Gwen Tillman of Tides on Investing in Women: It’s Simple

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Gwen Tillman, Chief People Officer for Tides, a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator.

Gwen Tillman
Gwen Tillman, courtesy of Gwen Tillman
  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

By the time I took a sabbatical from working in the technology sector, I was burned out. I didn’t realize how burned out I was until I allowed myself some time to step back and figure out what I wanted my life to be about. As one of the very few Black women in my field, I constantly drove myself to perform at 1000%, and I think that’s true of many Black women who feel the systemic pressure to constantly prove themselves. What I wish I knew early on in my career is that none of us can function at 1000%, when our bodies and our souls are functioning at 50%. We have to be better advocates for our own well-being because nothing is worth risking your health. Find a career that is consistent with your values and an organization that grants you the grace to live a balanced life and feeds your soul, at the same time. I am happy to say, I have found that at Tides.  

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Asia Foundation to Honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need

The Asia Foundation’s 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need for their work for women in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)
The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay.

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Activating Philanthropy – Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Two in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Three: Talking to Family Members (Who Don’t Want to Talk to You), and Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle. 

Yup, sometimes it really is as simple as looking up a phone number! (Graphic Credit: ProgressOhio)

Welcome back to Activating Philanthropy with Philanthropy Women! This week, we’re exploring a common theme in the giving world that isn’t often clearly explained. During election seasons and high-stakes activism cycles, there are typically calls to “call your Congresswoman,” “write your representatives,” or otherwise engage with the American democratic system as a concerned citizen.

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Janelle Duray on How Women Can Do Nonprofit Leadership Better

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Janelle Duray, Executive Vice President of Jobs for America’s Graduates.

  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Janelle Duray
Janelle Duray, Jobs for America’s Graduates’ Executive Vice President (Image credit: Janelle Duray)

I always had ambitions to be at the table, but growing up on a family farm in rural Northwest Minnesota I didn’t have much exposure to those who had experiences outside of my own. Grad school brought me to D.C. and in my last semester, I started as an intern at Jobs for America’s Graduates, where I remain today (I know – rare these days to stick around so long, especially at the beginning of their careers). In the beginning, I couldn’t believe I was there and kept wondering “How did I get here?” The city, mission, impact, and access to people in power positions.  These new experiences had me second-guessing if my voice is valuable. But I knew that I had experiences that could provide insight. 

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Darren Walker: It’s Time to Support Black Women and Girls As They Lead

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

Black women worldwide have shown unbelievable resilience in the face of deep-seated racism and gender-bias, especially in the wake of the pandemic. (Image credit: The Root/Shutterstock)

Despite some (if uneven) progress with vaccinations, we still face a pandemic of pandemics: A deadly virus that exposes and aggravates deep-seated racism and gender-bias throughout our societies and institutions. Indeed, all of the data affirm, women—particularly women of color—bear the brunt of these interconnected crises.

The facts are devastating: Women of color have been left without jobs at higher rates during Covid-19. Around the world, rising unemployment coupled with lockdowns and school closures have forced millions into poverty and the threat of violence at home. In Tunisia, for instance, reported incidents of domestic violence increased five-fold during the early days of the pandemic.

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Mastercard Invests Millions in Venture Capital with Fearless Fund

Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built to support women of color, has received a huge investment from Mastercard.

Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)
Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment and yet receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. In addition, only three percent of the people actually leading investments at VC firms are Black according to the National Venture Capital Association. To help further access to funding for Black women, Mastercard today announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built by women of color for women of color.

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What Does Peggy Dulany Know about Philanthropy?

Listening first, before doing anything else as a philanthropist, is essential, according to Peggy Dulany (Rockefeller), one of the most prolific philanthropists of our time. I recently had the honor of sitting down with Dulany for a conversation on topics ranging from cross-cultural allyship to meditation to accepting the growing pains that come with diversity and inclusion. 

Peggy Dulany (Rockefeller) spoke with Yolanda F. Johnson about the meaning of philanthropy and how to find one’s deeper purpose in life. (Image credit: Peggy Dulany)

“Listen, listen, listen–with an open mind and an open heart. Because if we haven’t started with that, then what we’re liable to do will probably come from our own experience or lack of experience or misconceptions or biases,” Dulany said.

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As US and NATO Withdraw, WAW Fears Plummet in Women’s Justice

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) fearfully responds to the US and NATO withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in September.

Women for Afghan Women - GuideStar Profile
Women for Afghan Women (WAW) works to support disenfranchised women in Afghanistan. (Image credit: WAW)

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) , the largest Afghan women’s rights organization in the world, remains deeply concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan after a full withdrawal of United States (US) and NATO armed forces from Afghanistan in September of 2021.

WAW urges the US government and its NATO allies to employ the full weight of their diplomatic, economic, and political power during the months leading up to the withdrawal to ensure the establishment of an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement, which will fully protect the Afghan constitution and the rights of all Afghan citizens enshrined therein.

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New Report Reveals Truth about Ivanka Trump Not Helping Women

The Governmental Accountability Office audit of the program shows that it failed to fulfill its promises.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump (Photo Credit:

The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 (WEEE), put into action under the Trump administration, is often credited to Ivanka Trump and regarded as being widely successful. A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals otherwise. 

This act tasked the US Agency for International development (USAID) with utilizing a $265 million grant to assist micro, small and medium sized businesses around the world. Half of this grant was intended to go to women-owned companies. The other half was to be allocated to the “very poor”, with it being expected that there would be overlap between the two. 

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Kathleen Loehr Hosts New Seminar to Build Female Giving Leadership

Kathleen Loehr, President of Kathleen Loehr & Associates, LLC, has launched a nine month program to support female leaders in philanthropy.

Kathleen Loehr, President of Kathleen Loehr & Associates, LLC and the host of the Women’s Philanthropy Senior Leader Seminar (Image credit: Kathleen Loehr & Associates LLC)

(From Kathleen Loehr, April, 2021) Given the increased power of women we are seeing in the headlines and in our communities, it is time to double down on the importance of women’s philanthropy and find ways to accelerate it.  In January, I committed to focusing solely on growing women’s philanthropy. The Women’s Philanthropy Senior Leader Seminar is one outcome of that commitment. Please join me on the next phase of this journey. 

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