Great news for the gender lens investing sector — 2017 brought a massive 41% increase in public market securities that use gender lens strategies.
A report entitled Gender Lens Investing: Investment Options in the Public Markets produced by Veris Wealth Partners has the details. Suzanne Biegel, Founder of Catalyst At Large, is credited with collaborating and gathering the information used in the analysis, this being her second year working in partnership with Veris Wealth Partners to create the public market scan. The study pulls together information from over 23 gender lens investment instruments produced by a wide range of financial companies including Barclay’s, Pax Ellevate, State Street Global Investors, ThirtyNorth Investments, Morgan Stanley, and others.
I’m excited about the #FundWomen Twitter Chat, starting tomorrow at 11 AM EST. Also joining the conversation: clothing company Michael Stars, which has a foundation and uses its philanthropy to effect positive change for women.
Below is a sneak peek of a few of my upcoming tweets!
Here’s part of my answer for Question #2: How and why do you opt to fund women’s rights organizations?
We all have a unique journey in giving, and now that my journey has landed squarely on feminist philanthropy, I am excited to host a Twitter chat on National Philanthropy Day, to discuss my journey as a giver and to learn about your journey. I believe that by conversing, we can do more than we realize to help each other along the way.
The Twitter Chat will take place on National Philanthropy Day, Wednesday, November 15th, at 11 AM EST it, and will last for one hour. The chat is being hosted by Women Thrive Alliance, one of our spotlight organizations, and will focus on the following:
Topic: The Added Value of Funding Women’s Rights Organizations
Hashtags: #FundWomen #NationalPhilanthropyDay
Q1) Today is National Philanthropy Day. What advice do you have for individuals looking to give today?
Q2) How and why do you opt to fund women’s rights organizations?
Q3) What advice can you give to individuals who want to fund grassroots organizations?
Q4) Why is philanthropy so important when it comes to women’s rights and gender equality?
Q5) What are some resources that donors can use to educate themselves on investing in women’s rights?
Twitter chat guidelines:
At the beginning of the chat, Women Thrive will ask participants to tweet and say ‘hello.’ Women Thrive will go over how to answer the tweets – i.e. answer Q1 with A1; Q2 with A2 for all tweets corresponding to that question. Women Thrive will then begin by tweeting out the questions. Lastly, please include #FundWomen in all tweets.
Some areas I hope to cover include the growing use of giving circles as a vehicle for grassroots feminist philanthropy, ways to influence the communities around you to analyze their gender data, and ways to use your sweat equity as a writer, thinker, and amplifier to support feminist philanthropy. I will also be culling from our growing database of article on Philanthropy Women that are calling attention to the past, present, and future of how we #fundwomen.
Editor’s Note: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Allison Fine to Philanthropy Women as a guest contributor. Allison is the author of multiple books including Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age and The Networked Nonprofit. A former Senior Fellow at Demos, Allison specializes in the intersections of online activism and democracy-building, and encourages women to embrace their power in funding social change.
Exactly a year ago, millions of women across the country created the Resistance. We have marched and protested, shared our outrage using hashtags such as #metoo, #yessallwomen #nastywomen and called (and called and called) Congress. Now it’s time to shift from powering the Resistance to creating the Renaissance. However, there is one huge barrier, the “final frontier” as philanthropist Ruth Ann Harnisch calls it: our discomfort with money and power.
In case you haven’t noticed, nowadays people get around by Ubering or Lyfting instead of taking a cab or taxi. As these web-based transportation services grow, an exciting collaborations appears to be growing as well, specifically between Take the Lead, the women’s leadership organization steered by longtime feminist leader Gloria Feldt, and the company Lyft. To demonstrate its support of Take the Lead, the growing multi-billion dollar rideshare business is offering discounts on rides in honor of Take the Lead Day on November 14th.
