Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresShira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a private family foundation that invests in three primary areas of focus: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout our society, strengthening the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community, and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I knew philanthropy is a life journey that you cannot get separated from. I view it like parenthood, you learn as you go. Philanthropy makes you recognize your passions, skills, views on life.
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 London School of Economics and Political Science, led by director Baroness Minouche Shafik, has published a statement on gender equality signed by multiple leaders including Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Vera Songwe, Kristalina Georgieva, Christine Lagarde, and Ursula von der Leyen.
COVID-19 has caused a health crisis for billions around the world and inflicted the worst economic pain in decades. And wherever we look a key theme recurs: no matter the geography or wealth of the country, women and girls bear the heaviest burden of economic hardship. That hurts all of us.
As leaders representing leading economic institutions, we share this urgent message: to rebuild our global economy and improve the lives of all people, governments must prioritise gender equality in their economic recovery strategies.
Editor’s Note: COVID-19 has exposed the everyday struggles of the most vulnerable like never before. LGBTQIA+ activists are facing homophobia, transphobia and biphobia everyday as they continue to organize and support their community bearing the brunt of a pandemic. What does philanthropy need to do more? How can it better support LGBTQIA+ communities in the present moment? As we advance in the second year of the pandemic, Deepa Ranganathan and Juliana Camara, from FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, facilitate an engaging roundtable discussion with LGBTQIA+ members of the FRIDA ecosystem.
The first year of COVID-19 made donors run to provide immediate response to grantee partners navigating through it in different contexts. Learnings and reflections from this have been widely shared. However, as the pandemic continues to create havoc and shows little signs of stopping, we are acutely aware of stepping into Pride Month amidst this crisis. For philanthropy, this is an opportunity to elaborate further on how to resource LGBTQIA+ communities in ways that allow them to thrive and go beyond merely surviving in these times.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I had known that it was me, in my whole human self, that was what every organization needed from me. It was and is me that organizations are asking for. When I was starting out professionally, I was ready with my resume and eager to please. I worked hard to do more of what I believed senior leaders wanted me to do, and I kept parts of who I am to myself. Showing up wholly—head, heart, and hands—is what social change leadership requires. Today my being and doing are one and the same.
On Thursday, May 20th, the Philanthropy Women staff teamed up with Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rehana Nathoo to discuss the importance of gender lens investing: what it is, how it works, and why we should focus our efforts on it.
Guests Rehana Nathoo, Founder and CEO of Spectrum Impact, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of Texas Women’s Foundation, discussed gender-lens investing with Philanthropy Women’s Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek.
The conversation opened with a welcome to the day’s speakers and attendees, as well as a general thanks to Invest for Better for facilitating our conversation with Rehana and Roslyn. Citing the male-dominated nature of finance and corporate life, Kiersten shared her experiences in investing in a gender lens Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) called SHE.
Editor’s Note: This article is Part Four in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman, and Part Three: Talking to Family Members About Giving.
We’re almost finished with our Activating Philanthropy series! Thanks for joining us for this four-week series on activating philanthropy in your everyday life. Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re tying everything together with one of the simplest and most effective forms of collaborative philanthropy: the giving circle.
Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Gema Fernández, managing attorney at Women’s Link Worldwide, urging readers to consider the plight of migrant mothers this Mother’s Day.
As the U.S. begins to emerge from its pandemic nightmare, many Americans are looking forward to seeing — and maybe hugging — their mothers for the first time in over a year as they prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day. But around the world and in the U.S., far too many mothers and families have little to celebrate, as they face the hardships of migration, violence and forced separations.
In the United States, children and infants have been ripped from the arms of migrant families crossing the Southern U.S. border, with hundreds of these children still disconnected from their parents and relatives years later. State-sanctioned violations of migrant women’s and families’ rights are not unique to the U.S., or even this hemisphere.
Editor’s Note: This article is Part Three in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: What It Means to “Call Your Congresswoman”, Part Three: Talking to Family About Giving, and Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle.
Giving can strengthen a relationship between family members — but more often than not, “political talk” can cause major strain at the dinner table. So how do we balance our desire for collaborative philanthropy with not getting into unnecessary tangles with family members?
Editor’s Note: This article is Part Two in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Three: Talking to Family Members (Who Don’t Want to Talk to You), and Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle.
Welcome back to Activating Philanthropy with Philanthropy Women! This week, we’re exploring a common theme in the giving world that isn’t often clearly explained. During election seasons and high-stakes activism cycles, there are typically calls to “call your Congresswoman,” “write your representatives,” or otherwise engage with the American democratic system as a concerned citizen.