Getting to Know The Society Guide.

The two Charlotte women who founded The Society Guide, Amanda Pagliarini Howard & Erica Flamand Shugg, both circled and worked in the Charlotte non-profit world for years, seeing the ins and outs of how things work and work best, before they landed on  this unique concept, a guide to help connect those serving the community to those with the resources to help.

The Society Guide’s mission is to provide a dossier of highly effective nonprofits to those philanthropists looking for opportunities to use their wealth to help impact their community. It is a membership-based program for nonprofits, who are showcased in an annual Giving Book distributed to an intentionally selected list of high net worth and philanthropic families, wealth advisors, and estate planning professionals. 

The idea is simple: create and distribute a handsomely designed, coffee-table-style catalog of Charlotte nonprofit members, showcasing their impact in the community, and the projects and initiatives that need community support. Then deliver this Giving Book to the individuals who could likely be enthusiastic supporters and patrons of these non-profits. Founder Amanda Pagliarini Howard says “The idea for The Giving Book was inspired by the Neiman Marcus Holiday Book. We thought… what if we designed a beautiful catalog that showcased charitable gift opportunities around the holidays? “

It’s kind of genius, right? 

Ms. Howard explains, “When it comes to fundraising in Charlotte, we tend to go to the same 30 – 40 families that have demonstrated their generosity and commitment to the community for decades.  The problem with that is that not only are those families fatigued, but it leaves thousands of high net worth families with similar generous spirits receiving impersonal solicitations or none at all.”  This beautiful annual show-book makes it much easier to improve the awareness for nonprofits in the area, and help provide long-term sustainabilityby matching them with donors who have a passion for their cause. 

This past November, The Society Guide delivered over 4,000 copies of the first annual Giving Book to high net worth Charlotte households with a known propensity for generosity. Wealth advisors, CPAs, and estate planning attorneys also received copies at their offices to serve as a resource during philanthropic planning discussions.  

Over 25 non-profit members were profiled in this 2016-2017 Giving Book with perusable detail about their work and their mission, like this for Together We Feed.

The Society Guide togetherwefeed_1The Society Guide togetherwefeed_2


Also included in the Book was an anonymous survey on philanthropic preferences, to inform both Amanda and Erica as well as the NFP membership about the feelings, interests and motivations of Charlotte’s likely philanthopists. {FYI, if you received a Book but haven’t filled out the survey yet, you can do so online, here –} All responses will be kept completely anonymous. The survey is simply a tool to educate Society Guide members and inform future work. 

Highlights from the 2016-2017 Giving Book:

Bechtler – You all know the museum, but it’s what’s happening outside of its walls or after hours that is worthy of your attention. Through their community outreach programs, the Bechtler’s brings the transformational healing of the arts to the incarcerated, developmentally disabled, the blind, and those living with dementia and their caregivers.  With support, they are hoping to launch a similar program this year for the autism community and their families. 

The Society Guide bechtler

HeartBright Foundation – some of the people they serve live in the woods, only eat every other day, or work 3+ jobs. But 99% of all the people they serve in their free, nationally recognized Cardiac Resource Center have their conditions medically under control within 3 months. The Heartbright Foundation works to address heart health with at-risk kids and adults by providing preventive access, care, and treatment for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Not only do they tout some of the nation’s highest sustained outcomes, but by serving the chronically ill in poverty, they save Mecklenburg County over $23 million a year. 

The Society Guide heartbright

Women’s Impact Fund – Interested in learning more about the needs in the community and collaborating on solutions with other community-minded women? Check out The Women’s Impact Fund, where members pool resources and collectively decide where to award grants each year. Do not be intimidated by the list of powerful local women who count themselves as members. This is the most welcoming, inclusive group of ladies in town.  

The Society Guide womensimpact

Sustain Charlotte – Off the bat, it might sound as if it’s purely an environmental cause, but Sustain Charlotte is much more than that. If we are to truly tackle issues of poverty in our city, more accessible and robust transportation options are absolutely critical. Sustain Charlotte is leading the charge on this, convening the necessary people and organizations, while providing education and advocacy to ensure Charlotte has the infrastructure to sustain its growth. 

The Society Guide sustaincharlotte


If you’d like to request a copy of the 2016-2017 Giving Book, you may do so here.



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