MacKenzie Scott and the $14.2 Billion Dollar Question for Women & Girls

What a week for women’s philanthropy. MacKenzie Scott has shown herself to be a woman who is true to her word, as she continues to give away her fortune at a staggering rate compared to most philanthropists.

MacKenzie Scott
Photo of Stockholm, Sweden by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash


“Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color and for people living in poverty,” said Scott, in the Medium post where she announced her new gifts totalling $4.2 billion.

Who were the grantees specifically for women and girls? Ms. Foundation for Women, National Women’s Law Center, Global Fund for Women, and a huge proportion of this funding went to 63 different community YWCA programs across the country. Hispanics in Philanthropy, which has a grantmaking strategy focused on gender and racial equity, also received $15 million in funding. The YMCA National office received $20 million and many local YMCA’s also got funding. There were big groups of grants for United Way organizations across the country as well as Feed America, Easterseals, Meals on Wheels, and Good Will. Many universities for people of color also received substantial gifts. Most gifts appeared to be in the $10 to $50 million range.

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Women’s Funding Network Adds New Gender Justice Leaders to Board

Women’s Funding Network welcomes national advocates and gender justice leaders Junemarie Justus, Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Ada Williams Prince and Teresa Younger to WFN board of directors

SAN FRANCISCO  —  Women’s Funding Network announced the appointments of four new additions to its board of directors: Junemarie Justus, Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Ada Williams Prince and Teresa Younger. The newly appointed members hail from diverse personal and professional backgrounds and are all national leaders in gender equity and justice advocacy. They will take their seats in 2021.

Women’s Funding Network adds four new gender justice leaders to its board. (Image Credit: WFN)

“We are thrilled to welcome another slate of exceptional women’s philanthropy leaders to our board of directors,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, president & CEO of Women’s Funding Network. “They are representative of our members and network, with a shared passion and dedication to our collective mission of leveraging the power of philanthropy to mobilize an intersectional, feminist movement for equity and justice.”

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New Impact Strategy: Ms. South for Women and Girls of Color

MS. FOUNDATION LAUNCHES “MS. SOUTH” GRANT TO BENEFIT SOUTHERN ORGANIZATIONS LED BY WOMEN AND GIRLS OF COLOR  

Nation’s oldest women’s foundation plans to strengthen financial sustainability and leadership development  capacity of women and girls of color in the U.S. South  

NEW YORK (December 10, 2020) –Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced the launch of Ms. South, a multi-year grantmaking strategy to support the sustainability and leadership of organizations led by women and girls of color (WGOC) in the southern region of the United States.   

“We are living in a historic moment,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “The COVID pandemic has exacerbated a crisis amidst an existing one, and our ability to support the leadership of women and girls of color in the South is more critical than ever. Our sisters of color in the South represent the future of this country, and we must shine a light on their enduring struggle and strength.”  

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Focus on Climate and Justice: 2020 Catalyst Award Winners

WASHINGTON, DC— Rachel’s Network announced the awardees and finalists of its second annual Catalyst Award. The award provides women leaders of color support and recognition for their commitment to a healthy planet, along with a $10,000 prize, networking opportunities, and national recognition for their work.

catalyst awards 2020
2020 Catalyst Award Winners.

The nine 2020 awardees are:

Amy Cordalis, Yurok Tribe, McKinleyville, California
Amy is the first enrolled Yurok citizen to serve as her tribe’s general counsel and is a traditional salmon fisher and culture bearer. She has spent her entire life protecting and restoring the Klamath River. Find Amy on Instagram.

Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, Dillingham, Alaska
Alannah (Yup’ik) is the executive director of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB), a consortium of 15 federally recognized tribal governments in the Bristol Bay Watershed. UTBB works to protect their traditional way of life and opposes large-scale mines like Pebble. Alannah has worked extensively in community development and environmental justice and is dedicated to helping make self-determination a reality for Alaska’s indigenous people.

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Janet Dewart Bell Elected New Chair of Women’s Media Center Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The board of the Women’s Media Center has unanimously elected Janet Dewart Bell as its new chair. Founding co-chair and WMC co-chair emerita Pat Mitchell nominated Bell to be the organization’s new chair; WMC co-founder Gloria Steinem seconded the nomination.

