Upcoming Women’s Philanthropy Webinar on 2024 Giving Trends

Kiersten Marek, of Philanthropy Women, will be on a panel for a webinar presented by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) on January 30, 2024 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, (12:00 PM Central Time). The discussion is scheduled for one hour. 

The central topic will be how women’s philanthropy will transform itself in 2024. The US general election in November is sure to have an impact on women’s priorities and so women’s giving. The influence of megadonors, as always, will continue to be a significant factor in the sector as well as we head into this new year.  

Next Tuesday, join WPI for a webinar on women’s philanthropy trends. (Image credit: WPI)

Join Kiersten, WPI and others for the discussion as we explore research-driven insights that inform trends in gender and giving. We will also hear from leaders in the field who will share their predictions for 2024 and beyond. 

The list of Confirmed Panelists includes:

Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President and CEO, Women’s Funding Network

Kiersten Marek, Founder, Philanthropy Women

Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Note that the conference will originate from Indiana University, and will begin at noon Central Standard time, 1:00 PM Eastern Time. There is no fee for attendance.

For the full notice, use the link below:


Use the following link to register.


One: Open Society Foundation Commits 50 Million for Women and Youth Groups Engaging in Democracy

Open Society Foundations, the major philanthropy now led by Alex Soros, said Tuesday it will commit $50 million to increase civic engagement among women and young people over the next three years as part of its strategy to support democracy in the U.S. 

Alex Soros is chair of the Open Society Foundations and son of its founder billionaire investor George Soros. Shawnda Chapman, director of innovative grantmaking and research for the Ms. Foundation for Women stressed that this support is needed. The Ms. Foundation published research last week advocating increased financial support for social justice issues.

“At this moment, when women and women’s bodies and gender-nonconforming folks are being attacked on a daily basis, are they willing to move 10% to us?” Teresa Younger, Ms. Foundation’s president and CEO, said of other foundations.

Younger continued, “Are the bodies of Black and brown women and gender nonconforming folks valuable enough for them to continue to feel uncomfortable about the dollars that are sitting in their endowments and move those dollars to the field?”

In a statement, Soros noted, “In the early stages of the Trump administration, philanthropic support for organizations seeking to protect and defend progressive policy wins and to counter democratic suppression efforts surged. But groups dedicated to the civic engagement of women and young people did not see similar increases in levels of support.”

Soros, added that advocacy from women and younger generations is essential to stopping the advancement of authoritarianism.

The new Open Society commitment will support nonprofits working on a wide range of issues impacting these groups, including reproductive justice, climate change, voting and gun safety.

OSF says the new funding will be in addition to prior commitments it’s made to U.S.-based organizations since 2020, like $220 million for Black-led organizations working for racial justice, $100 million to Latino organizations to support civic engagement and immigrants’ rights and $52.6 million for organizations that work in Indigenous and Asian communities.

For the full announcement, see: https://apnews.com/article/open-society-soros-womens-rights-democracy-aadb81f1f0d9027cb3e827343ccfba07

Two: Sheila Johnson to Join Board of Directors of PBS Foundation

PBS announced the election of Sheila Johnson to the PBS Foundation Board of Directors. Johnson is a noted entrepreneur and philanthropist, she is also the author of a new memoir, “Walk Through Fire,” published in September 2023.

The PBS Foundation is the national fundraising arm of PBS, working to secure the major gifts and grants necessary to maintain and enhance PBS’s service to the American public. The funds raised produce trusted, accessible media of the highest quality and advances priorities in support of PBS’s member stations nationwide.

“I’m proud to welcome Sheila Johnson, a trailblazing entrepreneur, to the PBS Foundation Board,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The Foundation will be even stronger because of Sheila’s addition to the Board.”

Johnson is the founder and CEO of the Salamander Collection, which operates luxury properties centered around unique destinations in the U.S. and the Caribbean. She also co-founded the first cable television network for African American audiences, Black Entertainment Television (BET) among other ventures.

As a partner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Johnson is also the only African American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams and she spearheaded the formation of WE Capital, a venture capital consortium, to support and invest in female-led enterprises.

