Hell No, We Won’t Go! A Guide to Repealing the Trump Tax

Expect to hear a lot more about repealing the tax law here at Philanthropy Women over the coming year. It’s time to pull out all the stops and take back our democracy.

With Christmas over, it’s now time to get down to business and develop a strong agenda for 2018. At the top of that agenda for progressive donors, in my opinion, is repealing the Trump Tax that recently passed. This legislation does more to hurt the middle class and nonprofits than can be tolerated in a society that still prides itself on equality and freedom.

Here are just a few choice details about how this law will deter giving for the middle and upper middle class. The law’s discouragement of itemized deductions by raising the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, is estimated to reduce the number of itemized tax returns from the current 30% to only 5%. That means only 5% of people will have enough charitable and other deductions to qualify for itemizing their taxes. This change strikes a devastating blow to families in the $70,000 to $200,000 income level, who often stretch their giving in order to qualify for the charitable tax exemption at $12,000. Between the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable deduction, some middle class families would be able to qualify for the $12,000 deduction threshold. By giving an extra two or three thousand or more, they are often supporting nonprofits in the community (their local church, food bank, or domestic violence shelter) getting a tax break, too.

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How Funny Girls is Growing Improv-Driven Leadership for Tweens

Funny Girls, a new program being piloted by the Harnisch Foundation around New York City and in Richmond, Virginia, engages girls in improv to build leadership skills. (Photo credit: Stephanie Buongiorno.)

Learning how to laugh as much as possible can be a key component to sane living, particularly in today’s regressive political and social scene. The Ms. Foundation for Women recently hosted its 22nd Annual comedy night, calling it “Laughter is the Best Resistance,” where Gloria Steinem did stand-up. Meanwhile, women like Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are moving into the executive producer role for hit comedies like Grace and Frankie.

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Women of Wealth to Congress: Stop the GOP Tax Scam

Women of Wealth, powered by Women Donors Network and Patriotic Millionaires,  invites “all women who consider themselves ‘wealthy’ to join us in our fight to build a society of true abundance.”

While Donald Trump is predicting that his “monumental” tax bill will pass next week, women donors came together to demand that Congress reject the tax plan currently being finalized by the GOP. “This is not the decent and fair America we seek to build,” a letter from over 200 women states, as it blasts the GOP for its reckless and irresponsible tax bill.

Calling the tax legislation “morally bankrupt, intellectually corrupt, and economically indefensible,” the letter signed by over 200 Women of Wealth members.

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An Unusual Women’s Giving Circle in Boston Fuels Social Change Globally

Members of the NEID Women’s Giving Circle, from left to right, front row: Diana Rowan Rockefeller, Rebecca Obounou, Odette Ponce, Emily Nielsen Jones, Jackie Jenkins Scott, Amy Brakeman. Back Row: Constance Kane, Liz Sheehan, Mary Kay Miller, Laura DeDominicis, Ina Breuer, Clare Reilly, Nika Elugardo, Ellen Remmer, Kathy LeMay.

We know from the research coming out of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that giving circles are growing, and women’s giving circles in particular are on the rise. But what does a giving circle really look like on the ground? How do they make decisions that are well-informed and that carry out the group’s intentions?

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Rapid Response for Resistance: How These Funders Came Together to Fight Injustice

The Emergent Fund, a collaboration of Women Donors Network, Solidaire, Threshold Fund, and Democracy Alliance, has published a report detailing their strategy in deploying funds rapidly to address human rights and social justice.

“The Emergent Fund started as a plane built in mid-air. We moved faster than comfort allowed in developing a funding response to the new threats posed by the 2016 election because the scale of the crisis that loomed was so large, multidimensional, and immediate. Resources were urgently needed in many places and without much time for deliberation.” 

So begins Visionary Resistance, a new report reviewing how several donor networks came together to invest $ 1 million rapidly for efforts to protect  those most marginalized and targeted by a Trump presidency. Aptly named the Emergent Fund, this new resource is funded through a partnership between the Women Donors Network, Solidaire, Threshold Foundation, and the Democracy Alliance.

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Funders Take Note: #MeToo is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year are the Silence Breakers: those women (and a few men) who are telling the stories that are changing our culture.

