Priscilla Chan and The Future of Inclusive Philanthropy

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2014. (cc:2.0)

She’s young, she’s highly educated, and she likes to be involved in funding strategy  — all traits that suggest Priscilla Chan will be making an enormous impact on philanthropy over the next decade and beyond.

“Chan is a hands-on leader of Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), taking charge of many of the day-to-day operational details of scaling up a large philanthropic enterprise,” David Callahan recently told me. Callahan is founder and publisher of Inside Philanthropy, and interviewed Chan for his new book, The Givers, due out  April 11th.

“Chan has spent all of her adult life as a front-line practitioner working with vulnerable families, and brings that mindset and experience to CZI,” observed Callahan. “You can see that most recently in the new housing initiative to stop low-income families from being displaced in Silicon Valley.”

Priscilla Chan is only getting started on her philanthropy journey, and yet some of ways she is doing things suggest a very different trajectory for the future. While Melinda Gates, at about age 50, arrived at a more defined plan to make gender equity central to her work, we don’t know yet where gender equality will land in Priscilla Chan’s list of priorities. In the video below, she credits Ruth Bader Ginsburg as her feminist role model, which suggests she takes seriously the progressive agenda for women, including access to health care and contraception, and equal pay for equal work.

It All Hinges on Inclusiveness  — and That’s Where Feminism Comes In

The Chan-Zuckerberg vision of a better world appears to be strongly aligned with the feminist philanthropy agenda of inclusiveness and equality.

“Could we build more inclusive and welcoming communities?” asks Zuckerberg, in this video with Chan in which he talks about his “basic moral responsibility” to make investments that will move us toward this more inclusive community.

Helen LaKelly Hunt, longtime funder of women’s philanthropy and seed investor in the New York Women’s Foundation, the Dallas Foundation, and the Women’s Funding Network, also thinks Priscilla Chan is bringing something new — and important — to philanthropy: the ability to be more relational in strategic planning.

“Priscilla and Mark are modeling strategic philanthropy – not just in terms of how the funds land, but in how they are doing philanthropy. They are doing it in a relational way,” said Helen LaKelly Hunt, in a recent  interview with Philanthropy Women. Helen is author of the forthcoming title, And the Spirit Moved Them, due out on April 17th, which tells the lost history of feminism’s earliest roots — finding that racial equality as well as gender equality were on the original agenda of the earliest suffragettes.

“There is great power in unleashing your money into the world toward cultural transformation. Priscilla and Mark are doing this in a way that it is also transformational, and radical – they are doing it together in partnership,” emphasized Hunt.

“Funding in partnership is not always easy, but the union of perspectives make for a richer outcome, and more vital and effective work,” added Hunt, who, along with her husband Harville Hendrix, created Imago Couples Therapy and have recently launched a new initiative to help couples called Safe Conversations.

In the interview at Forbes 2016 Women’s Summit, Priscilla described how Mark helps her stay focused on goals, and she plays a complementary role for him by giving him the context of real world people encountered as patients or students.

“I force him to learn more about — what’s the context? What are we trying to do? Who are the people involved? What are the cultures that we are trying to work with? How can we learn more from the people already doing the work?”

“In all honesty, it’s really fun, and we have a lot to learn from each other,” said Chan. Translation: Chan gets that philanthropy is pretty much the most fun you can have in life, and she’s excited that she gets to do it with Zuckerberg. This is a huge shift in how men and women in high net worth couples have traditionally functioned. What was once a conversation between couples often dominated by men is now a lively exchange where two people challenge each other’s ideas in order to reach a more informed conclusion.

“We are complementary, and we drive each other and really challenge each other to think more deeply about the questions that we’re faced with,” Chan said.

Here’s Where It All Links Up: Health Care, Feminism, and the Future of Inclusive Philanthropy

So why am I telling this story and raising the visibility of Priscilla Chan for women in philanthropy? (By the way, I did attempt to contact Priscilla Chan for an interview through LinkedIn, where she is listed as a member of the staff of The Primary School, but I did not receive a response. I will be sending her a link to this post, and I hope she will consider responding in the future.)

