In the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty, it’s inspiring when companies gather their resources to support small business. Through its upcoming project Your Friends in New York, apparel brand Pyer Moss has announced $10,000 in PPE funding and $100,000 in funding for women- and minority-owned small businesses through the Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund. Grants from the fund will be presented to creative-based businesses struggling to stay open in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
“For our friends with independent businesses,” wrote Pyer Moss in an Instagram announcement on March 18. “We are setting aside $50,000 for minority and women owned small creative businesses who are currently in distress. If you cannot make payroll or cannot cover pressing costs to keep your business afloat, please reach out, let us know what you do and how we can help.”
With so much bad news right now, it’s hard to bring up another tough topic, but bring it up we will. As a therapist, I know that having the hard conversations is part of the process of moving forward. This tough topic is the news that the NoVo Foundation will be scaling back some of its operations, particularly those that pertain to funding women and girls. As discussed in last week’s post, As NoVo Downsizes, What Next for Women and Girls?, the question of how we will fill the enormous void left by this shift is just beginning to take hold in people’s minds and produce some responses.
Women Leaders Step Up to Respond to NoVo’s Shift
Two important leaders in women’s funding, Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRES and Mona Sinha, Board Chair of Women Moving Millions, responded to the news of NoVo’s shift in focus with letters to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
What the world needs now more than ever is more funders who understand and address the deep intersectionalities of human experience. Recently, a new funder launched to do just that. The Hive Fund is dedicated to supporting climate, gender and racial justice, with a focus on the U.S. Southeast. Launched in 2019, it recently released its Spring 2020 grant recipients.
Hive supports Black, Indigenous, and women of color leaders who traditionally have had limited access to philanthropic and other resources. The fund’s mandate is to fund “visionary and strategic efforts of leaders and organizations working at the intersections of climate justice, gender equity, democracy, cultural power and economic justice.” Moreover, Hive aims to embed participatory decision-making in it grant-making process.
For the past 30 years, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has honored exceptional women in journalism, highlighting the courage of female journalists around the world as well as the groundbreaking journalists who have dedicated their careers to paving the way for female journalists of the future.
This week, IWMF announced the 2020 recipients of the 30th annual Courage in Journalism Awards, granted to female journalists who go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to reporting the truth. These women face down harassment, violence, government oppression, and more in their pursuit of journalistic integrity.
Yolanda F. Johnson is rolling out Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC) to support her colleagues in the field. Johnson is a multi-faceted juggernaut whose life’s work encompasses the performing arts, teaching, and non-profit management, with an accent on women, and women of color, in philanthropy and the arts.
Johnson is the first African-American to serve as President of Women in Development, a 40-year-old organization devoted to empowering and supporting New York-area women in the development field. She has an M.A. in arts management, and is a lyric soprano and music composer, teacher, and director. Johnson has performed nationally and internationally in operas, solo concerts, oratorios and sacred music, and is a recitalist and lecturer with a particular interest in spirituals related to the Underground Railroad. She is co-creator of Music She Wrote, a concert celebration of women composers.
At first, Megha Desai thought there was no way girls and women would take to social media to tell stories about their first periods. But as education, dignity, and confidence grew in a small town in India, the local women and girls surprised her.
Four years ago, the Desai Foundation held an awareness campaign about menstrual health and hygiene in the small town of Untdi, Gujarat–the village Desai’s father grew up in.
“We had all these signs laid out on tables, saying things like ‘Happy to Bleed,’ ‘Proud to be a Woman,’ and ‘Proud of my Womanhood,” remembers Desai, President of the Desai Foundation. “I looked at those signs and I thought, ‘Nobody is going to hold these signs up. We’re in a tiny little village where no woman would talk about her period. But by the end of the campaign, the women and girls were so confident and proud that they posed for pictures with these signs. It blew me away. I thought to myself, if these girls in this little village can hold these signs and pledge their periods, then we ought to be able to do that, too.”
On May 21st, attendees gathered for IUPUI’s first webinar in the Perspectives on Philanthropy Discussion Series. The series asks, “As we search for context in our transforming world, what role does philanthropy play? Broadly understood to encompass the human voluntary spirit, philanthropy is responding in a variety of ways to the current global crisis today. How is it doing and what role will it have in the world that is emerging?”
MILAN (May 20, 2020) — The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns imposed by the governments in countries around the world have intensified gender inequalities, including violence against women. Gucci, through its Chime for Change initiative, and the Kering Foundation have teamed to launch a new campaign to fund nonprofit organizations supporting women and girls around the world.
“Now more than ever is the time to join together to protect the health, safety and human rights of girls and women around the world,” said Salma Hayek Pinault, who co-founded Chime for Change in 2013 and is a board director of the Kering Foundation.
A bombshell was dropped today on feminist funding: Marc Gunther reports on the Chronicle of Philanthropy that NoVo Foundation has laid off half its staff, backed out of the Women’s Building project, and is otherwise downsizing its operations in the gender equality funding arena. “It’s about time other people ponied up,” said Peter Buffett in the Chronicle interview.
Yes, it is about time for others to pony up. If only there were tons of donors standing in line to pony up for women and girls. As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. And certainly no one knows that better than Peter Buffett.
The fact is, most male donors don’t share Peter Buffett’s former sense of enlightenment about the need to fund with a gender lens — not even close. So for one of the few men who truly gets it to be walking away from the table at this particular moment in history, all I can say is, wow. Just wow. Some leaders have a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Apparently, Peter Buffett is one of them.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Frances Sykes, President of the Pascale Sykes Foundation. The Foundation partners with nonprofits that serve working, low income families to increase their stability — financially, in relationships and in well-being.
“Hope is setting a goal and moving toward that goal, taking steps toward the future. That’s what gets families and individuals through challenges of daily life and makes a difference in the community.” – Frances Sykes, President and CEO, Pascale Sykes Foundation