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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Callahan’s The Givers Raises Big Questions as It Profiles Living Donors

The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

Buckle up, Philanthropeeps. The Givers by David Callahan is coming out, and it’s going to be a rough ride.

Remember when David freaked out many in the philanthropy community, including the President of United Way International, by writing an editorial in the New York Times that compared philanthropy to the lawless wild west? Well, he says things like this on nearly every page of The Givers.  For some in philanthropy, the truth according to David Callahan might be a little hard to stomach.

Here is Callahan on why it’s so difficult to marshall networks in some areas of philanthropy: “People with big money often have big egos and their own strong ideas of how things should be done.”

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Intense Conversations About the Future of Women’s Philanthropy at DREAM. DARE. DO.

Ahh, the memories.

I recently returned from DREAM. DARE. DO. in Chicago, the every-three-year (maybe more often now!) convening of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

Wow. I am still reeling from the experience. It was an intense two days of immersion in conversation about women’s leadership in philanthropy, where it is coming from and where it will be going in the brave new political climate of a Trump presidency.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) sponsored this amazing conference, held at the Magnificent Mile Marriott in downtown Chicago. Led by Debra Mesch and Andrea Pactor, WPI is one of the biggest hubs for  knowledge on gender and philanthropy.

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How the Emergent Fund Makes Grants to Fight Attacks on Vulnerable Groups

While the Trump Administration’s attacks against women, immigrants, LGBT, and people of color continue, foundations and nonprofits are coming together to fund the resistance.  The latest batch of grantmaking in this department: the Emergent Fund recently granted $330,000 to community-based organizations at the front lines of the resistance.

A project of Women Donors Network (WDN), Solidaire Network, and Threshold Foundation, the Emergent Fund is a way for donors to increase their ability to strategically collaborate, coordinate, and act quickly to support the movement. The fund seeks to supply communities and their allies with the resources they need to create the change our country needs to fight back against the dangerous policy goals of the Trump Administration.

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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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Challenging Norms and Beliefs with Gender-Lens Grantmaking

Illustration by Pierluigi Longo.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Stanford Social Innovation Review and is co-authored by Emily Nielsen Jones, Musimbi Kanyoro & Neera Nundy. 

Philanthropists and for-profit investors are increasingly using a gender lens to screen opportunities for funding social change as awareness of the need continues to grow. Funders now take it for granted that empowering women is a linchpin of global advancement. Yet report cards marking the 20th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995—a blueprint created by 189 governments for advancing women’s rights in 12 areas—show that progress toward gender equality has been painfully slow.

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

Donna Shalala, Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton Foundation staff at a Day of Action that brought diapers and books to the South Bronx, in partnership with Penguin Book and Huggies. This is the 33rd Day of Action for the Clinton Foundation since Chelsea Clinton started the program in response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Last Friday, I participated in  a media roundtable hosted by The Clinton Foundation to discuss the future direction of their work.

Related: “Empowering Girls and Women Across All Our Programs”: Where is The Clinton Foundation Going in 2017?

At the roundtable, President Shalala said that the level of future involvement for Mrs. Clinton at the foundation is unclear, but that former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton have both re-upped their commitment and are ready to take the foundation in some new directions.

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I’m With Her: Reboarding the Feminist Train to Build Local and Global Sisterhood

Boarding the Train to the Boston March. Pictured are Emily Nielsen Jones with her sister and two sister-friends.

One of the tricky things about the progression of feminism in America is how it has gone from being a fringe movement to being a taken-for-granted social norm. Because of this, it is easy to forget that gender equality still needs safeguarding.

Women once took to the streets to seek the right to vote and own property, to not be deemed as subordinates, to be treated as full human beings in their own right.

My 80’s wall decor.

Now women have taken to the streets again. It turns out we still need feminism, and this new wave of the movement can hardly be considered fringe. Far outstripping predictions, roughly 1.2 million marchers gathered in Washington, DC and 3 million more in cities and towns across the US. Over 5 million marched together around the world.

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Washington Area Women’s Foundation Pushes for 100 Days of Action for Women and Girls

Join the Washington Area Women’s Foundation campaign to activate #our100days

Back in April of 2016, I wrote an article for Inside Philanthropy profiling Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President and CEO of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation (WAWF). It was exciting to learn about how Lockwood-Shabat was leading an ambitious campaign to raise funds for the amplification of WAWF’s work.

Now, WAWF is leading a campaign to keep gender equality activism on track. The new campaign, #our100days, is an effort for gender equality advocates to claim the first 100 days of the Trump presidency as a time to complete a single task every day that will help improve the lives of women and girls in America.

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Which Funders are Helping Young Women and Girls of Color Build Community Activism?

Girls for Gender Equity received a $250,000 grant from the NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color

With grassroots activism on the rise across the country, we are seeing more and more funders step up to address populations who face multiple forms of marginalization, especially the combination of both gender and race.

Now, the NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color (the Fund), a collaboration of 16 foundations, has announced grants totaling $2.1 million, awarded to 28 non-profit organizations across the five boroughs.

These organizations are the ground-level hubs where young women and girls of color go in communities to engage in leadership development, health and employment advocacy, educational support, and help with community safety issues including violence against women.

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