The Women’s Philanthropy Institute has put out its second iteration of the Women & Girls Index, and the news is not bad, but it’s not super good either. Charitable giving to women’s and girls’ organizations in the U.S. increased from $6.3 billion in 2016 to $7.1 billion in 2017, but the overall percentage of giving remained the same — 1.6%.
Sometimes I feel like that number — 1.6% — is going to haunt us all to our graves. It is such a glaring indicator of what is wrong with the world we live in. Ultimately, giving for women and girls remains token. Its actual number, $7.1 billion, is only a little more than half compared to the next smallest area of giving — environment and animals at $12 billion.
On Thursday, November 19th, 2020, at 6:30 pm, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture held a one-hour event with guest speakers Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, Matrice Ellis-Kirk, and Jerry Hawkins. The discussion was centered on Hunt’s book, And the Spirit Moved Them: The Lost Radical History of America’s First Feminists.
Larry Allums, Executive Director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, welcomed viewers and discussed the auspiciousness of the event, given that this year is the Centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. He described Helen LaKelly Hunt as an important “discoverer and chronicler of the connection between abolitionist and women’s rights movements in American history.” He acknowledged Hunt as a “dear friend” to the Dallas Institute and recognized her contributions as part of an early group of women donors funding gender equality, noting that Hunt co-founded the Texas Women’s Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Funding Network, and Women Moving Millions.
2020 women donors may go down in history as having been the first class of women donors to drive massive political change in one election. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Joe Biden’s campaign for President saw a massive surge in funding, particularly from women, when he chose Kamala Harris as his running mate in August.
According to a report in CNN, the Biden-Harris ticket received over $33.4 million in itemized contributions from women in August, more than doubling the total amount of contributions from female donors the previous month of $13.7 million. In comparison, Trump’s campaign raised only $8.7 million from women in August.
The question came up in my mind, and I see many other people have been tossing this question around in conversations online: What if only women voted in the 2020 election? Would it have been a much easier win for the Biden-Harris presidency?
2020 Election Results for Women Voters
The above graphic says it all. In the 14 states listed above and in many others, Biden would have won handily.
On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.
The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.
I was doing some thinking on the funding-of-women quandary. What the Women’s Philanthropy Institute helpfully taught us was that as of 2016, funding specifically for women and girls in the U.S. is at 6.3 billion a year, comprising 1.6% of total philanthropy funding.
It’s unclear whether this giving has increased under Trump’s tenure. It’s also unclear whether this type of giving will face new barriers in the COVID economy. Therefore, one has to wonder what we should be doing to try to bridge the gap between the conversation about funding women and girls, and the actual doing of it.
Editor’s Note: The following event highlights some of the most authoritative leaders in feminist giving including Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of Women Moving Millions, Tuti B. Scott, feminist expert on gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing, Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lucy Lee, Senior Associate for Volition Capital and Lotus Circle Bay Area convener. More virtual strategizing is taking place all the time to amplify feminist giving, and this free webinar will be a great chance for those working in the sector to learn more.
Virtual Event – A New World is Possible: Gender Lens Philanthropy in a Time of Covid-19
One thing COVID has shown us is new ways to appreciate women’s economic value and professional contributions to the world. A case in point that directly impacts me: many insurance companies during COVID have waived copays for psychotherapy (I’m a psychotherapist in my other day job), essentially granting many people an open door to emotional care, unrestricting access to an area of health care that had been previously blocked by confusing and expensive deductibles and co-pays. In doing so, this action also added economic value to mental health counseling, which is primarily done by women, in a new way.
Another case in point: the need for nurses, a profession comprised mostly of women. Suddenly this profession, which has always been sort of taken for granted, is front and center and absolutely vital to our survival. The result: the need for nurses has driven up wages and bonuses for the work.
A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it
Dominika Kulczyk launches new report on period poverty and joins a group of world-class philanthropists as part of a partnership with Founders Pledge
Kulczyk Foundation and Founders Pledge launch first-ever report on effective funding recommendations to address period poverty
Dominika Kulczyk, a Polish philanthropist and businesswoman, provided seed funding for the pioneering report and calls upon the international community to unite efforts and commit to ending period poverty
Report finds lack of developed and existing evidence base in the field on the most effective interventions to address period poverty
Eight organisations including Days for Girls and Irise International highlighted as best practice
[15 October 2020, London / Warsaw] – Kulczyk Foundation, a Polish private family foundation, and Founders Pledge, a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges, have launched a new report on period poverty. A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it – which reviews the current state of funding and solutions to ending period poverty – finds that there is no unified approach to data collection, fundraising or implementation of period poverty programmes.
New Corporate Accountability Campaign Puts Six Major Companies On Notice For Anti-Choice Political Giving
The #ReproReceipts Campaign by UltraViolet Highlights Hypocrisy in Corporate America and Calls for Accountability at AT&T, Coca Cola, Disney, Nike, Procter & Gamble and Uber
(October 2, 2020) WASHINGTON, DC — Today, UltraViolet announced a new campaign to hold six corporations accountable for their political giving to anti-choice, anti-women candidates and calls on them to end their support for such politicians entirely and to commit to investing in reproductive health and justice. AT&T, Coca Cola, Disney, Nike, Procter & Gamble and Uber all target female consumers and promote women-friendly work environments, yet they bankroll candidates who actively work against women’s rights.