Fordham Women in Technology Giving Circle


This article was authored by Katherine Egan, Executive Director of IT Administration

Did you know the Office of Information Technology was the very first administrative department in Fordham University to form a Giving Circle? The Fordham Women in Technology Giving Circle was created to provide scholarships to undergraduate students majoring in tech-related fields. 

Giving Circles are powerful. They are a form of participatory philanthropy where groups of individuals donate money to a pooled fund for a common cause. Giving Circles also teach philanthropy, inspire others to give, and create a tangible return on investment almost immediately. 

I first heard about Giving Circles when I attended the inaugural Fordham Women’s Philanthropy Summit in November of 2017. But, giving back has always been important to me. 

That’s probably because I grew up poor. My parents divorced when I was four; my dad died when I was 14. In those ten years, he never contributed much in the way of financial support. So, my mom struggled raising two young kids on her own. 

There were periods of time we were on food stamps, and I remember wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs. There never seemed to be money for clothes. Which may explain why my closet is now overflowing. But that’s another story…   

When it came time for college, I didn’t have the kind of opportunity our Giving Circle scholarship creates. I had a $785 per year Pell grant, and a Regents scholarship that barely covered the cost of one textbook. Other than that, it was all student loans. 

Having a scholarship would have alleviated a huge amount of stress. 

Thus, giving back became important. If I could help someone on their path to education, to not experience the stress I did, then I needed to do that. I started giving back as soon as I got my first job out of college. And I’ve never stopped. 

If you’ve ever received a scholarship or know someone who did, then you know how important they are.  

Hear directly from one of our student recipients who graduated last May, Summa Cum Laude, with a bachelor’s in computer science from Fordham College Rose Hill: 

I would love to offer my gratitude for your generous donation that is funding my education and aiding me in my achievements. 

Because of the various opportunities that Fordham has to offer, I have become the person I am today and will continue to carry the many lessons that Fordham has taught me through my future professional endeavors and beyond.  

Due to your generous donation toward funding my education and overall experiences at Fordham University, I have been able to accomplish all these achievements. I am tremendously grateful for having these opportunities because of your generosity, and I want to sincerely thank you for providing me with them.

From Hope Ogletree, Senior Director of Development at the Gabelli School of Business and Senior Director of Fordham University’s Women’s Philanthropy Initiatives: 

What I like best about Giving Circles is the inclusivity. Donors at every gift level make the circle stronger. What I’ve done with Giving Circles at Fordham is create a women’s philanthropy program. Fifty-five percent of Fordham’s living alumni population is female, but they had not been engaged as donors. The fundraising model was built around male philanthropy, which can be competitive. Women like to work together collaboratively—they want to see their giving elevate the collective achievements of their community.

Please help a Fordham student by joining our giving circle and making a donation or pledge today. Select Fordham Women in IT Scholarship Fund Giving Circle from the drop-down menu. 

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