of trust. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.
- You grow on a personal level. Personal growth can not only make you a better, more fulfilled person, but it can help you identify more productive goals in your business and ultimately become more successful.
How to Give Without Giving Up Yourself
There is one caution to giving. Be careful not to give so much that you give yourself away. Jenny Santi, Author of The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories & Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving, offers up the following tips for healthy giving in an article she wrote for Time Magazine.
1. Find your passion
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. It should not be simply a matter of choosing the right thing, but also a matter of choosing what is right for us.
2. Give your time
We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands, and can give some of this time to help others—whether that means we devote our lifetimes to service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year.
3. Give to organizations with transparent aims and results
According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”
4. Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others
“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take. It is important to be “otherish,” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.
5. Be proactive, not reactive
We have all felt the dread that comes from being cajoled into giving, such as when friends ask us to donate to their fundraisers. This type of giving doesn’t lead to a warm glow feeling; more likely it will lead to resentment. Instead we should set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.
6. Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving
I don’t want to discourage people from giving to good causes just because that doesn’t always cheer us up. If we gave only to get something back each time we gave, what a dreadful, opportunistic world this would be! Yet if we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.
In a giving mode yet? There are so many charities out there to choose from either to volunteer your time or donate money. It's important to decide what it is you're most passionate about and find the charity that suits you.
The goals of the eWomenNetwork Foundation are:
- To raise funds in support of health, safety and wellness initiatives that benefit women in all phases of their lives.
- To provide financial and networking support to female students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated a commitment to success as a business or professional leader.
- To establish partnerships with non-profit organizations, corporations, and local, civic, and governmental agencies who can provide resources to our target population and help to raise funds for them.
- To share the vast collective talents, experience and wisdom of thousands of eWomenNetwork members with women in need and to support future business and community leaders by "femtoring," educating and training them.
- To encourage an environment of caring, healing and growth for women and children by helping them to achieve their optimum potential in all spheres of their lives.
Who We Are
The eWomenNetwork Foundation provides a multitude of ways for our members to reach out beyond their own companies to support women who are less fortunate. Through funds raised by our member chapters and the generosity of many others, eWomenNetwork Foundation has been able to provide, among other things:
- 108 cash grants to local non-profit organizations throughout North America addressing the needs of women and families
- Through our International Femtor Awards program, 161 scholarships have been given to "Emerging Leaders" who have already demonstrated outstanding leadership and a commitment to serving others.