I am talking about this because Priscilla Chan helps illustrate the story of how feminism is changing philanthropy. Priscilla Chan comes to her philanthropy as a doctor who has already practiced for a number of years and has seen close-up what today’s problems look like. She is also a feminist, and I would argue that her feminism is destined to grow, as she becomes a mother to two girls soon, and parents them in their journey to adulthood.

Access to health care is at the top of the agenda for many progressive and feminist foundations, and I believe (full disclosure: I am also a health care provider as an LICSW therapist) health care should continue to be on top of the agenda for women in philanthropy. Leaders like Priscilla Chan get the importance of health care in a profound way, explaining why the CZI’s biohub is now investing $50 million in 47 new initiatives aimed at tackling health problems.  CZI is also investing in strategies to bring more inclusiveness to education and housing access.

With leaders like Priscilla Chan giving to the fight both for health care and for gender equality, we will be more likely to move the policy agenda toward a civil society where all have are treated equally, and all have equal access to health care as a public good.

The Future of Inclusive Philanthropy

Chan embodies what could be the dawn of a new era of Inclusive Philanthropy. The market economies and the democratic systems that govern the world are beginning to recognize the importance of inclusiveness, and this is partially due to efforts of both progressives and feminists to open the door to inclusiveness of all kinds. Many multinational corporations such as Bank of America, Barclay’s, Walmart, and Coca-Cola, all supporting workplaces that are more inclusive of LGBT communitites, and have set goals for achieving gender equity in hiring and pay. More governments are recognizing same sex marriage and calling for an end to laws which discriminate based on race or gender.

In addition, organizations like CZI appear to be tasking themselves with the agenda of building more inclusive societies. But while the agenda of CZI appears very liberal and both Mark and Priscilla talk clearly about wanting to open up opportunity for all people, the agenda for Facebook is less clear. This article reports that Facebook donated $100,000 to the Conservative Political Action Committee, which funds conferences with panels like “If Heaven Has a Gate, A Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can’t America?” and “Armed and Fabulous: The New Normal.” It was also willing to provide a platform for racist, sexist, homophobic Milo Yiannopoulos before he went too far, even for conservatives, and appeared to be a supporter of pedophilia.

Facebook also supported Netroots Nation, one of the largest annual gatherings of progressive activists as well as the Personal Democracy Forum, an organization which “investigates how politics and technology work together.”

Why Listening for Good is Important to Women in Philanthropy

I’ve covered the Fund for Shared Insight before, and I want to call attention to this new announcement, since it’s a great example of how philanthropy is evolving into a more democratic creature — by becoming more aware of what does and does not work in funding strategies.

Many women’s funds and foundations were early believers in incorporating grantee feedback into the grantmaking process. Women’s funds and foundations were also some of the first to bring grantees onto foundation boards to help inform the decision-making process. Some research suggests that women have a leadership edge with their listening and relational skills.  Whether that’s true or not, women leaders in philanthropy can and should engage in active listening to create more effective strategies.

Now, Shared Insight has issued a national, open request for proposals for nominated nonprofits to participate in Listen for Good — Shared Insight’s signature initiative which helps funders and nonprofits advance high-quality feedback loops.

Also in the good news department, there are five new funders joining the network of partners: the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network. This brings the total for funding partners of Shared Insight to 39.

From the press release:

 

‘Listen for Good’ Open Request for Proposals Released; Five New Funders Announced

Listen for Good 2017 Request for Proposals Posted

Shared Insight is excited to announce that it is offering up to 75 Listen for Good (L4G) grants in 2017.

The goal of L4G is to help nonprofit organizations—across issue areas, populations served, geographies and budget levels—build the practice of high-quality feedback loops with those they serve. The L4G methodology is simple, yet systematic and rigorous. In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using the data to inform their work, L4G is structured as a co-funding opportunity.

To participate in L4G, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Grantees will receive a grant of $45,000 over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year. Shared Insight will accept proposals from funder-nominated nonprofits through May 26, 2017.

For funders to learn more about how to nominate a grantee, click here. For nonprofits to learn more about how to apply for a L4G grant, click here. 

