New York Women’s Foundation on Social Justice and Philanthropy

On October 20th, the New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) hosted Women Lead: A Conversation on Social Justice. This live fundraising event was centered around the importance of putting conversations about social justice at the forefront of our efforts in philanthropy.

The event, which took the place of NYWF’s annual fundraiser (cancelled due to COVID-19), featured conversations with the Foundation’s President and CEO, Ana Oliviera, as well as activists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Cristina Jiménez, with appearances from actresses Beanie Feldstein and Yara Shahidi, both of whom were honored for their work for women and girls during the event.

The webinar opened with a recap of the 2019 NYWF fundraising event, which was focused on the concept of “radical generosity.”

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Feminist Donors: The Way to the Future

It’s always great to see your name up in lights, particularly at such a highly esteemed publication as Women’s eNews. Alyssa Fisher, the 2020 fellow in the Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence Program at Women’s eNews called me up and let me have a great riffing session on what it’s like to be at the helm of our small but mighty publication, Philanthropy Women, and what I see feminist donors doing for the world that no one else is doing.

feminist donors
(Image Credit: WMM)

From the article:

The idea to launch  a website dedicated to women in philanthropy first came to Kiersten Marek in 2016, when Hillary Clinton was anticipated to win the presidential election and become the United State’s first woman president. When she launched it the following  year, it felt even more pertinent. 

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Sports 4 Life Delivers Big Benefits for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life is a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. It was established in 2014 and seeks to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. It has so far impacted over 60,000 girls of color, and its recently released report shows gains in girls’ leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance resulting from their participation in the program.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)


2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. Improving the physical and mental health—and leadership capacities—of girls of color is one way to help them navigate COVID and beyond. The WSF and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), Sports 4 Life partnership is funding local sports programs, filling in the gaps to access and opportunity that often confront girls of color.

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Guiding A New World: Global Gender Lens Giving in COVID

Editor’s Note: The following event highlights some of the most authoritative leaders in feminist giving including Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of Women Moving Millions, Tuti B. Scott, feminist expert on gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing, Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lucy Lee, Senior Associate for Volition Capital and Lotus Circle Bay Area convener. More virtual strategizing is taking place all the time to amplify feminist giving, and this free webinar will be a great chance for those working in the sector to learn more.

Philanthropy New Zealand and Asia Foundation are hosting a webinar on how gender lens philanthropy can serve the community during COVID. (Image credit: Philanthropy New Zealand)

Virtual Event – A New World is Possible: Gender Lens Philanthropy in a Time of Covid-19

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Revealing Women’s Economic Value: A Chat with Berit Ashla

One thing COVID has shown us is new ways to appreciate women’s economic value and professional contributions to the world. A case in point that directly impacts me: many insurance companies during COVID have waived copays for psychotherapy (I’m a psychotherapist in my other day job), essentially granting many people an open door to emotional care, unrestricting access to an area of health care that had been previously blocked by confusing and expensive deductibles and co-pays. In doing so, this action also added economic value to mental health counseling, which is primarily done by women, in a new way.

Berit Ashla, Vice President of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, recently spoke with Philanthropy Women about how COVID is revealing women’s economic value, particularly in the care economy. (Image Credit: Berit Ashla)

Another case in point: the need for nurses, a profession comprised mostly of women. Suddenly this profession, which has always been sort of taken for granted, is front and center and absolutely vital to our survival. The result: the need for nurses has driven up wages and bonuses for the work.

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Becoming Champions for Women and Girls, Zonta Changes Its Name

Zonta International Foundation, a global charitable organization working to empower women and girls, has announced a change of name to the Zonta Foundation for Women. The purpose of this repositioning is to elevate visibility and better align the foundation’s name with its globally recognized mission and commitment to women and girls worldwide.

Zonta Foundation for Women
Zonta Foundation for Women

Over the last century, Zonta has contributed more than US$45.9 million to empower women and girls and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities, and safe living conditions. The 2020-2022 grant cycle will provide US$5,280,000 for programs that address the root causes of gender discrimination and have the potential to bring about positive and sustainable societal changes.

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Popular Event at Texas Women’s Fdn Raises Nearly 1 Million

Texas Women’s Foundation’s 35th Annual Luncheon Featured America FerreraAward-Winning Actress and New York Times Bestselling Author

Luncheon Raised More Than $926,000; 2,000+ Guests Attended and, Over 24 Hours, Another 11,000 Viewed Event 

(Image Credit: TWF)

DALLAS, Texas, October 7, 2020 – Texas Women’s Foundation held its 35th Annual Luncheon, presented by Toyota and powered by The Dallas Mavericks, on September 29, featuring a conversation with America Ferrera, award-winning actress, director, producer, The New York Times best-selling author and activist. The conversation was moderated by Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief External Engagement Officer for Target. As the principal fundraiser for the Foundation, the luncheon raised more than $926,000.

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WFN to Prez Candidates: Speak Now for Women and Girls

Women’s funders demand presidential candidates go on the record on issues affecting women and girls in final debate 

SAN FRANCISCO — This week’s second and final presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 22, 2020, is the last chance to question the candidates side-by-side about the issues most important to women and girls — especially women and girls of color. Women’s Funding Network issued an open letter, signed by prominent women’s funders, to the debate’s moderator to demand that the candidates answer a range of questions to give voters the information they need about how each candidate plans to achieve equality and justice for all women and girls. 

Full text of the letter:

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When Women’s Leadership Has Market Value, the World Changes

It seems, in the feminist philanthropy community, everyone is waiting for that tipping point to come, when women’s leadership finally establishes its value to the world. Covid, it seems, is helping to accelerate our awareness of the added value of women’s leadership. By showing that countries led by women having strikingly better COVID survival and containment rates, we should finally be at that point where you could practically pour the product of women’s leadership into a bottle and sell it on the open market.

And now a few words from our Editor in Chief, Kiersten Marek.

Well, think again. I have been on my own quest to establish the value of women’s leadership, particularly women’s leadership in philanthropy, over the past four years. I went in with the theory that feminist strategies are more powerful strategies, and once people get to know more about them, lots of folks would flock to our website and build up our subscriber base to the point where, eventually, it might even turn into a for-profit market product. Though fiscally sponsored by the Women’s Funding Network, our budget and strategy is built around the idea that only a small portion of our funding should come from grants, and that as our subscriber base grows, eventually, we could become attractive to a regular small business publication or larger progressive media platform.

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Kris Kepler: On Radical Hospitality and Unexpected Leaders

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX, which brings hygiene and other critical services to the unhoused.

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I left my corporate job over three years ago to work in the non-profit sector. I craved a role in social impact, I wanted to give more, and I’ve never looked back.  

Kris Kepler
Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX. (Image credit: LavaMaeX)

When I started, I wish I would have known the power of embracing failure, saying “I tried my best,” being okay with it and not defeated by it. I have learned to look at those moments with curiosity and optimism and know that failure brings great opportunity for change both personally and professionally.

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