Janet Dewart Bell is the new Chair of the Women’s Media Center Board. (Image Credit: WMC)

In nominating Bell, Mitchell stated, “It has been a privilege to work with Janet as vice chair of the WMC board. I respect and admire tremendously her groundbreaking background and experiences in media and the work she is currently leading to address the challenges of racial justice. Media has such a big role to play in the outcomes of this long-overdue reckoning on racial equity and justice. It is my honor to nominate Janet Dewart Bell as the next chair of the board of the Women’s Media Center.”

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Give More, Better: Supercharge Your Funding for Gender and Racial Equity

Editor’s Note: The following piece is by Suzanne Lerner, co-founder and president of Michael Stars and the Michael Stars Foundation, and vice chair of the Fund for Women’s Equality.

It’s Giving Tuesday 2020 and though it’s been a tough year, there are reasons to be optimistic. Not only have donors given in record amounts to emergency COVID-19 relief, they’ve also responded to the need to fund racial equity and social justice initiatives:

Suzanne Lerner, co-founder and president of Michael Stars and the Michael Stars Foundation, vice chair, the Fund for Women’s Equality, discusses the urgency of increasing trust-based giving for racial and gender equality. (Image credit: Suzanne Lerner)

In 2020, U.S. institutional funders and other large donors have already donated nearly $4.2 billion compared to $3.3 billion over the previous nine years combined!

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(Liveblog) What Does Feminism Look Like in Biden-Harris Future?

Feminists, the fight is not over.

This week has been a celebration for many around the country–we’ve won a massive victory against fascism and racism in the United States. However, it’s important not to lose sight of our end goal. In order to truly work toward racial, gender, and social justice in the US and around the world, we cannot let up on the pressure on our administration. Joe Biden has a lot of work to do.

feminism

On Veterans Day 2020, Code Pink, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, MADRE, and Women Cross DMZ co-hosted a conversation on the role of feminists in the 2020 Presidential election, as well as what we still need to do to ensure the Biden administration takes us in the right direction.

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With Biden-Harris Leading, What Now for Funding Women and Girls?

I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like a great weight has been lifted off of us as a nation, and as a world even. Many, many people in the world are rejoicing at the news of the upcoming Biden-Harris presidency, and all the possibility this new leadership holds. For those of us focused on funding women and girls, this change in leadership will likely be extremely valuable to our work, and could be instrumental in getting us closer to equality much faster.

Across the U.S., people of all ages are celebrating the new Vice President Kamala Harris’s leadership breakthrough for women and girls of color. (Image: Design Bundles)

What can women donors do to make sure that gender equality movements are optimized for acceleration at this moment in history? Here are three basic strategies:

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Women’s Fund of Rhode Island Wins Diversity, Inclusion Honors

PROVIDENCE, RI — November 9, 2020— Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) is honored to be awarded PBN’s 2020 Diversity & Inclusion honoree in the category of Nonprofit. This award recognizes companies and leaders who have made significant strides implementing diversity and inclusion within their organization or which influence others in the community to do the same.

women's fund of rhode island
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island will be honored by the Providence Business News at its upcoming Summit and Awards event. (Image Credit: PBN)

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, a leader in the movement to improve policies that impact women and girls in Rhode Island, is committed to women’s equity. WFRI believes it is a must to push for broader change through legislation and policy that tackle the systems of oppression that cause/contribute to racial, economic, leadership and health inequities. The organization produces original research on the status of women and girls and uses that information as the basis for their advocacy efforts.

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Anybody Got a Spare $6.3 Billion to Fund Women and Girls?

I was doing some thinking on the funding-of-women quandary. What the Women’s Philanthropy Institute helpfully taught us was that as of 2016, funding specifically for women and girls in the U.S. is at 6.3 billion a year, comprising 1.6% of total philanthropy funding.

That’s not enough, as we explain here.

6.3 billion
Photo by Monica Melton on Unsplash

It’s unclear whether this giving has increased under Trump’s tenure. It’s also unclear whether this type of giving will face new barriers in the COVID economy. Therefore, one has to wonder what we should be doing to try to bridge the gap between the conversation about funding women and girls, and the actual doing of it.

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