On December 17, international funding powerhouse Women Moving Millions released their annual impact report, showcasing the organization’s work toward a gender-equal world over the past year. The report also includes WMM’s multi-pronged approach to the future, including the goal to double their financial impact by 2025.
Since its founding in 2007, Women Moving Millions has committed nearly $800 million to organizations supporting women and girls. The organization thrives as a collaborative group of 340+ high-net worth women around the world, all pledged to donate at least $1 million during their lifetimes.
“Our members are some of the most engaged, purposeful, and powerful philanthropists of our time,” reads the impact report. “Together, we represent a new era of resources by and for women, using the power of our voice and influence to inspire others to invest with a gender lens.”
2020 offered a slew of exciting new programs under the WMM umbrella. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WMM team pivoted to provide their annual events in a virtual space. The Power of Us Summit, one such virtual event, convened experts and changemakers with more than 1200 participants focused on exploring the ways women and girls drive change around the world, as well as the transformational role philanthropy can play in supporting systems change.
Other programs included the Philanthropic Leadership Program Intensive, a three-part virtual series focused on leveraging storytelling to develop philanthropic campaigns, and the WMM Wednesdays Virtual Series, which brought together industry leaders for intimate conversations about “the most pressing issues of the moment”: subjects like the Black Lives Matter movement, women’s health, and the rights of Native American and indigenous communities.
“As this pandemic has exacerbated the systemic inequities facing women and girls in every country, threatening their safety, health, and opportunity, we stepped up,” wrote Executive Director Sarah Haacke-Byrd and Board Chair S. Mona Sinha in the report’s opening letter. “We dove into our Wednesday series, we learned about powerful storytelling in our Philanthropic Leadership Program, and we connected via Zoom. Our brave Summit speakers inspired us to address the rising economic insecurity, climate damage, violence, systemic racism, and political unrest that have tested the stability of democracies worldwide. In intimate spaces, we shared our own experiences as we healed and supported each other.”
2020 also held the Give Bold, #GetEqual campaign, WMM’s push to generate a minimum of $100 million in new funding for women and girls. In only the third month of the campaign, Give Bold, #GetEqual has already led to $95 million in committed funding.
“By building upon the momentum and early success of the campaign, Women Moving Millions is uniquely positioned to influence and inspire investment with a gender lens and accelerate progress toward a gender equal world,” wrote the WMM team. “Our work has only just begun as we aim to far exceed the $100 million goal.”
The impact report also holds WMM’s plans for the next year. In addition to its three-pronged approach to growth over the next four years, WMM plans to double down on its commitment to connecting women’s and girls’ organizations with the capital they need to survive.
Among the programs and initiatives planned for 2021, WMM will be:
- Launching the WMM Learning Lab, a highly-curated digital resource library meant to be a “one-stop shop for cutting-edge research in gender lens philanthropy.”
- Hosting the Generation Equality Conversation Series in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This four-part series will connect WMM members with the world’s most influential leaders and activists working to advance gender equality.
- Continuing the virtual conversation series with #GetEqual Conversations, a monthly virtual roundtable series featuring thought-leaders, advocates, and activists from around the world.
- The 2021 Member Day & Annual Summit, taking place September 30th to October 2nd in Washington, DC.
- New philanthropic educational programs, built to expand on WMM’s Philanthropic Leadership Program.
- Quarterly regional member calls, designed to deepen connections among WMM members at a local level — increased collaboration will lead to new and more effective campaigns.
- New partnerships and collaborations, including programs in conjunction with the UN Foundation, UN Women, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Center for High Impact Philanthropy, and the Equality Fund.
“As 2020 comes to a close and we reflect upon the enormity of the year, we recognize that what is needed today is different from what will be asked of us tomorrow,” wrote Sinha and Haacke-Byrd. “In 2021, we will bring forth the same blend of possibility, hope, and determination that we tapped into during the early days of the crisis. As we continue the journey to understand how philanthropy can evolve to support the transformation of inequitable systems, we will leverage our community’s collective strength, networks, and voice to ensure the fight for gender equality moves forward.”
As Sarah Haacke-Byrd puts it, “This is the power of women’s philanthropy: to listen, learn, and bridge understanding to inform how we work together in support of a shared agenda.”
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