Given that Walmart is the largest employer in America, second only to the government, the fact that they are taking an active stance in addressing women’s empowerment is particularly important.
We want to make sure Walmart’s grantmaking gets talked about here on Philanthropy Women because they are such a large and influential company, not just in America, but globally. Because of their size, their ability to influence both the economy and the culture is great, and will likely have a growing impact on issues related to women as time goes on.
I’ve covered the Fund for Shared Insight before, and I want to call attention to this new announcement, since it’s a great example of how philanthropy is evolving into a more democratic creature — by becoming more aware of what does and does not work in funding strategies.
Many women’s funds and foundations were early believers in incorporating grantee feedback into the grantmaking process. Women’s funds and foundations were also some of the first to bring grantees onto foundation boards to help inform the decision-making process. Some research suggests that women have a leadership edge with their listening and relational skills. Whether that’s true or not, women leaders in philanthropy can and should engage in active listening to create more effective strategies.
Now,Shared Insight has issued a national, open request for proposals for nominated nonprofits to participate in Listen for Good — Shared Insight’s signature initiative which helps funders and nonprofits advance high-quality feedback loops.
‘Listen for Good’ Open Request for Proposals Released; Five New Funders AnnouncedListen for Good 2017 Request for Proposals PostedShared Insight is excited to announce that it is offering up to 75 Listen for Good (L4G) grants in 2017.The goal of L4G is to help nonprofit organizations—across issue areas, populations served, geographies and budget levels—build the practice of high-quality feedback loops with those they serve. The L4G methodology is simple, yet systematic and rigorous. In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using the data to inform their work, L4G is structured as a co-funding opportunity.To participate in L4G, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Grantees will receive a grant of $45,000 over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year. Shared Insight will accept proposals from funder-nominated nonprofits through May 26, 2017.For funders to learn more about how to nominate a grantee, click here. For nonprofits to learn more about how to apply for a L4G grant, click here. In addition, Shared Insight will hold two informational webinars for potential nominating funders:
“The Einhorn Family Charitable Trust is thrilled to join Fund for Shared Insight and contribute to this vital work to improve philanthropic effectiveness,” says Jennifer Hoos Rothberg, Einhorn’s executive director. “Our relationship-based approach to philanthropy—when done well—is one of the chief factors in helping our partner grantees achieve impact, and we’re thrilled to work in partnership with such a talented group of colleagues from foundations we have long admired to help support and advance the field in this way.”
Don Howard, president and CEO of Irvine adds: “We are big believers in Fund for Shared Insight’s goal of improving services and impact by listening. We’re especially interested in advancing funders' abilities to listen to the people we seek to support, and using that information to guide our decisions.” He continues, “Joining Fund for Shared Insight is a great opportunity for Irvine to partner with like-minded funders that are experimenting with incorporating community-level input into our work and the work of our grantees. We look forward to being part of these efforts and to sharing what we learn.”
“As a leader in philanthropic innovation for over a century, The Rockefeller Foundation is excited to become a core member of Fund for Shared Insight and further our ongoing commitment to strengthening both our own practices and the field of philanthropy writ large,” says Dr. Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller’s president. “Today, institutions like ours are more rigorous, analytical, and results-oriented than ever before, but there is still much we can learn—not only from each other, but also from researching and experimenting with new approaches. The more ways we can listen to and understand the perspectives of the people we seek to serve, the more effective our efforts will be.”
Many in philanthropy, including top women leaders like Helen LaKelly Hunt and Gloria Steinem, talk frequently about the importance of listening to those who we seek to help. Listen for Good (L4G) is an initiative that invites nonprofits and funders to “join us in exploring a simple but systematic and rigorous way of getting feedback from the people at the heart of our work.” In 2016, L4G made 46 grants supported by 28 nominating co-funders.
The following letter is from a new coalition of gender equality organizations called WomenForward. They are a diverse group, encompassing direct service nonprofits as well as global mentoring networks, and more. The coalition was launched earlier this month by The PIMCO Foundation, a corporate donor from the financial sector.
These kinds of connections are one of the strengths of women’s philanthropy — being able to build broad-based coalitions that cut across multiple sectors to find a shared agenda. Check out the letter, and make sure to visit some of the organization’s websites, to get a sense of all the good that is happening out there in the world, despite the many challenges for women in our economy and culture.
One area of philanthropy that impacts women heavily is philanthropy aimed at ending sexual and domestic violence, now also called “gender-based violence.” And a surprising new partner in addressing this problem is the NFL.
An encouraging sign in this arena is the NFL’s recent multiyear commitment of $10 million to a group of affiliated organizations in order to pursue the goal of “ending gender-based violence in one generation.”
Earlier this week, Raliance.org announced the kick-off ThisGEN Youth Summit, bringing together high school students from across the country to build advocacy in the fight to end gender-based violence.
One of the most important aspects of much of women’s philanthropy is its inclusiveness — the belief that there is always room for one more at the table in a community. That’s one reason why the new Revlon campaign, The Love Project, is particularly important and timely for the growing movement of women’s leadership in philanthropy.
We’re only getting started here on Philanthropy Women, but one of the arguments that we will make repeatedly is that inclusion is a fundamental value for much of women’s leadership in philanthropy. The Love Project embodies that sense of inclusion in several important ways.
