Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work in Cranston, Rhode Island, and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: the following post was originally published on February 3, 2021.
Here at Philanthropy Women, we started a series called Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) to provide a platform for women leaders at all levels who are giving in a feminist way. This giving can happen through donations and funding strategy, through professional excellence, and/or through leadership efforts in the community. Feminist giving is a form of leadership that has special impact because it often combines deeply personal experience and significantly political thinking and acting.
Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez performed what I would call a supreme act of feminist giving. When AOC spoke out against the January 6th riots and connected these riots to her experience of being sexually traumatized, she simultaneously stood up for every human who has experience sexual assault, and challenged the largest political body of our country to acknowledge how the January 6th riots are part of a continuum of pervasive violence against women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 3, 2020.
Since I launched Philanthropy Women in 2017, and even before then, I have been paying close attention to the trends, as well as the big plays and strategy shifts, happening in feminist giving. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to enumerate some of those gender equality giving trends and other happenings, and flesh out what they mean both now and for the future of philanthropy.
1. Women Funders Are Getting More Ambitious With Their Strategies
I see women funders getting more ambitious with their strategies in many different ways, both in terms of the subjects they will fund as well as the approaches they are willing to try. This means they are doing bolder things with their money, which often translates into helping our culture to become more inclusive and knowledgeable about difference. For example, Mona Sinha, Chair of the Women Moving Millions Board, has done some amazing work lately supporting the documentary Disclosure. This film does groundbreaking work in terms of exploring the growing world of gender transition, helping this community to be seen and valued by society. Being unafraid to cross the barrier and fund the LGBTQ community is just one of the many bold strategies that more feminist funders are adopting more frequently.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 8, 2020.
Is repeating space/moon travel a more pressing issue than addressing gender equality on earth?
Jeff Bezos seems to think so. The world’s richest man appears to be in something of a billionaire space-nerd contest with Elon Musk to see who can make the biggest cyber-splash with their private space travel enterprises.
Meanwhile, here on earth, we’re having much more pedestrian problems, such as mass deaths due to a preventable disease ravaging our populace, largely due to the extreme negligence of our country’s leadership.
2021 marks our fifth year publishing Philanthropy Women. While publishing PW is often exciting, enlightening, and inspiring, the time and energy that the constant production of content requires is significant. As a result, we are going to take a break and enjoy some time to reboot and refresh.
From now until August 23rd, Philanthropy Women will be on a break. We are going to unplug for these weeks, so we can come back stronger than ever to finish out 2021. We will be using this time to be with family and friends, and enjoy favorite activities.
Our content database of over 1,050 articles will still be available. Our Gender Equality Funder Knowledgebase with over 700 listed funders will still be available. We will not be producing any new content during our break. However, each week we will be reposting some of our most popular and impactful stories from the past five years on our front page.
Editor’s Note: This interview was originally published in July, 2017.
I have spent the past few years observing, writing about, and getting more involved in the world of women’s philanthropy. During that time, multiple experts have referred to the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw as being essential to the changes we now see going on in philanthropy, with more efforts to apply both a gender and race lens when framing problems and funding new strategies.
Indeed, with her scholarship, advocacy, and legal expertise, Crenshaw has helped build and disseminate whole new areas of knowledge including critical race theory and intersectional theory. These concepts have helped philanthropists like Peter Buffett and organizations like the NoVo Foundation apply an inclusive gender and race lens that values and addresses the needs of women and girls of color in the United States.
Editor’s Note: The following essay from Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO of God My Silent Partner Foundation, discusses the poor quality of life that many professionals in the nonprofit sector live with, and ways to improve that quality of life.
We live in a society that too often equates money with power – and there are very few people with more money than MacKenzie Scott.
That’s why I was delighted to read her latest Medium post in which she makes the case for philanthropists getting more done by ceding power and getting out of the way.
That is, providing long-term, unrestricted funding to high-impact nonprofit organizations so they can get on with the important work of making positive change.
Editor’s Note: The following post from Katarzyna Rybarczyk, a Political Correspondent for Immigration News, details the increased danger for sex workers in India, and provides ways for donors to step in with support.
Despite India being home to some of the most significant populations of sex workers globally, sex workers in India have very few protections and are alienated from the government’s responses. Even before the pandemic, sex workers in India would face unfair treatment, discrimination, and poverty. Now, these problems have intensified to the point where for the majority of sex workers every day is a struggle to survive.
The Pandemic Exacerbated Sex Workers’ Vulnerabilities
Because of the nature of their profession, sex workers rely on physical contact and in-person meetings with clients to earn a living. As red-light districts have been recognised as one of the primary sources of new COVID-19 infections, they have experienced repeated closures and a significant decrease in the number of people using sex workers’ services. Their former clients not only fear contracting the virus, but many have also lost their jobs because of the pandemic and thus can no longer pay for regular meetings.
She’s done it again — outstripped all of philanthropy with her massive capacities to spread capital in the nonprofit realm. Today, MacKenzie Scott announced $2.7 Billion in new giving — funds that will go to those generally underfunded and overlooked. MacKenzie describes her process as “Seeding by Ceding” — seeding social change by ceding her priveleged role to those who need the power more.
The gender lens analysis of this new batch of giving turns up several organizations that we discuss frequently here at Philanthropy Women, including our fiscal sponsor, Women’s Funding Network (woot! woot!), as well as a long list of other organizations taking a range of approaches, including intersectional approaches, to addressing the gender issues in our culture. The list of lucky grantees in this batch include:
One the founding benefactors of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Lorna Jorgenson Wendt, has a fascinating backstory, and I’m thankful to Sondra Shaw-Hardy for bringing her to my attention. This weekend, I did some reading and learned how Lorna was able to shake up the entire nation in the late 1990’s by fighting for her right to an equal share of the assets in divorcing her corporate CEO husband.
Lorna Jorgenson Wendt was married to Gary Wendt for 32 years. The two had been high school sweethearts in the Midwest, went to college together at the University of Wisconsin, and then married and moved to Cambridge, MA, where Lorna put Gary through business school for his MBA from Harvard. At the time, in a ceremony conducted by a Harvard Dean, Lorna and other Harvard student wives were awarded Ph.T certificates — honorary awards for “Put Hubby Through” college.