So far, 2020 has thrown a lot at nonprofits. This unprecedented year has been full of crisis, conflict, and budget crunching, and many social change organizations have had to scramble to pull together funds simply to keep their doors open. In Fundraising During A Crisis, a twelve-week course from Wright Consulting Group, Alyssa Wright and her team hope to arm nonprofit leaders with the skills they need to successfully raise funds in the midst of uncertainty.
“Fundraising During A Crisis is a online 12-week course that includes an analysis of the current philanthropic landscape, a check-in for fundraisers as to how they measure their success and who they want to become as purpose-driven professionals, and time to connect with guest speakers who you wouldn’t normally see as part of the development field,” says Wright, Founder of Wright Consulting Group. “It’s a really important program because it teaches nonprofit leaders how to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and also, what to value and how to measure their success during this very uncertain time.”
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Heidi Gonzalez, Executive Director of Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH). In addition to her duties as the new Executive Director, Heidi is the Regional Supervisor of Wynnewood, PA, Allentown, PA, and Wilmington, DE for AFTH.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I never really thought about it. In fact, I take each day as it comes. I try not to look back and get caught up in a “woulda shoulda coulda” mentality. Instead, I focus on the future and what I can do to improve my agency and myself. Every profession has its challenges: it’s all in how you handle them, and if I don’t think I did a bang up job the first time, I try to look at where I made mistakes and try to correct them the next time. Every day is an opportunity to do better–so that’s what I aspire to do.
This important discussion comes at a critical time: as the COVID-19 crisis continues to play a dangerous role in the rise of domestic violence cases; as demonstrations continue in response to the deaths of people of color at the hands of police officers; and as people join together around the world to call for action on behalf of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the countless other women and people of color who deserve to have their stories heard.
The webinar will focus on ways philanthropy can help to end violence against women of color. With the tragic death of Breonna Taylor, we see how women’s lives are snuffed out with no repercussions. Black women in the US are more likely to experience domestic violence, be arrested for it, and be murdered by an intimate partner. This webinar will focus on key strategies funders can take to support women of color as they fight for their right to live and prosper.
Sheridan Road, a “luxury and lifestyle” magazine out of Chicago that focuses on North Shore activities, did a recent feature of Elizabeth “Liza” Yntema, whose work in dance equity we have covered here at Philanthropy Women. Liza has also participated in our Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) series.
The wonderful thing about this interview, written by Allison Duncan, is how effortlessly it moves through different layers of experience as we come to understand the subject’s world view. The article starts with a foray into Liza’s family history of accused Salem witches, early women scientists, and Depression-era bankers with integrity. From the article:
On May 21st, attendees gathered for IUPUI’s first webinar in the Perspectives on Philanthropy Discussion Series. The series asks, “As we search for context in our transforming world, what role does philanthropy play? Broadly understood to encompass the human voluntary spirit, philanthropy is responding in a variety of ways to the current global crisis today. How is it doing and what role will it have in the world that is emerging?”
A bombshell was dropped today on feminist funding: Marc Gunther reports on the Chronicle of Philanthropy that NoVo Foundation has laid off half its staff, backed out of the Women’s Building project, and is otherwise downsizing its operations in the gender equality funding arena. “It’s about time other people ponied up,” said Peter Buffett in the Chronicle interview.
Yes, it is about time for others to pony up. If only there were tons of donors standing in line to pony up for women and girls. As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. And certainly no one knows that better than Peter Buffett.
The fact is, most male donors don’t share Peter Buffett’s former sense of enlightenment about the need to fund with a gender lens — not even close. So for one of the few men who truly gets it to be walking away from the table at this particular moment in history, all I can say is, wow. Just wow. Some leaders have a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Apparently, Peter Buffett is one of them.
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.
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.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
It’s more important to do what you truly believe in and makes you happy and excited, than what you think might look good on your resume. To a young woman in my field I would say: do the meaningful work that you enjoy doing, and trust that something good will come out of it.
2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?
What can feminist giving do to help alleviate the COVID-19 crisis?
We’re seeking to answer this question in “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” the first ever webinar event from Philanthropy Women. Join Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek and special guests Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones to discuss key strategies to support women and girls through COVID.
COVID 19 is presenting humanity with extreme challenges and hardships, and particularly for women and girls, the impacts are, and will be, profound. This 45 minute session will feature expert insights on how to apply a gender lens not only to your funding, but also to your everyday life in COVID, in order to improve our collective response to this unprecedented health crisis.
Time for a break from COVID and a return to a discussion that was a big deal in the land before pandemics: Jeffrey Epstein, and the way he simply glided through high society as if there was nothing wrong with being a convicted sex offender. A new report from Harvard discussed in today’s Boston Globe tells of how Epstein “had his own office in a Harvard University department and visited there more than 40 times after he was released from jail in 2010 up until 2018.”
Epstein had key cards to enter the buildings at Harvard, helpfully provide by math professor Martin Nowak, and this allowed Epstein to host dinners and other meetings there with area political figures and academics. Epstein also used the office to meet with young women, described as being in their 20’s, who “acted as his assistants.”