VANCOUVER, British Columbia– (10/29/20) Today, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), in partnership with The Giustra Foundation, announced the creation of a bursary fund, easing access to game-changing mentorship and education for women entrepreneurs across the country who need it most.
The new fund, which will launch with $150,000 over three years through a major donation from The Giustra Foundation, will provide much-needed tuition bursaries for women entrepreneurs to take FWE’s programs. With the goal of ensuring that impactful programming reaches those women entrepreneurs who need it most, the bursary will support women who – due to financial difficulties or belonging to a marginalized group – would otherwise not be able to access FWE’s programs.
On Thursday in New Zealand and Wednesday in the US, a virtual conversation took place between some of the boldest strategic experts in the feminist giving space. The conversation included Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of Women Moving Millions, Tuti B. Scott, feminist expert on gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing, Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lucy Lee, Senior Associate for Volition Capital and Lotus Circle Bay Area convener.
As more virtual strategizing takes place to amplify feminist giving strategies, these leaders offer a valuable perspective. Sue McCabe, Chief Executive of Philanthropy New Zealand opened the call with some shocking stats about how COVID is impacting New Zealand’s economy, even though they have had some of the best health outcomes from the virus. McCabe said that 90% of newly unemployed people, due to the COVID restrictions in New Zealand, are women. She stressed the importance of giving more, and giving more strategically, in the time of COVID.
It’s always great to see your name up in lights, particularly at such a highly esteemed publication as Women’s eNews. Alyssa Fisher, the 2020 fellow in the Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence Program at Women’s eNews called me up and let me have a great riffing session on what it’s like to be at the helm of our small but mighty publication, Philanthropy Women, and what I see feminist donors doing for the world that no one else is doing.
From the article:
The idea to launch a website dedicated to women in philanthropy first came to Kiersten Marek in 2016, when Hillary Clinton was anticipated to win the presidential election and become the United State’s first woman president. When she launched it the following year, it felt even more pertinent.
On October 20th, the New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) hosted Women Lead: A Conversation on Social Justice. This live fundraising event was centered around the importance of putting conversations about social justice at the forefront of our efforts in philanthropy.
The event, which took the place of NYWF’s annual fundraiser (cancelled due to COVID-19), featured conversations with the Foundation’s President and CEO, Ana Oliviera, as well as activists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Cristina Jiménez, with appearances from actresses Beanie Feldstein and Yara Shahidi, both of whom were honored for their work for women and girls during the event.
The webinar opened with a recap of the 2019 NYWF fundraising event, which was focused on the concept of “radical generosity.”
Sports 4 Life is a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. It was established in 2014 and seeks to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. It has so far impacted over 60,000 girls of color, and its recently released report shows gains in girls’ leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance resulting from their participation in the program.
2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. Improving the physical and mental health—and leadership capacities—of girls of color is one way to help them navigate COVID and beyond. The WSF and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), Sports 4 Life partnership is funding local sports programs, filling in the gaps to access and opportunity that often confront girls of color.
One thing COVID has shown us is new ways to appreciate women’s economic value and professional contributions to the world. A case in point that directly impacts me: many insurance companies during COVID have waived copays for psychotherapy (I’m a psychotherapist in my other day job), essentially granting many people an open door to emotional care, unrestricting access to an area of health care that had been previously blocked by confusing and expensive deductibles and co-pays. In doing so, this action also added economic value to mental health counseling, which is primarily done by women, in a new way.
Another case in point: the need for nurses, a profession comprised mostly of women. Suddenly this profession, which has always been sort of taken for granted, is front and center and absolutely vital to our survival. The result: the need for nurses has driven up wages and bonuses for the work.
Zonta International Foundation, a global charitable organization working to empower women and girls, has announced a change of name to the Zonta Foundation for Women. The purpose of this repositioning is to elevate visibility and better align the foundation’s name with its globally recognized mission and commitment to women and girls worldwide.
Over the last century, Zonta has contributed more than US$45.9 million to empower women and girls and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities, and safe living conditions. The 2020-2022 grant cycle will provide US$5,280,000 for programs that address the root causes of gender discrimination and have the potential to bring about positive and sustainable societal changes.
Women’s funders demand presidential candidates go on the record on issues affecting women and girls in final debate
SAN FRANCISCO — This week’s second and final presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 22, 2020, is the last chance to question the candidates side-by-side about the issues most important to women and girls — especially women and girls of color. Women’s Funding Network issued an open letter, signed by prominent women’s funders, to the debate’s moderator to demand that the candidates answer a range of questions to give voters the information they need about how each candidate plans to achieve equality and justice for all women and girls.
It seems, in the feminist philanthropy community, everyone is waiting for that tipping point to come, when women’s leadership finally establishes its value to the world. Covid, it seems, is helping to accelerate our awareness of the added value of women’s leadership. By showing that countries led by women having strikingly better COVID survival and containment rates, we should finally be at that point where you could practically pour the product of women’s leadership into a bottle and sell it on the open market.
Well, think again. I have been on my own quest to establish the value of women’s leadership, particularly women’s leadership in philanthropy, over the past four years. I went in with the theory that feminist strategies are more powerful strategies, and once people get to know more about them, lots of folks would flock to our website and build up our subscriber base to the point where, eventually, it might even turn into a for-profit market product. Though fiscally sponsored by the Women’s Funding Network, our budget and strategy is built around the idea that only a small portion of our funding should come from grants, and that as our subscriber base grows, eventually, we could become attractive to a regular small business publication or larger progressive media platform.
On March 13th, the Louisville Metro Police executed a “no knock” warrant at the Kentucky home of Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The exact events of the night have been hotly contested in and out of court, but the end result was that a young woman with a bright future lost her life, and the police who perpetrated the killing did not seem to be held accountable in any way.
In the months that followed, protests surrounding Breonna’s death and the deaths of women of color at the hands of police officers have rocked the country, even amidst the most serious pandemic of our time. Bolstered by the Black Lives Matter movement, and further aided by Kimberlé Crenshaw’s creation of the #SayHerName hashtag, Breonna’s story broke through to mainstream culture and gave America a new awareness about what racism looks like for women of color.