By any measure, giving circles are one of the biggest growth areas in philanthropy. It’s no accident that giving circles are heavily female, and women of color are involved in giving circles at much higher rates than they are in traditional modes of philanthropic giving.
A simple giving circle definition from Philanthropy Together: “Giving Circles are groups of all shapes and sizes collaborating for change: like-minded individuals come together to pool their funds, share and discuss the issues that matter to them, and decide together where to give their money, time, and talents.” Giving circles enable individuals to leverage modest individual donations into a critical mass. They are by definition participatory, and the power of the collective provides individuals greater input and influence than were they giving in isolation.
Philanthropy Together places special emphasis on the role of traditionally underrepresented communities, noting:
Put yourself in the orthopedic shoes of a frontline worker in the midst of this crisis.
Imagine you’re a young hospital staffer, supporting a team of other frontline workers through something no one has experienced before. On top of the physical and mental demands of a regular day in the ER, now you have to handle the mental and emotional load of an ongoing pandemic, figure out how to keep your team safe with dwindling PPE, and support the emotional needs of a group of people pushed past their mental endurance.
When it’s your job to support the rest of the team, where can you turn for support of your own?
“Rather than seeking stark divisions between approaches or themes within feminism, perhaps we should instead look for the many possibilities for productive coalitions.” – Sally J. Scholz
It’s no secret that art comments on, fights against, and breaks the molds of society. Sometimes, it even forms the basis from which activists and earth-shakers build platforms to enact real social change.
The Feminist Art Coalition (FAC) seeks to create a platform where art projects can build creative collaborations between artists and their societies, in exhibitions that give established institutions a way to give voice to their commitments to social justice and structural change. Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, FAC connects art museums and nonprofit institutions to present a series of events beginning in Fall 2020, and continuing over the course of one year–a critical year, as we’ve mentioned, leading up to the next American presidential election.
On May 20th, get ready for a one-of-a-kind online event honoring female movers and shakers with some moving and shaking of your own. The first-ever Feminist Block Party is an online dance party and fundraiser for critical nonprofits and community organizations run by women of color, supporting those organizations in the nation’s communities most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Roar for Women: A Feminist Dance Partywill include notes from guest speakers, leaders from the Ms. Foundation, influencers, and organization spokespeople from across the country, including the 2020 Women of Vision Honorees.
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.”
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?
Philadelphia’s Leeway Foundation recently announced the next step in the application process for their annual Art and Change Grants and Transformation Awards.
From 4:00 to 5:00 PM ET on Thursday, April 2nd, Program Director Melissa Hamilton will hold a virtual information session via Facebook Live. The session will cover the Foundation’s mission and available grants–most importantly, the session offers interested artists the opportunity to ask questions about the application process for the Leeway Transformation Award, which closes its application window on May 15th.
The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) recently announced that 100 percent of its $36 million dollars in financial assets are now invested in a “gendered impact” portfolio.
The gender impact strategy seeks a strong return on investment while having the investment itself—and not just the return that accrues to Texas Women’s Foundation—benefit women and girls. This approach makes TWF the first and only women’s fund or foundation to move all of its financial assets—which include endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds—into gendered impact.
“We hope that we can inspire others to become part of what is now a global movement around impact investing,” says Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO. “Specifically for women’s funds and foundations, we can demonstrate how, by mission-aligning 100% of our assets with our philanthropy, we can powerfully accelerate the change we seek in the world.”
Burlington High School Soccer Players Score First Youth-Led Fund at Vermont Community Foundation
Members of the Burlington High School girls’ varsity soccer team have collaborated with the Vermont Women’s Fund to open the first youth-led donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The young players’ new #EqualPay Fund will increase access for girls to soccer programs and accelerate progress to close the wage gap in Vermont—where, on average, women earn 84 cents to every dollar earned by men.
Initially, the project started as a local fundraiser selling #EqualPay jerseys to support the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League (GBGSL). The soccer players wanted to emulate their heroes on the U.S. Women’s National Team and amplify their #EqualPay message. The young players sought out logistical and strategic support from Change The Story VT, an initiative fueled by the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women that is committed to fast-tracking women’s economic security to benefit women, their families, and the Vermont economy. Change The Story helped source and produce the special-label jerseys similar to the USWNT uniforms and advised the team on fundraising strategy.