Women’s Funding Network Announces New Additions to Board

The Women’s Funding Network has announced the addition of Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson to its Board.

Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson will have taken their seats on the WFN Board of Directors on September 7th, 2021.
Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson will have taken their seats on the Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors on September 7th, 2021.

Women’s Funding Network announced the appointments of three new additions to its board of directors: Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Gina Jackson, and Kelly Nevins. The newly appointed members lead community-based women’s funds with national impact for gender equity and justice advocacy. They will have taken their seats on September 7th, 2021. 

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IWMF Responds to Rising Online Violence with New Virtual Hub

Amid growing online violence toward women in journalism, the IWMF launched the Online Violence Response Hub to aid victims.

The IWMF's Coalition Against Online Violence is home to many resources to aid victims of online violence, the Online Violence Response Hub being the newest addition. (Image credit: IWMF)
The IWMF’s Coalition Against Online Violence is home to many resources to aid victims of online violence, the Online Violence Response Hub being the newest addition. (Image credit: IWMF)

The Coalition Against Online Violence today launched an Online Violence Response Hub to aid women journalists with the rising threat of violence online. The Coalition is led by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) with funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Emerson Collective, Jigsaw, Knight Foundation, and the Luminate Group. This first-of-its-kind suite of support will provide women journalists with ways to fight back against online violence while protecting their privacy, accessing trauma support, pursuing accountability, and continuing to work without self-censorship.

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The Feminist Factor: How is Feminism Changing the World?

On September 23rd, The Women’s Funding Network will host The Feminist Factor, a virtual conference to discuss feminism across the globe.

The Feminist Factor will take place on September 23rd, 2021 from 10:30AM EDT to 6PM EDT. (Image credit: WFN)
The Feminist Factor will take place on September 23rd, 2021 from 10:30AM EDT to 6PM EDT. (Image credit: WFN)

Women Funded 2021 is a virtual gathering of all gender and racial justice funders, allies, and individuals committed to place-based solutions across the globe for gender equity. Women Funded ‘21 will explore the intersectional nature of feminism as a driver of our work, of the values that we hold, and how we are collectively building a more equitable future. 

This gathering is open to the broader philanthropic and movement community as well as the WFN membership.

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Intersectional Philanthropy: A Conversation with Suzanne Lerner

Editor’s Note: This Q&A was created with the assistance and guidance of Claudia Carasso, Founder and Principal of Elastic Minds. This post was originally published on September 10, 2020.

After our July webinar, “Lack of Funding for Women and Girls of Color: What Donors Can Do,” we had a chance to speak further with our guest, Suzanne Lerner, on her approach to intersectional gender lens philanthropy.

Suzanne Lerner, Co-Founder of clothing brand Michael Stars, is an activist entrepreneur with a primary focus on gender & racial equality, and the economic empowerment of women & girls. (Image Credit: Suzanne Lerner)

The conversation below explores Lerner’s experience as a philanthropist, business leader, and activist entrepreneur, as well as what other funders and company leaders can do to advance an intersectional focus in their approaches to philanthropy.

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published on February 17, 2021.

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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Sexual Assault Prevention Orgs and Funders: A New Updated List

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 19, 2017 and has been updated to include more organizations and funders addressing sexual assault prevention.

It’s On Us is one of the organizations that receives NFL support to help educate the public about how to take responsibility for consensual sex. (Image credit: It’s On Us)

In the age of #MeToo, it will probably come as little surprise to learn that I am also a survivor of sexual assault. I don’t want to go into the details here (if you want the full story on that, you can watch this video). When I became a social worker, I chose to build my professional life around helping survivors both heal and fight for justice. Over the past 25 years, I have treated hundreds of sexual assault survivors and their families. I have helped people achieve justice, and I have also seen many survivors choose not to engage with the justice system for fear of being further traumatized. Sadly, that fear is not unrealistic.

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The 12 Most Promising Trends in Women’s Philanthropy

Editor’s Note: This post on feminist giving trends was originally published on August 3, 2020.

Since I launched Philanthropy Women in 2017, and even before then, I have been paying close attention to the feminist giving trends, as well as the big plays and strategy shifts, happening in feminist giving. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to enumerate some of those gender equality giving trends and other happenings, and flesh out what they mean both now and for the future of philanthropy.

feminist giving
State-based women’s funds such are getting more powerful as large foundations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation begin to recognize the value of their existing infrastructure to leverage social change. (Image credit: Women’s Foundation California)

1. Women Funders Are Getting More Ambitious With Their Strategies

I see women funders getting more ambitious with their strategies in many different ways, both in terms of the subjects they will fund as well as the approaches they are willing to try. This means they are doing bolder things with their money, which often translates into helping our culture to become more inclusive and knowledgeable about difference. For example, Mona Sinha, Chair of the Women Moving Millions Board, has done some amazing work lately supporting the documentary Disclosure. This film does groundbreaking work in terms of exploring the growing world of gender transition, helping this community to be seen and valued by society. Being unafraid to cross the barrier and fund the LGBTQ community is just one of the many bold strategies that more feminist funders are adopting more frequently.

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How is New York Women’s Fdn Supporting Underserved Communities?

The New York Women’s Foundation has given nearly $3M in grants to organizations helping underserved communities post-pandemic.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 14: The group Developing Artists performs onstage during the 32nd Anniversary Celebrating Women Breakfast at Marriott Marquis on May 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 14: The group Developing Artists performs onstage during the 32nd Anniversary Celebrating Women Breakfast at Marriott Marquis on May 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The New York Women’s Foundation)

On June 28th, The New York Women’s Foundation announced almost $3 million in grants reflecting the organization’s fundamental strategy of early and long-term investment in community-rooted organizations led by women and gender expansive people addressing critical issues in underinvested communities. The Foundation’s latest round of grants are critically important to women, gender expansive people and their families in a post-COVID reality. The Foundation is charging ahead and bolstering investments in advancing racial equity, ending mass incarceration in New York City, increasing economic stability for low-income families, and eliminating gender-based violence. 

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New Fund for LGBTQ+ in Arkansas, From Alice Walton & Walton Family

The Alice L. Walton Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation have create a new statewide fund to improve life for the Arkansas LGBTQ+ community.

The Walton Family Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation have launched a new statewide fund, which will be overseen by the Arkansas Community Foundation (Image credit: Walton Family Foundation and Alice L Walton Foundation)
The Walton Family Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation have launched a new statewide fund, which will be overseen by the Arkansas Community Foundation (Image credit: Walton Family Foundation and Alice L Walton Foundation)

new statewide fund will support organizations working to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ Arkansans. The initiative is launching with philanthropic support from the Alice L. Walton Foundation and from Olivia and Tom Walton through the Walton Family Foundation. Organizations offering legal, health, education and advocacy services, along with other high-demand needs will be eligible for grants. Arkansas Community Foundation will oversee the fund with support from a grant selection committee.

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Divorce Gap Alert: Why Melinda French Gates Deserves 50%

Here I am again, wanting to talk about divorce in the billionaire class. Today’s discussion will focus on Melinda French Gates, who recently filed for divorce from Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world.

Sun reflects off the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. (Photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash)

We saw how it went down with MacKenzie Scott. She got about 26.9% of the assets in her divorce from Jeff Bezos. Soon after, we learned that MacKenzie Scott was one of the newest signatories of the Giving Pledge and would now (in theory) be giving away at least half her wealth while living. {sigh} So many more billions of dollars that MacKenzie Scott could have had to work with to do her off-the-charts giving, had she gotten 50%.

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