In addition, Johnson is an active philanthropist and community leader. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and chairman of the College of Performing Arts at The New School. Johnson lends her expertise to the boards of directors at the Metropolitan Opera, Jackie Robinson Foundation, and the Simon & Schuster Publishing Advisory Board. She is a committee member of the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health, and Wellbeing.

To read the full press release, please use the following link:


To learn more about the PBS Foundation, please visit foundation.pbs.org.

Three: Equity Project Alliance has named a new Executive Director – Dr. Lusharon Wiley. 

Dr Lusharon Wiley has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Equity Project Alliance (EPA). She will be working with local business leaders to create sustainable change in Escambia County and northwest Florida.  Dr. Wiley is a founding member of EPA and for the past six years has led corporate culture, equity, and inclusion efforts at Innisfree Hotels as Vice President of Corporate Culture. 

Dr Wiley’s goal is to lead the EPA to take on an even bigger role in Pensacola and surrounding areas. Dr. Wiley was named one of the Most Influential People in Pensacola by Inweekly Magazine in 2023 and is also a recipient of the HERpreneur Network Icon Award for Florida because of her groundbreaking work in equity and inclusion in the local area.

The EPA was founded three years ago by Julian and Kim MacQueen. Dr. Wiley will assume the role of Executive Director at a time when the organization has become a hub for community groups seeking to build equity through sustainable solutions to identified issues. 

“We are confident that, under Dr. Wiley’s leadership, the EPA will achieve a new level of success toward its mission and vision,” said Ted Ent, President and CEO of Innisfree Hotels, which supports the EPA through Innisfree’s Hive community initiatives.

Since its inception, The EPA has sparked immersive conversations and hosted powerful speakers to promote transformative thinking and creative action. Along with data-driven statistics on social disparities, the EPA is poised to take on an even bigger role as a community resource and change agent with support of groups like the Hive.   

A difference-maker in local communities and a passionate leader in equity and inclusion, With prior work in higher education before joining Innisfree, Dr. Wiley volunteers on the boards of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, the Pensacola-Escambia Promotion and Development Commission, and others.  

Click this link to learn more about the Equity Project Alliance 

Four: New Federally-Funded Campaign to Disrupt Child Sex Trafficking

Protect All Children from Trafficking (PACT) seeks to protect all children from sex trafficking. PACT has launched a campaign called Transit Against Child Trafficking (TACT) to educate public transit workers and the public at large to spot red flags that may indicate a child is being trafficked. 

The program was implemented because 1 in 3 human trafficking survivors report using public buses, and 1 in 5 used subways or metros while being trafficked. 

This new campaign is being tested in the Albany region of New York, in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe region of New Mexico. The campaign is being developed in collaboration with survivors of child sex trafficking who are part of PACT Survivors’ Council. 

Specifically, the public awareness and education campaign will include social media, text messages, email communications, advertisements in and around public transit locations, signage in and on buses, trains and within transit authority offices, and recommendations for training and reporting protocols developed for transit personnel.

The campaign will be rolled out in other regions across the country using lessons learned from the initial launch.

The general public can play a significant role in detected a child who is being trafficked. Some of the red flags include:

  • A child traveling at unusual hours and/or traveling with an older person who seems to be controlling the
  • A child that is easily startled or afraid, whose head is down and/or is avoiding eye contact
  • A child being yelled at or intimidated

However, it is important to remember that you should never intervene directly. Instead, call the national hotline at (888).373.3888. Or text BEFREE. 

Five: Lawsuits Having a Chilling Effect on U.S. gender lens grantmaking news?

We have noticed a remarkable downward trend in the number of press releases announcing gender lens grantmaking over the past several months, and are wondering if it has to do with the threat of lawsuits coming from right-wing lawyers who are trying to stamp out scholarships, grants, and basically any kind of resources allotted to women. We hope this is not the case, but it’s worth noting that it may be.

Grantmakers will need to decide if they want to keep doing gender lens grantmaking in this hostile climate, and if they do, they will also need to consider carefully whether or not to send out a press release announcing the grants. Our guess is that the number of press releases is going down as funders decide not to draw attention to themselves and end up the next target of a lawsuit.


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