Blog & News 

Fundholders Michael and Kathleen Beatty

New Donor-Advised Fund is a Family Affair

// January 17, 2019

Donor Spotlight: Beatty Family Donor-Advised Fund

Kathleen and Mike Beatty understand the direct connection between the economic status of women and the health of community. They have long been advocates for equity, both at home, at work, and in Colorado and recently started a donor-advised fund with WFCO.

“When women thrive, everyone thrives,” said Kathleen, an emeritus professor and dean emerita of the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs. “That is so true in so many ways. When women’s incomes go up…the economy is stronger. When women are involved in corporations, the corporations are much more successful. When women are better educated, they thrive and their children thrive, and our communities are better off.”

Study after study shows that women do make a difference – Mike Beatty

Mike, an energy litigator and former law professor, added, “That’s not a subjective opinion: that’s objective fact. Study after study shows that women do make a difference. We support The Women’s Foundation of Colorado because we really do believe that when women thrive, Colorado rises.”

Furthering their engagement with a donor-advised fund

Early in her career in academia, Kathleen Beatty was part of WFCO’s first needs assessment. She became dedicated to the mission and served as a trustee for six years. She is now one of more than 200 women and men who are honorary trustees of The Foundation. Two reasons prompted her and Mike to further engage with WFCO and create a donor-advised fund: They wanted their giving to be more strategic and their daughters to become heavily involved in philanthropy.

“Our entire family is involved in this gift and it means a lot to everyone. We had a choice as to where to put our money, and it was a group discussion and a group decision,” Mike explained. “We knew we wanted to give some money to support higher education, and some money to support one of the primary charities in our lives, the CF Foundation. We needed to be able to put the funds somewhere where we could know that they were benefiting that entity at the same time that we had the opportunity to help some other charities as well.”

Investing in WFCO’s gender-lens portfolio

While opening the fund, the Beatty family reviewed the investment options, and decided to invest their gift in WFCO’s gender-lens portfolio.

“Gender lens investing scrutinizes corporations to make sure that those companies are treating women equally, and that the boards of those companies have representation of women. Research is very clear that those funds are doing better than traditional funds, and that corporations that treat women equally, including inclusion on boards, are more profitable. It makes all kinds of sense,” said Kathleen.

“I’m in the energy industry and I’ve served on multiple boards. I can say from my own personal experience that those boards that have significant representation of women are better companies with better results…for me it’s an important personal choice,” Mike explained. “Companies are stronger when women speak, and are much stronger when men listen.”

The Beatty Family Donor-Advised Fund is just one of more than 30 funds held at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado that support a breadth of passions, including education, arts, women and girls of color, women running for office, rural Colorado communities, international development, reproductive rights, and more.

Donor-advised funds at WFCO, started for as little as $2,500, receive a $2,500 match, amplifying fundholders’ investments back into the community. For more information, contact Camisha Lashbrook, donor relations and communications manager, at

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