More Philanthropy To Fix Marriage Laws That Hurt Women and Girls? Yes, Please!

Global Fund for Women is one of the major organizations working to end child marriage.

Progress for women is gradual in a world where an estimated 15 million girls are sold into marriage. In developing nations, the situation is even worse. According to the UNFPA, an estimated “one in three girls is married before reaching age 18. One in nine is married under age 15.” Among other scary news on child marriage is this recent report that child marriages are on the rise in Syria. 

There are several funders paying close attention to the problem of child marriage. These include Kendeda, which has committed over $31 million in this arena in recent years, and provides support for Human Rights Watch, the Global Fund for Women, and Girls Not Brides. The Ford Foundation also does some significant work in this area, and The NoVo Foundation is also committed to the cause of ending child marriage.

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Ruth Ann Harnisch on Getting the Most Bang for Your Social Change Buck with Women’s Funds

Ruth Ann Harnisch, Co-Founder and President, The Harnisch Foundation

Ruth Ann Harnisch recently penned a piece for The Tennessean on why she supports The Women’s Fund in Tennessee, seeing them as “the smartest, most efficient way to meet the ever-changing needs of women and girls in this area.”

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Ana Oliveira to Moderate Debate Between Two Philanthropy Heavyweights

Ana Oliveira
© Donna F. Aceto

In the world of philanthropy, it’s a little unusual to hear about a public debate between high level professionals. We have a lot of panel discussions, and not so many debates. But Philanthropy New York (PNY) clearly has other ideas.

PNY, “a regional association of grantmakers with global impact,” is sponsoring a debate between two very different leaders in the philanthropy sector. Picture, if you will, the matchup:

In this corner, we have David Callahan, Founder and Publisher of Inside Philanthropy, and author of the forthcoming title, The Givers, a riveting text that makes you question everything you know about philanthropy, and which lands squarely on the side of tightening up taxation and regulation of the rich. Furthermore, it makes you want to run laps around the block to vent your rage at the rampant inequality in today’s world.

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We’re Scaling Up: Announcing Philanthropy Women’s First Lead Sponsors

Philanthropy Women: A Home for News and Conversation on Women Donors and Allies

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Philanthropy Women has secured its first two lead sponsors, and hopes to bring on at least eight more by year’s end.

Needless to say, it is the dream of a lifetime for me to be able to write and publish on such an important topic. I am excited to begin hiring more writers and scaling up.

Our lead sponsors both possess unique expertise in the world of women’s philanthropy, so their added value is compounded mightily by their own dedication to building new ways to fund gender equity in the world. Please join me in thanking them for believing in the vision of Philanthropy Women, and for supporting more quality media by, for, and about women.

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The Free A Girl Movement: How Funders are Helping Women Go From Prostitution to Prosecution

The School for Justice is helping formerly trafficked women and girls in Mumbai, India become agents of justice.

How is Bollywood actor and activist Mallika Sherawat helping girls escape lives of sex trafficking? One girl at a time, by enrolling them in the School for Justice.

Sherawat is an ambassador of the Free a Girl Movement and a supporter of the School for Justice, opening today in Mumbai, India.

But freeing the girls is only part of the story. The larger part of social change being driven by Mallika Sherawat and other community activists in India is about correcting the systems of justice that do not prevent the crimes from happening again. Here’s how Mallika Sherawat explains it: “By freeing the girls, we’re not changing the system that allows this crime to happen. To break this cycle, we will attack a key factor: the fact that the perpetrators are not being punished. Because they are not punished, they can continue with their crimes.”

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Priscilla Chan and The Future of Inclusive Philanthropy

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2014. (cc:2.0)

She’s young, she’s highly educated, and she likes to be involved in funding strategy  — all traits that suggest Priscilla Chan will be making an enormous impact on philanthropy over the next decade and beyond.

“Chan is a hands-on leader of Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), taking charge of many of the day-to-day operational details of scaling up a large philanthropic enterprise,” David Callahan recently told me. Callahan is founder and publisher of Inside Philanthropy, and interviewed Chan for his new book, The Givers, due out in April 11th.

