And The Winners Are: Announcing the Feminist Giving IRL Top Tier

Editor’s Note: The following post was first published on March 1, 2021, at the conclusion of our Feminist Giving IRL contest.

Feminist Giving IRL Contest Winners Announced! Final Vote Shows Strength in Numbers and Rising Interest in Gender Equality in the Arts, Global Development, and Women in Tech

Gender Equality in Dance, Global Girls Equality, and Women in Tech are the 3 Big Winners

A total of 563 people voted in our Feminist Giving IRL Top Tier Contest. A graphic below shows the distribution of final results.

Final vote for 2021 Feminist Giving IRL: Light blue is representing Elizabeth Yntema’s 33.4% of the vote. Dr. Tessie San Martin in the blue/green on the right came in at #2 with 19% of the vote. Sara Monteabaro is third in the bright pink with 16.5% of the vote. (Image Credit: Google Spreadsheets)

Congratulations to Our Winners!

First, a heartfelt congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all the women leaders profiled in Feminist Giving IRL for being willing to participate in this event. Each of our winners will receive a $100 honorarium and will be invited to participate in our Zoom-based Top Tier Crowning Webinar where we celebrate their accomplishments and discuss their plans for the future of gender equality in their work. Stay tuned for further details on that event.

Top Tier Feminist Giver #1: Elizabeth Yntema

Elizabeth Yntema, president and founder of the Dance Data Project (courtesy: Elizabeth Yntema)

Excerpt from her Elizabeth Yntema’s interview:

Whether your interest is ballet, poverty, education, gun violence or philanthropy in general, I believe women need to take three steps. First, we must start with us, as a sex, getting comfortable talking about money, wealth and power. As Sallie Krawcheck of Ellevest has said, 85% of wealth advisors are white males over the age of 50. There is a massive opportunity for women to step in as wealth management advisors, who will listen to what their female clients want. Second, we need to own and celebrate our power and then target our giving to those institutions that promote women into leadership, pay a fair wage, and include gender-equity in their mission statement or strategic plan.

Third, as I preach in all my public speaking, stop working for free! Demand a decent wage, advocate for a comfortable lifestyle. Men sure don’t have a problem doing it.

Top Tier Feminist Giver #2: Dr. Tessie San Martin

Dr. Tessie San Martin (Image credit: Plan International USA)

Excerpt from Dr. Tessie San Martin’s interview:

I love working at Plan. As an immigrant, the work we do has particular resonance. My family left Cuba to escape the communist regime when I was very young. We came to this great country with literally nothing and started from scratch. We were blessed to have come into a country that was welcoming and that provided so many opportunities for our family to advance. Perhaps because I know how fortunate we have been to be living in a country with so much, I have always had an interest in helping those who had less. Even before I finished high school I had begun engaging in the type of work we do at Plan. I also learned that just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t lead. You can always have an impact and make a difference. 

We mobilize nearly $1 billion dollars annually to support work of protecting children in more than 70 countries. For me, a special element about Plan, and from where I draw inspiration, is the focus and priority we put on children’s voice and youth leadership. We believe that programs and activities meant to help children and young people should be designed and led by children and young people. Over the next several years, our strategy will continue to have a special focus on girls. In too many countries girls are marginalized and silenced to the detriment of all. We strongly believe that the key to advancing children’s rights is to be working to advance equality for girls. Giving children and youth a chance to lead is important.

Top Tier Feminist Giver #3: Sara Monteabaro

Sara Monteabaro is the newly appointed Director of Strategic & Partner programs at MIT Solve. (Image Credit: MIT Solve)

Excerpt from Sara Monteabaro’s interview:

It’s been shown that women-led enterprises receive significantly less investment than their male counterparts. Some may assume that the reason is because there aren’t enough women entrepreneurs, but that is simply not true. As MIT Solve’s Executive Director, Alex Amouyel aptly put it, “If you can’t find women tech entrepreneurs, you’re not looking hard enough.” Take our own Solve network for example, where over 50% of the social impact ventures in our portfolio are women-led. 

The global philanthropy community must do more to incorporate gender diversity into investment strategies and funding decisions.

Thanks again for all who participated in the series and the contest. The final vote tells us about three of the growing trends in gender equality activism, and we look forward to exploring those trends further in our upcoming event to officially crown our Top Tier Feminist Givers!


Sara Monteabaro’s Mission for Women & Girls with MIT Solve

This is a Marathon: Dr. Tessie San Martin on Leading for Girls

Own Your Power: Elizabeth Yntema on Gender Equality in Dance

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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