In addition, Shared Insight will hold two informational webinars for potential nominating funders:
New Core Funders Join Fund for Shared Insight 

Since July 2014, Shared Insight core funders have pooled financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. The initiative is delighted to announce four new core funders have joined this collaborative effort: the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.
  •          “The Einhorn Family Charitable Trust is thrilled to join Fund for Shared Insight and contribute to this vital work to improve philanthropic effectiveness,” says Jennifer Hoos Rothberg, Einhorn’s executive director. “Our relationship-based approach to philanthropy—when done well—is one of the chief factors in helping our partner grantees achieve impact, and we’re thrilled to work in partnership with such a talented group of colleagues from foundations we have long admired to help support and advance the field in this way.”
  •          Don Howard, president and CEO of Irvine adds: “We are big believers in Fund for Shared Insight’s goal of improving services and impact by listening. We’re especially interested in advancing funders' abilities to listen to the people we seek to support, and using that information to guide our decisions.” He continues, “Joining Fund for Shared Insight is a great opportunity for Irvine to partner with like-minded funders that are experimenting with incorporating community-level input into our work and the work of our grantees. We look forward to being part of these efforts and to sharing what we learn.” 
  •          “As a leader in philanthropic innovation for over a century, The Rockefeller Foundation is excited to become a core member of Fund for Shared Insight and further our ongoing commitment to strengthening both our own practices and the field of philanthropy writ large,” says Dr. Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller’s president. “Today, institutions like ours are more rigorous, analytical, and results-oriented than ever before, but there is still much we can learn—not only from each other, but also from researching and experimenting with new approaches. The more ways we can listen to and understand the perspectives of the people we seek to serve, the more effective our efforts will be.”
The original core funders of Shared Insight are the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The JPB Foundation, Liquidnet, the Rita Allen Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Omidyar Network Supports Shared Insight

Shared Insight is also delighted to welcome the Omidyar Network as its newest funding partner, supporting its efforts to improve philanthropy through a one-year grant. With this latest additional funder, there are now 39 funding organizations participating in Shared Insight either as core funders, additional funders, or Listen for Good co-funders. 

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Melinda Tuan, managing director, at melinda@fundforsharedinsight.org.





Many in philanthropy, including top women leaders like Helen LaKelly Hunt and Gloria Steinem, talk frequently about the importance of listening to those who we seek to help. Listen for Good (L4G) is an initiative that invites nonprofits and funders to “join us in exploring a simple but systematic and rigorous way of getting feedback from the people at the heart of our work.” In 2016, L4G made 46 grants supported by 28 nominating co-funders.

 

Callahan’s The Givers Raises Big Questions as It Profiles Living Donors

The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

Buckle up, Philanthropeeps. The Givers by David Callahan is coming out, and it’s going to be a rough ride.

Remember when David freaked out many in the philanthropy community, including the President of United Way International, by writing an editorial in the New York Times that compared philanthropy to the lawless wild west? Well, he says things like this on nearly every page of The Givers.  For some in philanthropy, the truth according to David Callahan might be a little hard to stomach.

Here is Callahan on why it’s so difficult to marshall networks in some areas of philanthropy: “People with big money often have big egos and their own strong ideas of how things should be done.”

Or on the nature of today’s philanthropy to extend power to the rich: “In many ways, today’s new philanthropy is exciting and inspiring. In other ways, it’s scary and feels profoundly undemocratic.”

I’m not done with the whole book yet. I’ve just read sections on Mike Bloomberg, Women Moving Millions, the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative, and Sean Parker’s journey from a cocaine possession arrest to funding immunotherapy. All I can say so far is: get ready to question what you think you know about philanthropy today.

 

Statement from Secretary Clinton and President Clinton on the Passing of David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller, 1953, public domain from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

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.

Intense Conversations About the Future of Women’s Philanthropy at DREAM. DARE. DO.

Ahh, the memories.

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.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) sponsored this amazing conference, held at the Magnificent Mile Marriott in downtown Chicago. Led by Debra Mesch and Andrea Pactor, WPI is one of the biggest hubs for  knowledge on gender and philanthropy.

Melinda Gates greets conference participants. “Women play a unique and powerful role in philanthropy,” said Gates.

WPI recently received a $2.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its work, and the conference started with a video welcome from none other than Melinda Gates, talking about the “unique and powerful role” that women play in philanthropy, both nationally and globally. 

