Ana Oliveira to Moderate Debate Between Two Philanthropy Heavyweights

Ana Oliveira
© Donna F. Aceto

In the world of philanthropy, it’s a little unusual to hear about a public debate between high level professionals. We have a lot of panel discussions, and not so many debates. But Philanthropy New York (PNY) clearly has other ideas.

PNY, “a regional association of grantmakers with global impact,” is sponsoring a debate between two very different leaders in the philanthropy sector. Picture, if you will, the matchup:

In this corner, we have David Callahan, Founder and Publisher of Inside Philanthropy, and author of the forthcoming title, The Givers, a riveting text that makes you question everything you know about philanthropy, and which lands squarely on the side of tightening up taxation and regulation of the rich. Furthermore, it makes you want to run laps around the block to vent your rage at the rampant inequality in today’s world.

In the other corner, we have Emmett Carson, President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the world’s largest community foundation, where givers like Mark Zuckerberg and Jan Koum have put some of their money in recent years. SVCF has only been around since 2007, yet it has become the largest community foundation in the world, with more than $8 billion in assets.

The two will face off topics like: “Why are DAFs and other intermediaries exploding, like women’s funding networks? What are the implications?” and, “Does philanthropy need to be more accountable, broadly, to the American public? How?”

Leaders of Dallas Women’s Foundation, California Women’s Foundation, The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, New York Women’s Foundation, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham and Ms. Foundation on stage at the United State of Women Summit on June 14 in Washington, D.C.

Moderating the debate will be Ana Oliveira, President of the New York Women’s Foundation. Ana Oliveira has led some of the boldest strategies for women’s funds, including being one of the founders of Prosperity Together, the partnership of women’s funds across the country that is focusing on economic empowerment for women and girls, particularly women and girls of color.

The debate will take place at the PNY offices in New York on Thursday, April 13, at 9:00 am. It will also be livestreamed online. Go here for more information and to register.

Looking forward to watching them duke it out! Of course, I’m sure it will be quite the civil occasion, where philanthropy’s spirit of generosity will reign supreme. (Right?)

We’re Scaling Up: Announcing Philanthropy Women’s First Lead Sponsors

Philanthropy Women: A Home for News and Conversation on Women Donors and Allies

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Philanthropy Women has secured its first two lead sponsors, and hopes to bring on at least eight more by year’s end.

Needless to say, it is the dream of a lifetime for me to be able to write and publish on such an important topic. I am excited to begin hiring more writers and scaling up.

Our lead sponsors both possess unique expertise in the world of women’s philanthropy, so their added value is compounded mightily by their own dedication to building new ways to fund gender equity in the world. Please join me in thanking them for believing in the vision of Philanthropy Women, and for supporting more quality media by, for, and about women.

Lead Sponsors The Harnisch Foundation and Emily Nielsen Jones Provide Seed Support for Philanthropy Women

Funders Provide Media Amplification for Women Donors Network, the Global Fund for Women, and Women Thrive.

Women Donors Network

Harnisch Foundation will fund media amplification for the Women Donors Network. WDN will receive added media coverage for its campaigns and will be included in Philanthropy Women’s aggregated news and associated media campaigns.

The Women Donors Network (WDN) engages in high-impact advocacy and philanthropy for women’s empowerment. Through an annual conference, events, advocacy, and member-led donor circles, WDN members invest more than $150 million a year. Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder and President of Harnisch Foundation, is a member of WDN.

Harnisch Foundation was established in 1998 with a vision of advancing gender equality through funding for film and media, journalism, and leadership. Since its inception in 1998, Harnisch Foundation has given over $10 million to more than 800 grantees.

Read Ruth Ann Harnisch’s Interview on Philanthropy Women“Modesty Does Not Serve Women’s Leadership.” Ruth Ann Harnisch on What It Will Take for Women to Lead

Global Fund for Women

Emily Nielsen Jones will fund media amplification for the Global Fund for Women and Women Thrive in order to increase knowledge about and investment in women-led social change around the world.

