Maggie May is a small business owner, author, and story-centric content strategist headquartered in Annapolis, MD and Philadelphia, PA. She has a passion for finding stories and telling them the way they're meant to be told.
If you’re a fan of hummus and veggie dip, you’re probably a fan of Stacy’s Pita Chips, too. However, like most businesses, the snack brand wasn’t always a familiar fixture in grocery stores. A combination of smart advertising tactics, mentoring, and financial support brought the female-founded brand from its origins in sandwich carts to its place in grocery stores (and our pantries!).
In honor of the brand’s rise to fame, Stacy and Frito-Lay partnered to create the Stacy’s Rise Project, a grant program designed to elevate female-founded brands. The 2020 application cycle is now open, the fourth in the Stacy’s Rise program, and it offers $10,000 grants to 15 women-owned businesses.
In the midst of crisis, some foundations are working harder than ever to protect and empower women and girls, particularly in terms of providing funding for women in STEM.
Vodafone Americas Foundation recently announced a $75,000 commitment to MIT Solve’s Learning for Women & Girls challenge, as well as $50,000 in funding for OpenIdeo’s COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge. This funding reflects the Foundation’s new commitment to empowerment and education for women and girls, as well as the organization’s flexibility in times of crisis.
What can feminist giving do to help alleviate the COVID-19 crisis?
We’re seeking to answer this question in “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” the first ever webinar event from Philanthropy Women. Join Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek and special guests Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones to discuss key strategies to support women and girls through COVID.
COVID 19 is presenting humanity with extreme challenges and hardships, and particularly for women and girls, the impacts are, and will be, profound. This 45 minute session will feature expert insights on how to apply a gender lens not only to your funding, but also to your everyday life in COVID, in order to improve our collective response to this unprecedented health crisis.
The far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 crisis appear as more than just devastating illness. Crop failures, locust swarms, and market shutdowns all combine to put African villages in further peril, and when it comes to fighting these widespread effects, the Pastoralist Child Foundation finds itself on the front lines.
The Pastoralist Child Foundation (PCF) is a nonprofit dedicated to ending female genital mutilation and forced marriages while empowering African women and girls to pursue education and leadership roles in their communities.
Cindy Southworth knows how it feels to be at the center of the fire. As the Executive Vice President for the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Southworth has found herself, like many nonprofit and crisis aid workers, pivoting almost daily to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence around the country.
Speaking to Women Moving Millions during a webinar session in early April, Southworth laid out the organization’s mission, as well as the deep plea for help from domestic violence organizations around the country.
“We want to get the message out that domestic violence shelters are still open,” she says. “What we’re all working to do is create a world where the idea of domestic violence no longer exists, where it doesn’t even seem fathomable that somebody would use violence and control to harm their partner. And in the meantime, we want to make sure that, until we create that new world with different gender norms and different social and cultural expectations, that we are serving every single survivor who needs and wants to reach out for help.”
During a class at the Harvard School of Public Health, Debbie Chang’s instructor showed a picture of a tractor in the middle of a field in Africa. Rusted away, with weeds growing through its seat and tires, the tractor stood forgotten and ignored, the last remnants of some well-intentioned but badly thought out campaign for change.
“The point was that you can’t force social change upon people,” Chang says. “It may work in America, but it won’t work in Africa. It really made me think about how you can’t solve problems in a top-down model. You’ve got to focus on the local people and their culture, and solve problems with the community, not for the community.”
If you ask your little Amazon robot this question, she responds with a female mathematician, a woman scientist, a labor rights activist–and tells you all about them!
You can also tell Alexa, “Happy International Women’s Day!” to hear information on lady trailblazers like architect Zaha Hadid, environmental scientist Rachel Carson, and activist Dolores Huerta.
“Our goal is to showcase some examples of the far-ranging impact women have had on all aspects of culture, and inspire women and girls to be their own trailblazers,” said Lilian Rincon, Google Assistant’s Senior Director of Product Management, in an interview with USA Today.
Sasha Rabsey has heard the same story more than once. Most recently, she heard it at a conference, where a young woman presented on her work with trauma organizations. Her funding came from a series of high-level civil and private sector awards–enough to start ten different programs supporting women recovering from trauma in Latin America–but as the awards began to dry up, she found herself floundering for funding.
“I’ll take anything you can give me,” the young woman said, echoing scores of people Rabsey has worked with over the years. “If I don’t start winning more awards, we’re going to have to close more than half of our locations.”
In March 2020, the National Domestic Workers Alliance announced the Coronavirus Care Fund, a campaign to raise $4 million in emergency relief funds for domestic workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Domestic workers, a large percentage of whom are women, immigrants, and people of color, are among the unsung heroes on the front lines of the pandemic. They take care of homes, families, and people who are at high risk of catching the virus, like the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. What’s more, many domestic workers find themselves faced with the COVID-19 crisis without any kind of support network, savings to fall back on, or union to protect their rights.
Everyone’s talking about it: the coronavirus crisis. As more and more cities and countries take on “stay at home” orders and work to tackle growing medical shortages, events around the world are facing the difficult question of postponement or cancellation.
For smaller events, cancellation is the same as admitting defeat. Many conventions and festivals run by new or non-established organizations simply cannot survive a year’s worth of lost ticket sales, vendor contracts, and speaking arrangements.
So what can we do to help these organizations survive?