The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Women’s Giving Week in Review

The Good

Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-Chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meeting with the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, in New Delhi on September 19, 2014. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Melinda Gates Commits $1 Billion to Gender Equity in the U.S. : It’s a good day for women’s giving when one of the richest women in the world declares she will invest $1 billion over ten years (still not enough!) in new efforts to address gender equality. Not surprisingly, Melinda lays awake at night worrying about many of the same things I worry about:

Here’s what keeps me up at night: I imagine waking up one morning to find that the country has moved on. That the media has stopped reporting on systemic inequalities. That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change.

There is too much at stake to allow that to happen. Too many people—women and men—have worked too hard to get us this far. And there are too many possible solutions we haven’t tried yet.

That’s why, over the next ten years, I am committing $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.

The Bad

Images of Sexual Abuse of Children Are Everywhere Online. The New York Times reports that “The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse,” and asks how we got here. This is an important story for women givers supporting efforts to end gender-based violence. It probably also means we need to step up funding for all of the organizations doing the vital work of addressing gender-based violence and child sexual abuse, particularly Raliance, StopitNow! and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Ugly

PHILANTHROPY WOMEN IS HAVING A FUNDING CRISIS! Ironically, as funding for women’s giving is expanding and needing more attention than ever, some of our funders will not be able to continue their support this year. That’s why, if you’ve been considering becoming a subscriber, there has never been a better time. We have brought on so much talent at PW. It would be a great loss to have to lay off the amazing writers and other professionals who have come on board with us.

Bear in mind: Our work has turned many more people toward studying and understanding women’s giving. We believe increasing attention to women leaders in philanthropy benefits culture in several important ways. We rank very high for keywords in the subject area of women’s giving. On Alexa, we rank three times higher for global internet engagement than other organizations in this space. We rank three times higher than Women Donors Network, which has a budget of $4.3 million as of 2016, and Women Moving Millions, which has a budget as of $1.9 million as of 2017. We are a startup working with a miniscule amount of funding in comparison.

Now is the time to come on board and support a small media site that is punching well above its weight. If you would like to become a lead sponsor or know of someone who would be interested, please be in touch. There are significant benefits to being a lead sponsor for PW, including dedicated coverage of the issues you care most about.

Kiersten Marek

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work in Cranston, Rhode Island, and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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