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Part one of an interview with Tiffany Futch

“Veronica Rowell changed my perspective on philanthropy when she said that you can call yourself a philanthropist if you’ve ever spent one dollar at a thrift store. When she explained how that dollar can cycle through a community, a light bulb went off for me. My goal is to cycle as many dollars (whether my own or to inspire others to) as I can through my local community for the greater good.”

This is the story of how the women of her community helped Tiffany Futch grow into a Black woman philanthropist and fundraiser. “No one would ever have made me believe at age 29 that fundraising was a thing that I would do; let alone love. Naturally, I’m very introverted so I was afraid of rejection or just being awkward at asking for money.”  Tiffany shares her story to inspire you.

“My philanthropic journey began about six months before my 30th birthday. I was having angst that I hadn’t accomplished enough and frantically began to list out 30 things I wanted to do by my 30th birthday. One was “Be a check writer”. A few Google searches later, I realized the correct name for it was philanthropy. A deeper dive into the search results landed me at the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis’ annual grantee awards event. As fate would have it, I ran into Shante Avante who I’d met when I was in college working for the Boys & Girls Club. She immediately plugged me into which allowed me to volunteer at events and network. Eventually, I moved onto boards at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health and SisterReach where I participated in a number of fundraisers ranging from house parties to capital campaigns.  Looking back, it didn’t take long for me to find my footing. I started with giving $25 a quarter which I’ve snowballed into larger annual gifts.”

As with all of us, Tiffany was encouraged along the way. The many women I met through WFGM who were open to sharing. A decade later, I still have the notes that I feverishly scribbled at events. Each one was a like a crash course in philanthropy. A number of the ladies I met in WFGMs Young Women Philanthropist group continue to inspire me through their board service, creation of non-profits, and advocacy work. My time on the board of CHOICES gave me the opportunity to work alongside fearless women. They just took on every challenge with a confidence and dedication that was awe-inspiring.”

Tiffany’s philanthropy actually began with volunteering. “I would make time for volunteering whenever possible through my sorority and as an activity with a group of friends in my 20s. I loved seeing the faces of people we served.  I always walked away wanting to do more and to help more people. Once I was plugged into WFGM, I began to better understand how I could do more with the collective power of women who shared that same desire.”

Next week: Part Two.

Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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