Fighting the Tide of Women Being Taught Not to Love Themselves

Greetings and welcome to Philanthropy Women! It’s Kiersten Marek here, the founder and editor of PW. Today there are many new happenings I want to share with you from the feminist giving realm, but first I want to take a moment to acknowledge an issue that has caused difficulty for us as a publication: the phenomenon of feminist givers being taught not to love themselves, and to see funding news about their work as an indulgence.

feminist giving realm
Feminist Funded ’23 is now taking registrations for its next conference which will be in September 2023. (Image credit: Women’s Funding Network)

As women, broadly speaking, we are taught not to love ourselves, to discredit our own work, and to downplay our own accomplishments. One of the reasons I started Philanthropy Women was because I wanted to reverse that trend — to make it possible, and, dare I say, easy, to feel good about yourself as a funder of gender equality.

It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had others tell me I am “overdosed” on the topic of gender equality giving, and still others have implied that I have an exaggerated sense of the importance of the work.

I tend to disagree with these opinions. My stance as a feminist publisher is based on over 25 years of clinical work helping people navigate their lived experiences. My work as a clinical therapist reassured me every day that we need more feminist giving and more women’s leadership in the world.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to support PW by subscribing or even just making a one-off donation. We are fighting a mighty tide of woman-hate and devaluing of women’s experiences and contributions to the world. We need all the help we can get. Just to cover the cost of our expenses such as Mailchimp fees, hosting and security fees, and other costs of domain ownership, every dollar you donate goes a long way to keeping our little engine of feminist giving media running.

And with that, on to April’s big events in feminist giving.

1. Global Inclusive Growth Summit Features Melinda French Gates, Trevor Noah

On April 13, the Global Inclusive Growth Summit convened, hosted by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the Aspen Institute. The 2023 Global Inclusive Growth Summit featured a dynamic group of U.S. and global leaders for action-oriented discussions on topics like creating a trusted digital ecosystem, the future of multilateralism, accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, women’s economic power, addressing the racial wealth gap, and the role of business in developing and advancing solutions for world challenges.

2. Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation Grants $620,000

Focusing on Organizational Sustainability, Disaster Mitigation, and Reproductive Justice, these new grants received support from the Mellon Foundation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Learn more about this grantmaking here.

3. Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Awards Grants to Improve Safety

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) has awarded 19 grants totaling $375,000 through its Fund for Safety. The fund resources organizations and programs working to keep our communities safer by addressing gender-based violence, trafficking, harassment, and other forms of systemic violence.

Of the Safety partners, 47 percent are receiving Women’s Foundation funding for the first time, 42 percent are in rural and Greater Minnesota, and 58 percent are led by Black, Indigenous, and women of color. Funded programs will directly serve an estimated 72,739 women, men, girls, boys, and gender-expansive people across the state.

4. New York City Awards $2 Million for Women’s Media, Music and Theatre

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), has awarded $2 million to 96 projects through the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre. This initiative aims to address the underrepresentation of women in film and digital media, music, and theatre, and has provided a total of $7.5 million to 342 projects (89 in 2022, 94 in 2020 and 63 in 2019). The full lists of categories, awarded projects, and industry panelists who made the selections can be found at Photo and social media assets can be found here.  

5. Invest for Better Attends WPI, Reports Back on Lack of Gender Lens Investing

Ellen Remmer, Co-Founder of Invest for Better, writes: “Two weeks ago I was thrilled to moderate a panel at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s All In, All Rise Symposium in Chicago for a session entitled, ‘All In For Impact: How to Use Philanthropy and Impact Investing for Change‘, with awesome Invest for Better members Mary Hawkins and Janell Johnson. In a packed room of about 100 female philanthropists and fundraisers, less than 10% admitted that they had taken the time and initiative to align their investments with their values. This is an untapped opportunity. These women care deeply about being part of the change they want to see in the world and yet they are not using the power that they have – in the sector of the economy that rules the world! The audience eagerly took notes about how to get started and where they could invest. Post-panel interest included a university fundraiser who committed to start an Invest for Better Circle among her alumnae!”

6. WomenStrong International Also Responds to WPI All in, All Rise Symposium

WomenStrong International leadership also had a potent reaction to WPI’s Symposium. From their newsletter: “When women work together, our collective energies cannot be denied. Last week our communications team attended the “All In, All Rise” women’s philanthropy symposium sponsored by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University and Bank of America. The symposium’s brief title crystallizes the many ways in which women give — with all their physical, intellectual, spiritual, and financial resources. At WomenStrong International, we unite our staff and partners in building shared prosperity and individual and collective agency.”

7. FJS and Wellspring Announce New Website for Global South Feminist Organizing

FJS in partnership with Wellspring Foundation has launched a unique site: Resourcing Black Feminist Organizing in Latin America and the Caribbean. The site is a culmination of years of research on over 300 Black feminist organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean and details Black women’s realities and organizing across 17 countries in the regions. The launch follows FJS’ co-signing the Black Feminist Fund’s “Open Letter to Philanthropy” in January, a letter which sparked questions in the philanthropic field on how to heed Black feminist leaders’ urgent call. The site’s guidance for the philanthropic field is a direct response, providing answers on how to increase resources and build ethical relationships with Black feminist movements.

8. Amplify Her Foundation Launches, Recruits for Leadership Network

With a central mission to support women and girls in underserved communities, the Amplify Her Foundation has launched and is now looking to build its leadership network. The application deadline is May 31. To learn more and apply please visit

9. Registration for Feminist Funded ’23 is Now Open

Women’s Funding Network invites you to join them from September 10-14 in Washington DC, US for “the largest convening of gender-focused philanthropy, dedicated to creating a more just, equitable, and safer world for all.” The event will include two days of high-profile conference speakers and workshops along with a pre-conference day of legislative activities. Get tickets here.

10. DDP Featured in Dance Magazine

 Dance Data Project’s publication, Raising the Barre, has received a lot of attention for its high quality reporting, including a feature in Dance Magazine! Raising the Barre is a new media entity offering “creative solutions to properly equip female dance leaders of the future with vital skills to strengthen their careers.” The free series has taken off strong from the start with featured conversations with Jodie Gates, Victoria Morgan, Susan Jaffe, Dacquiri Baptiste, Harris Ferris, David Mallette, and Lauren Cramer.


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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.

One thought on “Fighting the Tide of Women Being Taught Not to Love Themselves”

  1. In summary, it is true that the world is very big, women’s rights are being forgotten and grossly violated in certain countries, not to mention the country where I live. It is necessary to reflect and give assistance and repair to these women. Why are they discriminated against in job opportunities? Why are they sexually violated? why are they subject to maltate? Humanly speaking, woman is equal to man, there is no difference. Therefore, it is necessary to empower women in all areas. Mainly in the economic area that allows you to make the right choice of your will, something that does not exist in women until today. another question is, there is talk of billions of dollars to finance women but in practice nothing happens, for us it is only information that we follow in the media, in the news and in newsletters. We have great doubts as to whether community-based NGOs are really being financed to save the lives of these women who need to get out of the disadvantaged phase of life and situation they are in.

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