The 27 speakers at the WPI conference helped to expand the conversation on women and philanthropy in several important ways. Just a few examples: 

  • Vini Bhansali of Thousand Currents challenged members of the philanthropy women community to recognize discrimination or prejudice happening among us. “Don’t just talk about feminism – practice daily acts of sisterhood.”
  • Casey Harden, YWCA USA shared how the YWCA maintains inclusiveness as a core value, and that the organization does not agree with the Trump administration’s ban on Muslims. 
Kimberly Jung, Co-Founder, Rumi Spice
  • “My dream is that saffron would replace opium as the primary crop of Afghanistan.” Kimberly Jung, CEO and Co-founder of Rumi Spice, shared her experience as a for-profit leader with a social impact agenda, and described her desire to build a for-profit business as being tied to her company’s vision of its sustainability.
  • Kristin Goss, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, shared her knowledge about the history of women’s legislative advocacy in Washington, showing the trends over time. Goss reminded us that women win elections at the same rate as men, and if more women ran for office, we’d have more women IN office. 

    Left to Right: Debra Mesch, Lynne Brickner, Dorrie McWhorter, Vanessa Cooksey, Kristin Goss, and Trish Jackson.
  • Jacki Zehner of Women Moving Millions spoke about the need for women to talk about money, even if it makes them uncomfortable. She alluded to the renowned Helen LaKelly Hunt, one of the founders of Women Moving Millions, who helped women to break through the barrier of their discomfort about asking for and giving a million dollars to fund gender equity initiatives. 
  • “Let nothing stand between you and the people you are trying to connect to,” said Ruth Ann Harnisch, President of the Harnisch Foundation, while discussing the power of media to impact social change, with Dianne Lynch, President of Stephens College. Harnisch also responded to an audience question about the movie Equity by reminding participants of the double standard in film where we expect films to portray women acting heroically, but we don’t hold men to this same standard.
Tracy Gary gives an amazing acceptance speech after receiving the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Award.

One of the most heartfelt moments in the conference was when Tracy Gary received the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award. Gary, author of Inspired Philanthropy and longtime advocate for advancing women’s philanthropy, gave an impassioned plea for women to get stronger in their commitment of dollars and time to philanthropy.

In making the Award, Shaw-Hardy noted that when she and Taylor co-authored their landmark book, Women and Philanthropy, Gary was one of the chief knowledge sources they called upon to learn about the world of women’s giving.

Gary had some of the most interesting and thought-provoking things to say at the conference, which makes sense given her four decades of experience with the field. She reminded the audience that one of her big keys to success is simply showing up. She is one of those people who makes it to many conferences a year, and noted that her ongoing visibility and accessibility are essential traits to her success. She talked about the importance of setting aside money in your budget as a woman philanthropist in order to attend conferences and be part of the visible leadership of the movement.

“We need to stop letting men be in charge,” said Gary, and, “Learning to love is learning to listen,” — both timeless messages that embody Gary’s fearless persistence in advancing the causes of women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other progressive causes. Gary was bold enough to say that if she were to get hit by a bus, she would be ecstatic, because she has laid out her giving plan and is looking forward to making those large donations. She also told the audience that she lost 100 pounds in the past year by cutting wheat, dairy, and sugar out of her diet, and these big changes are partially about wanting to  be around to participate in the women’s philanthropy field for another twenty years at least.

Gary helped establish the Women’s Foundation of California in 1979-1980, one of the first locally based women’s funds in the country. She also helped build out several donor networks including the Women’s Funding Network, Women Donors Network, and Women Moving Millions.

In the last breakout session of the conference, I sat with a group of about 30 women. The legendary Jacki Zehner was leading the discussion, which centered on identify next action steps for women’s philanthropy as a whole. It was time for the rubber to meet the road. What were we going to do as a group, and where were we going to get the resources to do it?

Of course, these questions can never be answered quickly, but the conversation was intense, and involved much careful listening and questioning. Some of the priorities that received the highest votes from the group were:

1.) Establishing a hub for women’s philanthropy (Hey, sounds a lot like Philanthropy Women!).

2.) Establishing a shared policy agenda for women’s philanthropy.

