Bankers, Investors File Amicus Briefs as Fearless Fund Lives Up to Name

Over the past few months we have been reporting on the Fearless Fund. This is a venture capital fund that seeks out businesses led by women of color and provides pre-seed, seed-level, or Series A financing. As their website states, “Our mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies.”

Image credit: Fearless Fund on Instagram

Our last story on the Fearless Fund ran on 10/30/23, and reported that the Fearless Fund was  ordered by the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta to suspend its Strivers Grant contest which awards $20,000 to small businesses that have at least one woman of color in a leadership role. The court ruled that considering applications only from women of color constitutes racial discrimination.

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Coming October 4th: Kiersten Marek’s New Book, Feminist Giving!

Pre-orders are now available for Philanthropy Women Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek’s next book, Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change!

Kiersten Marek’s new book, Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change, arrives in digital and hardcover copies on October 4th, 2022! Click here to pre-order your copy!

Out October 4th in hard copy and digital formats, Feminist Giving features some of the best research and insights from the feminist giving sphere in the last five years. Pre-order your copy today so you don’t miss a moment of the latest and greatest research in feminist giving!

This exquisitely researched resource is packed with real-world examples and interviews with the best and brightest of the philanthropy world. Pre-order your copy today, and celebrate with us on October 4th!

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It’s About to Get Real: Feminist Giving Coming Out in September

Big news! My book, Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change, is finally coming out!

feminist giving
Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change is due out in September 2022. The book features over 100 leaders and chronicles the history of the women’s funding movement. (Image Credit: Feminist Giving)

I had been circulating a book proposal for a while and was not getting any good bites, so have finally decided to go with a “hybrid publisher” — where you can get maximum circulation prospects and also maintain copyright ownership of your work. In large part, I will be assembling my own team for marketing and distribution.

Publishing a Book is Hard, and Doesn’t Leave Much Time for Other Work

As you can imagine, it has been challenging to balance working on the book, my 75+ open caseload as a therapist, and finding time for Philanthropy Women. Lots is still happening in feminist philanthropy and I will be writing a round-up of the latest big doings next week.

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The Ascend Fund Grants $600 K for Electing Women in States

Pilot to accelerate gender parity in politics launched in Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington

(Image Credit: The Ascend Fund)

 Today, The Ascend Fund, a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change toward gender parity in U.S. politics, announced $600,000 in grant awards to 13 nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations in Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington as part of a pilot project designed to increase the number of diverse women serving in state legislatures.  

“Recent debates in state legislatures over abortion, voting rights, and other critical issues illustrate the increasing power of state lawmakers in politics. We want to ensure that everyone affected has a seat at the table in crafting such foundational bills,” said Abbie Hodgson, Director of The Ascend Fund.   

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Announcing SHEcovery, A COVID Response Call to Action from CFW

In the wake of the pandemic, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has launched SHEcovery to support women of color in the workforce.

The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)
The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)

Decades of hard-fought gender equity progress have vanished over the past 18 months as women have been pushed out of the workforce in record numbers due to COVID-19 while taking on increased childcare and caregiving responsibilities. To address these challenges head-on, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced SHEcovery™ – a commitment from the Foundation to fund, support, and build a more equitable system that supports Women of Color.

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Teneral Cellars’ New Wine Collection Funds Women’s Health

Teneral Cellars’ new “Healthy Women, Healthy World Collection” has launched to raise awareness of and money for women’s health.

Teneral Cellars, a purpose-driven all digital winery, announced the launch of its Healthy Women, Healthy World Collection featuring a trio of wines that bring attention to reproductive, heart and breast health issues that affect millions of women globally. With every three-pack sold, $10 will be donated to the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound).

Teneral Cellars Launches Healthy Women, Healthy World Wine Collection Supporting the Endometriosis Foundation of America (Image credit: Teneral Cellars)
Teneral Cellars Launches Healthy Women, Healthy World Wine Collection is supporting the Endometriosis Foundation of America (Image credit: Teneral Cellars)

Women’s health is the cornerstone of all healthy communities. The collection speaks to the brand’s core mission to elevate women and inspire change, encouraging women to focus on their own health and take care of each other so that no one is neglected. Unfortunately, due to gender and racial bias in medicine, women are less likely to have pain treated, symptoms taken seriously, or be given a diagnosis, all of which can have serious implications.

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Black Women Philanthropists Honored by New WPI Initiative

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has launched a new initiative to honor black women and their contributions to philanthropy.

Sharlene Kemler, CEO of the Loveland Foundation, is among the 10 women on WPI's Black Women Give Back List for her contributions to the mental health of black women. (Image credit: IUPhilanthropy)
Sharlene Kemler, CEO of the Loveland Foundation, is among the 10 women on WPI’s Black Women Give Back List for her contributions to the mental health of black women. (Image credit: IUPhilanthropy)

On August 31st, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, announced the honorees of the Black Women Give Back List, a new initiative to spotlight the important work and contributions of Black women philanthropists. Created in partnership with The Women Invested to Save the Earth (WISE) Fund, the backbone organization for Black Philanthropy Month, the list spotlights 10 outstanding Black women philanthropists from diverse backgrounds who use their time, talent, treasure, testimony and ties to make the world a better place.

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Finance Expert: Minimize Charity. Maximize Gender Lens Investing


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 10, 2019.

Tracy Gray has something important to tell women about their philanthropy: do less of it. It’s not the usual message that donors get from the world, and it’s not the usual message here at Philanthropy Women, either. But the context of this message comes from Gray’s conviction that the quicker we grow women’s wealth through gender lens investing, the quicker we will move toward a better society.

Tracy Gray is the Founder of the 22 Fund, a growth equity investment firm that seeks to create more quality employment opportunities for women and people of color. (Photo credit: anitab.org)

“Take some of your money out of charity and put it into women-owned or women-led businesses,” Gray advised women donors, in a recent phone chat with Philanthropy Women.

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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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Shayna Hetzel’s Vision for Gender Equality: An Open Sky as the Norm

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Shayna Hetzel, Community and Social Impact Investment Director at the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. 

shayna hetzel
Shayna Hetzel, courtesy of Shayna Hetzel

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

 My greatest professional challenges, opportunities and successes have been rooted in unapologetic aspirations, insightful mentors and the brilliance of a team. I wish I had known early on how to set better boundaries and ask for help more often, because I have found that boundaries and help are leverage points for productivity, engagement and inclusion. And, fundamentally, community-based, purpose-driven work only gets stronger and bolder with focused, diverse and inclusive contributions. Asking for help not only builds in resilience and wellness for the individual. It also increases team capacity, levels up organizational competencies, and builds a more diverse and inclusive point of view.

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