Powerful Women in Philanthropy

By Tanya Pai | Boston Magazine |

Income and education levels are the biggest determinants when it comes to philanthropy. So it only makes sense that in a city filled with smart and high-earning women, ladies here have huge philanthropic profiles.

Take BARBARA HOSTETTER: She’s president of both the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum board of trustees and the Barr Foundation, which last year alone gave $50 million to help fight climate change. Then there’s CAROLYN LYNCH, whose passion for education is literally written all over Emmanuel College and Boston College — both of which have buildings bearing her name. MYRA KRAFT, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, directs funds from her family’s personal foundation and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to community efforts like afterschool sports programs for children. Since creating the White House Project years ago, millionaire do-gooder BARBARA LEE has helped groom countless female political candidates to run for office.

Which brings us to this: Studies show that women are twice as likely as men to discuss charitable giving with their children. Meaning that in addition to everything else they do, they’re also readying the next generation of philanthropists.