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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresTyeshia Wilson, director of engagement for Philanthropy Together.
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.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresphilanthropist, fundraiser and advocate Akilah S. Wallace, who serves as Executive Director ofFaith in Texas.
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.
In the wake of the pandemic, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has launched SHEcovery to support women of color in the workforce.
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.
Michelob ULTRA has committed $100 million to make its marketing gender-inclusive, with the goal of increasing the visibility of women in sports.
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:
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has launched a new initiative to honor black women and their contributions to philanthropy.
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.
Col. Jennifer Pritzker has pledged $101K and future six-figure donations to fight growing anti-trans legislative activity in Tennessee.
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.
On September 23rd, The Women’s Funding Network will host The Feminist Factor, a virtual conference to discuss feminism across the globe.
Women Funded 2021 is a virtual gathering of all gender and racial justice funders, allies, and individuals committed to place-based solutions across the globe for gender equity. Women Funded ‘21 will explore the intersectional nature of feminism as a driver of our work, of the values that we hold, and how we are collectively building a more equitable future.
This gathering is open to the broader philanthropic and movement community as well as the WFN membership.