Giving Through Celebration: Batonga Foundation Hosts NYC Benefit

One of the best ways to leverage support for a community is by celebrating its culture. Angélique Kidjo and the Batonga Foundation seek to amplify their campaign for women and girls in West Africa through a one-of-a-kind benefit dinner hosted later this month in New York City.

Angelique Kidjo invites YOU to a night of West African flavor in New York City! (Source: Batonga Foundation)

Kidjo, a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and musician, was born in Benin and grew up steeped in the rich musical and social culture of West Africa. She attended school at a time when girls’ education was not considered socially acceptable. In answer to taunts from boys in her classes, Kidjo would shout back, “Batonga!,” an invented word that has since translated into Kidjo’s music and philanthropy.

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Joining Forces To Empower Women in Senegal

Local girls enjoy clean water from a rehabilitated well in Senegal. Photo Credit: CREATE! (@createsenegal)

Where are the effects of climate change felt the strongest?

West Africa shoulders some of the heaviest impacts created by climate change, particularly in communities where families live off the land. Many communities in Sub-Saharan Africa have laid claim to lush, verdant farmlands for hundreds or thousands of years—but today, those families find themselves fighting against the very land they’ve called home for generations.

Between desert encroachment, deforestation, and the effects of a rising global temperature, rural populations in Senegal experience some of the worst effects of climate change. Farming families struggle to cope with a shorter growing season, while communities across the continent suffer from a shortage of clean water, food, and fuel.

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The International Battle for Women’s Water Rights

Five years later, the battle for clean water still rages in Flint, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Flint Rising)

Superheroes no longer wear capes: they wear gym shoes. 

A few days before we spoke on the phone, Gina Luster represented Flint Rising at an activist event in San Francisco. A red-eye flight took her to Grand Rapids, Michigan, then to her home in Flint at 7:30 in the morning. Next, Gina drove to Detroit for a panel appearance at the NAACP’s annual conference. She arrived in the city exhausted and ready for a shower before our interview, only to find out she couldn’t check into her hotel. 

Gina took my call from the hotel parking lot, sitting under a tree next to the Detroit River. Despite the insanity of her schedule and the flickering cell phone signal, her attitude was overwhelmingly positive. 

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Finding Funders: The New PW Knowledgebase

Philanthropy Women has released a new database of over 400 listings of gender equality funders across the categories of U.S., International, Family, and Corporate giving.

It’s always a challenge finding funders, that special tribe of folks who understand your mission and want to align with that mission by providing financial support.

That’s one of the reasons we’ve created the world’s first database of gender equality funders, the Philanthropy Women Knowledgebase. With over 400 listings of funders for gender equality, the PW Knowledgebase wants to be the source that helps more people break into gender equality work.

The PW Knowledgebase entries are short, addressing only the barest of facts you need to know as you scour for leads. Each entry contains information on the type of funding provided for women and girls by the funder, as well as link access to lists of grants awarded by the funder, proposal writing guidelines, FAQ’s, application pages, and other relevant data on contacting and querying. Each entry also provides a window into real-time happenings for this funder or organization via Twitter (when available), so you can check out the current culture of the organization and see if it feels like a good fit for a funding pitch.

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New Microgrants Cultivate Collective Giving

Members of the co-design team working to grow the power and amplification of giving circles. (Photo credit: Catalist)

On August 20, 2019, an initiative to connect and catalyst the field of giving circles announced their intention to donate $32,000 to collective giving organizations. The funds, distributed in thirteen microgrants ranging from $500 to $5,000, will go toward circles and networks that “showcase, scale, strengthen, and sustain the field of collective giving. 

This initiative is born out of a yearlong co-design process spearheaded by the organizations Amplifier, Asian Women’s Giving Circle, Catalist, Community Investment Network, and Latino Community Foundation. 

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How One Feminist Giving Pioneer is Changing Lives

Two participants embrace at a Safe Conversations workshop.
(Photo credit: Relationships First)

When you hear the word “relationship,” what do you think of first? A couple in a romantic partnership, or two people sharing a conversation?

