When Women’s Leadership Has Market Value, the World Changes

It seems, in the feminist philanthropy community, everyone is waiting for that tipping point to come, when women’s leadership finally establishes its value to the world. COVID, it seems, is helping to accelerate our awareness of the added value of women’s leadership. By showing that countries led by women having strikingly better COVID survival and containment rates, we should finally be at that point where you could practically pour the product of women’s leadership into a bottle and sell it on the open market.

And now a few words from our Editor in Chief, Kiersten.

Well, think again. I have been on my own quest to establish the value of women’s leadership, particularly women’s leadership in philanthropy, over the past five years. I went in with the theory that feminist strategies are more powerful strategies, and once people get to know more about them, lots of folks would flock to our website and build up our subscriber base to the point where, eventually, it might even turn into a for-profit market product. Though fiscally sponsored by the Women’s Funding Network, our budget and strategy is built around the idea that only a small portion of our funding should come from grants, and that as our subscriber base grows, eventually, we could become attractive to a regular small business publication or larger progressive media platform.

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Maggie May’s Greatest Hits on Philanthropy Women

As one of our most prolific writers at Philanthropy Women, Maggie May deserves a special tribute. Two and a half years ago, Maggie May started weaving her mighty creativity into stories on gender equality funding and strategy, and now that she is leaving us for greener (and higher paying) pastures, we want to make sure we give her a proper send-off that represents all she has done for our publication, and for gender equality strategy and funding as a whole.

Over the course of two and half years, Maggie May wrote 190 posts for Philanthropy Women. (Image credit: Maggie May)

Maggie May wrote 190 articles for Philanthropy Women over her time with us, an incredible amount of productivity for a young writer. She helped discover and narrate the stories of many undervalued women leaders of our time, and did so with power, insight, and clarity. Her work ranged from personal interviews to covering events to exploring the difficult questions about who gets funding and why.

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Sara Lomelin’s Passion for the Philanthropy of Everyday People

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sara Lomelin, executive director of Philanthropy Together.

Sara Lomelin, courtesy of Sara Lomelin

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

When I switched careers 12 years ago, I didn’t understand the power dynamics and barriers that exist for grassroots nonprofits. I wish I knew the intricacies of philanthropy and why such large gaps exist between those who need funding and those who receive. I now see that collectively, we are moving the needle to shift philanthropy, but it’s happening very slowly.

While I wish I’d entered on this path sooner, I am proud to now devote my career to giving circles because I believe this model is the most dynamic way to liberate capital to nonprofit leaders who know what solutions are best for their communities. Giving circles are filled with everyday givers coming together to diversify and democratize philanthropy. These are the voices that have historically been excluded by mainstream philanthropy and the voices that will break down these existing power dynamics and eliminate barriers to much-needed funding for grassroots leaders.

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What’s In America’s First-Ever Strategy on Gender Equality?

It’s finally happening: America is charting its course as a nation to remedy our problems with gender equity and equality. What is contained in the momentous document, and how will it affect funding for gender issues?

The Biden-Harris administration’s Gender Policy Council recently released the country’s first National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. (Image credit: White House Report)

The President and Vice President begin the document by locating the issue in our current context of heightened stakes for women and girls in the US and across the globe:

This document, the first-ever United States government strategy on gender equity and equality, is a part of that noble American tradition [of valuing equality]. It comes at an inflection point for the economic security, safety, health, and well-being of women and girls in our nation and around the globe. COVID-19 has exacerbated preexisting economic, health, and caregiving crises that disproportionately impacted women and girls long before the pandemic struck. Following the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, women’s participation in the American labor force plummeted to its lowest level in over 30 years. Rates of gender-based violence have risen significantly, and racial and ethnic inequity has deepened.

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Tyeshia Wilson: A Giving Circle Leader on the Joy of Community

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Tyeshia Wilson, director of engagement for Philanthropy Together.

Tyeshia Wilson, courtesy of Tyeshia Wilson

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

Working in philanthropy is one of the most rewarding and self-fulfilling careers, ever. I’m altruistic, I’m a humanitarian, and I’m passionate about service. Looking back, I only wish I had been exposed to the idea of a career in philanthropy earlier. If I was aware of this alignment between  my heart and the work of this field, I would have started in this profession much sooner and likely pursued philanthropic studies in school.

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A Local Leader Calls for Investment in Black Women-led Nonprofits

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features philanthropist, fundraiser and advocate Akilah S. Wallace, who serves as Executive Director of Faith in Texas.

Akilah S. Wallace
Akilah S. Wallace, courtesy of Akilah S. Wallace
  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

When I started out in the nonprofit sector and philanthropy, I wish I knew the diversity of career paths available and how both work and volunteer experiences in private and public sectors provided much-needed, transferable skills. Additionally, I wish I knew how valuable my lived experiences as a Black woman, single mother, volunteer and more, could help shape culturally-relevant programs, policies and how resources are distributed.

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Announcing SHEcovery, A COVID Response Call to Action from CFW

In the wake of the pandemic, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has launched SHEcovery to support women of color in the workforce.

The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)
The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)

Decades of hard-fought gender equity progress have vanished over the past 18 months as women have been pushed out of the workforce in record numbers due to COVID-19 while taking on increased childcare and caregiving responsibilities. To address these challenges head-on, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced SHEcovery™ – a commitment from the Foundation to fund, support, and build a more equitable system that supports Women of Color.

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Michelob ULTRA $100M Pledge Shifts Marketing to be Gender-Inclusive

Michelob ULTRA has committed $100 million to make its marketing gender-inclusive, with the goal of increasing the visibility of women in sports.

Women beer drinkers may have more good news to celebrate as beer brands like Michelob begin to pay more attention to their marketshare. (Photo by Elevate on Unsplash)

As one of the top selling beer brands in the country, Michelob ULTRA believes that every athlete deserves to experience an equal level of joy in sports. But women’s sports don’t always receive the same level of coverage in the media, which is a critical factor in ensuring that female athletes are paid equally. That’s why Michelob ULTRA is committing $100 million over the next five years to increase visibility for women’s sports through:

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Black Women Philanthropists Honored by New WPI Initiative

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has launched a new initiative to honor black women and their contributions to philanthropy.

Sharlene Kemler, CEO of the Loveland Foundation, is among the 10 women on WPI's Black Women Give Back List for her contributions to the mental health of black women. (Image credit: IUPhilanthropy)
Sharlene Kemler, CEO of the Loveland Foundation, is among the 10 women on WPI’s Black Women Give Back List for her contributions to the mental health of black women. (Image credit: IUPhilanthropy)

On August 31st, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, announced the honorees of the Black Women Give Back List, a new initiative to spotlight the important work and contributions of Black women philanthropists. Created in partnership with The Women Invested to Save the Earth (WISE) Fund, the backbone organization for Black Philanthropy Month, the list spotlights 10 outstanding Black women philanthropists from diverse backgrounds who use their time, talent, treasure, testimony and ties to make the world a better place.

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What is Being Done to Fight Anti-Trans Legislatures?

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has pledged $101K and future six-figure donations to fight growing anti-trans legislative activity in Tennessee.

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)
Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)

Col. Jennifer Pritzker, the Chicago philanthropist, and business owner, announced on July 20th, 2021 that she will donate $101,000 and additional six-figure future support to the ACLU from her TAWANI Foundation to fight Tennessee’s anti-transgender laws in court. The ACLU and its Tennessee chapter announced on June 25 that they filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two businesses. The lawsuit argues that a state law requiring businesses to post signs outside transgender-friendly bathrooms is unconstitutional and violates businesses’ First Amendment rights against forced speech.

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