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8. Who the Movers-and-Shakers Call When They Want Something Big to Happen



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About this episode

Welcome to The Intentional Fundraiser Podcast where we’ll be talking with Melanie Sabelhaus. I wanted you to hear from Melanie, because she’s who “movers-and-shakers” call when they want something BIG to happen. She’s an advocate for the Power of Women’s Giving and has had legendary success with women’s initiatives for the American Red Cross & United Way Global.

Melanie is also a philanthropist herself. It’s not often we get to learn through the heart and mind of a philanthropist and volunteer leadership. 

So buckle up and get ready to take lots of notes. 


Our guest

Melanie Sabelhaus, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Board Member.


"If they (your dreams) don't scare you, they're not big enough. I think we should all live by that."  

- Melanie Sabelhaus, Entrepreneur,  Philanthropist, and Board Member


A quick peek

Melanie Sabelhaus (05:59):
I really began to see that big, and bold, and audacious impact that we can make through the vision of Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, and She said, "Melanie, we don't donate. We invest." She's said, "No one is asking us. They're asking our husbands. They're having meetings in their office. They're not including us, and we're the major influencers."

Tammy Zonker (08:53):
You give Bonnie a lot of the credit for the kind of sparking that idea in the Baltimore community and letting it take root, but really you were the one that was tapped. You were the one that was tapped to help scale it, and what I think is so inspiring is the way that it has taken root, and the way that you designed it. As you said, people help support what they have built.

Melanie Sabelhaus (09:38):
I got goosebumps, and I got it today, I don't even know how many years later. And she said, "Can we have our own agenda, and we'll identify the needs." Always outline what are the needs, get the women around that table, and we make the decision. Those women today, Tammy, are in the Tocqueville Society, 100,000 investors. One young lady is a $500,000 investor. So it's a matriculation, and so if we're not asking women today, somebody else is.


You can also download the full transcript

Download episode transcript



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Links mentioned in this episode

American Red Cross Tiffany Circle

United Way Global Women's Initiative

Lilly School of Philanthropy Women's Institute Women Give 2022 Report

Institute for Charitable Giving

Institute for Charitable Giving (Tammy Zonker Video)

Visionary Philanthropic Consulting, LLC


Books mentioned in this episode 

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Good to Great & the Social Sector by Jim Collins


Connect with our guest online

Twitter / Linkedin / InstagramWebsite


Connect with Tammy Zonker on social

You can also connect with Tammy on Twitter and Instagram at @tammyzonker, and on LinkedIn.


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