Catherine Berman: Together, We Can Move Mountains

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Catherine Berman, CEO and Co-founder of impact investment platform CNote.

Catherine Berman, courtesy of Catherine Berman

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

Question what others deem impossible.

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

Education. We see values-based investing as a game-changer for both investing and creating a more sustainable, equitable world.  We spend a lot of time helping investors and donors learn about the measurable difference they can make with their investments without sacrificing returns or operational ease. Many of us grew up learning the only way to support the causes and communities we care about was through grants. That is no longer the case. We see impact investing as an important opportunity to double-down on the causes you care about and a way to authentically represent your values with every dollar; where you spend, where you donate, and where you invest.

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Deb Nelson of RSF Social Finance on Activating Money for Good

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Deb Nelson, Vice President of Client and Community Engagement at RSF Social Finance.

Deb Nelson, courtesy of Deb Nelson.

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

I wish I’d known what a powerful tool money can be, and how important it is to understand the way people think about and deal with money. Through my previous work at Social Venture Network, I grew to understand and leverage social capital, but I resisted working with financial capital until I understood how to use it to effect positive change. Women have been socialized to believe we don’t know enough about money and we should just leave it to the experts. But you don’t have to be an expert to use money well. You just need to question assumptions about money, understand what it can do and activate it for good. Now, I love working with money and collaborating with investors and donors.

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Stacy’s Rise 2020 Opens Applications for Female Founders

If you’re a fan of hummus and veggie dip, you’re probably a fan of Stacy’s Pita Chips, too. However, like most businesses, the snack brand wasn’t always a familiar fixture in grocery stores. A combination of smart advertising tactics, mentoring, and financial support brought the female-founded brand from its origins in sandwich carts to its place in grocery stores (and our pantries!).

In honor of the brand’s rise to fame, Stacy and Frito-Lay partnered to create the Stacy’s Rise Project, a grant program designed to elevate female-founded brands. The 2020 application cycle is now open, the fourth in the Stacy’s Rise program, and it offers $10,000 grants to 15 women-owned businesses.

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Ellevate Launches New Fellowships to Support Women in COVID

A fellowship granting fund, EllevateHER Forward equips women who have been economically impacted by the pandemic with tools and resources to return to work.

NEW YORK, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Ellevate Network, the largest community of women at work, launches EllevateHER Forward, a fellowship granting fund designed to alleviate the economic burden of the novel coronavirus pandemic on women and support their journey back to the workplace.

ellevate launches new fellowship
Ellevate Network will provide $250.000 in matching funds to support Forward Fellows. (Image Credit: EllevateHER Forward)

EllevateHER Forward Fellows are equipped with comprehensive membership packages that include networking opportunities, a wide range of professional and personal development programming, online resources, Ellevate’s signature 12-week virtual program Squads, and access to a community of over 150,000+ women. Contributions made to the fund will be matched up to $250,000 by Ellevate Network.

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Elect Women by Funding Them at Every Level

I was sitting in my office, wincing at the mid-afternoon sun bouncing off the gold dome perched atop the New Hampshire State House five years ago. The slant of the light created a glare that made it hard for me to look interested in the droning of a DC consultant who had cornered me there. He had scheduled meetings with operatives like me to talk about something “big” and “early” in the First in the Nation presidential cycle in New Hampshire – a $15 million spend to “draft Elizabeth Warren.”

elect women
Photo by chloe s. on Unsplash

Warren had just been elected to the U.S. Senate three years prior. His idea was nested in a paid and earned media schtick. He had donors. He had ideas. I was the lone progressive infrastructure staffer who had just gotten a crash course on running the state’s super PAC coalition to elect democrats up and down the ballot. I had seen a glimpse of the battlefield ahead and could have cared less about his ideas, mainly because he wasn’t actually looking for feedback.

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#EmbraceAmbition Convenes to Challenge Gender Norms

The Tory Burch Foundation, a  nonprofit organization empowering women,  is bringing together leaders, activists, and performers for an event billed as The Summit: Challenging Stereotypes and Creating New Norms. The Embrace Ambition Summit (#EmbraceAmbition) will be held on March 5 in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.

