Philanthropy is giving for a purpose, an outcome, a change, or a social cause. Philanthropy occurs through contributions of time, volunteer efforts, or wealth. Women philanthropists give their personal earnings, inheritances, marital wealth, or family assets. Philanthropy is part of the third sector. The third sector includes nonprofit organizations and volunteer organizations. The other sectors are the public sector and the private sector.

Examples of prominent U.S. women philanthropists include Oprah Winfrey, Joan Kroc, Teresa Heinz, Marian Wright Edelman, and Catherine S. Muther. Winfrey is cited by Forbes magazine as one of the seven most influential individuals in the world based on her influence on people through her prominence on television and through her initiatives, her extensive financial resources, and her powerful presence in many ...

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