Hell No, We Won’t Go! A Guide to Repealing the Trump Tax

Expect to hear a lot more about repealing the tax law here at Philanthropy Women over the coming year. It’s time to pull out all the stops and take back our democracy.

With Christmas over, it’s now time to get down to business and develop a strong agenda for 2018. At the top of that agenda for progressive donors, in my opinion, is repealing the Trump Tax that recently passed. This legislation does more to hurt the middle class and nonprofits than can be tolerated in a society that still prides itself on equality and freedom.

Here are just a few choice details about how this law will deter giving for the middle and upper middle class. The law’s discouragement of itemized deductions by raising the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, is estimated to reduce the number of itemized tax returns from the current 30% to only 5%. That means only 5% of people will have enough charitable and other deductions to qualify for itemizing their taxes. This change strikes a devastating blow to families in the $70,000 to $200,000 income level, who often stretch their giving in order to qualify for the charitable tax exemption at $12,000. Between the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable deduction, some middle class families would be able to qualify for the $12,000 deduction threshold. By giving an extra two or three thousand or more, they are often supporting nonprofits in the community (their local church, food bank, or domestic violence shelter) getting a tax break, too.

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Tomorrow at 11 AM EST, Join the Conversation to #FundWomen, and Get a Tweet Preview Here

I’m excited about the #FundWomen Twitter Chat, starting tomorrow at 11 AM EST.   Also joining the conversation: clothing company Michael Stars, which has a foundation and uses its philanthropy to effect positive change for women.
 
Below is a sneak peek of a few of my upcoming tweets!
 
Here’s part of my answer for Question #2:  How and why do you opt to fund women’s rights organizations?
 
 
The Women’s Living Room donated $1,788 to Artists Exchange for theatre scholarships for girls. Pictured are Women’s Living Room donors, from left, Linda Harris, Lammis Vargas, Kiersten Marek, Kate Aubin, Mike Sepe, Elaine Yeaw from The Artists’ Exchange, City Council President John Lanni, and Paula McFarland.

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CGI Convenes in Boston, Campus Sexual Assault and LGBTQ on the Agenda

Today at Northeastern University in Boston, Chelsea and former President Bill Clinton are convening CGI U 2017 with the theme, “Students Turning Ideas Into Action.”

Sounds like great stuff from beginning to end, with sessions on building communities, migrants and refugees, designing projects, raising money, and increasing organizational capacity, to name just a few of the happenings taking place over the three day conference.  A full press release is here.

Because of our interest here at Philanthropy Women in attending to marginalized populations and vulnerable groups, I would like to call attention to the sessions on Sunday, which include LGBTQ equality, homelessness, and campus rape and sexual assault. These three focus areas are particularly important and timely subjects to be discussing, given that the social safety net of health insurance for vulnerable groups is being threatened, the President has taken direct aim at trans people serving in the military, and much concern has been raised about Betsy De Vos’s actions in dismantling protections for sexual assault victims on campuses.

So check out the agenda below on these three issues, and tune in via lifestream.

LGBTQ Equality: Overcoming the Backlash
LOC: Curry Student Center, Ground Floor, WETAddition

The LGBTQ community has made historic progress in achieving greater rights and visibility: there are now 22 countries in the world where same-sex couples can marry, up from zero in 2000. A record number of openly LGBTQ athletes participated at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Yet this progress has also yielded a disturbing backlash: in the U.S., LGBTQ people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group, while three in four LGBTQ students on college campuses reported experiencing sexual harassment. Internationally, 76 countries have laws against sexual relations between people of the same sex. To create and sustain more inclusive and equitable environments around the world, it is essential for communities to support victims of abuse and violence and to speak out against discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia.

In this session, panelists and CGI U commitment-makers will explore how to:

Respond effectively to discrimination, hate speech and incidences of violence by creating an environment of safety and equality through safe spaces, support services and displays of public solidarity with LGBTQ coalitions and ally groups,
Develop social media tools and effective storytelling techniques that increase awareness and raise the profile of ongoing challenges and issues affecting the LGBTQ community, and
Support efforts to promote LGBTQ rights around the world, change discriminatory laws and amplify LGBTQ voices to move beyond established workplace protections and transform public attitudes in order to build a true culture of inclusion.

