Greengrants: Participatory Grantmaking as Path to Greener Future

When corporations divert rivers, when governments displace communities, and when the constant human desire for “more” disrupts the safety of our environment, women and children are often the first to suffer. Access to clean water, a full belly, and a safe place to sleep at night are rights humans should have at birth.

What can we do when these natural rights are violated?

Recently retired CEO Terry Odendahl and GGF activist Eva Rehse in London at the pre-COP21 climate march. (Image Credit: Global Greengrants Fund)

Global Greengrants Fund, also known as Greengrants, seeks to answer this question by taking action. By committing to a program based on participatory grantmaking, Greengrants connects under-served and under-funded communities with the resources and mentorship they need to fight for justice.

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Starbucks Fdn Awards 2020 Origin Grants for Global Women and Girls

Since International Women’s Day 2018, The Starbucks Foundation has been working toward a goal to empower 250,000 women and girls in origin communities by 2025. This effort has already made a difference in the lives of more than 66,000 women through programs around women’s leadership, access to finance, and healthy homes in coffee- and tea-growing communities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Over the past year, The Starbucks Foundation has awarded additional Origin Grants to help continue to break down barriers to education, promote clean water and sanitation (WASH), and create economic opportunities for women and girls. This brings the total number of foundation grantees working in coffee and tea-growing communities to 18, with grants totaling more than $5 million.

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Texas Women’s Foundation is 100 Percent Invested in Women

The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) recently announced that 100 percent of its $36 million dollars in financial assets are now invested in a “gendered impact” portfolio.

The gender impact strategy seeks a strong return on investment while having the investment itself—and not just the return that accrues to Texas Women’s Foundation—benefit women and girls. This approach makes TWF the first and only women’s fund or foundation to move all of its financial assets—which include endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds—into gendered impact.

The Texas Women’s Foundation recently announced the gender-alignment of 100% of its assets. (Image Credit: TWF)

“We hope that we can inspire others to become part of what is now a global movement around impact investing,” says Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO. “Specifically for women’s funds and foundations, we can demonstrate how, by mission-aligning 100% of our assets with our philanthropy, we can powerfully accelerate the change we seek in the world.”

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100&Change: Plan and 99 Other Organizations Vie for $100 Million

On February 20, Plan International USA announced the next step in its campaign toward a $100 million grant: selection as one of the top 100 organizations considered for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation‘s 100&Change competition.

Plan International USA announced its selection as one of the “Top 100” in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. (Photo Credit: Plan International USA Video on Ensuring All People Count)

Plan celebrates with 99 other organizations, selected from a pool of almost 4,000 worthy applicants and 800 proposals, all setting out to solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges.

Plan’s challenge? Create a high-quality civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system–called OpenCRVS–capable of closing the gap between the world’s unregistered population and the governments, systems, and organizations that seek to serve them.

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Vital Voices Teams Up with wiseHer to Grow Women in Business Globally

(February 4, 2020) wiseHer and Vital Voices Collaborate to Accelerate Impact of Women Entrepreneurs Across the Globe

New partnership provides personalized advice and financial support to Vital Voices’ network of social entrepreneurs and women business leaders, expands wiseHer’s global reach

Vital Voices and wiseHer have announced a new collaboration aimed at helping women business owners with mentoring and professional development. (Image Credit: wiseHer)

Framingham, MA: wiseHer, a female-founded global knowledge marketplace that helps women business owners and professionals advance through 1:1 access to expert advice, is proud to announce a new partnership with Vital Voices, a global movement that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges.

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PepsiCo Fdn Supports Game-Based Strategy for Young Women Workers

The PepsiCo Foundation is collaborating with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) on a digital life-skills course to help young people, particularly women, succeed in the workplace.

Game-based learning program Passport to Success helps young women develop skills for the workplace. (Image Credit: IYF)

The IYF Passport to Success program is a game-based program that can be accessed by youth worldwide using a mobile device. The 10-hour 18-unit program is designed to be “gender-smart” and includes women serving in various professional and non-traditional roles, as well as in positions of authority. The country-specific curriculum also targets barriers to gender equality as they exist in different regions.

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This is a Marathon: Dr. Tessie San Martin on Leading for Girls

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Dr. Tessie San Martin, President & CEO, Plan International USA. Dr. San Martin’s career spans public and private sectors, international development, and academia. Here, she shares some insights on gender equality.

Dr. Tessie Van Martin, President and CEO of Plan International, shares her thoughts on how to stay focused and energized for the global work of empowering girls. (Image Credit: Plan International)

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

At the risk of sounding smug, I can honestly say that I really have no regrets. That isn’t because I feel as if I always took the right path or made the right decision at the right time, but because I feel strongly that everything I have done has prepared me, in some way, for what I am doing now and contributed in some way – big or small – to what I have achieved with my career. 

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Mexico and France Show Up for Feminism with UN Leadership

(January 15, 2020 UN WOMEN) Today, UN Women, together with feminists across the world, and the Governments of Mexico and France, announced the Action Coalition themes for the Generation Equality Forum to be held in Mexico City and Paris this year.

The Action Coalitions are global, innovative partnerships with governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector, to catalyze collective action, drive increased public and private investment, and deliver game-changing results for women and girls everywhere.

UN Women staff during Generation Equality Private Sector discussions in Kenya.© UN Women/Kennedy Okoth

The Generation Equality Forum, a civil society-led global gathering convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of Mexico and France, taking place in Mexico City from 7 to 8 May, and in Paris from 7 to 10 July 2020, will launch the following six catalytic Action Coalitions:

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Gates Fdn and India Ministry Sign MOC on Women, Maternal Health

New Delhi [India], Jan 8 (Asian News International): In a bid to improve the healthcare system of the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post-facto approval on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Union Health Ministry and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Women and children receiving medical care in India (Credit: UN WOMEN on Flickr)

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) covers the following areas: to reduce maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality, improve key nutrition outcomes by improving the reach, coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunization and nutrition services.

The memorandum will also focus on the quality of family planning methods and reaching out to younger women.

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How Will Facebook Conduct its Data Mining on Women?

An important new question has arisen about the “superpowers” of Facebook and how they will use these powers for good.

Facebook attended this year’s U.N. General Assembly and discussed its five-year commitment “to use data to help partners advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals — and it has narrowed in on gender data as the place to start,” according to an article on Devex by Catherine Cheney entitled, Inside Facebook’s emerging gender data efforts.

“We mapped projects related to SDGs in the company, then got a sense for which SDGs are we currently working hard on, which are we missing out on, then turned to the future,” said Anna Lerner Nesbitt, program manager of global impact for data and artificial intelligence at Facebook. At a convening hosted by Data2X, Nesbitt asked, “Based on what we’re doing now and where the world needs to be in 2030, where are our unique superpowers?”

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