Certainly it is worth noting for women in philanthropy when one of the great funders of progressive causes passes on.
More will need to be said on this blog about how David Rockefeller contributed to the evolution of women’s empowerment in philanthropy. For now, we offer prayers and good thoughts for the Rockefeller family as they celebrate his amazing life and navigate this transition.
From The Clinton Foundation:
David Rockefeller was a consummate businessman, a great humanitarian, and a serious scholar. He was a kind, good man to all who met him. Hillary and I are grateful for his friendship and his remarkable life.
Throughout his life he used his fame and fortune to do good here and abroad. His many efforts included the establishment of the Council of the Americas five decades ago, which was instrumental in my administration’s efforts to alleviate the financial crisis in Latin America and boost trade in the Americas and the Caribbean. His tremendous support of arts and humanities in America gave millions of people in communities across the country the opportunity to experience our great heritage of painting, dance, music, and so much more. For these efforts and many others, I was proud to present him with our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
We celebrate a long life well-lived and send our gratitude and prayers to his family and all who supported him on his remarkable journey.
I recently returned from DREAM. DARE. DO. in Chicago, the every-three-year (maybe more often now!) convening of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
Wow. I am still reeling from the experience. It was an intense two days of immersion in conversation about women’s leadership in philanthropy, where it is coming from and where it will be going in the brave new political climate of a Trump presidency.
Editor’s Note: Betsy McKinney, Founder and CEO of It’s Time Network and author of this post, was recently invited to speak at an event in honor of Women’s History Month at the U.S. State Department. She gave an overview on the need for collective impact infrastructure and initiatives in the women’s sector, and explained the purpose of It’s Time Network and the Network City Program.
Everyone responded vigorously during the presentation when Betsy said that we need a collective impact structure that acts as an AARP for women, and that we can and should fund it ourselves as women over time. People also responded well to the need for shared measurement and the Women’s Well-Being Index. At the end, women from Malaysia, Nepal and Afghanistan asked how they can join the Network City Program. Betsy gave them copies of ITN’s Mayors Guide and they are eager to consider how they can also use the guide and recommendations.
While the Trump Administration’s attacks against women, immigrants, LGBT, and people of color continue, foundations and nonprofits are coming together to fund the resistance. The latest batch of grantmaking in this department: the Emergent Fund recently granted $330,000 to community-based organizations at the front lines of the resistance.
A project of Women Donors Network (WDN), Solidaire Network, and Threshold Foundation, the Emergent Fund is a way for donors to increase their ability to strategically collaborate, coordinate, and act quickly to support the movement. The fund seeks to supply communities and their allies with the resources they need to create the change our country needs to fight back against the dangerous policy goals of the Trump Administration.
From the press release:
New York - The Emergent Fund -- a project of the Women Donors Network and Solidaire -- has announced $330,000 in rapid-response grants to community-based organizations empowering and organizing communities under attack by new Trump Administration Policies to fight back. The recently-created Emergent Fund also welcomed its newest partner this week, the Threshold Foundation, whose members have collectively pledged $180,000 to the fund."With Muslim Americans under attack, black families being demonized and threatened, and millions of families facing deportation, we decided to focus this round of funding primarily on efforts to support communities being demonized, attacked, and torn apart by new policies under the Trump Administration," said Donna Hall, President of the Women Donors Network, one of the member networks of the Emergent Fund.“We created the Emergent Fund to boost organizations and people at the front lines of resistance. With families being torn apart by deportation and mass surveillance of activists becoming the new normal -- we want to get money to where it's needed fast,” said Leah Hunt-Hendrix of Solidaire.The Emergent Fund is a partnership between Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, and Threshold Foundation to provide a way for individuals at all levels to contribute their money strategically in this critical moment -- providing fast funding in emergency moments to build real and lasting power. The Fund is governed by an Advisory Council made up of leaders who represent communities who will be most affected by the new administration including communities of color, immigrants, Muslim Americans, etc.A list of new grantees can be found below. For more information about the Emergent Fund, visit: https://www.emergentfund.net# # #
The following letter is from a new coalition of gender equality organizations called WomenForward. They are a diverse group, encompassing direct service nonprofits as well as global mentoring networks, and more. The coalition was launched earlier this month by The PIMCO Foundation, a corporate donor from the financial sector.
These kinds of connections are one of the strengths of women’s philanthropy — being able to build broad-based coalitions that cut across multiple sectors to find a shared agenda. Check out the letter, and make sure to visit some of the organization’s websites, to get a sense of all the good that is happening out there in the world, despite the many challenges for women in our economy and culture.