The Global Fund for Women is a nonprofit that has awarded over $100 million in grants to over 4,000 organizations supporting gender equality and progressive women’s rights. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Global Fund for Women focuses on the priorities of freedom from violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.


Women Thrive, an initiative of Women Thrive Worldwide, helps women and their families across the globe with community-based solutions that reduce poverty, violence, and inequality.  Women Thrive Alliance is a global network comprised of 230 member organizations in 50 countries around the globe.

Emily Nielsen Jones, Donor Activist and Co-Founder, Imago Dei Fund

Emily Nielsen Jones is a donor-activist engaged in promoting human equality, justice, and peace around the world. She is particularly passionate and engaged in the nexus of faith, gender, and development and working to mobilize our faith traditions to more fully and unambiguously embrace gender equality.

In her role as Co-Founder and President of the Imago Dei Fund, Emily has helped the foundation adopt a gender-lens in its grantmaking, with a particular focus on partnering with inspired female change agents, locally and around the world.

Emily is actively engaged in the women-led philanthropy movement, is the author of numerous articles, and is a member of Women Moving Millions and the Women’s Donor Network.

View Emily’s post about the historic women’s march: I’m With Her: Reboarding the Feminist Train to Build Local and Global Sisterhood 

The Free A Girl Movement: How Funders are Helping Women Go From Prostitution to Prosecution

The School for Justice is helping formerly trafficked women and girls in Mumbai, India become agents of justice.

How is Bollywood actor and activist Mallika Sherawat helping girls escape lives of sex trafficking? One girl at a time, by enrolling them in the School for Justice.

Sherawat is an ambassador of the Free a Girl Movement and a supporter of the School for Justice, opening today in Mumbai, India.

But freeing the girls is only part of the story. The larger part of social change being driven by Mallika Sherawat and other community activists in India is about correcting the systems of justice that do not prevent the crimes from happening again. Here’s how Mallika Sherawat explains it: “By freeing the girls, we’re not changing the system that allows this crime to happen. To break this cycle, we will attack a key factor: the fact that the perpetrators are not being punished. Because they are not punished, they can continue with their crimes.”

Mallika Sherawat

Sherawat is asking other donors and activists to come on board and support the School for Justice. “Help the victims turn their anger at this injustice into a force for good – and a furious determination to put everyone involved in child prostitution behind bars,” said Sherawat.

Mallika Sherawat has an interesting early life story. Born “Reema Lamba” in a small village in India, Sherawat changed her name to “Mallika,” meaning “empress” so as not to be confused with another actress. According to Wikipedia, Sherawat uses her mother’s maiden name rather than her birth last name, in honor of the support she has received from her mother.

Now, as an advocate for empowering women and girls to escape sex trafficking, Sherawat is helping the School for Justice open its doors.

The School for Justice plans to remove underage girls from brothels in India and “train them to be lawyers and prosecutors with the power to ensure the criminals who force them into sex work are punished,” according to a press release about the school’s opening. 

Who else is behind this bold new approach? The School for Justice has been created by a “leading global creative team,” headed by the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, which developed the idea of the school.

The School for Justice will be housed within “one of India’s most respected law universities” and will provide “support, tuition and mentoring that the girls need to reach university level.” The vision of the school is to prepare girls for entering into college for law, and ultimately advancing to become the prosecutors who will challenge India’s legal system from within.

A student at the School for Justice in Mumbai, India.

The scope of the problem is vast. An estimated 1.2 million children are forced into prostitution in India, yet only 55 legal cases against these crimes led to convictions.

Francis Gracias, CEO of the Free a Girl Movement called the School for Justice an “ambitious” project, but one that is necessary to address the root problem of sex trafficking in India. “We appeal to all of India to get behind The School for Justice and support our cause – as we can’t do this alone. Ultimately we want governmental support and to build up a robust advocacy programme to push for law reform to make a positive change for India,” said Gracias.

Initially, nineteen girls are being taught in the School of Justice, with plans to increase the class size in 2018. Learn more about the School for Justice here.