Participants:

Rebecca Adams, senior editor, Refinery29
Nadine Smith. CEO, Equality Florida
Sam Dorison, chief of staff, The Trevor Project
Blair Imani, executive director, Equality for HER
Schuyler Bailar, first transgender NCAA D1 men’s athlete

Addressing Youth Homelessness in the US
Fenway Center, Ground Floor

On any given night, there are over 500,000 Americans living on the streets, in emergency housing, or in homeless shelters. Twenty-three percent of them are young people under 18, and nine percent are between the ages of 18-24. Many of these youth have fled family trauma or sexual abuse, have aged out of foster care, or have been thrown out of their homes because they identify as gay or transgender. In response, a wide range of social enterprises, volunteer networks, and public-private partnerships are launching initiatives to better address the complex needs of this population. In addition to providing short-term emergency shelter, advocates are looking to connect youth with trauma-informed and gender-responsive services, mental health counseling, and programs that help adolescents stay in school, graduate from high school, and access financial aid for college.

In this session, panelists and CGI U commitment-makers will explore how to:

Ensure that vulnerable youth and their families have access to permanent supportive housing, in order to provide health care, education, and job training services in addition to immediate shelter,
Create individualized, needs-based mentorship programs that are relevant to homeless youth and those transitioning out of the foster care system, and
Expand services and support networks that can enable homeless youth to reunite with their families, including crisis hotlines, street outreach programs, transportation vouchers, and in-home family counseling
Participants:

Sixto Cancel, CEO, Think of Us
Mariuma Ben Yosef, founder and CEO, Shanti House Association
Nan Roman, president, National Alliance to End Homelessness
Elisabeth Jackson, executive director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus
East Village, 17th Floor Ballroom

Almost 20 percent of female students will experience rape or a sexual assault during their time at college, with the majority of student victims knowing their attacker. Yet under 15 percent of sexual assault victims on campus ever report the crime to law enforcement. While less common, and even more underreported, male students are also victimized. Several factors make the university environment distinct in terms of responding to and preventing sexual assault. Universities have a special responsibility to protect their students– whether in partnership with, or independent of, law enforcement. Throughout the process, they must consider the impact of an assault on the victim, the attacker, and the entire school community.

In this session, panelists and CGI U commitment-makers will discuss how to:

Create a culture in which sexual assault is not tolerated, promoting effective bystander intervention, self-defense training, and access to university resources and comprehensive care that support survivors of sexual assault,
Utilize technology designed to provide a confidential reporting platform for college sexual assault survivors and to help schools facilitate the identification of repeat assailants, and
Ensure that campaigns and initiatives against sexual assault on campus are student-driven and rooted in the experiences and perspectives of young people.

Participants:

Amelia Harnish, senior features writer, Refinery29
Amy Ziering, documentary filmmaker, Chain Camera Pictures
Kim Kirkland, executive director, Oregon State University
Amanda Nguyen, founder and CEO, Rise

 

Related:

Clinton Foundation Brings Together Over 40 Partners for Girl Athletes

The Clinton Foundation is Alive and Well and Looking to Expand Some Programs

What Happened: Clinton’s Account Reveals Our Broken Democracy

 

 

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What’s up with this New Philanthropy Hub, and How Will It Involve Women’s Philanthropy?

Giving Compass aggregates philanthropy news and information by topics, including news and information about women’s philanthropy.

Recently, I got an email from Stephanie Gillis, Senior Advisor at the Raikes Foundation, wanting to “explore potential synergies” with the work we are doing at Philanthropy Women. Naturally, I was eager to do so, and soon learned about Givingcompass.org, a new team effort of several foundations and nonprofits, aimed at drawing on the chops of the tech sector in order to provide more resources for the philanthropy sector, particularly around how to assess the quality of philanthropy and get the most impact per philanthropy dollar.