Open Letter from WomenForward Coalition LeadersDear Changemakers,We write to you as a network for change – as 12 nonprofits and one funder – intent on empowering and advancing girls and women around the world. Our group is tearing down barriers to education for young women in post-conflict and developing countries; combatting rape culture by empowering survivors; championing girls’ voices by providing mentors; helping low-income and immigrant women launch new careers and start or scale new businesses; and so much more. Achieving gender equality can’t be done just by eradicating violence against women,preventing early and forced marriage,or ensuring that women have the same access to educational and financial resources as men. Achieving true gender equality means tackling a host of complex issues, many deeply ingrained societal barriers that prevent progress. Itrequires a dedicated global partnership that brings together governments, civil society, and the private sector.How can you help? Join us. Put your dollars to work! Support organizations that build sustainable opportunities for women and girls in the U.S. and globally. Shop merchants likeMercado Global,Nomi Network,Plum Alley,Same Sky,Shopping for a Change, Hot Bread Kitchen andThistle Farms. Your purchasing power can offer on-the-job training, provide employment, and fund community improvement projects for women.Get involved. Consider investing (using your time or money) with a gender lens. Additional partners who support sustainable efforts are: Callisto,Figure Skating in Harlem,Girls Write Now,Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA),Plan International USA,Rising Tide Capital,SHE-CAN,Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), andTrickle Up. We are all looking for champions to help us further our respective and collective missions.Use your voice to advocate. Mentor, speak up for your vulnerable neighbor, share stories of hope or action, and advocate for women’s rights and opportunities through research, policy platforms, and communications with your elected officials. Consider finding a friend or 12 friends like we did; you can connect and conspire for good, together, and really amplify your voice. Your voice, whether written or spoken, is a symbol of your leadership.Use your mouse. If you do nothing else, learn more about us and visit our websites (hyperlinked below). Or follow us on social media. With a few clicks, you can make quite an impact. We’ve seen just how women can come together around the world to advocate for their rights. Let’s harness the power of women working together. Please join us to unlock the potential of women around the world as we tear down the walls standing in the way of full economic, social, and political inclusion. We’ve acknowledged the challenges, we’ve prepared the actions we need to take to right the wrongs, and so let’s get out there and do it: now.Signed by: CallistoFigure Skating in HarlemGirls Write NowGlobal AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA)Hot Bread KitchenMercado GlobalPlan International USARising Tide CapitalSHE-CANSustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)Thistle FarmsTrickle UpThe PIMCO Foundation
One area of philanthropy that impacts women heavily is philanthropy aimed at ending sexual and domestic violence, now also called “gender-based violence.”
An encouraging sign in this arena is the NFL’s recent multiyear commitment of $10 million to a group of affiliated organizations in order to pursue the goal of “ending gender-based violence in one generation.”
Earlier this week, Raliance.org announced the kick-off ThisGEN Youth Summit, bringing together high school students rom across the country to build advocacy in the fight to end gender-based violence.
Raliance.org serves as the central hub for three top organizations in the country working to end sexual violence: the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)-PreventConnect and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV). Other support for this event came from The Close-Up Foundation and It’s on Us.
From the press release:
Eighty high school sophomores and juniors from 25 states and Washington, D.C. will engage in leadership and learning opportunities to explore efforts to stop gender-based violence.Students will learn to use social media and messaging to change public opinion and discourse; to leverage the influence of sports and athletes; and to catalyze individuals through community organizing and advocacy to end gender-based violence. The five-day event (March 6-10) culminates in a march and rally on Capitol Hill where participants will declare their specific calls to action to propel the movement forward."Educating, engaging and empowering students alongside Raliance to become active in our mission of shifting the way that people think about sexual assault is truly an honor," said Rebecca Kaplan, Director, It's On Us. "We hope that attendees will bring what they learn back to their high schools and host It's On Us Spring Week of Action events this April."The ThisGEN Youth Summit, made possible through seed funding for Raliance from the National Football League (NFL), aims to help today’s youth leaders build a culture that sees the value and dignity of every person and eradicates gender-based violence. Gender-based violence refers to abuse within unequal relationships between men and women and broadly encompasses acts that result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering. Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lifetime.For more information about the ThisGEN Youth Summit, visit: www.raliance.org.
One of the most important aspects of much of women’s philanthropy is its inclusiveness — the belief that there is always room for one more at the table in a community. That’s one reason why the new Revlon campaign, The Love Project, is particularly important and timely for the growing movement of women’s leadership in philanthropy.
We’re only getting started here on Philanthropy Women, but one of the arguments that we will make repeatedly is that inclusion is a fundamental value for much of women’s leadership in philanthropy. The Love Project embodies that sense of inclusion in several important ways.
“Unconditional love for people is what’s needed,” says Justine Bevilacqua. She speaks with a calmness that somehow also conveys how strongly she feels about this. “Of course, you have to draw the line sometimes,” she adds, “and there are bad people in the world, but just seeing people as humans, I definitely think the world needs more of that.”
Bevilacqua was 3 years old when her maternal grandmother Dorothy Jungels and several of Dorothy’s children acquired the carriage house that would become a place dedicated to the arts and social justice in Providence, Rhode Island. Doing most of the renovation themselves, they turned the neglected building into a studio and theater and named it Everett, after Everett Weeden, a fellow artist and family friend.