5 most Influential Women in Philanthropy

Women are a fast-rising force in philanthropy. They are also emerging as top networkers in modern day philanthropy, making them a force to be reckoned with.

As today is international women’s day, we decided to take a look at the 5 most influential women in philanthropy of 2016. This list comprises of women who we believe influence philanthropy through their example, their ideas, or more directly, their fortune.


Melinda Gates – co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

With her influence over the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the large amount of funding this foundation has, Melinda Gates is a major leader in the world of philanthropy and global development. The giving choices that Melinda is shaping today (e.g. pushing the foundation into reproductive health) will have a big impact on how even bigger money gets spent later. Melinda Gates’s power in philanthropy among women comes from what she is doing now, but also what she is building long-term, placing her first in our top 5.

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Christine Lagarde – directing manager of the IMF since 2011

As first female Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde is one of the most powerful women in the world. She is using this power to bring attention to women’s rights in the G20 summit as well as a United Nations High-Level Panel on “Women’s Economic Empowerment” where she stated that “The IMF will continue to work with its member countries to ensure that women play a larger role in the economy in order to boost growth, reduce income inequality, and support economic diversification”. The way Christine Lagarde uses her influence towards philanthropy has put her in 2nd place of our top 5.

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Helen Clark – Administrator of the United Nations Development program

Helen Clark is the first female Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and as such is one of the most powerful women in the institution. She is at the head of a great deal of power and funds that are used to assist development and humanitarian efforts around the world. As a result of this strong philanthropic engagement, Helen Clark comes in third place in our top 5 most powerful women in philanthropy.

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Sri Mulyani Indrawati – Minister of Finance of Indonesia

As one of three Managing Directors of the World Bank from June 2010 to July 2016, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, commanded a great deal of power. She was tasked with working towards achieving the institutions two objectives: ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. She also conducted research on the importance of closing the gender gap, she then used her influence to give the research extra reach. The above convinced us to place Sri Mulyani Indrawati in our top 5 most powerful women in philanthropy.

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Margaret Chan – Director-General of World Health Organisation 

Margaret Chan has been Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) since 2006 and since has oriented the actions of the organisation towards the health of the people in Africa and that of women. Her position at the WHO and the actions she can take as its head have placed her as number 5 in our most influential women in philanthropy.

So here you have our top 5 most influential women in philanthropy for 2016, who would you put in your top 5?

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