SUMMIT, NJ - Reinforcing an essential tenet of philanthropy -- that making a difference in the lives of others makes a difference in one's own life -- New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy visited Reeves-Reed Arboretum, where she spoke to a group of women affiliated with the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) about the changing role of women in philanthropy.

The discussion was centered on ways women are leveraging their financial decision-making role to improve the communities in which they live.

According to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, when women drive charitable decisions, a household gains greater satisfaction from that giving. The increase in happiness is, in fact, positively correlated to the percentage of household income given to charity. The Institute also found that changes in giving habits affect men and women differently, with single women and married couples increasing their household’s satisfaction more per amount of income donated.

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“Giving to others provides a sense of perspective on the challenges others face as compared to our own,” said Murphy. “Women are breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings in New Jersey and nationwide. We are emboldened by today’s current events to raise our voices, encourage one another and make changes in our communities – and we are doing just that."

\Murphy participated in the 'New Jersey Women in Philanthropy' series, which was presented by the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) -- a program that has seen engaging conversations with Andrea Jung, the President and CEO of Grameen America and former CEO of Avon; Karen Peetz, the former President of the Bank of New York Mellon and a member of the Wells Fargo Board of Directors; and Hali Lee and Tuhina De O’Connor, the co-founders of Faces of Giving, Inc. 

“The Community Foundation of New Jersey takes the work of women doing philanthropy very seriously,” said Margarethe Laurenzi, CFNJ’s Director of Leadership Grantmaking and Engagement. “The generosity of the hundreds of women who hold funds with us and with their families give away some $50 million a year is at the heart of what we do. We are equally proud of the more than 800 women across the state in Impact100 groups: together, they are changing philanthropy in the Garden State.”

Founded in 1979, The Community Foundation of New Jersey's mission is to "educate and engage the people of New Jersey on the power of charitable giving to effect positive change in our communities." The CFNJ counsels New Jersey families and businesses on how to use philanthropic funds to target and increase the impact of their giving in the areas that matter most to them. These more than 1,100 Legacy Funds and Donor Advised Funds grant tens of millions of dollars each year, and have enabled the Community Foundation to launch its own Changemaker Projects that are improving New Jersey and its dynamic communities. The Community Foundation’s funds currently hold more than $500 million in charitable assets and made over 5,000 grants last year to charitable work in New Jersey and around the world.