While Uber and Lyft are reportedly in stiff competition for riders, some reviews of the two services reveal that Lyft is known for being a friendlier and more customer-service-oriented ride. Another big factor that may give Lyft and long-term edge: according to a detailed review on Ridester, Lyft reportedly does not jack the rates up 7 to 8 times the normal rate during high volume travel times. While Lyft does increase rates during high volume travel times, the increases are reportedly closer to 1 or 2 times the price.
“I’m especially delighted to welcome Lyft as a sponsor of Take The Lead Day because they truly do care about ‘lifting women to parity,’” said Gloria Feldt, president and co-founder of Take The Lead, in a recent announcement about the sponsorship.
During Domestic Violence Awareness month in October, Lyft offered free rides to survivors of domestic violence in Arizona — a great way for the company to be community-oriented in its services. Lyft partnered with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence and Maricopa County Centralized Screening 24/7 hotline to provide the free services to domestic violence survivors.
“Lyft has always been at the forefront of advancing women and fighting for gender equality in the workplace,” said Drena Kusari, Lyft General Manager, Southwest Region.
On Take the Lead Day, the organization is holding a half-day seminar in New York City, as well as co-occurring events in Arizona, New York, and Massachusetts, to name just a few of the locations across the country. The event in New York is called Powertopia, and features a wide array of speakers and networking activities.
Good news for the women’s philanthropy sector: Sheryl Sandberg has added another $100 million in Facebook stock to a Donor Advised Fund she uses to fund causes she cares about, with much of this new money going to Lean In, the nonprofit named after her best-selling book about how to succeed as a woman in business.
Sandberg represents a new prototype for women’s philanthropy: the young tech executive who sees gender equality philanthropy as a priority. These new funds will help Leanin.org expand its mission of increasing women in leadership.
Recode.com recently reported that Sandberg has transferred 590,000 shares of Facebook stock to a Fidelity Donor Advised Fund which she uses to donate to organizations she supports. According to Recode:
That includes two philanthropies Sandberg founded: LeanIn.org, a nonprofit focused on female empowerment; and OptionB.org, a nonprofit helping people overcome grief and adversity. Sandberg founded OptionB.org following the death of her husband, Dave Goldberg, in 2015.
The Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, the umbrella organization for both nonprofits, will be one of the major recipients of this money, according to this source.
Sandberg has made major donations like this an annual affair. She donated $100 million worth of Facebook stock to her fund in late 2016, and another $31 million earlier that same year.
Some of the funds will also go to other causes, including childhood hunger, and funding for college for disadvantaged individuals.
Sandberg’s imprint on American society is growing as she continues in her executive business role at Facebook, and expands her gender equality philanthropy. She also plays a minor role in Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, as a friend to Clinton who helped her understand the gender dynamics impacting her campaign for President.
We here at Philanthropy Women are very glad for Sheryl Sandberg’s support for women’s leadership and are inspired by hear attunement to the issues women face. We would like to see Ms. Sandberg pressure Facebook to stop supporting Backpage.com in its efforts to shirk off responsibility for the child trafficking that happens on their site.
Sorry for the lack of posting this past week — it has been a time of assessing our growth and figuring out next steps for Philanthropy Women. As the founder, editor, publisher, chief technologist, and business planner for the site, I needed to take time to research and develop some proposals for our growth. At the same, I also maintain a part-time caseload of psychotherapy clients, which wonderfully keeps me very in touch with the real world, but often requires much of my time and attention. In any case, I hope to share more about our future plans for Philanthropy Women soon.
In the meantime, if you are looking for news and information about women and philanthropy, consider subscribing to our daily Paperli called Giving for Good. It aggregates the news from about 150 sources in the progressive philanthropy sector including feminist foundations, women’s funds, and nonprofits working for gender equality. You might also consider following us on Twitter for updates on aggregated news from Klout, Bing, and other search tools.
We have some exciting interviews coming up, and more to share and discuss from Hillary Clinton’s What Happened, which I highly recommend as key reading material for those who seek to understand the election, women’s leadership in politics, and the need for gender equality philanthropy. I will be posting about a few other big philanthropy women news stories over the coming days, so I hope you will stay tuned!
