Tomorrow evening’s Take the Lead Virtual Happy Hour will feature an exciting group of women talking about one of my favorite topics: journalism. Tomorrow’s event is called The Real Story: Women in Journalism Finding Fair Solutions.
The web call will discuss ways to promote change that will make for more equal representation and pay of women journalists. Given that Philanthropy Women is a journalism endeavor, I am planning to be on that call to see what I can learn for my work, and to discuss philanthropy’s current and future impact on these issues.
As we round the bend on our second year here at Philanthropy Women, it’s time to celebrate a new batch of recipients for our leadership awards. The people and organizations chosen for these awards have all demonstrated exceptional leadership in the field of gender equality philanthropy this past year, and represent the growing diversity and strength of this work.
These awards draw on the database of Philanthropy Women’s coverage, and are therefore inherently biased toward the people and movement activity we have written about so far. As our database grows each year, we cover more ground, and have a wider field to cull from for the awards.
Breakthrough Award for Thought and Strategy Leadership
It was an amazing year for women’s philanthropy. Amid an increasingly hostile political climate, women managed to get elected to public office in record numbers, partially due to the influence of women donors. In addition, the events of #MeToo and the Kavanaugh hearings served to highlight how prevalent sexual assault and harassment are, and how far we still have to go to become a culture that truly values women and prioritizes their safety and equality.
CBS corporation announced today that 18 organizations will receive $20 million in funding to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Many of these organizations are longtime players in the women’s rights space, including New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and the National Women’s Law Center, while others are brand new to the field, like TIME’S UP. These grants are part of CBS’s separation agreement with former CEO Les Moonves, which stated that the donations would be deducted from his severance pay.
What is the capacity for art to influence social change? The New York Women’s Foundation and its Justice Fund now have more funding to explore this question, particularly as it relates to women and girls involved with criminal justice. Recently, The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) announced receiving an award of $300,000 from theArt for Justice Fund.
The grant will go to support The Justice Fund, a seven-year initiative launched under the umbrella of the foundation in fall 2018. The goal of the Justice Fund is to decrease mass incarceration and overcome the negative impacts of incarceration on women and girls. The Justice Fund is working toward this goal by supporting organizations using art to promote justice, safety, and well-being in the community.
After an extensive search and interview process, Women Moving Millions (WMM) recently announced the appointment of Sarah Haacke Byrd as its new Executive Director. Byrd is an influential rising star of the feminist philanthropy community known for being a “joyful warrior” in the ongoing battle for gender equality. Byrd also comes to her new position at WMM with a history of leadership focused on legislative changes that would make the processing of rape kits a necessity in all police investigations of sexual assault.
I can see the travel brochures now: Come to Seattle, home of some of the biggest feminist funding gatherings in recent history!
Not only did the Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions convene in Seattle this year, but now the Women Donors Network has also paid a visit to Emerald City, making Seattle a central destination for feminist philanthropists in 2018. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored Women Moving Millions for their event in September, and hosted the Women’s Funding Network for an evening event at the same time.
The “Global Financing Facility” (GFF) might not be a familiar name for some in the U.S. philanthropy world, but it ranks among the most important organizations in the ongoing fight for global gender equality. Recently, GFF made a big pledge that is particularly noteworthy for its public/private collaboration, and for its attention to women. GFF is an international organization supported by the World Bank Group, and dedicated to improving the health of the planet’s most impoverished women and children.
How do you create better leadership? By electing quality leaders that reflect the values of the people. With the 2018 elections, Americans have elected more leaders than ever who share a vision to make the country more inclusive and safe, particularly for women, minorities, and marginalized populations.
As feminist philanthropy leaders praise the outcome of the 2018 elections, they are also using this moment to continue advocating for the causes of women’s rights and reproductive freedom. “Women’s Funding Network was created 30 years ago to increase women’s leadership in all arenas – media, corporate, policy, philanthropic. Progress is made every day,” tweeted Cynthia Nimmo, CEO of the Women’s Funding Network. “Today, so proud to see a more inclusive democracy in America.”
It’s an election like no other, with record numbers of women running for office at the local, state, and national levels, and women everywhere becoming activist voters who want to see themselves represented in government.
It’s a great time to be publishing about women’s philanthropy, as more women take on funding nonprofits that are supporting gender equality, not only in the U.S. but also globally. So far this year we’ve seen significant growth in new organizations committing to addressing gender-based violence and education for girls worldwide, including Girls, Inc, the Obama Foundation, and the #MeToo Fund headed by Tarana Burke.