Announcing the Black Girl Freedom Fund’s First Six Grantees

The Black Girl Freedom Fund has announced the six organizations that will be receiving grants ranging from $50K to $100K.

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)
The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)

The Black Girl Freedom Fund, an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, announced its first grant recipients. The grantmaking was guided by an advisory committee of seven Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth between the ages of 13-17 years old. 

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is focusing its first round of grants for Black-girls serving organizations that address safety and wellbeing of Black girls. Along with the fund, the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign aims to mobilize $1 billion for Black girls and young women over the next 10 years. The campaign has mobilized  $17 million since it was first launched in September.

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Surviving Sexual Assault to Become a Social Worker and Publisher

As well as being a gender lens publisher and a social worker practicing for over 25 years, I too have been a survivor of sexual assault. Mine was of a particularly insidious kind, all wrapped up in academia. In the process of applying to graduate school for my Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, I got sexually assaulted. Not kidding.

The Recommendation is a short animated film that discusses sexual assault in academia and ways to address the problem. (Image credit: The Recommendation)

Now, some 28 years later, with the perpetrator deceased, I am telling my story. But I still can’t tell it completely because my perpetrator was particularly unstable. He had been hospitalized multiple times for suicidality. He could go from complimenting you to abusing you in the blink of an eye. And he was particularly known for filing lawsuits, should anyone suggest he had problems with women. Given all of that, even with the perpetrator dead, it still isn’t safe to say his name. That’s the patriarchy for you. Even with the dominating male writer no longer among us, we still can’t talk about him safely.

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How are Feminist Giving Trends Impacting Social Change?

On Tuesday, March 23rd, the We are for Good podcast featured Philanthropy Women’s own Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek, as part of their Women of Impact Week specialty series. The interview explored Kiersten’s clinical social work as well as her analysis of feminist giving trends and their impact on social change, as the publisher and Editor-in-Chief here at Philanthropy Women.

feminist giving trends

Hosted by Jonathan McCoy and Becky Endicott, the We are for Good podcast focuses on innovative ideas and inspirational stories within the nonprofit industry. The podcast’s Women of Impact Week series was presented by Virtuous, a fundraising platform and customer relationship management tool for nonprofit organizations.

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Susan McPherson’s “The Lost Art of Connecting” Now Available

Susan McPherson, Founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, has announced that her book “The Lost Art of Connecting” debuts this month.

"The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships" will be released on March 23rd, 2021. (Image credit: McPherson Strategies)
“The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships” will be released on March 23rd, 2021. (Image credit: McPherson Strategies)

Editor’s Note: The following announcement is from Susan McPherson.

I am excited to share with you some big news: my new book “The Lost Art of Connecting will be out this month! Imagine launching a book all about the importance of building deep, meaningful connections throughout your career during a global pandemic when we have been socially isolated for 11+ months. Well, that’s me.

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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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Four Ways Ellevate Squads Showed Me the Future is Female

Editor’s Note: The following personal essay is a reflection on one individual’s participation in the EllevateHER Forward Fellowship program. This is not a program endorsement or a sales post. Philanthropy Women was not compensated for this article.

Image Credit: Ellevate

This fall, I had the good fortune to be selected as an EllevateHER Forward Fellow, one of a group of women selected to participate in Ellevate‘s Fall 2020 cohort for women’s leadership and career growth programming. As part of the Fellowship, I participated in the Ellevate Squads program, which redefines traditional “networking” groups by pairing women all over the country with a consistent “Squad” for twelve weeks.

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Kris Kepler: On Radical Hospitality and Unexpected Leaders

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX, which brings hygiene and other critical services to the unhoused.

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

I left my corporate job over three years ago to work in the non-profit sector. I craved a role in social impact, I wanted to give more, and I’ve never looked back.  

Kris Kepler
Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX. (Image credit: LavaMaeX)

When I started, I wish I would have known the power of embracing failure, saying “I tried my best,” being okay with it and not defeated by it. I have learned to look at those moments with curiosity and optimism and know that failure brings great opportunity for change both personally and professionally.

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Donors: Support Research on Drug Dosages for Women

Here’s another way inequality has negatively impacted women’s health: incorrect drug dosages. Since most drug trials exclude women, based on false and outdated beliefs, drug dosages are set to work for men, not women. As a result, women take higher than needed doses of many medications, and suffer more adverse side effects.

Women metabolize medications differently from men, resulting in many women being overmedicated and suffering more adverse side effects. (Image Credit: Biology of Sex Differences)

Donors who are working at the intersection of gender equality and women’s health should take heed of new research published in Biology of Sex Differences that found that “The common practice of prescribing equal drug doses to women and men neglects sex differences in pharmacokinetics and dimorphisms in body weight, risks overmedication of women, and contributes to female-biased adverse drug reactions.” 

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Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models (Liveblog)

At 2:00 on May 14, more than 100 attendees gathered for “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” Philanthropy Women’s first-ever webinar.

feminist giving for COVID

Joined by Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones, our Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek sought to explore the questions surrounding giving and COVID: how can a gender lens improve funding and make funding more accessible?

Marianne Schnall on Feminist Giving to Address COVID

To begin, Marianne Schnall, Founder of Feminist.com and What Will It Take?, took the lead to discuss what she sees happening in terms of the feminist approaches to addressing COVID. Schnall draws on her perspective from the media and activism space.

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Funding the World We Want to See: Sonal Sachdev Patel

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sonal Sachdev Patel, writer, activist and CEO of GMSP Foundation.

sonal sachdev patel
Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO of God My Silent Partner Foundation (GMSP) Foundation. (Photo courtesy Sonal Sachdev Patel)

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

So much. I wish I had known to go straight to the grassroots. The civil society leaders on the frontlines know what their communities need and know how to deliver it. But they’re constrained by a funding environment that is too often inflexible, impatient and imperialistic in terms of who drives the agenda. When we started in 2006, we were giving project-based funds. After listening to our local partners, we shifted to unrestricted funding.

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