Female Entrepreneurs: Apply to Red Backpack Fund by April 12

Fashion and feminist philanthropy find a new intersection with The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. In response to COVID-19’s impact on woman-owned small businesses, the Foundation donated $5 million to GlobalGiving to establish the Red Backpack Fund.

1,000 female entrepreneurs, majority women-owned businesses, and nonprofits in the United States will receive a $5,000 grant, totaling $5 million in funding from The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. Funds go toward majority women-owned small businesses’ immediate needs in the face of coronavirus, as well as supporting their long-term recovery once the crisis has passed.

On April 3, 2020, SPANX’s Sara Blakely announced her $5 million commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs through the Red Backpack Fund. (Image Credit: GlobalGiving and Sara Blakely)

“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic,” Blakely wrote in her Instagram announcement. “I know first hand what it’s like to be a small business owner. As a woman it can be lonely and scary, especially during a time like this. Small business is the backbone of our culture and I want to help.”

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NY Women’s Fdn Gives 1 Million for Women, Families Impacted by COVID

(March 26, 2020) The New York Women’s Foundation is launching the 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to provide organizations funding to solve critical issues facing vulnerable and marginalized communities in New York City

The New York Women’s Foundation will make $1 million in rapid-response grants to help women, transgender and nonbinary people and their families during COVID. (Image Credit: NWYF)

NEW YORK, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) announced the launch of 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, providing $1,000,000 in grants to organizations helping women, transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary (TGNCNB) individuals, and their families most impacted by COVID-19. Marginalized populations are among the most vulnerable during times of crisis, along with the local organizations that know how to best support them. The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will provide vital resources to organizations on the front lines for some of the hardest hit communities to address immediate and long-term needs.

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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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Will Bezos $10 Billion Address Gender Equality?

As a feminist, reading the news that Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change feels jarring, and a little frightening, especially as I scanned through several articles and realized there was no real plan for all this money, and no mention of gender as part of the strategy. I started to feel a little like a wife learning that her husband wants to work on improving their marriage, so he’s bought a boat to prove it, without considering whether she like boats or has any interest in the sport.

Jeff Bezos on vacation in Spain with Lauren Sanchez in January of 2020 (Photo credit: Twitter)

Slow your roll, Jeff. It seems like a better plan would be to step back and take a look at what the business you created has done to women, men, children, workers, the environment, and the global economy, and figure out a path to a more sustainable business model for Amazon.

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Take Our Survey to Make Us Stronger and More Effective

UPDATE: Thank you to all who have responded to our survey. We are getting a lot of good ideas for how to expand and sharpen our strategy. Those who haven’t joined in, get busy! Think of it as free therapy — your chance to vent about all your hopes and fears for gender equality movements.

Below is a survey we are are asking readers to respond to. With so many advanced thinkers and leaders in our audience, Philanthropy Women wants to make sure we have your needs covered when it comes to gender equality funding news. We also want to be able to share insights and honest observations from the community about gender equality movements and strategies, particularly ideas that might not otherwise surface in public discourse. Please let us know your thoughts!

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Voting is a Feminist Issue: Register before Deadlines and Help GOTV

Are you registered to vote?

This year promises to be a landmark year for American politics. The Presidential campaign, paired with the current impeachment proceedings and an upsurge in female and minority candidates for seats in Congress, makes this one of the most anticipated campaign seasons in recent history. In some states, however, it is already too late to register to vote in the 2020 primary elections.

For the primary elections, many states’ voter registration deadlines have already passed. Are you registered to vote? (Photo Credit: Annie Bolin)

It’s no secret that America’s voting system is flawed. Voter registration systems and deadlines are often difficult to understand–or to find in the first place. Most states offer voter registration systems by mail, in person, or online, and a small minority offer registration on Election Day with the right materials.

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WFN Announces Leadership Transition as CEO Steps Down

WOMEN’S FUNDING NETWORK BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP TRANSITION 

San Francisco, Calif. ― After six years at the helm of one of the oldest women’s philanthropy organizations in the world, Cynthia Nimmo will be stepping down from her role as President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (WFN), effective Feb. 17, Julie Castro Abrams, Governance Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors announced today. 

Elizabeth Barajas-Roman will be the incoming President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (Image Credit: WFN)

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished at WFN,” Nimmo said. “We are on a strong trajectory for continued growth and expansion. After 13 years with the organization, the last six as President and CEO, I believe that this is the right moment to create space for new leadership to build off of this momentum and take WFN into 2020 and beyond.”

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Abortion as an Act of Love: Network of Funds Announces New Campaign

National Network of Abortion Funds and Forward Together Unveil Art Campaign Illustrating Multigenerational Support for Abortion as an Act of Love 

On Roe anniversary, new artwork envisions the power of compassionate abortion support because everyone loves someone who had an abortion

Art created by Kenya Martin, Jasmine Burnett and Micah Bazant as a collaboration between National Network of Abortion Funds and Forward Together. (Image Credit: National Network of Abortion Funds)

As this week marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the National Network of Abortion Funds and Forward Together are launching an art campaign that envisions multigeneration love and support during abortion. Forty-seven years after Roe, and in light of attacks attempting to block abortion access at the state and federal level, it’s apparent that Roe was never a promise to abortion access. The recent wave of attacks on abortion have left community members confused about where and if they can access abortion services. Many people are left facing increased attacks, intimidation at clinics, and stigma from their communities for accessing the care that they need—all pushing abortion access even further out of reach.

