Thinking About Writing for Philanthropy Women? Read This First

The humble writer/editor in her humble home/office.

We are always looking for contributing writers at Philanthropy Women, where we cover the growing world of women’s giving for all areas of philanthropy, from feminist foundations to women’s funds to giving circles, and just about anything in between. We also cover research on women in philanthropy such as changing patterns of giving, as well as┬áthe funding for research on the status of gender equality worldwide.

Writers for Philanthropy Women should know who they are primarily writing for: women in philanthropy at all levels, meaning women who give through dollars, women who give through strategy, and women who give through labor, primarily in the nonprofit world. Generally, we hire freelance writers who have extensive experience both as writers and in some area of philanthropy, such as nonprofit fundraising, social policy, or funding strategy.

Philanthropy Women publishes articles of 1100-1500 words. Once you have pitched an article idea and it has been approved, you will be given more specifics to help you carry out the assignment.

Payment is on publication. We buy 90-day exclusive rights. After 90 days, the copyright is co-owned by Philanthropy Women and the individual authors, who are free to republish, repackage, or otherwise re-use the work for their own purposes. We also allow reprinting of our stories within 90 days for certain nonprofits whose mission is to share information as widely as possible about women’s philanthropy.

Best Practices for Philanthropy Women Writers

We Require Curiosity from Our Writers

Curiosity is what makes writing interesting. We want to experience the author’s curiosity as well as our own as we read. Keep that in mind as you write.

We Require Compassion from Our Writers

Don’t Judge. Criticize with the utmost of care and with an eye toward constructive change. You can call it soft journalism all you want. I call it transformative, responsible journalism. When you have a criticism, you must be armed with the evidence to support it.

Talk About the Funding in Real Numbers

You’d probably never guess it, but I’m a numbers gal. I like to hear the numbers. I like to think about the numbers. Include the numbers, to the best of your ability. Look up the net assets of any foundation you write about, and the amount of grantmaking they do per year. Make sure to include it in the article. If you are profiling a nonprofit agency, look up its annual report and examine its budget. Share some of this information with our readers and make it relevant to your story.

Bring in Personal Experience When Relevant

Yes, this is one of those places in the journalism world where you can talk about yourself. If you have first-hand experience about the organization you are writing about or the problem that is being addressed by philanthropy, consider sharing that information if it will enrich the story, and if you won’t suffer any undue negative consequences for sharing.

Describe the Things You Appreciate Most About the Person or Organization You are Writing About

One of the many ways writers effect positive change is by observing and amplifying a positive development in the world. We encourage writers at Philanthropy Women to practice this in your writing. Also, don’t go overboard and become a cheerleader. Writing is not cheerleading. However, cheering about victories for gender equality is encouraged.

Relate the Person and/or Organization to the Larger Picture of Philanthropy, and World Politics

You need to put your story and your subject in context.

Discuss why this work is important and what it would take for the world to pay more attention to it. Does it need more funding, more media exposure, more collaboration? Discuss the amplification strategy.

Also: subscribe to our Monday-Friday free updates (upper right corner of the page). That will help you get a regular feed of articles to orient you to our content.


Rebecca Traister Comes to Rhode Island for Women’s Fund Benefit

Allison Fine Featured in The New Yorker

Author: Kiersten Marek

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

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