Lis Williams: “I Had It Within Me To Create Something New”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elisabeth Williams, Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm that educates female entrepreneurs and executives on how to bake mission into their life and business for more passion, purpose, and profit.

Lis Williams is the Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm dedicated to educating and empowering female entrepreneurs. (Image Credit: AWE Partners/Elisabeth Williams)

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

I wish I had known that there was a way to blend all of my passions and turn it into a career. 

I studied business in undergrad and then went on to pursue my MBA. I loved business, but I was also passionate about making a difference in the world. At the time I was in the corporate world, back in the late 80s and 90s, there wasn’t as much opportunity to merge profit and purpose. And there certainly wasn’t as much of a concern for people and the planet! I wish I had known that I had it within me to create something new – a new way forward.

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The BitGive Strategy to Support Women Via Crypto-Philanthropy

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Connie Gallippi, Founder and Executive Director of the BitGive Foundation, which supports cryptocurrency-driven philanthropy. 

Connie Gallippi
Connie Gallippi, courtesy of Connie Gallippi

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

Prior to founding BitGive, I worked in another profession for 15 years. It was another world, so to speak. Entering the budding Bitcoin industry in its early years (2013), I wish I had known more to expect the challenge of aligning the perspectives of those in finance and tech with a vision of revolutionizing global philanthropy. 

In my previous career, I worked with environmental nonprofits in California, advocating within the California legislature, and state and regional agencies. It was a challenge, but eventually we were able to get them to see the benefits of investing in natural resources. Shifting the perspective of tech- and finance- driven people to see how we could dramatically improve philanthropy, and to then take action and invest in our innovative approach, has been more of a gap than I anticipated; however, we are making great strides with our work and through our partnerships, and I can see a significant shift in sight!  

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Tracy Gary on Activating Donors for Gender Justice

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Tracy Gary, Philanthropic and Legacy Advisor at Unleashing Generosity.

Tracy Gary
Tracy Gary is a philanthropist, nonprofit entrepreneur, and legacy mentor who has worked tirelessly to help others experience the joy of giving charitable dollars to causes they care about. (Image Credit: Tracy Gary)

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

My sense of abundance and true resourcefulness has come from giving and service to the nonprofit sector. We can’t do it well without mentors.

From the time I was first exposed to my parents’ giving and their encouragement about my donating, even as a teenager it was clear to me that determining what to give to and how possibly to choose amidst issues, populations and changes needed, would take careful community listening and some wise elder guidance or partnerships.

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Dining for Women Amplifies Gender Equality Mission with New Name

Editor’s Note: The following announcement was made on March 6 by the leadership of Dining for Women.

Together Women Rise is about women and allies coming together all over the world, from all backgrounds and communities, to achieve global gender equality.

together women rise


Our new name, logo, and tagline are aligned to create a fresh, modern look for our organization — one that is inviting and inclusive to all and tells the world exactly why we exist and what we aim to accomplish.

Together is front and center because our community is strong: gathering together in our chapters and working together with you, our grantees, lies at the root of our impact. Women, because global gender equality is our guiding star; Rise, because we envision a world where all women and girls around the world can reach their full potential and become powerful agents of change to build a stronger, more sustainable, and peaceful world.

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March 25th: Join Us for the F-GIRL Top Tier Award Ceremony!

Congratulations again to the winners of Philanthropy Women’s inaugural Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) Top Tier Award! We will be celebrating our winners and their work in feminist giving with a virtual awards ceremony at 2:00 PM ET on Thursday, March 25th.

This virtual celebration will feature all three winners and members of the Philanthropy Women team, as we celebrate the winners’ accomplishments and start a conversation on the future of feminist giving.

The event features Elizabeth Yntema, Founder and President of Dance Data Project, Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA, and Sara Monteabaro, Director of Strategic & Partner programs at MIT Solve. We will crown our F-GIRL recipients and allow them each to share about their mission to bring more gender equality to the world.

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Fully Showing Up for Women: Ana Oliveira on Focusing Funding

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation Ana Oliveira. This interview was completed in late 2020. 

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

Ana Oliveira
Ana Oliveira, courtesy of Ana Oliveira

From the time I began my journey at the New York Women’s Foundation to now, I’ve learned the challenges you can face in philanthropy when being most responsive to transformation and justice. I came to The Foundation because it is an inclusive place with a commitment to equity and justice, with an emphasis on centering the needs of our grantee partners and the communities they serve. Those elements have allowed me to fundamentally understand how to carry out our philanthropy with transparency, respect and partnership.  

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Sex Doesn’t Stop for a Pandemic: Maverick Collective Pivots in COVID

When the world stops, life keeps going — especially for communities where social isolation and living off of savings are not viable options.

Maverick Collective connects women and girls around the world with essential sexual and reproductive healthcare. (Image Credit: Maverick Collective/PSI)

It’s a well-known fact that COVID-19 has made life at the bottom of the social pyramid even harder. Women and girls around the world, particularly in communities of color, are among the hardest hit by the ripple effects of the pandemic. The news reports address loss of income, life, and community, but the lesser-known impacts should not be forgotten.

Access to healthcare, particularly for women, was already a commodity difficult to come by in certain parts of the world. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, women and girls’ access to contraceptives, feminine hygiene products, and maternity care hangs more precariously than ever before.

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Lead With Love: Elena Marszalek on the Feminist Climate Movement

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elena Marszalek, Managing Director of Del Mar Global Trust, a private foundation dedicated to the environment. 

Elena Marszalek
Elena Marszalek, courtesy of Elena Marszalek

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

I started my career in philanthropy as the only employee of Del Mar Global Trust, a newly established family foundation focused on the natural environment. Although I had previous experience working in climate change, I had little experience in philanthropy. I felt both hopeful and overwhelmed. 

Joining Rachel’s Network, a community of women environmental philanthropists, broadened my knowledge of complex environmental issues, and significantly improved my ability to select and monitor grant recipients. Networking with other women with similar goals and interests helped my career in numerous other ways, for example sharing information about projects that as individuals we would not be aware of. Perhaps most importantly, I have access to other members with many years of experience who offer advice and mentorship. As in all professions, you learn through experience. 

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

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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Philanthropy, You Should Be Ashamed of Your Greed

Every single one of you on this list who is not giving in the double digits as a percentage of your wealth: you should be ashamed.

If everyone on this list gave at 10% or more of their net worth, what a different world we would be living in. If they gave at 20% of their net worth, we might begin to approach a more just society racially and gender-wise. (Image credit: Chronicle of Philanthropy)

I don’t like to use the shame card. I don’t use it much as a parent, and I don’t use it much as a therapist. But when I look at these numbers, all I can think of is how little regard these human beings appear to have for their fellow human beings. And yet they appear to have no shame about it. In fact, they receive a near constant stream of praise and adulation for the teeny tiny bit that they give of their vast wealth.

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