Karen Morales on The Love of Marketing to Fight Disease

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Karen Morales, Founder of Marketing Magnet and Board Member of Cure Rare Disease.

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

I never knew I would be a marketing agency owner. I never dreamed I would be self-employed.  In my early days, I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist to bring hope to sick kids. In later years, I wanted to fight oppression as an ACLU lawyer. 

Karen Morales
Karen Morales, Founder of Marketing Magnet and Board Member of Cure Rare Disease, discusses her path to success.

Neither dream materialized, as the path to get there – medical school and law school, seemed like too high a hill to climb. 

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Uncoupled Bezos and Scott Join to Give $13 Million for Maternal Health

Boston, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) announced today that it has received $13 million in philanthropic funding to support scaling access to the Centering model throughout the United States.

The Centering Healthcare Institute works to advance maternal and child health. (Image credit: CHI)

New multi-year grants from the Bezos Family Foundation and MacKenzie Scott, along with reinvestments from Valhalla Charitable Foundation, Imaginable Futures and Overdeck Family Foundation, will provide the organization to continue its multi-year growth strategy and make necessary technology pivots to design and offer the Centering model of group care in virtual formats. This increased accessibility will allow for the expansion of the model to reach the most vulnerable populations and continue to provide relationship-based care that improves health outcomes.

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How Madam CJ Walker Empowered Black Giving in the Time of Jim Crow

On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s book about the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker in an event featuring the author, the chair of the Do Good Institute, and Walker’s great-great granddaughter. (Image Credit: University of Illinois Press)

The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.

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New World Possibilities with Gender Lens Giving Strategies

On Thursday in New Zealand and Wednesday in the US, a virtual conversation took place between some of the boldest strategic experts in the feminist giving space. The conversation included Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of Women Moving Millions, Tuti B. Scott, feminist expert on gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing, Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lucy Lee, Senior Associate for Volition Capital and Lotus Circle Bay Area convener.

feminist giving strategies
Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke about the need to recognize the “weathering” that women of color experience in our racist and sexist cultures.

 As more virtual strategizing takes place to amplify feminist giving strategies, these leaders offer a valuable perspective. Sue McCabe, Chief Executive of Philanthropy New Zealand opened the call with some shocking stats about how COVID is impacting New Zealand’s economy, even though they have had some of the best health outcomes from the virus. McCabe said that 90% of newly unemployed people, due to the COVID restrictions in New Zealand, are women. She stressed the importance of giving more, and giving more strategically, in the time of COVID.

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Tatler Launches Front & Female to Embolden and Free Women

“Despite the enormous progress that has been made by the feminist movement, there are still huge gaps that we’ve yet to bridge, such as representation in politics and STEM, language and data bias, lack of female mentors and sponsors, the gender pay gap and more,” says Tamara Lamunière, founder of Front & Female. “All of these issues create vicious cycles we need to break. One of the ways that can be addressed is to provide women resources and support structures that can empower and embolden them to aspire for and achieve more. That’s where Front & Female comes in.”

Inspired by women who are the first and at the front of their fields, Front & Female is a resource for women to be their best selves, at home, in business, or in society, so they can be catalysts for the empowerment of others. It aims to bring like-minded women together to exchange ideas at roundtable discussions, with the goal of catalysing collaboration.

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Sports 4 Life Delivers Big Benefits for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life is a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. It was established in 2014 and seeks to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. It has so far impacted over 60,000 girls of color, and its recently released report shows gains in girls’ leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance resulting from their participation in the program.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)


2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. Improving the physical and mental health—and leadership capacities—of girls of color is one way to help them navigate COVID and beyond. The WSF and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), Sports 4 Life partnership is funding local sports programs, filling in the gaps to access and opportunity that often confront girls of color.

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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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A Bloody Problem: Dominika Kulczyk on Ending Period Poverty

A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it

Dominika Kulczyk launches new report on period poverty and joins a group of world-class philanthropists as part of a partnership with Founders Pledge

(Image Credit: Kulczyk Foundation)
  • Kulczyk Foundation and Founders Pledge launch first-ever report on effective funding recommendations to address period poverty
  • Dominika Kulczyk, a Polish philanthropist and businesswoman, provided seed funding for the pioneering report and calls upon the international community to unite efforts and commit to ending period poverty
  • Report finds lack of developed and existing evidence base in the field on the most effective interventions to address period poverty
  • Eight organisations including Days for Girls and Irise International highlighted as best practice 

[15 October 2020, London / Warsaw] – Kulczyk Foundation, a Polish private family foundation, and Founders Pledge, a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges, have launched a new report on period poverty. A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it – which reviews the current state of funding and solutions to ending period poverty – finds that there is no unified approach to data collection, fundraising or implementation of period poverty programmes.

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How Desai Foundation Drives Social Change for Women in India

Nonprofit ventures each have a unique story and journey, with some expanding their capacities and impact dramatically as they grow and mature. This seems to be the case with the Desai Foundation, now a public nonprofit, which exists to promote health and livelihood for women and children, primarily in India, with plans to expand this work in the U.S. 

Megha Desai, President of The Desai Foundation, served as host of The Lotus Festival, taking guests on a variety of virtual adventures over the course of an hour and a half. (Image Credit: Desai Foundation)

I recently had the opportunity to join the Desai Foundation for its annual Lotus Festival, a fundraiser and educational event that the foundation holds every year. This year with COVID, the event was also offered online, making it more accessible, and prompting the organizers to ensure that participants joining online would get a full experience of all that the foundation is about.

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Creating STEM Environments for Women to Thrive: Olu Ibrahim

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Olu Ibrahim, Founder & CEO of Kids in Tech

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

olu ibrahim
Olu Ibrahim, Founder & CEO of Kids in Tech (Image Credit: Olu Ibrahim)

As fundraising becomes more professionalized, as a collective, our industry [the non-profit industry] is neglecting the human element of the work we do. Rarely do we have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops that invite us to step back, explore and embrace our humanity. We must center, explore and embrace our humanity in fundraising. Fundraising for social change is about a lot of heart work. It is the heart work that will change our world for all. I too love data and the information it provides  but let us keep that in mind.

It’s so easy for women to get in that space where you’re just everything to everyone all the time. We should be telling women and girls to take care of yourself, because that way, you’ll have more to give to those around you.

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