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Two women - Patti and Conne - sit together on a bench

Guided by A Fierce Commitment to Women’s Equality

// December 12, 2019

Gender-Lens Portfolio “A Motivating Factor” for fundholders Patti Klinge & Connie McArthur

For almost 20 years, Patti Klinge and Connie McArthur held a donor-advised fund at Schwab Charitable. They enjoyed the tax advantage of their charitable contributions and making decisions about their philanthropy over time. Eventually, they spent down the fund, and as Patti completed her term as board chair of The Women’s Foundation in 2018, they opened another. This time, they opened it at WFCO to support their commitment to the advancement of women.

WFCO offers two investment portfolios for fundholders. The first is a unitized portfolio, which is 21 percent gender-lens invested as of December 2019. The second option is a 100 percent gender-lens portfolio that invests in companies that prioritize advancing women’s leadership. Core principles include:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to gender diversity on boards of directors and in executive management.
  2. Recognition of the potential business advantages associated with greater gender diversity.
  3. Championing programs and policies that advance gender equity.

“Being able to put our money into a gender-lens portfolio was a motivating factor,” said Patti, a retired human resources executive and former chair of the WFCO board of trustees. “It aligns with our belief that more women in leadership roles contributes to stronger organizations, communities, and families.”

“It’s important to invest your money in a place that is a good steward of your funds. We feel confident putting our money in the gender-lens portfolio at WFCO,” said Patti.

Focusing on Women & Girls

Fundholders at WFCO can grant to any 501(c)(3) in the U.S. Although grantee organizations do not have to focus on women and girls, that is the focus of the Klinge/McArthur Fund for Women & Girls. Currently, only 1.6 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S. supports initiatives for women and girls. Patti and Connie want to change that.

Many organizations they fund have been long-time recipients of their generosity. But with WFCO’s expertise, Patti and Connie identified new organizations to support. For instance, GALS. The Girls Athletic Leadership Schools is a tuition-free DPS charter school that fosters academic excellence and personal development for young women to become powerful advocates for themselves and leaders in their communities.

“GALS places a great emphasis on self-esteem in young girls, and one of the tactics they use is athletics – I think it’s just a terrific channel,” said Connie, an executive development consultant. “I love the idea of young girls feeling confident and capable – psychologically, mentally, and physically.”

Avid cyclers, hikers, and travelers, Connie and Patti also support other philanthropic passions. Among the organizations that receive their time, talent, and treasure include Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Florence Crittenton, The Center, The Arts Students League of Denver, and The Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

Healthier Women, Healthier Communities

Additionally, both currently serve on boards that shape healthier communities. Connie is a trustee for National Jewish Health and a member of Colorado Judicial Institute Board. Patti serves on the Denver Health and Hospital Authority Board and the advisory board for The Center for Women’s Health Research at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, which combines her passion for health and women.

They know that there’s still a lot of work to do to create an equal and just society for women. That’s why they remain committed to growing their fund to keep investing in WFCO and its gender-lens portfolio.

“My vision boils down to access – access to opportunities – for young women and all women to be able to reach their potential,” Connie said.

Patti added, “My focus is choice – not just reproductive choice, but creating opportunities for women so they have the economic freedom to make a multitude of choices in every aspect of their lives.”

 

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