3.) Identifying next steps for movement activities like The Women’s March.

Unfortunately, I had to rush out of this last break-out session, since I received a text that my shuttle to the airport had arrived early. Thankfully, I just made it to the van as the driver was closing the door to drive away.

But that’s okay, because the conversation is ongoing, as it should be. I saw on Twitter that a group of millennials from the conference is planning to do monthly update calls.

The energy and discussion is continuing around how women in philanthropy can carry the strategy forward for gender equity. I’m looking forward to staying involved!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Next for Women’s Philanthropy? Funding Collective Impact for Gender Equity

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.

After the unprecedented success of the Women’s Marches, everyone is asking, “What’s next?”

It’s time to build and fund women’s collective power at the city, state and national levels and beyond.

While writing postcards to members of Congress, donating to women’s organizations, participating in online petitions, and running for office are all critically important individual actions that woman can take, we need to consider long-term, collective action as well. Collective action requires that we connect in new ways to build common agendas, work together more effectively and track progress (and regression) in the areas that matter to us as women.

Betsy McKinney, Founder and CEO of It’s Time Network

This work is not a sprint. It’s a marathon that we can “train” to achieve sustained impact in addition to short-term milestones. It’s time to build and fund network infrastructure at the local, state and national levels to support robust cross-sector collaboration and achieve the outcomes that are possible through collective impact work.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review popularized the theory of collective impact and notes that large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Currently, people working in environmental issues are often separate from social and racial justice leaders and many organizations are still too isolated. That isolation is a result of both segmented issues and incentive structures that lead to competition for limited resources. Most organizations compete for funding from the same sources and find it hard to collaborate with other organizations even when they have common interests. Without a permanent structure for supporting collaboration within an issue area or even across issues, such efforts are often only temporary campaigns for one specific goal rather than sustained coordinations.

The Network City program is building out gender equity from the local level, starting with Denver and San Francisco.

At It’s Time Network we are building a national Network City Program to create the capacity for collective action beginning at the local level. With two pilot cities, in San Francisco and Denver and as more cities join the network, the capacity for collective action can begin to scale to the state and national levels. Additionally, each city and or state has international organizations that can join the network, which strengthens our global connections as well.

The work ahead lies beyond simple partisan divides. People from every part of the political spectrum are waking up and exercising their civic muscles. It’s not just about women and women’s rights, either. It is pro-democracy, pro-“justice for all”, pro-equality, pro-inclusion, and pro-love and non-violence. It’s about building bridges. Women have an important role to play in healing divides, modeling cooperation, and leading truth and reconciliation processes. Women are actively building inclusive, compassionate communities that can work together.

While it’s imperative for women to respond to immediate concerns in our world, the next steps must also identify and establish what we want and how to achieve it.

The Mayors Guide to Accelerating Gender Equality is part of a dashboard of tools for our Network City Program that details solutions. The guide is a readily accessible “toolkit” that provides recommendations, resources, and a checklist of actions a city can take in 11 different issue areas to improve the lives of women and girls and to strengthen communities. It is a tool for sharing best practices from city to city, and currently, the guide is being used to build a common women’s agenda for Denver. This spring, It’s Time Network is partnering with the Denver Office on Women and Families and the Mayor of Denver to produce  It’s Time 2017: Denver Gender Equity Summit on May 31st.

Getting clear about exactly what we want is important as we use data to understand the current status of women to inform any actions that we take. What is the current status of women? And how can we meaningfully compare our circumstances from one geography to another? The California Women’s Well-Being Index is an important new tool for comparing the status of women county by county across the state. Developing this tool and creating a Well-Being Index for every state is critical for using data to inform our work together. As we identify areas of greatest need in each state, strategic collective impact initiatives can be designed to engage diverse organizations and stakeholders, and to support collaboration across sectors and among non-profits, business, government, private donors and others. By being data-driven and with tools to measure goals and outcomes, we can achieve long term change and impact. The Network City Program taken to scale, will be a powerful organizing structure for women to use in every community to ground the immense power and passion that has arisen over the past few months.

