Is the World Fundamentally Unserious About Gender Equality?

As someone who has spent the past five years of her life studying the way we fund gender equality movements, this is the question I am often left with at the end of the day: Is the world fundamentally unserious about gender equality?

Because the more you look at the data, the more it seems that funding for gender equality is so sidelined and misdirected and poorly tracked and evaluated, that it’s really no wonder that progress is as slow as it is.

A new report entitled Tracking Philanthropic and Gender Equality Financing aggregated data from SDGFunders to come up with the following totals of funding from the top 10 private foundations doing this work in Kenya. (Image credit: Publish What You Fund)

Now, a new report by Publish What You Fund and partners helps to elucidate just what funding for gender equality looks like in different nations around the world, and shows us just how little we know about what is going on with this sector of social change funding.

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$1.5 Million Grant Will Help Black Women in Biz Succeed in America

A generous $1.5 million grant given to Grameen America is intended to assist black women entrepreneurs with their businesses. 

On August 17th, 2021, Grameen America announced that it received this $1.5 million grant from the Truist Foundation. The Truist Foundation is dedicated to funding nonprofits that work with their communities toward better quality of life. They describe their purpose as being “to inspire and build better lives and communities.”

Grameen America Empowers Low-Income Women

Grameen America is a nonprofit aimed at helping low-income women build small businesses, along with other entrepreneurial ventures necessary for this. Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, the organization provides microloans, training and support to help communities flourish and combat poverty in the United States. They have invested more than $2 billion in women entrepreneurs since their inception in 2008. 

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What is Being Done to Fight Anti-Trans Legislatures?

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has pledged $101K and future six-figure donations to fight growing anti-trans legislative activity in Tennessee.

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)
Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)

Col. Jennifer Pritzker, the Chicago philanthropist, and business owner, announced on July 20th, 2021 that she will donate $101,000 and additional six-figure future support to the ACLU from her TAWANI Foundation to fight Tennessee’s anti-transgender laws in court. The ACLU and its Tennessee chapter announced on June 25 that they filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two businesses. The lawsuit argues that a state law requiring businesses to post signs outside transgender-friendly bathrooms is unconstitutional and violates businesses’ First Amendment rights against forced speech.

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Pop Culture Collaborative Leaders Discuss Funding Narrative Change

Editor’s Note: This dual interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke, who are, respectively, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the Pop Culture Collaborative, a philanthropic resource and funder learning community.

Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke, courtesy of Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

Bridgit Antoinette Evans: I wish that I’d been introduced to Octavia E. Butler much earlier in life. Octavia wrote about this concept of “positive obsession,” which she described as “not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts.” My mother and her siblings were leaders in the Civil Rights movement in Savannah, and while she fiercely believed that her daughters could be anything we wanted to be in the world, she was very clear that we needed to be improving the world while doing it. I wanted to be an artist, and so, as a teen, I became obsessed with one question: “What is the relationship between a great story and widespread cultural change?”

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How Madam CJ Walker Empowered Black Giving in the Time of Jim Crow

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2020. We are resharing in celebration of Black Philanthropy Month.

On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s book about the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker in an event featuring the author, the chair of the Do Good Institute, and Walker’s great-great granddaughter. (Image Credit: University of Illinois Press)

The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.

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What if Only Women Voted in the 2020 Election?

Editor’s Note: This post about how women voted in the 2020 election originally appeared on November 11, 2020, and has been updated to reflect our country’s new investments from the Biden-Harris Administration.

The question came up in my mind about 2020 women voters, and I see many other people have been tossing this question around in conversations online: What if only women voted in the 2020 election? Would it have been a much easier win for the Biden-Harris presidency?

2020 Election Results for Women Voters

only women voted
This image from the Washington Post helps illustrate the point: if only women voted in the 2020 election, it would have been a much easier win for Biden. The key states of Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania would have all been sure wins, as well as many other states. (Image credit: Washington Post)

If Only Women Voted, Biden-Harris Landslide Win

The answer is a resounding yes. The above graphic says it all. In the 14 states listed above and in many others, Biden would have won handily.

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How Jack Dorsey’s $3MM Will Fund Girls’ Ed in Sub-Saharan Africa

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on April 14, 2021.

Women’s History Month was definitely one for the books, especially with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative dispersing $3 million in grants at the end of the month. This newest funding was allocated to four grassroots organizations focused on breaking down educational barriers for women in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Representatives from WGEP, AGE, AAF, and WISER at the Obama Summit 2019 with Michelle Obama. (Image credit: WGEP)

AGE AfricaAsante Africa FoundationWISER International, and Women’s Global Education Project are the well-deserving organizations receiving $750,000 each to support their already ingrained and successful efforts. The Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance is responsible for this cohort of collaboration joining forces to eradicate female inequity in the most rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

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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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LaTosha Brown: The Time is Now to Fund Black Women and Girls

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 11, 2021.

This past summer, before the announcement of Kamala Harris as the nominee for Vice President, Latosha Brown received a phone call from the soon-to-be Vice President. The phone call was in response to an article Brown had published in Essence called Reimagining An America That Uplifts Black Girls. Vice President Kamala Harris wanted Latosha Brown to know that she shared her hope that America could reimagine the country so that all girls will be lifted up.

LaTosha Brown
LaTosha Brown shares her expertise as a movement organizer and leader, calling for more just and equitable funding for Black women and girls. ( Image Credit: LaTosha Brown)

“Vice President Kamala Harris called me to say she had read the article, and that she too was committed to women and girls all across the country,” said Brown, in a recent phone interview with Philanthropy Women.

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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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