The Power of the Purse

More and more, it's women who control the charity

She was born to a baked-goods fortune and never thought she would be concerned with getting or giving money. "I liked to be taken care of," says Sara Lee Schupf, 58, the namesake of the famous frozen pies. Then in the early '80s, after a devastating divorce, she had to learn to take care of herself and others. She had no work experience and no clue about managing money. With four kids to look after and educate, she imagined her savings dwindling rapidly and, she says, "spent many days in tears."

But when her father died in 1988, leaving her...

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