What got me smiling right away as I got an inside tour of  GivingCompass.org: It looks like they are going to do philanthropy news aggregation right. Inside the site, partners of great magnitude have already signed up to be part of the 12-16 “magazines” that will aggregate multiple areas of philanthropy, helping to feed donors and the nonprofit sector with a new source for matchmaking, as well as data, case examples, and strategy on how to give.

This could work out very well not only for Giving Compass, but also for Philanthropy Women, which, as a free and open news source, is already being aggregated by Giving Compass. That means more eyeballs for our work, as well as us being able to learn more from the other news and information sources participating there.

Giving Compass is being incubated by the Raikes Foundation, and supported by a group of partners including the Seattle Foundation, Social Venture Partners, Stanford PACS, Charity Navigator, and Global Giving. These partners are coming together out of an awareness that philanthropy needs to do more to help donors make informed decisions about giving with impact, and the resources available to help them in this process.

The soft launch is scheduled for June 12, and the site will be open in beta mode this summer. It would be a great time to get in on the ground floor of this new experiment.

Giving Compass will officially launch with lots of fanfare in September, but during the summer you can come on board and explore, and help the team learn and improve the site for September. Giving Compass aggregates top quality resources and information in response to donors’ interests, and is eager to get more community reactions.

Giving Compass is a free online platform, and has ambitions to become “the single online destination” for expertly curated information on how to give, who to partner with, where to meet, and where to give with better impact.

Who are the some of the masterminds behind this new philanthropy hub?

Jeff and Tricia Raikes recognized early the irony that 70-80% of giving in the US is directed by individuals, but most of the resources in the sector are designed to support professionals working in foundations. They partnered with other donors and began assembling a team to drive Giving Compass.

Stephanie Gillis is Senior Advisor for Impact-Driven Philanthropy at the Raikes Foundation and the General Manager for Giving Compass. She joined Raikes earlier this year, having been Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, where she focused on family and individual donors. Previously, Gillis was COO and Senior Consultant with Blueprint Research + Design, Inc., where she worked with philanthropy clients on strategy and evaluation.

Luis J. Salazar is the tech genius behind Giving Compass and board advisor to the Business School at the University of Washington Bothell. Previously, he co-founded Jobaline.com and before that, held high ranking positions for Yahoo, Microsoft (co-founding Office 365), and other big tech companies.

Paul Shoemaker is a Senior Consultant with Giving Compass, focused on content and partnerships. Shoemaker is also the Founding President of Social Venture Partners. In 2011 and 2012, Shoemaker was twice named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential People in the Nonprofit Sector” by The NonProfit Times (2011 and 2012). In 2015, Shoemaker received the Microsoft Alumni Integral Fellow Award. He is the author of Can’t Not Do: The Compelling Social Drive that Changes Our World .Read More

What’s Stronger California Doing for Gender Equality?

It’s Time Network hosted a conference call this past week that gave a window for states across the country to learn about California’s efforts to grow gender equality movements. The call featured Jessica Stender of Equal Rights Advocates, who has been coordinating and enacting many steps of a legislative agenda for women in California. The call was well-received nationally, with people registered from 16 states.

From Betsy McKinney and the It’s Time Network team:

Thank you for joining us for Tuesday’s virtual convening to learn about how we can support policy agendas that lift women and children out of poverty, ensure fair pay and family-friendly workplaces, and more, focusing on the Stronger California legislation.

Here are some actions you can take now to build momentum around action for women’s rights:

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Heavy Hitters Collaborate on New Blueprint for Women’s Funds to Lead Social Change

Things are really coming together for women’s funds and gender lens investing, as this new report details.

The new report is written by Joy Anderson, President and Founder of Criterion Institute, Ms. Foundation President Teresa Younger, and Elizabeth Schaffer, Chief Operating Officer of the Global Fund for Women.

I have not read the report in total yet, but from my first foray in, I am really excited to see how these advanced thinkers and leaders are putting ideas together and finding new synergy for social change and finance. This is powerful stuff!