Most of us would lean toward that first option–which is part of the reason Relationships First is setting out to change the way we think about human interaction.

Relationships First is a nonprofit founded on the idea that healthy relationships are key to physical, financial, and emotional health–not just for people, but for the communities and countries they live in. When our relationships suffer, it shows. We tend to disconnect from our jobs, our friends, our children, our family members. And when this happens, performance drops, stress mounts, and communities feel the heaviest effects. This nonprofit seeks to break this vicious cycle by teaching new ways of communication.

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Gender Lens Experts: Women and Money Summit Coming Up Soon

Leaders in gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing are convening in Austin, Texas on September 16 to 17, 2019.

The Women & Money Summit is less than a month away, so now is the time to reserve your seat. Feminist strategists Tuti B. Scott and Marianne Schnall are bringing together leaders from finance and social justice to finds ways to grow the synergy between gender lens investing and gender lens grantmaking.

On September 16-17, Women & Money: Making Money Moves that Matter is bringing these leader together in Austin, Texas to engage in strategic talks about how to accelerate progress for gender equality across finance and investing as well as social policy. The goal is to figure out what it will take to get more people aligned with donating, investing, and taking action for gender equality in all segments of society.

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Join WPI at WFRI to Experience the Power of Social Change Mentorship

My boss (2006-2009) and Missouri mentor, Mindy Mazur, who stewarded me through my early political career. We still support one another by sharing ideas, building the leadership pipelines across the country, and generally commiserating about the current state of affairs.

My work in social change and political advocacy are defined by the women who brought me up in the world.

The career I have today was unfathomable to me as a naive Missouri farm girl. Then I met Mindy. She was a manager and chief of staff who hired me as an intern and wouldn’t let me go. She coached and navigated me around every career pivot and barrier. Networks are a constellation of mentors, pipelines, alma maters – professional and personal associations. Often these networks are implicit. They help us overcome the divide between those who were born into the norms of public service and those of us who stumble upon public service after strife and righteous indignation call us to change the world. 

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WomensWork RI Opens Stage to Women Creators Over 40

Lynne Collinson, Creative Director, WomensWork Theatre Collaborative. (photo credit: Vince Petronio)

Great news for theatre buffs in Rhode Island: a new collaborative, formed a year ago, is now taking off to produce more dramatic works by women. Named WomensWork Theatre Collaborative and headed by Creative Director Lynne Collinson, they will present a trio of plays about madness in 2019 and 2020.

WomensWorkRI Theatre Collaborative describes itself as “a creative collective designed to promote theatrical opportunities for women of all ages. A major mission focus is to provide leadership roles – on and off stage — for women over the age of 40.”

“WomensWork has chosen three plays – all written by women — that examine the ways madness manifests itself in women’s lives, whether from the strain of caring for a parent with a deteriorating mind, the seismic change brought about by midlife crisis, or the daily dread faced by women duty-bound to risk their lives for a tyrant,” said Collison, in an announcement rolling out the slate of plays to be produced over the next year.

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#WomenFunded2019: WFN Opens Registration for Annual Conference

Women Funding Network’s Executive Director Cynthia Nimmo. (Photo Credit: WFN)

The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) recently opened registration for their September conference, Women Funded 2019: Leadership for a Changing World.

The event, held from September 11-13 at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood, is the next iteration in WFN’s successful conference series. You may remember last September’s Seattle takeover with Women Moving Millions and the Gates Foundation — WFN’s WOMEN+POWER conference was held in Seattle, Washington, in an incredible weekend for feminist thought leaders.

The San Francisco conference is gearing up to be WFN’s biggest event yet, featuring more than 80 speakers across more than 40 sessions. This year’s four themes — On The Frontlines, It’s Personal, The Power of Voice, and How Money Moves — focus on resolving complex social issues, leading with power across sectors, shaping stories, policy, and solution, and re-shaping philanthropy by redefining investment.

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