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Vermont Women’s Fund Helps Girls’ Soccer Team Open #EqualPay DAF

Burlington High School Soccer Players Score First Youth-Led Fund at Vermont Community Foundation

Members of the Burlington High School girls’ varsity soccer team have collaborated with the Vermont Women’s Fund to open the first youth-led donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The young players’ new #EqualPay Fund will increase access for girls to soccer programs and accelerate progress to close the wage gap in Vermont—where, on average, women earn 84 cents to every dollar earned by men.

Burlington High School girls’ varsity soccer players have collaborated with the Vermont Women’s Fund to open the first youth-led donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation (Photo Credit: Vermont Women’s Fund)

Initially, the project started as a local fundraiser selling #EqualPay jerseys to support the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League (GBGSL). The soccer players wanted to emulate their heroes on the U.S. Women’s National Team and amplify their #EqualPay message. The young players sought out logistical and strategic support from Change The Story VT, an initiative fueled by the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women that is committed to fast-tracking women’s economic security to benefit women, their families, and the Vermont economy. Change The Story helped source and produce the special-label jerseys similar to the USWNT uniforms and advised the team on fundraising strategy.

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Top 10 Posts of 2019 on Philanthropy Women

The Top 10 Posts of 2019 covered a wide range of topics including domestic violence, giving circles, women in finance, and more.
The Legacy of Jennifer Schlecht and the Tragedy of her Loss

Today, we want to believe we are so connected and empowered as women, and yet, Jennifer Schlecht was not connected enough to be protected from the brutal murder of herself and her precious daughter at the hands of her husband. We got many times the average number of page views for this post. Ariel Dougherty did an excellent job of combining resources and analysis in the piece, but the fact that it got so many page views also suggests that this story was vastly under-reported in the mainstream news. While I’m proud to hold up the banner and call attention to this terrible domestic violence tragedy, I also urge other publishers and news outlets to take up the discussion of domestic violence by publishing articles about victims like Jennifer Schlecht, so that we can find more solutions that address violence against women.
At $37 Billion, Did MacKenzie Bezos Get a Fair Divorce Settlement?

This post also got a much higher number of page views than most of our posts. It seemed to hit a nerve, with several commenters dissenting from my opinion that MacKenzie Bezos may have deserved more. It’s an important question that needs further exploration from funders: how to ensure that women are adequately compensated in divorce. The Bezos divorce could have produced billions and billions more for philanthropy, had the financial settlement been a more 50/50 arrangement. In any case, it got people talking, and paying attention to, the philanthropy of MacKenzie Bezos.
L’il Rhody Smashes the Patriarchy, Protecting Roe and Repro Rights. How Did They Do It?

With women’s reproductive rights being stolen away in parts of the country, it was heartening to report on Rhode Island’s successful passage of protections for access to reproductive health care. We hope this article provides a template that other states can consider as they find ways to protect a woman’s right to choose.
We Are Unstoppable: Giving Circles Organize Into a Movement

This piece started out on PW and was later reshared with some changes on Ms. Magazine. It tells the story of how women are finding new ways to fund social change with networks and circles. Since this article was published, the Gates Foundation has invested $2 million more in building the infrastructure for giving circles to continue to expand across the U.S.
Investing in Girls Who Invest

The strategies for moving more women into the finance sector are expanding, and new techniques, such as training women in college to practice investing skills, are gaining more traction. This story was widely viewed, and has a great follow-up in the news this past month, with Coca-Cola’s announcement that it will give $1 million to Girls Who Invest.
Male Domination Prevails: Detailing Media’s Gender Imbalance

The lack of women in media was a major topic this past year, with films including This Changes Everything showcasing the data that proves that women continue to lack employment in and coverage by all forms of media. Laura Dorwart’s piece on The Women’s Media Center’s research and its ongoing fight to call attention to this problem did its job: it got seen by lots of eyeballs, and hopefully added to the momentum to actually do something about this problem.
Women Give More from Less

This piece on Paypal’s research on women’s giving patterns also had a very high page view rate, with lots of shares on social media as well. People are drawn to knowing more about the curious fact that women have less to give, and yet manage to give more than men. Bottom line: more research like this needs to happen, so we can begin to understand the way that gender and philanthropy relate to each other and influence social change.
#WomenFunded2019: Highlights from the First Day

One of the most important conferences this past year was WFN’s September conference in San Francisco. So many amazing leaders attended, and the speakers and workshops provided for a deep and purposeful convergence of women givers and their allies.
Shaping the Shapers: How WMM Trains Women in Social Change

Women Moving Millions continues to show itself as an organization with great passion for moving the needle on gender equality. This interview by our Senior Writer Maggie May with WMM’s new Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, helps to drill down on how this network is refashioning itself to train a cadre of feminist givers who know the strategies for high impact.
California Gender Justice Funders Launch $10 Mil Culture Change Fund

Another post that saw a high rate of page views was our piece on the Culture Change Fund, spearheaded by the Women’s Foundation of California. This cross-sector collaboration of corporate, private, and public foundations was a story of great interest to our readers, many of whom are working at different levels to build stakeholder alliances for gender equality movements.
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