The report is written using architectural design as an extended metaphor for how to integrate the different sectors of finance, women’s funds, and social change theory. Combining these three components, the report then makes practical suggestions about how to influence issues like domestic violence, the gender wage gap, and climate change.

For example, the paper tackles research questions such as “How viable is it to source investment opportunities through women’s funds’ current grant making process?”

Then it goes on to provide detailed steps for how to do this, using the Global Fund for Women as an example, which tested a pilot for this:

The Global Fund for Women pilot tested this approach by:

  1. Reviewing 4,650 applications in the grant-making database
  2. Identifying 260 research participants through keyword search
  3. Collecting 135 responses to an online survey to assess potential investment opportunities
  4. Identifying 16 potential candidates for follow-up interviews by analysing the survey results
  5. Completing interviews and profiling 13 grantees, mapping the type and amount of capital that would be relevant to their work.

For more details on the findings contact Liz Schaffer at the Global Fund for Women.

Wow! I will definitely be following up with Liz Schaffer to hear more about this.

The research paper then goes on to provide detailed “floor plans” for how to create social change by melding gender lens investing with the philanthropy of women’s funds in different ways. Here is part of the “floor plan” for addressing domestic violence:

Floor Plans:

  •   Channel Resources to Enterprises and Investment Opportunities: Move capital to efforts to support response to domestic violence or to enterprises that address the underlying causes of domestic violence
  •   Advocate for Gender Analysis in Finance: Assign value of an investment’s potential risk or return, drawn from data patterns, around domestic violence in industries and sectors within a geography
  •   Realign Power Through Structures and Terms: Employ specific structures to shape incentives and deterrents for businesses to respond to their own practices that may be encouraging or could be preventing domestic violence.

I am going back to reading, and I encourage everyone in the women’s philanthropy realm to do the same. Full report here.

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The Circle of Women’s Philanthropy and The Susu: What Goes Around Comes Around

In nature, circles emanate from an invisible source at the center which creates a spiral motion. This spiral creates a pattern of expansion and contraction, as you see in seashells, tornadoes, and in galaxies and throughout the micro and macro designs of our world.

Editor’s Note: This piece is co-authored by Emily Nielsen Jones and Nickey Mais-Nesbeth

Emily: The circle is one of those timeless symbols—one that appears in nature, in mathematics, and in art of all kinds—that says something wise and true about the world. It is also a unique symbol, we think, for what philanthropy is all about.

Philanthropy on one level is about giving money away.  Often if can feel sort of linear and transactional from a top-down grid: people with social capital at the top doling out largesse and using fancy sounding words about “scale” and “strategy” in an attempt to help the needy. But today, a powerful movement is on the rise in philanthropy to leave the pyramid of noblesse oblige in the last century and become more democratic. This new concept is about empowering a community to make change from within. To me, it feels very circular and connective, like the processes of change you see in nature.

In nature, circles emanate from an invisible source at the center which creates a spiral motion. This spiral creates a pattern of expansion and contraction, as you see in seashells, tornadoes, and in galaxies and throughout the micro and macro designs of our world.

So too, every community has within it the seeds of its own growth and empowerment–which are what this new approach to philanthropy/development seeks to unleash. This shift has even penetrated large NGOs that deliver aid around the world.  Alongside or within their regular programming, organizations like World Vision and Opportunity International now center much of their work around small groups of people, often women, gathering in small collectives where they save money to loan to a different member each month, and also support each other in the ups and downs of life (e.g. a wedding or a funeral or death in the family).

I feel grateful to be a part of this shift happening in philanthropy and global development, which some call “community-driven” or “integral” development. Whatever you call it, it feels circular to me and is rooted in the belief that real change happens from an invisible center within communities themselves but that this can and should be supported and catalyzed from outside.

My own philanthropic journey has been part of this shift from top-down “aid” to circular “empowerment” even before I had language to name it.  About eight years ago, my husband and I decided the time was right to ramp up our philanthropy.  We created the Imago Dei Fund by taking a less-traveled path — bucking the professional advice to pick one thing to “do” and build a legacy around. Instead, we followed our intuition and decided to look for movements already happening that seemed worthy of more support and investment.

