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Women in Philanthropy (Interview with Maria Mossaides '73 & Jane Zimmy '74)

As professional fundraisers, staying current with trends in giving is a prime responsibility. That said, the growing influence of women on philanthropy that began quietly some years ago has become one of today’s hottest topics. With women controlling an ever-greater proportion of private wealth, coupled with the fact that women will be the recipients of as much as 70% of the wealth transferred through inheritance over the next 40 years, it is time for a laser-like focus on the what, why, and how of women’s philanthropy.

Maria Mossaides '73

Co-head class agent; chair of the Mount Holyoke Fund Committee; and member, Campaign

Steering Committee

Executive director of Cambridge Family and Children services

Maria Mossaides, CFCS Executive Director: For almost thirty years Ms. Mossaides has held a wide range of positions in both the public and independent sectors as both an attorney and administrator. She served as the general counsel and acting commissioner of the Office for Children, deputy general counsel to the Department of Social Services, general counsel to the Office of the Comptroller, and as the first agency head for the Division of Purchased Services. Ms. Mossaides graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, received her law degree from SUNY at Buffalo, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she was awarded the Bradford Fellowship. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University.


Jane Zimmy '74

Co-head class agent; Mount Holyoke Fund Committee; member, Campaign Steering Committee

Global Senior Vice President, The NPD Group, Inc. (retired)

Ms. Zimmy recently retired after 35 years with the NPD Group, an innovative global market research company with offices in 20 countries NPD clients us information to uncover market opportunities, strengthen channel relationships, and benchmark industry performance.

Jane focused on the Toy industry for most of her career, managing NPD’s global initiatives for Toys from October 2007-October 2012. In this role, she was responsible for identifying business opportunities in the toys and games, increasing the awareness of NPD products around the globe, and fostering communication among her regional counterparts in US, Europe and Australia. Today NPD is collectively working with more than 200 companies in the Toys, Licensing and Juvenile Products industries.

Ms. Zimmy’s assignments have been extensive and varied. She has headed business units in both the U.S. and Europe. In addition to her worldwide activities, she has held a variety of senior management positions in panel, data collection and data processing areas.


Ms. Zimmy joined NPD directly after receiving her MBA degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business (1976.) She received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Mount Holyoke College (1974) where she remains active in alumnae development efforts, applying her marketing expertise to fundraising activities.

Ms. Zimmy has spoken at several International Council of Toy Industries events, Women in Toys meetings and Spielwarenmesse tours.

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