Building and maintaining a robust national collective impact infrastructure requires transformative funding. This work has been designed, is being piloted and is ready to go to scale. While it’s critical to fund the further development of this program, it is equally important to ensure that the long term funding of this work is a “collective ownership model” and is not forever reliant upon outside funding.

It’s time for women to “own our power” and to own the infrastructure and services that support us. With an innovative funding model, It’s Time Network is pioneering the concept of “women’s collective economic independence.” We cannot rely long term upon the government, corporations, large foundations, or even large private donors. The initial support they give is essential to seed this work, and women can and will always work with these vital funding partners and allies. Yet, it’s critical for us as women to grow the number of women who become participants in the national network so we can build our micro-funding capacity. We can and must rely upon ourselves and build a culture of women’s collective independence from generation to generation.

The Women’s Future Fund at It’s Time Network is part of the ownership model for building women’s collective economic independence. Growing this unprecedented national, collective asset, is tied to the growth of the Network City Program to ensure a distributed decision making model with diverse women leaders at the grassroots (inclusive of women’s city or state foundations) determining the allocation of funds, city by city.

Women have an essential role to play in what’s next not just after the election, but in all aspects of decision making about our world. Anxiety is high as the global challenges seem daunting. As women, we must ground our efforts in stable, loving, creative and collaborative actions that demonstrate our ability to heal and transform our world. It’s time to build our partnerships, grow our collective capacity and promote a vision of a world that we know is possible.