#EmbraceAmbition
The #EmbraceAmbition Summit features an array of leaders and speakers discussing how to challenge gender norms and open up new options for women and girls. (Image Credit: #EmbraceAmbition Summit)

Speakers will include:

  • Tory Burch – Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand, and Founder of the Tory Burch Foundation;
  • Gloria Steinem;
  • Yola – Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and musician from Bristol, England;
  • Ashley Judd – Author, actor, leader of the #MeToo movement and founding member of Time’s Up;
  • Tina Tchen – President & CEO of Time’s Up, and formerly executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls;
  • Sylvia Earle – Founder of the marine environmental organization Mission Blue;
  • Claudette Colvin – One of two survivors of the Browder v. Gayle U.S. Supreme Court Case that ended bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama;
  • Diane von Furstenberg – Fashion designer, philanthropist and Founder and Chair of her eponymous company;
  • Mellody Hobson – Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments;
  • Deja Foxx – Founder of @GenZGirlGang, an online community of womxn; and
  • Anne Finucane – Vice-Chair at Bank of America, and Board Chair of B of A’s European Bank.

The Tory Burch Foundation-convened Summit will include stories and conversations featuring female leaders from Hollywood, business, science, entrepreneurship and youth movements who will tackle “challenging stereotypes and creating new norms.” The all-day summit will include performances, including short stories, spoken word, and music.

Attendees will be able to connect with women-owned businesses at the entrepreneur marketplace, visit the Tory Burch Foundation pop-up shop, and network with other attendees. Applications to attend have closed, but anyone can sign up for the free live stream of the event.

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When Work Resonates with Your Values: Maricella Herrera of Ellevate

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Maricella Herrera, vice president of Operations and Strategy at Ellevate Network, “a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed.”

maricella herrera
Maricella Herrera (courtesy of Maricella Herrera)

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

When I first started out, I thought my career was already laid out for me; I was going into my first job at a bank, I would rise in the ranks, get more responsibility, go to business school, go back to finance and keep going until I retired. It was what was expected. I never really understood that to be completely happy, I needed to find something that didn’t just intellectually stimulate me, but that resonated with my values. I didn’t know you could build a career in an area that was about doing good. When I first started out, social enterprises were nascent. Not many people were thinking about them. I wish I had known I could find my passion and what I’m good at in one place, and that it wouldn’t necessarily be what everyone else thought I was supposed to be doing, and that that was ok. My background is in business and finance, so knowing I can use those skills to make a difference in the world is exciting.

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Family Fdn in Atlanta Gives Big for Global Work Focused on Women

CARE RECEIVES COMMITMENT OF NEARLY $7M FROM THE ARTHUR M. BLANK FAMILY FOUNDATION

The organization dedicated to fighting global poverty by empowering women and girls partners with Atlanta family foundation to invest in communities and save lives

family foundation
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation outlines these core values for community engagement, and is now extending its grantmaking to address global poverty issues by empowering women. (Image Credit: Blank Foundation press kit)

(Atlanta, GA) On November 14, 2019, CARE announced a three-year $6.8M grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support international programs that foster economic development, influence policy change, and provide humanitarian aid for people affected by natural and man-made disasters. The partnership marks the first strategic international expansion of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, which promote positive change in peoples’ lives and build and enhance the communities in which they live.

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Coca-Cola Foundation Makes $1 Mil Donation to Girls Who Invest

December 9, 2019 — The Coca-Cola Company is marking its 100th anniversary as a public company today with a $1 million grant to Girls Who Invest from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Girls Who Invest (GWI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in investment management, with a specific focus on increasing the pipeline of women entering the industry in frontline investing and leadership positions.

See Philanthropy Women’s previous coverage on Girls Who Invest.

Girls Who Invest will receive $1 million in funding from the Coca Cola Foundation. (Image Credit: Girls Who Invest)

The grant will provide scholarships for approximately 40 women at U.S. colleges and universities to explore careers in investment management by participating in rigorous, four-week on-campus training programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame or the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

The academic program is followed by a six-week paid internship at one of GWI’s more than 100 partner investment management firms in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, during which scholars work alongside investment management teams.

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BIG NEWS: Allison Fine Announces 2020 Congressional Run

2020 is gearing up to be a landmark election year. The American Presidential election is well underway, and new faces and standing politicians alike are finding ways to come together on issues surrounding women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate change, and the economy.

allison
Allison Fine has officially announced her 2020 run for Congress, where she hopes to represent New York’s 17th District. (Photo Credit: Allison Fine For Congress)

Adding to the potential for some great progressive victories in 2020, activist Allison Fine has announced her official run for Congress, where she intends to represent New York’s 17th District, and her hometown of Sleepy Hollow, New York.

A pioneer of online activism and a self-described “unapologetic feminist,” Fine is an author, a social change thought leader, and the founder of the Network of Elected Women (NEW), which connects women who hold local office around the country. She has also served as chair of the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, as well as the president of her synagogue, Temple Beth Abraham.

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