First, of course, thank you for reading. You are bravely joining me on the sometimes harrowing adventure of learning about gender equality philanthropy. I thank you for joining me on this journey.
Also, thank you to our sponsors, Ruth Ann Harnisch and Emily Nielsen Jones. You have provided an amazing opportunity to advance the knowledge and strategy of progressive women’s philanthropy, and for that you are wholeheartedly thanked.
Thank you, as well, to our writers — Ariel Dougherty, Jill Silos-Rooney, Tim Lehnert, Kathy LeMay, Susan Tacent, Betsy McKinney, and Emily Nielsen Jones. Your work reading, interviewing, thinking, and writing about women’s philanthropy has resulted in my receiving tons of positive correspondence about our content. The internal numbers also validate that we are making an impact.
The numbers show that our audience is primarily female on Google analytics. Our Twitter analytics indicate that our audience is comprised largely of progressive foundations, nonprofits, fundraising professionals, and technology specialists. This information is relevant to the theory that Philanthropy Women is helping high level foundation and philanthropy leaders access needed information. Many philanthropy organizations interact with us on social media in a positive way, amplifying and retweeting important content.
Our data also shows that our spotlight organizations are clearly enjoying more media attention as a result of our efforts. Women Thrive, WDN, and the Global Fund for Women, are all receiving a healthy percentage of click-throughs as a result of our presence.
Finally, in terms of our growing authority online, our work has been cited and linked to by the UCLA School of Law Blog, Philanthropy New York multiple times, and many other high level places such as Maverick Collective, Women for Afghan Women, and Giving Compass. We have a large and growing presence on social media, as indicated by the high number of referrals from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media. In addition, I have received high praise from many foundation staff about our writers and our content.
So, all this is to say that Philanthropy Women is successfully growing, and, I believe, making the conversation on gender equality philanthropy richer and more relevant. But I believe we can do more. I hope you will keep reading as we work to grow our impact. We have ambitious, but, I believe, achievable goals. Best, KierstenRead More
I’ve been listening to Hillary Clinton’s What Happened in spurts over the past few days, and it’s time to start sharing some of the highlights. In her own voice on audio, Clinton speaks on a wide range of topics related to her political life. In particular, Clinton speaks with regret about taking speaking fees from large financial corporations and analyzes how the alt-right’s slandering the Clinton Foundation skewed the election.
I am now on Chapter 9, and this is when What Happened gets very relevant to philanthropy. I highly recommend listening to the book on audio — it really helps to have the words spoken by Hillary Clinton, who is destined for legendary status in the history of women’s advancement, whether she won the presidency or not.
From Hillary Clinton:
My life after leaving politics had turned out to be pretty great. I had joined Bill and Chelsea as a new Board member of the Clinton Foundation which Bill had turned into a major global philanthropy after leaving office. This allowed me to pursue my own passions and have an impact without all the bureaucracy and petty squabbles of Washington. I admired what Bill had built, and I loved that Chelsea had decided to bring her knowledge of public health and her private sector experience to the foundation, to improve its management, transparency, and performance, after a period of rapid growth.
At the 2002 International AIDS conference in Barcelona, Bill had a conversation with Nelson Mandela about the urgent need to lower the price of HIV/AIDS drugs in Africa and across the world. Bill figured he was well positioned to help, so he began negotiating agreements with drug makers and governments to lower medicine prices dramatically and to raise the money to pay for it. It worked. More than 11.5 million people in more than 70 countries now have access to cheaper HIV AIDS treatment. Right now, out of everyone being kept alive by these drugs in developing countries around the world, more than half the adults and 75 percent of the children are benefiting from the Clinton Foundation’s work.
