On January 30, 2024, the Womens’ Philanthropy Institute (WPI) of Indiana University hosted a webinar to look into a crystal ball and discuss what members of the giving community believe is coming our way in the coming year.
The moderator was Jeannie Sager, Executive Director of WPI. Panelists included
Elizabeth Barajas Romắn, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (WFN);
Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA); and
Kiersten Marek, Founder and CEO of Philanthropy Women (PW)
To start, Jeannie Sager established five key trends as identified by research of WPI:
Have you ever wondered why, if we care so much about gender equality in the US, we make no progress on basic indicators like wage equality, which has been at a virtual standstill since 1994?
One of the themes that my book, Feminist Giving, explores is the question of what makes certain ideas valuable, so valuable that they enter the mainstream of culture and become practiced in significant behavior changes.
The book demonstrates that what philanthropy does to change its behavior is very much a mirror of the rest of society. Sadly, the book concludes that it’s still a man’s world, and philanthropy remains a part of that problem.
Greetings, everyone in the Philanthropy Women community, and welcome to a New Year! 2023 promises to offer some very special events, including more readings and discussions of Feminist Giving. The book is doing well on sales and Lauren Brathwaite of Candid wrote a very comprehensive review of the book, which is a wonderful read if you are thinking of picking up the book. You can read the review here.
One of my favorite things about Lauren’s review is that she referred to Feminist Giving as a “tome” and got into the big arguments that I make in the book. As she suspects in her review, I am very interested indeed in how MacKenzie Scott is beginning to go more public about her giving. However, I notice on her website she says that they currently “don’t participate” in media stories about their work. That gave me pause to think. It seems to me that it’s a sign of a certain level of privilege to be able to decide not to participate in media stories about oneself. As a social worker who has been public facing and accountable for her behavior and practice as a professional, I cannot fathom taking such a position. But obviously, she has her reasons.
Well my friends, welcome to 2022! January is a time of research and development here at Philanthropy Women, as we refine our strategy going forward. After much consideration, we have decided not to rebrand or change the name of the website. Because it so accurately fits the content, it needs to stand. And because the gender equality issues in philanthropy still need so much attention, we will be keeping the name.
Beyond that, the future is much less clear. It turns out that by doubling up on niches, philanthropy being one niche and gender equality being (sadly) another niche, we have struggled to find a solid foundation. However, this does not mean that gender equality philanthropy does not need and deserve more media attention. In fact, our struggle is kind of like a real-time example of the entrenched marginalization of women, and feminist ideas, in the charitable realm.
As many of you know, along with founding and editing Philanthropy Women, I am also a psychotherapist. So today I am offering something new here for readers: a chance to explore your inner wellness through hypnosis.
One of my specialties as a therapist is identity development. I have spent many years studying and writing about the archetypes — the different dimensions of human identity that come into play across the lifespan. In 2018, I also trained and became certified as a hypnotherapist. This is a hypnosis session to help you get a deep night’s sleep, and to give you a chance to experience your inner Innocent.
As one of our most prolific writers at Philanthropy Women, Maggie May deserves a special tribute. Two and a half years ago, Maggie May started weaving her mighty creativity into stories on gender equality funding and strategy, and now that she is leaving us for greener (and higher paying) pastures, we want to make sure we give her a proper send-off that represents all she has done for our publication, and for gender equality strategy and funding as a whole.
Maggie May wrote 190 articles for Philanthropy Women over her time with us, an incredible amount of productivity for a young writer. She helped discover and narrate the stories of many undervalued women leaders of our time, and did so with power, insight, and clarity. Her work ranged from personal interviews to covering events to exploring the difficult questions about who gets funding and why.
Editor’s Note: Philanthropy Women is proud to announce Real Women, a new fiction series by author M. A. Sheehan, to help our audience immerse in fictional works that relate to women’s experiences. The first story in the series explores a fictional pros and cons list of a sexual assault survivor.
Reasons Not to Share Being Sexually Assaulted:
1. Never have to associate self with his name, his difficult identity, and be a target for his fans to ravage.
2. It almost always looks bad to reveal something negative about someone after they have died.
3. Most people will blame me, because it’s inevitably the woman’s fault.
It’s like that line from the Indigo girls song: “The hardest to learn was the least complicated.” The hardest thing for philanthropy to learn is that equality must become a priority: gender equality, racial equality, LGBTQ equality, and the list of those not included or given adequate resources and opportunities goes on. But instead, philanthropy keeps pointing elsewhere and saying, “Oh it’s a health care problem, oh it’s an education problem, oh it’s a workforce development problem.”
Our health care and education and workforce development problems often grow out of a firmly entrenched bedrock of equality problems. But the equality part of the story almost always gets minimized in philanthropy, almost always gets conveniently left out, almost always stays on the back burner. Ultimately, if you really look closely at what’s going on in philanthropy, you realize that philanthropy as a whole funds equality in mostly token ways — ways that never get at the root of the problem. As a result, equality remains a presumed cultural value that has no real mechanism for being realized on a broad scale. It’s a dream to talk about loftily and do some pilot programs on, and then get back to the serious business of running a society that worships and elevates the richest 1% to the grave detriment of everyone else.
Texas Women’s Foundation, a powerhouse for women and girls in Texas, raised more than $1 million at their 36th Annual Luncheon
Across Texas, groups convened to watch in livestream mini-parties, including 96 students and teachers from Brookhaven College, as the Texas Women’s Foundation held its Annual Luncheon online. Presented by the Dallas Mavericks, the event raised more than $1 million and had a total audience of over 4,000.
The event, entitled My Voice. My Story. Every Woman’s Power to Build Compassion and Community, brought together leaders across society to talk about the value of increasing the wellbeing of women and girls in Texas and beyond.
As our young women come up in the world, they face a deluge of information online, much of which is contributing to their sense of safety, or lack thereof. A new report from Plan International helps to break down the ways that online disinformation is impacting the lives of girls ages 15 to 24 around the world.
The report, The Truth Gap, helps to explain how girls and young women in 33 countries are experiencing information they find online. The report discovered that one in five girls (20%) feels unsafe due to false information that comes from the internet.