The press release for this new campaign explains that The Love Project “is an extension of Revlon’s Love is On campaign, which launched in 2014, and reflects the brand’s belief in the power of love and the diversity of beauty.”
Talking to Gloria Feldt is like talking to someone who has been through just about everything as a feminist leader, and yet somehow still finds the strength to tackle ongoing social and political challenges. The word unstoppable comes to mind.
In 1996, People Magazine captured her phenomenal early career in a story called The Voice of Experience. Indeed. And Feldt has just the kind of experience we like to talk about here at Philanthropy Women: experience that mobilizes funding for big visions.
Feldt married her high school sweetheart at age 15 and had 3 children by the time she was 20. She began her professional career as a Head Start teacher for five years, and went back to school as a young mother. In the process of writing a paper for a science class, Feldt chose to profile the local Planned Parenthood affiliate in West Texas, interviewing the local President, nurse practitioners, and board members.
Last year when I was writing for Inside Philanthropy, David Callahan and I co-authored a list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy. It was a big hit. This year, I have decided to follow up and develop eight shorter lists. The lists will start with Emerging Most Powerful Women.
Why start with emerging? Using emerging women leaders as our starting point helps us get a sense of how these women are influencing some of the changing dynamics of philanthropy. Some of the emerging women are quite different from the more established women leaders in philanthropy. Many of these emerging leaders take a strong stance on the need for philanthropy to be more integrated into the economy and inclusive of marginalized groups. A heightened awareness of the need for collaboration across sectors to achieve systemic change is also a key point for many of them.
Speaking of inclusiveness, we want to make the process of establishing this list more inclusive, by asking for nominations from the public. So please, use this contact page to send me your nominations or leave them in the comments below. Make sure to say which category you are nominating someone for.
The point to all this list-making? I believe that the more women in philanthropy can be seen by the larger public, and the more their strategies can be known and replicated, the stronger movements for women’s leadership and gender equality will become. So please join me in identifying and celebrating this growing trend in social progress.
Categories for the Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy
Emerging Leaders — These are women leaders who have not yet ascended to a highly visible position in the landscape of philanthropy, but appear destined to do so.
Network and Collaborative Giving Leaders — The donor network and giving circle women leaders who are forging new paths for philanthropy.
Thought and Strategy Leaders — Women leaders in academia, media, or journalism who are helping to conceptualize and amplify the world of women’s giving.
Corporate Giving Leaders — Women leading our corporations who are putting gender equity high on the agenda and working it into the fabric of the corporation as thoroughly as possible.
Foundation Leaders — Women who are making gender equity a priority in the country’s largest and most influential foundations.
High Net Worth Givers — Women of substantially higher net worth who are also very active in the world of giving.
Feminist Foundation and Women’s Fund Leaders — Women who are making feminism part of the central platform of their funding work.
Celebrity Women Leaders — Women who use their stardom as well as their philanthropic prowess to move the needle on gender equity.
As the economy and job market shift further toward globalization, we see more and more corporations amping up their attention to women and girls. An important new example of this is the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which in March of 2016 announced a fourth core focus: empowering women and girls in the technology field, and helping women use technology to live healthier and more prosperous lives.
With the change in leadership in the U.S. toward a more conservative, white nationalist mentality, it’s a good time to look around the globe and discover other leaders of women’s empowerment who are outside of the U.S. political sphere.
One impressive leader is Cherie Blair and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which is doing work internationally to help women develop business skills and earn income. Next year, the foundation will even be expanding its work to reach some of the most marginalized women in the world, those impacted by war in the Bekaa Valley, an area heavily impacted by the flood of refugees across the border of Syria.
Hopefully the Cherie Blair Foundation won’t lose any of its funding in the coming age of Trump, though one of its donors has been The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. The Foundation also counts among its donors the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dell, J.P Morgan Chase, and Bank of America, and many others. So while the Foundation is based in Europe, it clearly has a large American donor following.
Founded in 2008, The Cherie Blair Foundation appears to have a keen understanding of the role that corporations can play in building women’s economic power and independence. In an interview with Susan McPherson for Forbes, Blair lays out the reason why corporations are so important to the gender equality agenda. “The private sector has a crucial role to play in driving women’s empowerment. It accounts for over 90 percent of jobs in the developing world, so it’s perfectly placed to bring more women into its workforces and supply chains, pay them fairly and promote them into leadership roles,” says Blair.
Another essential point Blair makes is about not only giving women the technology to be connected online, but also helping them develop the skills to use that technology. Her Foundation has done some groundbreaking work in communicating with women via mobile technology to help shift gender norms and attitudes, as well as build women’s economic empowerment.
We live in a world where the first thought about a piece of news needs to be: what is the source? With so much fake news and misinformation out there, the Knight Foundation is amping up its support of high quality community-driven media with new funding.
Jennifer Preston, Vice President of Journalism at the Knight Foundation spoke to Philanthropy Women this morning, the day of the launching of this new funding initiative.
She said most of those organizations receiving matching funds from this new initiative are Knight Foundation grantees from over the past three years. “Amid all of the concerns about fake news, supporting nonprofit journalism is a great way to address those concerns. Battle Fake news with smart news,” said Preston.