• Deanna Ackerman

The Richest Self-Made Women

Forbes recently released its special issue “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” which included several women from Nevada (Peggy, Elaine, Eren, Celine). Plus, a few of my other personal favorites such as Tory Burch, Sheila Johnson, Gail Miller, Kendra Scott, Oprah, Ellen, and Reese. What’s so incredible about these women is that they have come from such humble beginnings and have grown into personal brands and global icons. But what’s even more impressive, is that they make philanthropy part of their lives. There are many wealthy people who, while generous, have not incorporated philanthropy into their overall lifestyle. So, for those who do, they serve as role models for the rest of us.

What does that mean to those of us who are the CEO or Executive Director or fundraisers at a nonprofit? It means that we can count on them. You may not personally be benefiting from their charitable dollars, but what they do impacts the others and the sector. There are also examples and leadership lessons to be learned from these women. Each of them has a story that has compelling experiences that show triumph over tragedy and resilience in the face of adversity. Kendra Scott, who is self-made, struggled to build her company when her children where young and she was going through a divorce. Wow! As I watched her in an interview telling her story I got tears in my eyes (really, I did)!

I’ve had the pleasure of helping my nonprofit clients manage billionaires who so generously give of themselves and their money. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of my consulting work. These women care about the world and the work we do.

If you haven’t already read this latest issue of Forbes, I recommend that you pick it up today. It’s got great stories and information that we can all benefit from.

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