Kathy LeMay on Putting Humanity in Philanthropy

Twitter: @KathyLeMay

Kathy LeMay is the Founder, President, and CEO of Raising Change, an organization that raises capital to advance social change agendas and helps individuals through a Generosity Plan. 

Kathy LeMay discovered her global activism while in war-torn Yugoslavia where she worked with women survivors of the siege and rape-genocide camps. She has been a social change fundraiser for 15 years, raising more than $150 million dollars in the fields of women's human rights, hunger and poverty relief, and movement-building. Kathy has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including Oxygen TV and The Oprah Show. She is a contributing columnist to World Pulse Magazine. She recently became a member of the One Billion Rising Committee to help end violence against women globally. 

Today, Kathy joins the Philanthropy Hour to discuss the movement of humanity in philanthropy, and how the Generosity Plan helps steer individuals towards finding their inner-inspiration and passion. Everybody has the power to become a philanthropist, and a giver, and we all need to realize that it takes more than just wealth or resources to practice philanthropy.  Kathy experienced this at an early age, when she was compelled to do more. She was profoundly effected by her experience of flying to Yugoslavia during the midst of a war in 1993, and working with women from Bosnia who were afflicted by the rape and genocide, and had their families torn apart. She uses that experience to teach others that we all have a part to play in effecting change, and becoming a more humane society. She has an incredibly powerful message to share with the world, and I was personally inspired by listening to her talk today.  



She was full of good quotes, but here is a small sampling:

  1. "I remember being deeply influenced in black American philanthropy, and receiving that message that it is really about time, treasure, and talent."  (5:00)
  2. "I think what makes a great philanthropist is humility. People do incredible things all the time and have no interest in getting the credit."  (7:15)
  3. "When someone gets empowered around their heart commitment to a cause, they become completely unstoppable." (7:45)
  4. "What breaks your heart, more than anything else in the world, and is unique to your lived experience? The answer to that question matters."  (10:45)
  5. "There is constant need for outcome and results for everything as if the process, just showing up in and of itself, is not enough." (14:15)
  6. "I think being in relationship with people and not just sending checks is essential to connecting back to humanity." (17:30)
  7. "If we had unlimited resource then we could write unlimited checks...but in order to be effective we need to have a laser focus on one issue." (22:30) 
  8. "I think the great next hope of philanthropy is the democritization of it, where we all feel we have the rights of being humans on this Earth, along with the responsibilities." (27:00)


"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Teddy Roosevelt  


  1. About Raising Change
  2. Profile of Kathy. 
  3. Article by Kathy. 
  4. Video from Kathy. 
  5. The Generosity Plan: Using Your Time, Talent, and Treasure to Shape the World (Amazon)
  6. Making Small Gifts Matter in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. 
  7. Toward a New Gospel of Wealth, article by Darren Walker, Ford Foundation


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