The Ella Nash Society

The Ella Nash SocietyInspiring Women, Informing Philanthropy

The Ella Nash Society Newsletter celebrates the special gifts of time, expertise, personal connections, and assets that shape women’s philanthropy. Our semiannual publication features Allegheny’s alumnae and female constituents who sustain the College and their communities through their volunteerism and/or financial support. It also provides information to help women make informed decisions about their philanthropy—at Allegheny and at home. We honor the College’s first female graduate, M. Ella Nash, Class of 1873, with this publication.

Spring 2018

Alumna Sees Reunions as a Chance to Renew Friendships, Support the College

As an Allegheny alumna, Rachel Dingman ’08 says she now has two priorities: Bringing her former classmates together
to celebrate Reunion Weekend on campus and providing support for the College.

Rachel had the distinction of being the youngest-ever Timothy Alden Council (TAC) donor at Allegheny, meaning that she donated $1,815 as a new graduate to help boost the College’s programs.

“Giving to Allegheny was a simple choice for me,” she says. “Allegheny had given me so much — from my incredible group of friends to a foundation that has carried me
through all of my future education.”

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Fast Friends, Forever Philanthropic

The current academic and professional interest in the philanthropic activities of women in the United States might lead one to think that our engagement with charity is a new concept. In fact, we have been sharing our expertise, time, and treasure with our communities and favorite organizations for centuries.

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When, How, and What We Give to Charity

What is the number one reason that people make gifts to charity? Quite simply, it is because we are asked. Less simple are decisions about where, when, how much, and what to give. Scores of nonprofit organizations vie for our support, so we winnow the list by focusing on those that speak to our values, goals, and aspirations. (And the occasional heart-tugging photograph that catches us at a vulnerable moment!) When, how much, and what we give are frequently related to life stages.

When we’re younger, we tend to make gifts of cash, as we have not yet attained assets such as stocks and bonds, real estate, and other investments. We give when it strikes us and as we are able, with considerations about tax benefits largely out of mind.

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Philanthropy in Action

During our years in college, most of us were blithely unaware of the impact that alumni contributions had on our academic careers. Scholarships, cultural events, conferences — they just happened. Without understanding the direct correlation between our colleges’ fundraising efforts and our own experiences, it may have taken us a while to begin making our own gifts. The Allegheny Student Advancement Association (ASAA) was established in 2014 by a group of students whose goal was to shorten that learning curve among their peers.

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