On January 30, 2024, the Womens’ Philanthropy Institute (WPI) of Indiana University hosted a webinar to look into a crystal ball and discuss what members of the giving community believe is coming our way in the coming year.
The moderator was Jeannie Sager, Executive Director of WPI. Panelists included
Elizabeth Barajas Romắn, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (WFN);
Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA); and
Kiersten Marek, Founder and CEO of Philanthropy Women (PW)
To start, Jeannie Sager established five key trends as identified by research of WPI:
“The power imbalance in philanthropy—often maintained by those without intimate knowledge of a community’s historical context, the needs on the ground, and the most urgent issues—spurs activists in marginalized communities, especially Black women and girls, to call for more input in determining what should be prioritized, how it should be funded, and who gets the money.” This is the opening paragraph of Feminist philanthropy: Dismantling silos and raising long-term funding (link).
Feminist giving, especially that focusing on women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, faces a dilemma. On one side, traditional philanthropic organizations are often hampered by a “white savior” mindset and scrutiny from the patriarchy; on the other, Black women face access issues, and are often not granted adequate trust to control large gifts.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose where we live. For most people, the decision often depends on employment: people relocate to a place with a better economy to find a job, or as a necessary step to start working at a new job. After college, I relocated from my home state of Michigan to Boston because the economy was much more robust. It has been my good fortune because the decision has worked out very well. While working remotely is not a universally available option, whether due to the nature of the work, like a nurse or a mechanic, it is easier to do and more widely available than ever before.
And where we live has repercussions beyond the availability of jobs. Quality of life issues matter. Diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of lifestyle matter. Access to quality health care really matters. Health care includes reproductive rights and reproductive rights is more than being able to make your own decisions about your body. For example, how does your state of residence rank in terms of being a good place to have a baby?
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:
Hello Feminist Giving friends! This week at Philanthropy Women brings some exciting news for us. As it turns out, a male ally to gender equality givers is retiring after 33 years as a business analyst, and he is going to be joining us as a writer at Philanthropy Women. This new writer and thinker will be adding fuel to our fire as the only funding news outlet in the world exclusively devoted to women. And who is this exciting addition to our team?
Why, it’s none other than my husband of over 25 years, Kevin Marek! As of May 26, he will be taking off the corporate shackles and rejoining the rest of the world to pursue all of his many interests and hobbies, and one of those interests is in being a male ally to the cause of gender equality.
Greetings and welcome to Philanthropy Women! It’s Kiersten Marek here, the founder and editor of PW. Today there are many new happenings I want to share with you from the feminist giving realm, but first I want to take a moment to acknowledge an issue that has caused difficulty for us as a publication: the phenomenon of feminist givers being taught not to love themselves, and to see funding news about their work as an indulgence.
As women, broadly speaking, we are taught not to love ourselves, to discredit our own work, and to downplay our own accomplishments. One of the reasons I started Philanthropy Women was because I wanted to reverse that trend — to make it possible, and, dare I say, easy, to feel good about yourself as a funder of gender equality.
Well, hello my lovely feminist giving friends! I hope you are all getting on fine. It’s time for another update on some of the gender lens philanthropic and investing activity in the world. Before we start, I want to alert readers that we have a limited number of copies of Feminist Giving available at a reduced rate for sale on Ebay. So if you don’t already have your copy of the book, now is your chance to pick one up at a great price, either for yourself, a friend, or even your local library if you so choose. Our book is particularly suited to libraries that are aiming to be a resource for marginalized groups.
What’s Going On in the World of Feminist Giving?
1. Our Partners at Alliance are Doing it Up for Women’s History Month
Now that I have had to step back a bit from my writing to pursue a top secret second career (it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation, so I appreciate your cooperation!) our partners at Alliance Magazine have taken on a much stronger agenda to serve the feminist giving community with news and views on this more essential form of philanthropy. There’s lots of great content there, including a piece from the Women’s Funding Network on the importance of Black giving. They are also dedicating a whole webinar to the topic of women’s funding which will take place on March 14. Register here to participate.
You can also buy the book on Kobo, or Amazon. This book is packed with the latest and greatest information from the feminist giving sphere. Loaded with interviews and insights from some of philanthropy’s top voices, Feminist Giving is a comprehensive look at modern feminist philanthropy and the themes, campaigns, and people leading the charge in transforming our world.
Review the Book on Amazon, Kobo, and Lulu
At this time, we’re also asking for your reviews! We want to hear everything you thought about Feminist Giving. You can add a review wherever you buy the book: Amazon, Kobo, and Lulu. You can also give us a shout-out on sites like Goodreads to help spread the word about this unique and groundbreaking book.
Hello again my feminist giving allies! I have some very good news: the hardcover edition of Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change is now available! Please buy the book on Lulu as we get three times the percentage of revenue if you buy the book on Lulu as opposed to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any other major distribution outlet.
There is lots of other feminist giving news to get to, but before we go there, let’s just take a moment to pause, reflect, and be thankful. We are so thankful for our subscribers, especially those who hung on this past year while we produced less internet content and created our first real world physical product, a 405 page book with over 240 citations, in order to bring more awareness about feminist giving to the world. So thank you, subscribers! Without your help, we couldn’t have done it.
Well, hello my feminist giving friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and it gave you a chance to reflect on some of the things you are thankful for. That was my focus this Thanksgiving, as my family and I went for a hike at Stoppleworth Conservation Area in Tolland, Connecticut.
This conservation area was created by my mother in 2004, by selling a 55 acre parcel of land that my father bought in the 1970’s and used to harvest wood for the wood-burning stoves of our house. It was a bold decision for my mother to move this land into open space, and I was proud to be the daughter helping facilitate the deal. Every year around Thanksgiving, we try to visit the land and appreciate its supreme beauty and the amazing strength of my mother to part with this precious land and put it into the public trust.