The Incredible Impact of Generosity - She Runs It
Thought Leadership

The Incredible Impact of Generosity

By Lynn Branigan

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” Those words from the UN’s Kathy Calvin sum up perfectly the purpose of She Runs It’s loan relief effort. Every year for the past nine years, She Runs It has been donating five or six $10 thousand checks to rising stars in marketing, media, and tech to help relieve the burden of education loan debt. As we approached December of 2020, we were preparing to do the same, only the total fund was $40K so we intended to write checks to four women.

Then something truly amazing happened.

In reviewing the applications, one of the judges was so moved by the adversity that had been conquered by one woman, she decided to send the application to Wendy Clark, Global CEO of dentsu, the applicant’s employer. Wendy in turn routed the form to Jacki Kelley, dentsu’s CEO of the Americas, who is also the Chair of our Foundation Board.

Jacki was astounded – not only by the woman’s journey – but also by the fact that such a superstar worked for her and yet she did not know her. Jacki made sure dentsu wrote a check for $20k to fund the loan relief. She also believed that other executives would do the same if they understood the direct impact it could have on their employee(s).

In December, Jacki launched an outreach campaign to get her colleagues and friends to underwrite their own loan relief applicants. Her hunch was correct. As the need hit close to corporate “homes,” the response increased exponentially. More checks were written, and by the end of December the loan relief fund held nearly $150,000.

This month, She Runs It will proudly and gratefully write 15 checks for $10 thousand each to women who are paying down the debt of their education. One woman’s crusade has delivered additional financial freedom to future leaders of our industry.

My thanks to Jacki, the judge who forwarded the application to her, and to the many corporate executives who multiplied our ability to support our rising stars.