Friday, December 9, 2011

Columbus Socialite of the Week: NICHOLE DUNN

Happy Friday and TGIF it is to me as I'm blogging from NY! Which here soon, I will be featuring an "Honorary" Columbus Socialite of the Week from New York. More to come next week, but think foodie meets Paris meets the holidays!

I hope you had a great week and whether you went to The Women's Book's She Hop last night or WNCI 97.9's Jingle Ball, I'm sure you're still excited the weekend is here.

Well today I have a featurette who is well-known in this community for her selfless acts of kindness, her sparkling personality and her leadership. She moved to Columbus ten years ago and has worked with her current employer for five and a half years. She has met a handful of celebrities through her work, all who were speakers at a fundraiser raising money for the women and girls of Central Ohio.

So who is this philanthropic leading lady?

GETTING TO KNOW...NICHOLE DUNN, President & CEO of The Women's Fund of Central Ohio
(Nichole Dunn with Goldie Hawn)

Miss C.S. - By far Favorite thing to do in Columbus:

ND: Eat and play! I enjoy the activity of eating and Columbus has great locally owned, yummy restaurants and between the Zoo, Conservatory, shopping (yes, shopping is play) and other entertainment venues, it’s a community playground.

Miss C.S. - Favorite Restaurant in the City:

ND: Just one? I’m going to have to say my main stay for lunch...Lindey’s.

Miss C.S. - Favorite Hidden Gem:

ND: Fritzy Jacob. Best hostess gift shop!

Miss C.S. - Favorite Shop/Store:

ND: I have to say the best personal shopping experience for me is the service I get at Nordstrom at Easton. Thank you, Jasmine!

Miss C.S. - Best Party, Event or Scene in the City:

ND: I would be hard pressed not to mention here that our 2012 Keyholder will be hosting Whoopi, without any further interpretation, I’d say this is one event that is a must party to attend!

Miss C.S.. – Favorite local celebrity:

Liz Lessner. She might as well be a celebrity, right?!

Miss C.S. – Charity of Choice:

ND: The Women’s Fund of course!

Miss C.S. - Best Quality of a Person:

ND: Trustworthy and optimistic.

Miss C.S. – What inspires you:

ND: Quiet generosity. The hopes and dreams expressed by little kids.

Miss C.S. – How long have you been involved with The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio:

ND: Five and a half total but three and a half as the President & CEO.

Miss C.S. – Tell us a little more about The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and how it empowers women and girls:

ND: The Women’s Fund is a foundation that raises money and makes grants that focus on women and girls in our community. We enable social change by creating women philanthropists and by empowering women and girls to reach their full potential. Women don’t just volunteer time. We volunteer our money, too. Years ago, women had very little financial power. Today, we are the largest economy on earth. We owe it to ourselves to have a say in how charitable funds are spent. Currently, only 7 percent of philanthropic dollars goes to women and girls’ programs.

At the Women’s Fund, we celebrate the back and forth of giving and receiving. Money given to benefit women and girls flows in a circle. Those we help today may soon be more able and more willing to help others in the same way. We have seen it happen as women more fully take on the role of philanthropist.

Miss C.S. – I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Keyholder event with Goldie Hawn. How was she in person:

ND: Just as you would imagine…delightful, smiley, down to earth, human, effervescent, and incredibly gracious with her time.

Miss C.S. – How was the event result overall? Did The Women’s Fund meet their goal:

ND: Yes! In fact, we surpassed our goal. The corporate community of sponsors have increased their support for this event and embrace the mission of social change; we had a sold out crowd of 2,500 in ticket sales; then that night we had an unexpected spike in increased gifts from the audience members that night. Ultimately we want to raise money but we also want the central Ohio community to know the relevancy of social change for women and girls and how investing in them can create a thriving and balanced community. We believe we are making progress towards this end.

Miss C.S. – Out of all the Keyholder events, which speaker has been your favorite and why:

ND: Oooo...tough question. Goldie was good and Gloria Steinem was smart, but I think my favorite has to be Diane Keaton. I will forever remember the surge of energy felt when she had the entire Ohio Theater singing Que Sera Sera.

Miss C.S. – How can others get involved with the organization:

ND: First, check out our web site at Next, think about if you have time, talent or treasure (or all three) to give. If it’s time, volunteer for the Keyholder event. Or the experience that will provide the biggest impact for you, would most likely to be a grant reader. If it’s a talent, perhaps a committee placement. If it’s treasure, we accept and honor all gift donations of any size online, in the mail as well as stock transfer are available to explore planned giving.

Miss C.S. – Can Columbus Socialite host a fundraiser for The Women’s Fund and what is the process:

ND: Yes! Contact our office at (614)225-9926 and ask for Diane. She will give you the details and procedure but simply put: "Pick a date and time, invite who you think should know about The Women’s Fund, insert your hosting skills and a testimony of why you wanted to host. Mix in a strong story from one of our grant partners or videos and voila...Conversation, questions and donations follow." We also encourage digital fundraising via email and facebook. We have a Facebook page that makes for great re-posting of articles, videos as well as an opportunity for online donations.

Miss C.S. - Finish the sentence, “If I could do anything in the World, I would...”

ND: Use my magic wand to allow French fries to be a “health” food. (me too Nichole!) But also to provide little girls everywhere to hold on to the belief that they are powerful, smart, confident, kind and can change the world...which they can! Also, to have made it to the Oprah show but we’ll let her retire, even if I had a magic wand.

Miss C.S. – Why Columbus? (live, work, play – you name it):

ND: When we moved here 10 years ago, we had a 5 year plan to move back to Minneapolis. Well at 5 years, we were building our house, I was pregnant and we were certainly not going anywhere! It has been an incredibly welcoming community, easy to navigate and about as American in its MidWestern values and also diversity as any other city.

Miss C.S. - In ONE word, a Columbus Socialite is:

ND: Enthusiastic!

Nichole, thank you so much for the interview and thank you for all you do in Columbus. With your hard work and dedication to our community, you're making a difference in more lives than you know.

If you're not a fan of The Women's Fund of Central Ohio on Facebook, be sure to check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Eventing off,
Miss C.S.

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