“The power imbalance in philanthropy—often maintained by those without intimate knowledge of a community’s historical context, the needs on the ground, and the most urgent issues—spurs activists in marginalized communities, especially Black women and girls, to call for more input in determining what should be prioritized, how it should be funded, and who gets the money.” This is the opening paragraph of Feminist philanthropy: Dismantling silos and raising long-term funding (link).
Feminist giving, especially that focusing on women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, faces a dilemma. On one side, traditional philanthropic organizations are often hampered by a “white savior” mindset and scrutiny from the patriarchy; on the other, Black women face access issues, and are often not granted adequate trust to control large gifts.
Ellen Burstyn has attained the pinnacle of success in the entertainment world. She has received numerous accolades including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. She is one of only 24 people who have won all three awards, known as the “Triple Crown” of acting.
And Ellen Burstyn is also a philanthropist. Her most lasting legacy may not be so much about what awards what she has gotten, but what she has given back. Burstyn has been a member of the Actors Studio in New York City for most of her life and has been a co-president of the Actors Studio for over twenty years. She was instrumental in founding the Actors Studio Master’s program, an MFA degree track (currently hosted at Pace University) that offers tracks in Acting, Directing, and Playwriting for promising young artists.
Hello Feminist Giving friends! This week at Philanthropy Women brings some exciting news for us. As it turns out, a male ally to gender equality givers is retiring after 33 years as a business analyst, and he is going to be joining us as a writer at Philanthropy Women. This new writer and thinker will be adding fuel to our fire as the only funding news outlet in the world exclusively devoted to women. And who is this exciting addition to our team?
Why, it’s none other than my husband of over 25 years, Kevin Marek! As of May 26, he will be taking off the corporate shackles and rejoining the rest of the world to pursue all of his many interests and hobbies, and one of those interests is in being a male ally to the cause of gender equality.
Greetings and welcome to Philanthropy Women! It’s Kiersten Marek here, the founder and editor of PW. Today there are many new happenings I want to share with you from the feminist giving realm, but first I want to take a moment to acknowledge an issue that has caused difficulty for us as a publication: the phenomenon of feminist givers being taught not to love themselves, and to see funding news about their work as an indulgence.
As women, broadly speaking, we are taught not to love ourselves, to discredit our own work, and to downplay our own accomplishments. One of the reasons I started Philanthropy Women was because I wanted to reverse that trend — to make it possible, and, dare I say, easy, to feel good about yourself as a funder of gender equality.
Women’s Philanthropy thought leader, Kathleen Loehr, is retiring. In a truly unique model of legacy, she is leaving her papers and research to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at Indiana University. And, she’s leaving her exclusive methods, treasured insights and archive to me and seven other hand-selected women she has chosen to continue living out her legacy and growing Women’s Philanthropy: The Women’s Philanthropy Alliance.
I am honored to be a part of this elite group of industry experts and thought leaders on Women’s Philanthropy, and I will do my best each and every day to make Kathleen proud. My journey thus far is a personal one, which led me to understand how, even as an expert in DEI for Philanthropy and a philanthropist myself, I had somehow compartmentalized gender along the way. The danger here is that if I can do it, anyone can, and so I vowed to craft my work in Women’s Philanthropy in the most impactful way as possible.
This batch of feminist funding news spans from state-based government funding for childcare workers (brilliant stuff!) to ten new additions we have made to the funders listed in our Gender Equality Funder Database. Enjoy!
1: Women’s Foundation of Colorado Makes Goal of 100% Gender Lens Investable Assets
“As the only community foundation in the state focused on gender, racial, and economic equity, it was time to unapologetically integrate all assets of our operation and programs around our goals to ensure the success of our strategic framework,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation. “We are proud to align our money with our mission, and to use all of our available resources to maximize donor impact.”
Editor’s Note: The following opinion piece is from Jamie Allen Black, CEO of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, in response to a recent opinion piece from Jeannie Infante Sager.
As Jeannie Infante Sager, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, points out in her recent Philanthropy Women article, MacKenzie Scott, the world’s most famous female philanthropist, has embraced “trust-based” philanthropy.
Yet the conversation about Scott leaves one fascinating thing unsaid: She’s female and a philanthropist, but she doesn’t give like a female philanthropist.
Well hello, my philanthro-lovelies! I hope you are doing well, and are ready to dive into some more feminist giving news!
Today I’d like to start with a quote from MacKenzie Scott, who has outstripped her ex-husband’s lifetime of giving in just two years. Here are her words from when she made her promise to fulfill The Giving Pledge:
Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation and Eric Braverman, Chief Executive Officer of Schmidt Futures, Serve As Co-Chairs to launch Fund supporting Low-income, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, BIPOC, Young, Immigrant, Women, Caregivers, Disabled, and LGBTQPeople
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Families and Workers Fund (FWF) today announced the launch of a five-year collaborative philanthropy dedicated to building a more equitable economy that uplifts all. Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a once-in-a-generation opening to improve the lives of workers and their families, FWF will work to deploy funding and build partnerships to help repair and reimagine the systems that fuel economic security, opportunity and mobility. The Fund seeks to advance jobs that sustain and uplift people and also invest in the development of a more inclusive, effective public benefits system, with a focus on unemployment insurance. It will be co-chaired by Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Eric Braverman, Chief Executive Officer, Schmidt Futures.