In many ways, social movements are circular in nature – sometimes you can’t tell where they begin and end and they have a way of growing and expanding in a non-linear fashion beyond any one programmatic silo or sector.  Early on, we jumped on the anti-trafficking train and began engaging globally in faraway places like Southeast Asia and Africa. Very quickly this movement drew us outward (yet inward at the same time) toward the “hidden-in-plain-sight” problem that lurks beneath human trafficking: the ancient subjugation of women and girls which is still idealized and encoded in many of our cultural and religious traditions.

As we supported and engaged with some faith-based organizations in our own evangelical pond, we felt the circular nature of social change acutely.  We saw many great organizations working to rescue girls from brothels in faraway places, yet in their own pews and their own boards, they were still operating from a gender pyramid which marginalizes and devalues women and girls.

We need to not just support change as if we are on the outside of the process as donors, but rather to be part of this change ourselves:  this is the wisdom of the circle.

After a few years, we felt the circle pulling us inward again and and nudging us to attend more to the world in our own backyard: Boston, MA.  In the process, I had the great privilege of meeting Nickey Nesbeth. Though I had lived in Boston for over twenty years, I knew little about the rich cultural tapestry of our city, and Nickey has been something of a gateway for me to learn more about the local/global movements in my own city. Every connection one makes expands one’s circle, and Nickey has truly been a force of nature in helping me expand my understanding and connection to diverse women’s groups in Boston.

Nickey Mais-Nesbeth, Founder and Executive Director, Caribbean Youth Club:

Nickey: When Emily and I met each other, we quickly bonded over our shared lament about the state of our world’s gender norms—which are still geared toward female submission, even in the 21st century. Despite these challenges, we marveled over how women have always found ways to progress through their own support circles.

These circles facilitated my grandmother’s emigration from Jamaica in 1968. She was co-sponsored by a group of women who helped pay for her passage abroad through their “Susu”— A 400-year-old Afro-Caribbean women’s micro-financing tradition. My grandmother, along with many other Afro-Caribbean women, immigrated to work as housekeepers for wealthy Americans. She later joined a circle of Caribbean immigrant women in Boston and once again, created a new women’s support circle and started their own Susu, to gather the funds needed to pay their children’s passages to America, reuniting their families against tough odds.

Using funds from her Susu, my grandmother later co-sponsored my passage to America, where I was able to complete high school, graduate from college, and build a career giving back to my community. As my grandmother did, I also found myself in various women’s giving circles,  all geared towards one thing: lifting up women and girls.

In these circles, Emily and I found shared experiences as women of faith, seeking to create a more just world. A larger circle began forming around us, which has been expanding and building bridges across the challenging divides of race and ethnicity.  It is a longer story than we can tell here, but my women’s network in Boston helped open doors for the Imago Dei Fund to get to know and support ethnic-based organizations that empower women and girls in our own communities.

Many women and girls in ethnic communities have the double burden of living with highly patriarchal gender norms and being immigrants, both of which create barriers to opportunity. However, these women and girls persist in their collective agency. They find ways to build new support circles and raise the financial capital they need to start businesses, sponsor relatives’ travel to America, and engage in charitable efforts in their homelands, thus carrying on our centuries-old system of collective impact.

Emily: In a recent conversation, we were talking about women’s giving circles — I am helping to start one here in Boston within the New England International Donor Network — which are a driving force within the larger women’s philanthropy movement.  In giving circles, women across the economic continuum come together in living rooms and board rooms to connect, to learn, and to pool resources for greater impact in the world, often targeted toward empowering women and girls.  As we were talking, Nickey paused and said, “Women in my culture have been doing this for centuries. It’s called a Susu.”

Wikipedia explains:

A Susu is an informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings club or partnership, practiced throughout Africa and the Caribbean. [...] The concept of a susu is used throughout the world and has over 200 different names that vary from country to country.The name is from the Susu from the Twi language to mean 'plan'. The funds are generally gathered with a set amount contributed from family or friends each week. An estimated three quarters of Jamaican immigrants in New York participated in susus during the 1980s.

