The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) annual conference is coming up soon, and now is the time to reserve your spot. The event, held from September 11-13 at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood, is called Leadership for a Changing World, and features a star-studded lineup of feminist power.
Here’s a recap of all #WomenFunded2019 has to offer from our writer Maggie May:
The San Francisco conference is gearing up to be WFN’s biggest event yet, featuring more than 80 speakers across more than 40 sessions. This year’s four themes — On The Frontlines, It’s Personal, The Power of Voice, and How Money Moves — focus on resolving complex social issues, leading with power across sectors, shaping stories, policy, and solution, and re-shaping philanthropy by redefining investment.
“Too few girls have the chance to make decisions about any aspect of their lives – whether they can stay in school, whether and what they can study, when or who they marry, accessing health care, and if and where they can see friends,” Swatee Deepak, director of With and For Girls (WFG) says. WFG is a funding collaborative that seeks to shift the scales of power in teen girls’ favor. It gives financial support to girl-led and -centered groups around the world and engages young women in participatory grantmaking panels. This means, every year, former winning organizations train teen girls to choose the next prize recipients. As we’ve pointed out, girls and young women ages 10 to 24 make up 12.5% of the world’s population — around 900 million people total. But, less than 2 cents of every international aid dollar goes to campaigns directed toward girls in this age group.
Sheryl Sandberg might be among a handful of the largest donors to women and girls. As such, it is important to understand the nature of her giving and where this money goed. Through a thicket of documents, it is not always easy to tell.
Last November The Chronicle of Philanthropy announced that the Facebook COO was donating another $100 million to charity. This brought Sheryl Sandberg’s contributions at the time to over a quarter of a billion dollars — a total of $286.1 million. When I first started to explore her donations, I got no responses. Even for this article now, I received a very positive and polite response from Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation staff member, Pamela Nonga Ngue: “We will not be able to participate in the story, but we appreciate your consideration and the work you do to highlight women in philanthropy.”
This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Julie Schwietert Collazo, co-founder and director of Immigrant Families Together.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I had understood the importance of assembling a top-notch legal and accounting team from the get-go. The problem is, when we started Immigrant Families Together (IFT), it wasn’t with the intention of it becoming an organization. I simply envisioned it as a rapid response group of volunteers that was responding to an acute crisis. Having had strong legal and financial counsel early on would have helped us strategically and operationally.
It’s time to change the way we think and talk about gender.
For many of us — women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people of color, and others — the last few years have been difficult to digest. There are too many significant human rights issues happening in our country today to easily decide which to give priority.
In response, the voices of activists, philanthropists, and organizations in this social and political climate are louder than ever before. Together, funders and campaigners are making strides to support the causes they believe in, finding new platforms and new opportunities for growth every day. We’ve made progress in legislation, but at the same time, we’ve seen massive legal backslides — like laws barring transgender people from certain bathrooms and abortion bans in nine states — that make it difficult to celebrate our progress.
My work in social change and political advocacy are defined by the women who brought me up in the world.
The career I have today was unfathomable to me as a naive Missouri farm girl. Then I met Mindy. She was a manager and chief of staff who hired me as an intern and wouldn’t let me go. She coached and navigated me around every career pivot and barrier. Networks are a constellation of mentors, pipelines, alma maters – professional and personal associations. Often these networks are implicit. They help us overcome the divide between those who were born into the norms of public service and those of us who stumble upon public service after strife and righteous indignation call us to change the world.
“Join other people who are passionate about what you’re passionate about, and things will just happen.”
This is how my interview ended with Leah Margulies, a longstanding figure in the world of activism and corporate
accountability. A civil rights lawyer, a policy maker, an attorney, an author –
Leah’s resume stretches across almost five decades of powerful work. Her career
represents the best possible outcome when philanthropy and activism intersect –
years of positive action, progress, and the ability to look back and see how
far we’ve come.
The second interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Caryl Stern, the CEO of UNICEF USA who recently announced she will be leaving the organization after 13 years.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I had known that I would succeed. I don’t think in my wildest dreams I thought I would end up as CEO, and it would have been great to know that from the very beginning! And, I wish I had known from the very beginning to just be yourself at work. I grew into that and it’s something that I learned from experience in my role – it definitely served me well.
What is your current greatest professional challenge?
Editor’s Note: It gives me great pleasure to introduce Cynthia Reddrick as a guest contributor to Philanthropy Women. As awomen’s philanthropy scholar and experienced planned giving consultant, Reddrick invites us to celebrate Black Philanthropy Month by honoring Oseola McCarty, a Black female philanthropist who left an inspiring legacy of generosity.
August is Black Philanthropy Month (BPM), an opportunity to amplify the power and influence of Black women donors and philanthropists. Created in August 2011 by Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network (PAWPNet), Black Philanthropy Month allows us to take time to globally celebrate African-descent giving.
The failure of the feminist movement to tackle changes in public media policy may be one of the most significant shortcomings of my generation. Take these few facts as proof. According to a report from the Global Media Monitoring Project by Margaret Gallagher entitled Who Makes the News?, the percentage of women in newsmaking roles stagnated at 23% from 2005 to 2015. And the output from media that focuses on women? Even more dismal. According to the report, “Across all media, women were the central focus of just 10% of news stories – exactly the same figure as in 2000.” And just a few more statistics to get your hair standing on end: women only directed 8% of the top 250 grossing films in 2018, and women-directed films reach just 2.75% of screens in the U.S.