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Why Listening for Good is Important to Women in Philanthropy

I’ve covered the Fund for Shared Insight before, and I want to call attention to this new announcement, since it’s a great example of how philanthropy is evolving into a more democratic creature — by becoming more aware of what does and does not work in funding strategies.

Many women’s funds and foundations were early believers in incorporating grantee feedback into the grantmaking process. Women’s funds and foundations were also some of the first to bring grantees onto foundation boards to help inform the decision-making process. Some research suggests that women have a leadership edge with their listening and relational skills.  Whether that’s true or not, women leaders in philanthropy can and should engage in active listening to create more effective strategies.

Now, Shared Insight has issued a national, open request for proposals for nominated nonprofits to participate in Listen for Good — Shared Insight’s signature initiative which helps funders and nonprofits advance high-quality feedback loops.

Also in the good news department, there are five new funders joining the network of partners: the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network. This brings the total for funding partners of Shared Insight to 39.

From the press release:

‘Listen for Good’ Open Request for Proposals Released; Five New Funders Announced

Listen for Good 2017 Request for Proposals Posted

Shared Insight is excited to announce that it is offering up to 75 Listen for Good (L4G) grants in 2017.

The goal of L4G is to help nonprofit organizations—across issue areas, populations served, geographies and budget levels—build the practice of high-quality feedback loops with those they serve. The L4G methodology is simple, yet systematic and rigorous. In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using the data to inform their work, L4G is structured as a co-funding opportunity.

To participate in L4G, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Grantees will receive a grant of $45,000 over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year. Shared Insight will accept proposals from funder-nominated nonprofits through May 26, 2017.

For funders to learn more about how to nominate a grantee, click here. For nonprofits to learn more about how to apply for a L4G grant, click here. 

In addition, Shared Insight will hold two informational webinars for potential nominating funders:

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Callahan’s The Givers Raises Big Questions as It Profiles Living Donors

The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

Buckle up, Philanthropeeps. The Givers by David Callahan is coming out, and it’s going to be a rough ride.

Remember when David freaked out many in the philanthropy community, including the President of United Way International, by writing an editorial in the New York Times that compared philanthropy to the lawless wild west? Well, he says things like this on nearly every page of The Givers.  For some in philanthropy, the truth according to David Callahan might be a little hard to stomach.

Here is Callahan on why it’s so difficult to marshall networks in some areas of philanthropy: “People with big money often have big egos and their own strong ideas of how things should be done.”

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Statement from Secretary Clinton and President Clinton on the Passing of David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller, 1953, public domain from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Certainly it is worth noting for women in philanthropy when one of the great  funders of progressive causes passes on.

More will need to be said on this blog about how David Rockefeller contributed to the evolution of women’s empowerment in philanthropy. For now, we offer prayers and good thoughts for the Rockefeller family as they celebrate his amazing life and navigate this transition.

From The Clinton Foundation:

David Rockefeller was a consummate businessman, a great humanitarian, and a serious scholar. He was a kind, good man to all who met him. Hillary and I are grateful for his friendship and his remarkable life.

Throughout his life he used his fame and fortune to do good here and abroad. His many efforts included the establishment of the Council of the Americas five decades ago, which was instrumental in my administration’s efforts to alleviate the financial crisis in Latin America and boost trade in the Americas and the Caribbean. His tremendous support of arts and humanities in America gave millions of people in communities across the country the opportunity to experience our great heritage of painting, dance, music, and so much more. For these efforts and many others, I was proud to present him with our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

We celebrate a long life well-lived and send our gratitude and prayers to his family and all who supported him on his remarkable journey.

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Intense Conversations About the Future of Women’s Philanthropy at DREAM. DARE. DO.

Ahh, the memories.

I recently returned from DREAM. DARE. DO. in Chicago, the every-three-year (maybe more often now!) convening of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

Wow. I am still reeling from the experience. It was an intense two days of immersion in conversation about women’s leadership in philanthropy, where it is coming from and where it will be going in the brave new political climate of a Trump presidency.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) sponsored this amazing conference, held at the Magnificent Mile Marriott in downtown Chicago. Led by Debra Mesch and Andrea Pactor, WPI is one of the biggest hubs for  knowledge on gender and philanthropy.

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