EVERYDAY LEADERS What Goes Around Comes Around for Alumna Giving Circle Founder
“There are a lot of everyday folks who want to give back, too, and they are never asked. We just don’t cast a wide enough net.” —Nicole Jacobs Silvey, ’93
n her time both in education and in fundraising, Nicole Jacobs Silvey, ’93, has made it her job to find new ways to connect people to resources.
So in 2016, Silvey relished the opportunity to engage a new audience by founding Sisters’ Circle KC, aimed at encouraging philanthropy among women in the African-American community. Despite having the passion and the career experience, Silvey said Sisters’ Circle started with little more than a metaphorical raise of her hand in a Facebook post about giving circles — smaller groups of donors who pool their money and decide what to fund. Pat Macdonald, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation senior philanthropic adviser, guided her in setting up one. “There are a lot of everyday folks who want to give back, too, and they are never asked,” Silvey said. “We just don’t cast a wide enough net.” In a national landscape that left many people in communities of color around her feeling hopeless, Silvey said she hoped Sisters’ Circle could offer a way to empower individual donors to make a tangible difference by connecting them in a meaningful way to the initiatives they fund. In the first round, the circle funded projects that included TV newscaster Cynthia Newsome’s Awesome Ambitions, a college preparatory program for eighth- through 12th-grade girls. Seeing that impact has energized not just the members of Sisters’ Circle, but Silvey herself.
Nicole Jacobs Silvey, ’93
“It was a catalyst,” she said. “This is giving that is intentional and that has a visible impact for the donors.”
“I was fortunate to have had Glenn Young, Ph.D., for my very first class as a freshman and also my very last class at Rockhurst as a senior. His genuine spirit and passion for his discipline are at the core of all that he does. He strives for his students’ success and actively takes the time to keep in touch outside of the classroom.” – Hannah Tarwater, ’18
The magazine for Rockhurst University.