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.”
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.
Women and girls represent more than half of the population of the United States. Despite this, charitable giving to organizations serving them represents less than 2% of all philanthropic activity in the U.S. This is according to a new report published Wednesday, October 11 – the International Day of the Girl.
The Amplify Her® Foundation, a new private grantmaking foundation created to support the economic and social advancement of women changemakers from under-invested communities in New York City, held an official launch celebration. The foundation will also release “If She Can Make it Here,” a comprehensive research report that identifies the most significant barriers faced by women and girls from underserved communities in the city and interventions to help them overcome those obstacles and meet their full leadership potential.
“After years of working to advance women in the public, nonprofit and political arenas, what consistently stood out to me was the dearth of funding and support specifically for nonprofit organizations serving women and girls. Women and girls face unique challenges and yet funding is rarely tailored to their needs…” —Marti Speranza Wong, Amplify Her Foundation founder, executive director and board chair.
The United Nations (UN) set a goal of achieving gender equity by 2030. A new report indicates meeting this goal will be impossible due to deeply rooted biases against women around the world in heath, education, employment and the halls of power, the United Nations said.
The report paints a grim picture of the gender gap, and the ‘lacklustre commitment’ globally to equality for women. It was noted that funding for programmes promoting gender equality and female empowerment globally is ‘inadequate, unpredictable and inconsistently distributed’
“The world is failing women and girls,” UN Women, the agency promoting gender equality, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in “The Gender Snapshot 2023” report.
On September 5, Rhode Island held a special primary election to select the candidates to replace David Cicilline, who resigned as US Representative for USC District 1. The field for the Democratic candidate was crowded with 12 names on the ballot. Due to the deep Blue color of RI politics, the Democratic candidate, whoever was selected, was considered the odds-on favorite to win in the Special General Election in November.
As of June, Sabina Matos, the current Lt Governor, was leading comfortably with polling numbers surpassing 20% of the electorate. Matos is the first Dominican American elected to statewide office in the country and the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island. She was supported by the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The last couple of posts have had a focus on men and the difficulties they are supposedly facing. Let’s turn that around and focus on the success of women as leaders who stand up to their difficulties and manage to break out of the constraints they face and achieve some significant accomplishments. The first two below do just that.
One: Hypatia Capital
On the face of it, Hypatia Capital is an investment firm. However, the first two sentences of the mission statement very clearly indicate it is much more than that. It is an idea supported by concrete proof. Hypatia has created an ETF called WCEO. As the mission statement says:
For the better part of a decade, Philanthropy Women has provided unique content and special insights into the world of feminism in general and feminist giving in particular. As a man, I am too often horrified by the way women’s contributions in so many fields are belittled or simply ignored. I’ve been enormously proud of the work that Philanthropy Women has done over the years to provide journalism about the efforts and accomplishments of women in so many different endeavors. Please help us keep up the good work by subscribing. It doesn’t cost much, less than $10 per month, the price of 2 or 3 coffees. Unity is strength.
On a slightly different angle, I’ve started reading a book called “Of Boys and Men”by Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institute. I ran across a reference to it in the Washington Post, and it piqued my curiosity. As you may be aware, there has been a caterwauling of complaints about the problems men and boys face in these troubled times. Reeves wrote the book as an attempt to uncover the reasons for these difficulties. I’m about halfway through, so I will provide some comments on the book and its thesis in my next post. For the time being, let’s just say that Reeves presents an interesting case, but I’m not sure it’s the case he intended to present.
Greetings, friends of Philanthropy Women! This week brings some very good news: E. Jean Carroll, American journalist who sued Donald Trump for sexual abuse and defamation, has won her suit. Her victory is evidence of her incredible stamina and persistence in pursuing justice, and it sets a new standard for how survivors of sexual assault can take action to address past crimes committed against them.
When it comes to feminist giving, many give with their financial resources primarily. But someone like E. Jean Carroll gave not only with her financial resources, but with her time and energy, and her gift of endurance in the long fight to attain justice as a sexual assault survivor. We congratulate E. Jean Carroll and hope many other women will follow in her footsteps.
Greetings, everyone in the Philanthropy Women community, and welcome to a New Year! 2023 promises to offer some very special events, including more readings and discussions of Feminist Giving. The book is doing well on sales and Lauren Brathwaite of Candid wrote a very comprehensive review of the book, which is a wonderful read if you are thinking of picking up the book. You can read the review here.
One of my favorite things about Lauren’s review is that she referred to Feminist Giving as a “tome” and got into the big arguments that I make in the book. As she suspects in her review, I am very interested indeed in how MacKenzie Scott is beginning to go more public about her giving. However, I notice on her website she says that they currently “don’t participate” in media stories about their work. That gave me pause to think. It seems to me that it’s a sign of a certain level of privilege to be able to decide not to participate in media stories about oneself. As a social worker who has been public facing and accountable for her behavior and practice as a professional, I cannot fathom taking such a position. But obviously, she has her reasons.
The feminist giving news is coming at us fast and furious here at Philanthropy Women, and I am truly like Lucille Ball working in the candy store on the conveyor belt, with my mouth and shirt packed with candies and nowhere to go with them all. In my highly packed schedule of clinical sessions and book editing sessions, there is not much time left to write up all of this feminist giving news.
But I will enumerate some of the big happenings nonetheless, as I work away at changes to the proof hardcover copy of Feminist Giving. I am surprised at how many people seem to want to buy a paper copy, preferring it over the ebook. The ebook is a much more facile resource for connecting to the web of feminist giving activity, research, and thought leadership, as it contains the links to the 240 citations in the book. In the print book, those citations are all enumerated and listed in the end notes.