Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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Where Are Young Women in Philanthropy?

In the same ways that traditional philanthropy has been historically dominated by white, older, high net worth men, feminist philanthropy has a noticeable population gap in younger age groups. Young women, in particular, in an era of crushing student loans, underemployment, and uncertainty in the face of COVID-19, are noticeably absent from a movement dedicated to their wellbeing.

Young women’s activism is at an all-time high — but why are we missing from feminist philanthropy? (Image Credit: Gayatri Malhotra)

This is not to say that the younger generations aren’t pulling their weight. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Young activists like Greta Thunberg and Sarah Goody are leading the way to revolutions in social justice and culture change. LGBT+ and POC youth are standing vanguard against discrimination, homophobia, and rollbacks of minorities’ legal rights.

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Serena Williams Funds Opportunities for Black Small-Business Owners

For Black History month, Serena Williams Jewelry will be donating a portion of proceeds to Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund.

Serena Williams Jewelry seeks to support black women and black small-business owners by donating proceeds to Opportunity Fund. (Image credit: Business Wire)
Serena Williams Jewelry seeks to support black women and black small-business owners by donating proceeds to Opportunity Fund. (Image credit: Business Wire)

Tennis icon, fashion and jewelry designer Serena Williams is extending her support of Opportunity FundThroughout February, a portion of proceeds from Serena Williams Jewelry will benefit Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund, directly supporting Black small-business owners.

With the creation of jewelry that reflects Serena’s positivity, determination and generosity comes a renewed commitment to the community, emblematic of her unstoppable desire to support others in a meaningful way. Purchasing a necklace or bracelet from Serena Williams Jewelry Unstoppable collection not only enhances a woman’s accessory wardrobe, but also gives her a sense of empowerment by helping others.

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LaTosha Brown: The Time is Now to Fund Black Women and Girls

This past summer, before the announcement of Kamala Harris as the nominee for Vice President, Latosha Brown received a phone call from the soon-to-be Vice President. The phone call was in response to an article Brown had published in Essence called Reimagining An America That Uplifts Black Girls. Vice President Kamala Harris wanted Latosha Brown to know that she shared her hope that America could reimagine the country so that all girls will be lifted up.

LaTosha Brown shares her expertise as a movement organizer and leader, calling for more just and equitable funding for Black women and girls. ( Image Credit: LaTosha Brown)

“Vice President Kamala Harris called me to say she had read the article, and that she too was committed to women and girls all across the country,” said Brown, in a recent phone interview with Philanthropy Women.

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My Survival Is Worth Funding: NCRP’s Brandi Collins-Calhoun

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Brandi Collins-Calhoun, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Senior Movement Engagement Associate.

Brandi Collins-Calhoun, courtesy of Brandi Collins-Calhoun

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

I’m not sure that there was anything I could do to prepare to enter work that would be grounded in philanthropic feminism, especially knowing that the radicalization of mainstream feminism hasn’t happened across all movements and sectors yet. However, I wish I knew the weight of the shift from my life as an organizer fighting for my survival and safety to be centered, to my current role petitioning that my survival and safety is worth funding. I wish I knew how to find the balance and show up for myself through that process. There is often guilt and weight that comes with centering my needs in this work because this fight is so much bigger than just me, but I am reminded that Audre Lorde named that, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That balance between holding the sector accountable and caring for myself is a radical act that is necessary for me to continue the work.

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Philanthropy Women’s Media Impact: Shaking up Feminist Giving

2021 is shaping up to be a year of momentous change for gender equality movements. Here at Philanthropy Women, we’re taking a moment to look back at 2020 — a tumultuous year, to say the least, but one in which we realized the true impact of our organization and our work around the world.

The 2020 Philanthropy Women Media Impact Report offers a look into a year of incredible growth, progress, and partnership. Based on 12 months of publishing, this report breaks down our successes as a news outlet from a variety of perspectives, and offers an excellent look not just at our impact, but our role as a connector and facilitator for networks, campaigns, and conversations within the feminist philanthropy sphere.

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Women of Color-led Nonprofits Struggle for Survival Funding: Why?

WOC (Women of Color) have been at the forefront of grassroots movements for decades now, carrying out some of the most valuable work done within these movements. We have seen this from early on with women like Ella Baker and her work within the Black Freedom Movement, Pauli Murray who co-founded the National Organization for Women, and even today with leaders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.

LC Johnson, founder of  Zora’s House , a nonprofit institution dedicated to uplifting women of color. (Image Credit: Zora’s House)

Despite all of this evidence to prove that WOC are influential and important workers for grassroots movements and non profits, they tend to receive the least amount of funding from both governmental grants and philanthropic donations. The Ms. Foundation released  research that reveals that the actual numbers of monetary giving to WOC is shockingly low; it makes up only 0.5% of the $66.9 billion that is annually given to foundations.In 2017, $356 million was available to Women and girls of color (WGOC). Of that, the median grant received by recipients of color was around $15,000, compared to around $35,000 which was reported by all other organizations. The numbers become even more shocking when breaking it down by ethnicity. Of that $356 million:

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Become an Invest for Better Circle Leader: Apply by February 10th!

If you’ve wanted to form an impact circle but aren’t sure how to get started, Invest for Better has the program for you. Applications are now open for the Spring 2021 Cohort of Invest for Better’s Circle Leader program. Kicking off on February 11th, this free training program offers the resources and know-how for women to form, lead, and grow their own impact investing circles.

The Spring 2021 cohort of Invest for Better’s Circle Leader training program begins on February 11th, 2021. (Image Credit: Invest for Better)

Invest for Better is a national initiative aimed at helping women demystify impact investing, take control of their capital and mobilize their money for good. It is non-profit and non-transactional, designed to address the “aspiration gap” between women’s interest and their action by overcoming obstacles to participation, and building trusted peer communities.

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(Liveblog) Building Multicultural Leadership with Ready to Lead

On Thursday, January 28th, the Girls Leadership team and representatives from Open Access, TPG, Morgan Stanley, the National Hockey League, and TIME’S UP gathered to discuss the changing face of the American workforce. Based off of the organization’s pivotal Ready to Lead report, the second of Girls Leadership’s three roundtable discussions focused on the implications of the report’s findings on the workforce of the future.

The report details leadership supports and barriers for Black and Latinx girls and exposes the factors that make it difficult for these girls to rise into leadership positions. External challenges like the tendency for school systems and workforce upper management to be dominated by white employers, leaders, and authority figures, represent a major barrier to Black and Latinx girls carrying their own torches of leadership into the future.

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(Liveblog) Leveraging the Unique Power of Women’s Collective Giving

Bright and early on Wednesday, January 27th, women from all over the country joined Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Carmen Stevens of Women’s Giving Circles International (WGCI) for a collaborative workshop on collective giving.

Sondra opened the event by welcoming the attendees and speakers, and introducing the day’s topics.

“The power of women’s philanthropy has changed not only the countries we live in, but changed us as well,” she said.

Carmen Stevens on Global Giving Circles

Carmen Stevens introduced the history of WGCI, which works to provide educational resources for women all over the world looking to start and grow their own giving circles. Primarily focused on circles outside of the United States, WGCI facilitates circle creation, networking, and mentorship all over the globe, but particularly in Latin America, Europe, and the organization’s most recent programs in Asia.

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