Why Listening for Good is Important to Women in Philanthropy

I’ve covered the Fund for Shared Insight before, and I want to call attention to this new announcement, since it’s a great example of how philanthropy is evolving into a more democratic creature — by becoming more aware of what does and does not work in funding strategies.

Many women’s funds and foundations were early believers in incorporating grantee feedback into the grantmaking process. Women’s funds and foundations were also some of the first to bring grantees onto foundation boards to help inform the decision-making process. Some research suggests that women have a leadership edge with their listening and relational skills.  Whether that’s true or not, women leaders in philanthropy can and should engage in active listening to create more effective strategies.

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New Coalition Highlights Need for Gender Equality Investments

Skaters from WomenForward coalition member, Figure Skating in Harlem

The following letter is from a new coalition of gender equality organizations called WomenForward. They are a diverse group, encompassing direct service nonprofits as well as global mentoring networks, and more. The coalition was launched earlier this month by  The PIMCO Foundation, a corporate donor from the financial sector.

These kinds of connections are one of the strengths of women’s philanthropy — being able to build broad-based coalitions that cut across multiple sectors to find a shared agenda. Check out the letter, and make sure to visit some of the organization’s websites, to get a sense of all the good that is happening out there in the world, despite the many challenges for women in our economy and culture.

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How the NFL’s $10 Million Investment in Ending Gender-Based Violence is Activating Youth

One area of philanthropy that impacts women heavily is philanthropy aimed at ending sexual and domestic violence, now also called “gender-based violence.”

An encouraging sign in this arena is the NFL’s recent multiyear commitment of $10 million to a group of affiliated organizations in order to pursue the goal of “ending gender-based violence in one generation.”

Earlier this week, Raliance.org announced the kick-off ThisGEN Youth Summit, bringing together high school students from across the country to build advocacy in the fight to end gender-based violence.

Raliance.org serves as the central hub for three top organizations in the country working to end sexual violence: the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)-PreventConnect and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV). Other support for this event came from The Close-Up Foundation and It’s on Us.

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Why This Revlon Campaign Is Especially Important to Women’s Leadership in Philanthropy

One of the most important aspects of much of women’s philanthropy is its inclusiveness — the belief that there is always room for one more at the table in a community. That’s one reason why the new Revlon campaign, The Love Project, is particularly important and timely for the growing movement of women’s leadership in philanthropy.

We’re only getting started here on Philanthropy Women, but one of the arguments that we will make repeatedly is that inclusion is a fundamental value for much of women’s leadership in philanthropy. The Love Project embodies that sense of inclusion in several important ways.

The press release for this new campaign explains that The Love Project “is an extension of Revlon’s Love is On campaign, which launched in 2014, and reflects the brand’s belief in the power of love and the diversity of beauty.”

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Gloria Feldt to Women in Philanthropy: Take Risks and Build Big for Social Change

Gloria Feldt, Founder of Women Take the Lead and former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1996 to 2005.

Talking to Gloria Feldt is like talking to someone who has been through just about everything as a feminist leader, and yet somehow still finds the strength to tackle ongoing social and political challenges. The word unstoppable comes to mind.

In 1996, People Magazine captured her phenomenal early career in a story called  The Voice of Experience. Indeed. And Feldt has just the kind of experience we like to talk about here at Philanthropy Women: experience that mobilizes funding for big visions.

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The List of Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy is Growing, and We Need Your Help

Last year when I was writing for Inside Philanthropy, David Callahan and I co-authored a list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy. It was a big hit. This year, I have decided to follow up and develop eight shorter lists. The lists will start with Emerging Most Powerful Women.

Why start with emerging? Using emerging women leaders as our starting point helps us get a sense of how these women are influencing some of the changing dynamics of philanthropy. Some of the emerging women are quite different from the more established women leaders in philanthropy. Many of these emerging leaders take a strong stance on the need for philanthropy to be more integrated into the economy and inclusive of marginalized groups. A heightened awareness of the need for collaboration across sectors to achieve systemic change is also a key point for many of them.

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A Global Telecomm Giant Focused on Women’s Empowerment in Multiple Ways

June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation

As the economy and job market shift further toward globalization, we see more and more corporations amping up their attention to women and girls. An important new example of this is the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which in March of 2016 announced a fourth core focus: empowering women and girls in the technology field, and helping women use technology to live healthier and more prosperous lives. 

Until recently, Vodafone Americas Foundation had three areas of grantmaking: sparking innovation, improving lives, and strengthening the global development sector. With its fourth newly added grantmaking area, Vodafone is funding initiatives that leverage technology in improving education and opportunity for women and girls.

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Pressing On for Gender Equality: A Guide to Grant Funding for Women and Girls in STEM

Kiersten Marek, Founder and Editor at Philanthropy Women, on a very cold January morning. Check out the short video introduction by me below.

Welcome again to Philanthropy Women. I am glad you are here. Given the new political climate, some of you may be worried about funding for women and girls. But, particularly in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the grant funding to support women and girls has been growing over recent years and looks like it will continue to do so.

Supporting more women and girls in STEM became an early priority of the Obama administration, and this interest and activity continued steadily for the years of the Obama presidency. 2016 was no different. This past year saw funding flowing for STEM programs for women and girls like never before. The ever-growing list of corporations and sponsors of education and opportunity for women and girls in STEM is staggering. It suggests a rampant popularity for philanthropy focused on engaging women and girls in preparing for STEM education and careers.

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Taking Cues Globally from Leaders of Women’s Empowerment in Philanthropy

Cherie Blair, Founder, The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

With the change in leadership in the U.S. toward a more conservative, white nationalist mentality, it’s a good time to look around the globe and discover other leaders of women’s empowerment who are outside of the U.S. political sphere.

One impressive leader is Cherie Blair and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which is doing work internationally to help women develop business skills and earn income. Next year, the foundation will even be expanding its work to reach some of the most marginalized women in the world, those impacted by war in the Bekaa Valley, an area heavily impacted by the flood of refugees across the border of Syria.

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Launching Today: Knight Foundation Empowering Non-Profit Journalism With $1.5 Million Matching Funds

Jennifer Preston, VP, Journalism, The Knight Foundation

We live in a world where the first thought about a piece of news needs to be: what is the source? With so much fake news and misinformation out there, the Knight Foundation is amping up its support of high quality community-driven media with new funding.

Jennifer Preston, Vice President of Journalism at the Knight Foundation spoke to Philanthropy Women this morning, the day of the launching of this new funding initiative.

She said most of those organizations receiving matching funds from this new initiative are Knight Foundation grantees from over the past three years. “Amid all of the concerns about fake news, supporting nonprofit journalism is a great way to address those concerns. Battle Fake news with smart news,” said Preston.

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