And so too, in many part of the world, women can be found gathering under a tree, in a storefront, in a board room, or in each other’s living rooms to support one another.

Women continue to come together in sisterhood, to give back to their communities, to start businesses and social ventures, often in highly patriarchal cultures. In these cultures, women are not seen as co-owners of wealth, and in many places still cannot open a bank account.

Philanthropy as a circle. Women in one corner of the world rising up and coming together in circles to support women in another part of the world who are also coming together. What goes around comes around, a virtuous, ever-enlarging spiritual circle coming together to uplift and empower daughters, sisters, and mothers.

Women gathering and enjoying each other’s company at Eritrean Woman Day 2017 in Boston.

Nickey: Here is a beautiful picture of the circular nature of the Susu:  Through our relationship, I introduced Emily’s foundation to an Eritrean Women’s Group here in Boston. Women in this group are navigating the challenges of leaving their home and facing racial and gender discrimination, yet they are ever-mindful of the needs back home.  In their circle, they have raised enough money to build two women’s centers back home.

The Women’s Training Center in Senafe, Eritrea.

The Women’s Training Center in Senafe, Eritrea is one of 6 built nationwide, which includes 13 rooms for computer training, weaving and other vocational activities. The center is a contribution of Eritrean women living abroad, using the Susu to fund the advancement of women in different cities across their native country.

Find some friends and start a Susu, or join one that is already going on.  Connect hand and heart (and purses) to expand this ancient circle of love and solidarity. More than ever this circle needs all of us, in order to relieve the burden of gender inequality that falls so heavily on the shoulders of girls and women.

The message of the circle is that what goes around comes around. What we give we receive back in countless dividends, seen and unseen.  We cannot “raise” or “empower” someone else from on high.  My own empowerment and wellbeing is bound up in yours.

“When we raise Her, we raise ourselves.
When we raise ourselves, we raise Her.”
~ Asphodel P. Long

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NoVo Announces Major New Effort in U.S. Southeast to Support Women and Girls of Color

The NoVo Foundation has convened a series of listening tours to develop its new strategy for girls of color.

Big News: The NoVo Foundation has narrowed down the scope of its focus for its $90 million in funding to empower girls of color, and the funder is now seeking regional partners to provide support to community agencies doing work for gender equality. NoVo is currently opening up RFP applications for community-based organizations in the U.S. Southeast to get grants for helping girls of color.

This decision was based on the outcome of a year-long listening tour across the country with girls of color, movement leaders, and organizers. During that time, NoVo employed its strategy of getting feedback and solutions directly “defined and driven by girls and women of color” in order to maximize impact for this population.

Girls of color continue to face deep systemic, societal, and institutional challenges girls face, and the situation is particularly pronounced in the U.S. Southeast, which has been historically neglected by philanthropy, especially when it comes to the work of girls of color. Though 40 percent of girls of color live in the South, less than 1 percent of foundation funding went specifically to programs focused on Black women and girls.

This investment also comes along at an important time when civil society organizations like women’s funds may need extra support, given that the current administration plans to further cut discretionary social spending. Places like the U.S. Southeast will be particularly hurt by these cuts, and will need the added support of private philanthropy.

“The movement for girls of color in the U.S. is being led by fearless women, primarily women of color, often working on their own time and dime in a severely under-funded field,” said Tynesha McHarris, Fellow for NoVo’s Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights initiative. “Girls of color and their advocates have powerful visions for how to create meaningful change in their communities, this country, and the world.”

More of these visions are about to become realities, thanks to the NoVo Foundation making this work a priority. “NoVo will deeply invest in community-based organizations that center girls of color as agents in their own decision-making and create spaces for connection, healing, and consciousness-raising with and for girls of color,” said a press release announcing the new opening for RFP’s.

