U.S. Bank Access Fund to Focus $25M on Women of Color in Business

The $25M U.S. Bank Access Fund will be deployed as long term investments to 3 partner organizations supporting women of color in business.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)
The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)

U.S. Bank introduced the details of the $25 million U.S. Bank Access Fund – a fund for women of color microbusiness owners, which was first announced in February. The fund, a collaboration between U.S. Bank Foundation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), will include long-term investments of grants and capital funding to three partners: the African American Alliance of Black CDFI CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The fund is part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

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Jamie Sears of UBS: The Value of More Victories for Women in Biz

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Responsibility for the Americas with the global financial firm UBS, who also leads the UBS Foundation USA.

jamie sears
Jamie Sears of UBS discusses ways we can do more to support women entrepreneurs. (image courtesy of Jamie Sears)

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

Get practice using your voice, and don’t be afraid to use it. That was important when I started out and is still important now. I grew up as an adopted Asian American in a small town that was predominantly white and, from my earliest days, I did not feel comfortable speaking up.  Even as I moved through life and a career at some incredible organizations, I largely put my head down, did the work and thought it would speak for me. That is not how the world works if you want to have a big impact. I wish I had known the power of believing that my voice was worth something, and that the most powerful thing I could do is use it to advocate for myself and for others. Ultimately, it’s about having the confidence to know that you are contributing to the world. 

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Activating Philanthropy – Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Four in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman, and Part Three: Talking to Family Members About Giving. 

giving circle
The Women’s Giving Circle of Harford Count presented TasteWise Kids a $5,000 grant for its Days of Taste Program. The check presentation included Kim Malat, Sherifa Clarke, Riva Kahn, Ennise Bloom and Alice Welsh Leeds. In 2019, the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County awarded 13 grants to nonprofits serving women and children, totaling nearly $45,000. (Image Credit: Jessica Moser / Baltimore Sun)

We’re almost finished with our Activating Philanthropy series! Thanks for joining us for this four-week series on activating philanthropy in your everyday life. Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re tying everything together with one of the simplest and most effective forms of collaborative philanthropy: the giving circle

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New Scholarship Project to Honor RBG with Support for Women in Law

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project has been created to support and mentor women law students, in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)
The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)

A group of women lawyers who served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are launching a scholarship project to provide financial assistance and mentoring support to women law students.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project was created in partnership with the Federal Bar Foundation, a New York-based tax-exempt organization, and was founded by a group of alumnae from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, following the passing of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Project’s mission is to honor the lifelong work of Justice Ginsburg by creating a scholarship, related programming, and mentorship that will advance equity and diversity within the legal profession and continue the late Justice’s many efforts to expand career opportunities for women attorneys.

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How Marsha P. Johnson Institute Gives Direct Support to LGBTQ+ POC

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has committed over $250K in direct donations to black LGBTQ+ individuals to provide post-pandemic support.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)

As the pandemic continues and with it, disproportionate impacts on Black transgender people, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute today announced the donation of over $250,000 to more than 500 individuals across the United States in 2020.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides a one-time direct relief payment of $500 to Black transgender or non-binary identified people. The Institute is committed to centering the needs of those most beyond the margins; priority for the awardees was given to Black trans women and those who have experience as sex workers, have been formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable community members.

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Free Gender Lens Investing Webinar Discussing Options with Experts!

Join Philanthropy Women and inspiring guests on Thursday, May 20th for the next iteration of our webinar series! Gender Lens Investing: Hear From The Experts will be a focused conversation on the power of leveraging your investments to support gender equity.

gender lens

Guests Rehana Nathoo, Founder and CEO of Spectrum Impact, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of Texas Women’s Foundation, will discuss gender-lens investing with Philanthropy Women’s Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek.

From realigning your portfolio as an individual or an organization to hiring women financial advisors to advocating for women as a shareholder, this webinar will discuss the many ways that women can make a good return on their money and impact financial markets by investing with a gender lens.

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Asia Foundation to Honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need

The Asia Foundation’s 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need for their work for women in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)
The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay.

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Mastercard Invests Millions in Venture Capital with Fearless Fund

Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built to support women of color, has received a huge investment from Mastercard.

Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)
Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment and yet receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. In addition, only three percent of the people actually leading investments at VC firms are Black according to the National Venture Capital Association. To help further access to funding for Black women, Mastercard today announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built by women of color for women of color.

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Spring Grants List: Where Can Female Filmmakers Find Money?

The spring application season is officially open for arts funders seeking female filmmakers, as shown in this list of grant resources.

As we head closer to a return to normalcy, funding opportunities for the arts are beginning to open back up — which means it’s time for women to take center stage in the film industry. For female filmmakers in particular, grants for documentaries, short films, feature films, and more are beginning to shake off the winter doldrums and prepare for the spring application season: the ideal opportunity to improve female representation in film.

Jamie Babbit (right), director of the film Addicted to Fresno, poses with (from left) Molly Shannon, Judy Greer, and Natasha Lyon at SXSW. Fresno was produced with help from a grant from Gamechangers Films. (Image Credit: Cinelinx)

Here are a selection of funders (presented in alphabetical order) looking for female directors and filmmakers. This is by no means a complete collection. More to add to the list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this grants list with the female filmmakers in your social circles!

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$11M to Grantees: How CFF Will Take Down Gender-Based Violence

The Collective Future Fund has chosen 25 organizations to start its first multi-year grantmaking effort, pledging a total of $11 million.

In this grantmaking effort, the Collective Future Fund has chosen organizations dedicated to ending gender-based violence in all its various forms. (Image credit: CFF)

On March 31st, 2021, the Collective Future Fund (CFF) awarded grants to 25 organizations in its first multi-year grantmaking effort, totaling $11 million over the next three years. The grant recipients are working at the forefront of movements to end gender-based violence in all its forms, and are all led by BIPOC women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and im/migrant survivors of color. 

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