It is shocking to consider the real-world positive impact of the Clinton Foundation’s work, and the degree to which the alt-right’s skewed portrayal of the Clinton Foundation might have influenced public opinion during the election. Hearing Clinton speak about it, it becomes clear that more must be done to investigate what happened.
Clinton goes on to detail the extensive philanthropic work the Clinton Foundation does in improving nutrition and exercise in public schools, protecting endangered species, addressing climate change in the Caribbean, and more. Then, she talks about my favorite part. Read on:
When I joined the Foundation in 2013, I teamed up with Melinda Gates the Gates Foundation a to launch an initiative called No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project to Advance Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls around the world. I also created a program called Too Small to Fail, to encourage reading, talking and singing to infants and toddlers, to help their brains develop and build vocabulary. […]
None of these programs had to poll well or fit on a bumper sticker; they just had to make a positive difference in the world. After years in the political trenches, that was both refreshing and rewarding.
I can imagine what a difference Clinton was experiencing as she spent more time with the Clinton Foundation and started to build her own sense of strategy into the organization’s mission. But her involvement with her own family’s foundation was destined to have devastating consequences to her political career.
I knew from experience that if I ran for president again, everything that Bill and I had ever touched would be subject to scrutiny and attack, including the foundation. That was a concern, but I never imagined that this widely respected global charity would be as savagely smeared and attacked as it was. For years, the foundation and CGI had been supported by republicans and democrats alike. Independent philanthropy watchdogs, Charity Watch, Guidestar, and Charity Navigator, gave the the Clinton Foundation top marks for reducing overhead and having a measurable, positive impact. […]
But none of that stopped brutal partisan attacks from raining down during the campaign.
I have written by the Foundation at some length because a recent analysis published in the Columbia Journalism Review showed that during the campaign, there was twice as much written about the Clinton Foundation as there was on any of the Trump scandals, and nearly all it was negative. That gets to me.
It gets to me, too. In a big way. It is a wrong that must be addressed by a full investigation into the media manipulation that skewed the election. It was nearly impossible to learn real information about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Even my 10 year old daughter was coming home from school with talking points for me about how Clinton’s emails needed to be more fully investigated.
Back to Hillary:
As Daniel Borochoff, the founder of Charity Watch put it, “If Hillary Clinton wasn’t running for President, the Clinton Foundation would be seen as one of the great humanitarian charities of our generation.”
That’s right. The fake news on the Clinton Foundation may have had a profound impact, given that there was twice as much of that fake news heaped on the American media consumer than any of the much more atrocious news stories about Donald Trump, including his sexual assault of a woman and his University’s fraudulent dealings.
I hope to share more about the book as I continue on, but there is no doubt that you should listen to it yourself. For what it’s worth, I also find listening to the book recharges my battery for making the democratic party a stronger entity. The urgency of the party’s need to take back the country in the next election has never felt so real. The book also renews my respect for Clinton and her life work. She is not a perfect human being, but she is a darn good one, and she would have made an excellent leader of our country.
Philanthropy Women will also publish a review of the book from Tim Lehnert in the coming weeks.
One big step forward for the Republican party, one big step backward for women’s equality in political leadership. The graph here kind of says it all — we’re back to a Republican president and low, low numbers of women in cabinet leadership positions.
Another thing you’ll notice on the graph: the percentage of women in cabinet positions under President Bill Clinton was higher both terms (31.8% for his first term and 40.9% for his second term) than the percentage of women in cabinet positions for Obama’s two terms (30.4% for his first term and 34.8% for his second term). Sigh. Returning to the Clinton dynasty is starting to look better all the time, particularly for women’s leadership.
In the good news department, women’s leadership on Fortune 500 Boards has been steadily creeping up, and now stands at 21%, which isn’t a great number, but it’s better than 1987 when the number stood at 2%. We have to take victories where we can get them.
Also, women governors took a huge hit this election cycle, going from 12% nationally down to 8%. Ouch.
Lesson learned: when in doubt about who to vote for in a Presidential election, vote Democrat for more gender equality in leadership.