The power of the pearls

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Women Investing in Nebraska is a new group focused on collective giving

In her 20s, Tricia Raikes focused on her career, trying to put Microsoft into every home in the country.

In her 30s, she focused on raising her three kids.

In her 40s, she focused on supporting the soaring career of husband Jeff, who became a president at Microsoft and later CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“But now that I’m in my 50s, a key truth has emerged,” she told a group of women who joined her for lunch in Lincoln one recent day. “And it is simply and importantly this: The power and importance of women friends and colleagues in my life.

“Because when women join together through a shared passion for giving, the world will change for the better.”

Tricia Raikes was a keynote speaker Sept. 16 at a luncheon for women interested in joining Women Investing in Nebraska, a new group that will focus on collective giving.

Women who join WIN donate $2,400 a year. Contributions are pooled then shared 50/50 between the University of Nebraska and Nebraska-based charities. Members will vote on what they would like to fund at the university and what charity they would like to support.

The idea of the group is this: One pearl is beautiful. Many pearls joined together become something even more wonderful.

“Women want to do more than write a check to support a worthy cause,” said Tricia, who’s co-founder of the Raikes Family Foundation. “They want their gift to have impact and meaning.”

In every income bracket, she said, women are more likely to give to charity than men. They are better at taking risks. They are often at the cutting edge of identifying overlooked problems. They understand the importance of investing in women and girls to harness the long-term transformational impact.

And women funders, she said, typically leverage greater returns. She said:

“To quote a famous Nebraskan – Larry the Cable Guy – women have the tenacity to ‘Git-r-done!'”

If you’d like to join WIN or if you’re interested in finding out more about it, please contact the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Tracy Edgerton at 402-458-1160.

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