Along with emphasizing grantmaking in the U.S. Southeast, NoVo is also opening grantmaking to community-based partners nationwide, and will be providing grants that way to make sure there is still impact for their work in other regions.

“A vibrant movement to build power with and for girls of color already exists, and it is time for philanthropy to follow its lead,” said Pamela Shifman, Executive Director of NoVo. “Meaningful change for girls of color in our country is only possible if we shift power to those who are most affected.”

“We are ecstatic about NoVo’s community-based approach to grantmaking,” said Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity. “Placing girls of color at the core of its grantmaking strategy will help NoVo direct resources where they are most needed and to those who are best positioned to lead social change efforts.”

NoVo’s Listening Tours also helped to affirm that some area of philanthropy are still very underfunded, including investments to end sexual violence and confront racism.

As the press release details, NoVo plans to provide flexible funding to organizations that:

  • Partner with regional grantmaking and movement building infrastructures, starting with the Southeast: In addition to prioritizing community-based organizations across the country, NoVo has issued an RFP to identify a regional infrastructure to partner with on grantmaking and movement capacity building, starting in the Southeast. The regional partner will house efforts that provide grant making to existing organizations and help seed new organizations, with the goal of eventually also supporting individuals and collectives outside of formal c3 structures. In addition to grantmaking the regional partner will provide the healing, political education and organizing capacity needed to sustain a healthy field.
    

This new announcement builds on the NoVo Foundation’s longstanding focus on adolescent girls, which was part of the organization’s vision at its  inception in 2006.  These new investments will also not compete with NoVo’s work in the Global South, which will “continue to deepen.”

“Whether in Jakarta or Jackson, the movement for girls is led every day by courageous movement leaders creating change in their communities,” added Jody Myrum, director of NoVo’s Advancing Adolescent Rights Initiative. “Together these efforts are advancing a tremendously dynamic and vibrant transnational movement to address the challenges faced by girls throughout the world. Guided by their leadership, the potential for transformative, long-term change is enormous.”

For a full, detailed description of NoVo’s grantmaking strategy or to apply for a grant, please visit their website here.Read More

Livestream of Callahan/Carson Philanthropy Debate

Good morning! We are livestreaming a debate between Emmett Carson, President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and David Callahan, Founder and Editor of Inside Philanthropy.

 

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More Philanthropy To Fix Marriage Laws That Hurt Women and Girls? Yes, Please!

Global Fund for Women is one of the major organizations working to end child marriage.

Progress for women is gradual in a world where an estimated 15 million girls are sold into marriage. In developing nations, the situation is even worse. According to the UNFPA, an estimated “one in three girls is married before reaching age 18. One in nine is married under age 15.” Among other scary news on child marriage is this recent report that child marriages are on the rise in Syria. 

There are several funders paying close attention to the problem of child marriage. These include Kendeda, which has committed over $31 million in this arena in recent years, and provides support for Human Rights Watch, the Global Fund for Women, and Girls Not Brides. The Ford Foundation also does some significant work in this area, and The NoVo Foundation is also committed to the cause of ending child marriage.

A recent addition to the funders in this space is The Firelight Foundation, which according to Inside Philanthropy, partnered with Agape AIDS Control Program in 2015 to put in place programs to stop child marriages and early pregnancies “across five wards in the Shinyanga, a region of Tanzania where nearly 60 percent of girls are married before their 18th birthdays.”

Philanthropy will hopefully become more attuned to the particular reforms that countries need to end practices that hurt women and girls. There is so much to know and learn in this area, and reforms that must be funded. For example, I would like to find out about funders who are working to ban the Islamic practice of triple talaq in India, which entitles a man to dissolve his relationship with his wife by announcing three times, “Talaq.” Recently, there has been successful organizing to end the controversial “Talaq” practice. CNN reported that more than a million Muslims, mostly women, have signed a petition to end the divorce practice of triple talaq.

You can count me in on signing the petition to end triple talaq.  Meanwhile, Philanthropy Women will continue investigating the funders working on particular areas of legal reform to marriage codes that impact women and girls, and will highlight the philanthropy working to remedy the problems.Read More