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Age: 40
Hometown: New York City
Cause: Financial education for women

Troubled that her grandmother stayed in an abusive relationship for lack of fiscal wherewithal, Francis, a financial planner, began Savvy Ladies in 2003. Through live webinars, classes, and a help line, business people and other volunteers at the New York nonprofit have taught more than 10,000 women—ranging in age from their twenties to their sixties—money skills they need to gain more control over their lives. Free courses include Investment Management Boot Camp and Learning to Budget: One Less Latte.

Says Francis: