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.
More than 90% of campaigns on GoFundMe ultimately fail. And for those that succeed, hidden fees and exorbitant processing charges put extra hurdles between nonprofits and funding their work. This paints a grim picture for crowdfunding, especially online giving for feminist campaigns.
What if there was a platform that combined the ideals of crowdfunding with versatile fundraising methods like direct donations, event sales, and donations through social media?
Givebutter, a (mostly) free giving platform for nonprofits, schools, student groups, sports teams, and companies, offers a convenient, easy-to-use, and–most important at all–transparent giving system that could transform the future of giving.
“We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does,” said Beyoncé in her pre-recorded acceptance speech for the 2020 BET Awards. The performer and philanthropist is 2020’s recipient of the Humanitarian Award, bestowed for her work through the BeyGOOD Initiative and other campaigns.
“Thank you so much for this beautiful honor,” she said. “I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”
So far, 2020 has thrown a lot at nonprofits. This unprecedented year has been full of crisis, conflict, and budget crunching, and many social change organizations have had to scramble to pull together funds simply to keep their doors open. In Fundraising During A Crisis, a twelve-week course from Wright Consulting Group, Alyssa Wright and her team hope to arm nonprofit leaders with the skills they need to successfully raise funds in the midst of uncertainty.
“Fundraising During A Crisis is a online 12-week course that includes an analysis of the current philanthropic landscape, a check-in for fundraisers as to how they measure their success and who they want to become as purpose-driven professionals, and time to connect with guest speakers who you wouldn’t normally see as part of the development field,” says Wright, Founder of Wright Consulting Group. “It’s a really important program because it teaches nonprofit leaders how to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and also, what to value and how to measure their success during this very uncertain time.”
As feminist giving strategies have evolved, an awareness about intersectional factors for women and girls of color has grown. With that growth has come bold new imperatives to earmark funding specifically for women and girls of color, in order to ensure maximum impact. Now, Ms. Foundation for Women and Strength in Numbers Consulting Group (SiNCG) have come out with research that gives more information about how these intersectional strategies are progressing and where they stand in relation to the rest of philanthropy.
According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women make up only 23.6% of seats in the 116th United States Congress — and it’s far past time to change that. Through its Women’s Leadership Programs, Dare to Run, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, provides women with the leadership skills and political training needed to run for office in the United States.
“There is a lot of information that comes along with running a campaign in general,” says Rachelle Suissa, CEO and Founder of Dare to Run. “Then, for women, the knowledge and strategies for a successful campaign shifts fundamentally. Dare to Run wants to make sure that women are prepared to run successful, strategic campaigns for office that will bring them to victory.”
Another corporate funder has stepped in to help small business in this time of economic uncertainty. Verizon recently announced another $2.5 million commitment to small businesses, bringing total funding for the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund to 7.5 million dollars.
“Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” writes the communications giant in the description of the program. “Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability.”
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Heidi Gonzalez, Executive Director of Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH). In addition to her duties as the new Executive Director, Heidi is the Regional Supervisor of Wynnewood, PA, Allentown, PA, and Wilmington, DE for AFTH.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I never really thought about it. In fact, I take each day as it comes. I try not to look back and get caught up in a “woulda shoulda coulda” mentality. Instead, I focus on the future and what I can do to improve my agency and myself. Every profession has its challenges: it’s all in how you handle them, and if I don’t think I did a bang up job the first time, I try to look at where I made mistakes and try to correct them the next time. Every day is an opportunity to do better–so that’s what I aspire to do.
With COVID-19 dominating news feeds, it’s more important than ever before to keep our attention on movements like #MeToo and the fight for gender equality. The music industry, like many male-dominated fields, is rife with stories of harassment and assault. And the disconcerting trend we see over and over in cases of sexual assault pops up in the music industry, too: the silence of women scared that speaking up will mean losing their careers.
Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick seek to break this mold in On the Record, an intense and poignant account of one woman’s fight to tell her story. Drew Dixon, formerly a music executive at Def Jam Recordings and Arista Records, is one of the first women of color to speak up publicly about sexual assault at the hands of a prominent industry giant. On the Record tells her story, and those of several other women alleging sexual assault, harassment, or rape by music mogul Russell Simmons.
Kiersten Marek, editor and publisher of Philanthropy Women, opened up today’s webinar, “Funding to End Violence Against Women of Color,” with a welcome to the speakers and audience.
She introduced the webinar with a discussion on the idea behind Philanthropy Women. Partially inspired by NoVo Foundation’s bold commitment of $90 million in funding for women and girls of color in 2016, Philanthropy Women launched in January of 2017 to cover this kind of intersectional feminist giving approach and others like it. However, with NoVo’s recent shuttering of programs for women and girls of color, the funding landscape for addressing domestic violence against women of color is facing some big changes.