Betsy McKinney is the Founder and CEO of It’s Time Network

How the Emergent Fund Makes Grants to Fight Attacks on Vulnerable Groups

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

# # #
  • Puente Human Rights Movement Rapid Response - $50,000
    • Puente Human Rights Movement is grassroots migrant justice organization based in Phoenix. Puente has been a leader in the struggle for immigrant rights, including fights against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona's 2010 racial profiling law. Puente will use their grant from the Emergent Fund to develop teams across Maricopa County that can respond to rapidly changing immigration policies and enforcement. They will combine grassroots organizing, legal defense, and communications strategies to respond to raids, stop deportations, and ultimately build political power in Arizona.
  • Mijente - $30,000
    • Mijente is a hybrid digital and grassroots organizing hub that brings together Latinx and Chicanx changemakers across movements. Originating from anti-deportation fights, Mijente has a proven record of integrating direct action, digital tools, communications, and cultural work with strong community partnerships. Mijente will use their Emergent Fund grant to launch a recruitment drive to help establish local organizing groups. In addition to their base-building work, they will develop curricula for community defense against deportations.
  • United We Dream - $30,000
    • As an undocumented immigrant-led organization, United We Dream’s first priority is to take care of their community. Already, thousands of undocumented immigrants, educators, and faith leaders have reached out to United We Dream with anxiety about the future. This environment is creating physical, mental, and emotional trauma in immigrant communities. The Emergent Fund support will enable United We Dream to expand and support local deportation defense teams, as well as expand United We Dream’s existing community communication tools, including a text-message alert system, "MigraWatch" Toll-Free Hotline to report ICE activity and get support, coalition building, legal support systems, and more.
  • Texas Rapid-Response Plan - $50,000
    • Texas is one of the the only states with massive numbers of DREAMers and undocumented immigrants that is not a Blue state. Unlike California, where the state government has made clear they will stand against Trump's proposals and orders, Texas is supporting and amplifying Trump's agenda. This is a life or death moment. That is why the Texas Organizing Project, the Workers Defense Project, and the Texas Civil Rights Project are teaming up to do massive immigrant defense across the state while continuing to educate, serve, mobilize, and organize to unleash the political power in these communities.
  • #BlackLivesMatter Channel Black Media Training Cohort - $30,000
    • In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, #BlackLivesMatter is piloting a rapid-response media training program for Black millennial leaders. Their aim is to position them as experts on primetime television, radio, and in print. BLM leaders see this program as a direct action, but one in which speaking out serves as an ideological disruption.
  • Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
    • Founded in 2014, MuslimARC has a two-fold mission: Train American Muslims on the value of racial justice work and address issues of anti-blackness within Muslim spaces; and train non-Muslims on critical anti-Islamophobia activism, including what the Muslim community needs from allies to effectively fight anti-Muslim hate. The Emergent Fund grant will help MuslimARC hire their two co-leaders on a full-time basis, thus increasing their capacity exponentially as we enter a critical moment in the fight against Islamophobia. MuslimARC's Executive Director, Namira Islam, was named as a citizen plaintiff in a new lawsuit being brought against the Trump Administration to fight against the Muslim ban.
  • Center for Media Justice (CMJ) - $20,000
    • Activists have sought assistance in navigating and defending themselves against national surveillance from a largely unaccountable system. CMJ is one of few organizations led by people of color who have the expertise and trusted relationships to lead these kinds of trainings on a large scale. CMJ will use their Emergent Fund grant to kickstart their rapid-response capacity to deliver surveillance self-defense trainings to racial justice activists and organizations across the movement.
  • NC Leadership Development and Rapid Response Infrastructure - $30,000
    • Building progressive, mutli-racial, and multi-issue infrastructure in North Carolina is important to the success of our movements. That's why we are proud to support the Southern Vision Alliance, a statewide network made up of people of color, immigrants, youth, and queer activists. They focus on building solidarity, training leaders, and building a base in North Carolina. SVA will use their Emergent Fund grant to build capacity for each of the organizations in the alliance, including leadership development, base building, and strategy development.
  • Grassroots Asians Rising Alliance - $30,000
    • Grassroots Asians Rising is a new formation of grassroots Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) organizations to exchange and share best practices in organizing, civic engagement, and multi-racial coalition building. Together, they will: 1) conduct joint political education and leadership development for grassroots leaders and organizers; 2) experiment with community defense projects like “Hate Free Zones”; 3) coordinate rapid-response efforts; and 4) build civic engagement strategies locally and nationally. Grassroots Asians Rising will use their grant from the Emergent Fund for an upcoming strategy convening of over 200 AAPI organizers across the country.
  • #ItTakesRoots to #GrowTheResistance for Visionary Opposition - $25,000
    • #ItTakesRoots is a joint initiative of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right to the City Alliance (RTTC). #GrowTheResistance, a new project borne out of long-time collaboration between these climate justice and place-based networks, uplifts the leadership of Indigenous, Latina, Black, Asian, and Arab women. #GrowtheResistance will use their Emergent Fund Grant to organize over 15 coordinated events and actions (including leading a delegation at the National People's Climate March), develop a common message as "defenders of the land, water, our homes and our bodies,” and host cross-sector strategy sessions across the country.
  • Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute - adrienne maree brown: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds - $10,000
    • The Emergent Fund proudly got its name and ethos from the brilliant mind of adrienne maree brown, an acclaimed writer and social justice facilitator. adrienne's wisdom, vision, and writings are helping to build the intellectual framework that is guiding movement leaders today.She will use her Emergent Fund grant to launch a series of convenings around the country filled with readings and workshops on emergent strategy: a way of being that encourages communities to invest in relationships, adaptation, interdependence, and honesty.
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New Coalition Highlights Need for Gender Equality Investments

Skaters from WomenForward coalition member, Figure Skating in Harlem

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 Leaders

Dear 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. It requires 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 like Mercado Global, Nomi Network, Plum Alley, Same Sky, Shopping for a Change, Hot Bread Kitchen and Thistle 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), and Trickle 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: 

Callisto

Figure Skating in Harlem

Girls Write Now

Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA)

Hot Bread Kitchen

Mercado Global

Plan International USA

Rising Tide Capital

SHE-CAN

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)

Thistle Farms

Trickle Up

The PIMCO Foundation

 

Make It Better Spotlights the Top 30 Chicago Female Philanthropists

Renee Crown, Crown Family Philanthropies

An innovative publishing hub out of Chicago called Make It Better has developed an impressive list of the top 30 women in Chicago philanthropy. From Make it Better:

In honor of Chicago hosting the National Symposium on Women, Philanthropy and Civil Society, we proudly share our list of the top 30 female philanthropists.

Chicago will soon be hosting the Women’s Philanthropy Institute conference, DREAM. DARE. DO and Philanthropy Women will be there!

Source: Top 30 Chicago Female Philanthropists

How the NFL’s $10 Million Investment in Ending Gender-Based Violence is Activating Youth

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 from 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.