So much exciting change is happening in women’s philanthropy, but one of the biggest breakthroughs by far has been the overwhelming response to the #MeToo campaign, which helps to break the silence on sexual abuse and harassment. While we all have to measure when and were we choose to tell our stories (and as a therapist I have listened to many accounts, and have helped guide people to make choices about how much they wanted to disclose, and to whom) it is heartening to see so many women willing to take the risk and put their story out there.

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Making the Connection Between Gender Equality and the Environment

The latest issue of Gender & Development looks closely at connecting up feminism with environmentalism.

The newest issue of Gender & Development is taking a close look at the connections between gender equality and environmental work in today’s world, a world where President Trump has the power to reduce the size of  public monuments in Utah by millions of acres, a potentially illegal move that has huge implications for gender justice.  Certainly, now is the time for feminist and environmentalists to come together and strategize about how to fight back.

In a post introducing the new issue of Gender & Development, Editor Caroline Sweetman reminds us that 2017 has been the deadliest on record for environmental activists.  Further, in many countries around the world, women are on the losing end of deals made to extract natural resources from developing nations.

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Announcing a New Fiscal Sponsor for Philanthropy Women

I am pleased to announce that the Women’s Funding Network has agreed to serve as Philanthropy Women’s fiscal sponsor for our not-for-profit publishing work.   This partnership will help us to raise funds to make Philanthropy Women a more potent force for educating the community about how women in philanthropy are driving social change.

The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) grew out of a 1984 joint meeting of the National Black United Fund and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, where participants discussed creating an organization exclusively for women’s funds. By 2000, WFN had grown into a network of 94 member funds and foundations with over $200 million in assets, deploying $30 million a year in grants.  In 2003, WFN received a $5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which enabled significant growth. Today, WFN continues to expand, with over 100 women’s funds and foundations  spanning 30 countries, and continues to collaborate with other philanthropic powerhouses like Kellogg, the Gates Foundation, and the Clinton Foundation, to address gender equality globally.

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How to Reach Critical Mass for Gender Equality Movements

A remarkable piece recently published in Time Magazine discusses how the “structures that enable sexism are exploding,” with every day seeming to bring new bombshells. Today’s bombshells were Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor (yes, it’s apparently true). All of this has been made possible by a culture that is finally starting to open up about the nearly ubiquitous harassment of women happening in our homes, schools and businesses.

The Time Magazine article, by Jay Newton Small, explains that when women reach 20 to 30% of the critical mass in an industry, change starts to happen. Women begin to take the risk of revealing their #MeToo stories. Men begin to talk about how they felt pressured to fulfill gender norms with aggressive sexual behavior. People of all genders begin to open up about how their lives were impacted by sexual trauma.

We are moving toward that point in our culture. This is a good thing, because we can evolve toward healthier relationships and less rigid gender norms. We can begin to make real systems change for gender equality, sector by sector, as different parts of society become more gender equal. But this won’t happen without the intentional effort of progressive movements to provide better news and information.

This is where Philanthropy Women comes in, along with a host of other micropublishers online who are amplifying important information that the mainstream media ignores, suppresses, or just doesn’t get. Philanthropy Women is providing critical news and information to a sector that needs more attention — leaders who are working to make our country more gender equal and inclusive. Many of these leaders have been doing this work quietly for decades, and are now beginning to realize the importance of sharing their vision and strategy.

We want to amplify those leaders in women’s philanthropy, and catalyze new conversations on how to reach critical mass for gender equality. We  want to get more men involved in and talking about feminist philanthropy. We want to host more conversations like the #FundWomen Twitter chats we did recently with WomenThrive and the Women Donors Network, that brought in new voices and helped enrich the conversation in the women’s funding arena.

But we can’t do this without support. We have some funding to keep going, but not enough to grow to the next level. If we are able to raise more for this coming year, we will be able to do more — hire more writers, produce more unique content, host more conversations and events. By funding Philanthropy Women, you are helping knowledge about progressive women’s philanthropy grow, which helps make the movement more powerful and more accessible to others.

We are not a 501(c)3, but we do accept donations from readers and supporters. If you are interested in being a lead sponsor of Philanthropy Women, please contact us.





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Join WDN and Philanthropy Women on #GivingTuesday to #FundWomen

Soon, the shopping rampage will be over, and we can get on with a much more interesting event of the season: #GivingTuesday. This year on Giving Tuesday, we will be hosting a Twitter chat along with the Women Donors Network, where we will talk about the diverse and powerful ways philanthropy can #fundwomen and make a lasting impact for gender equality.

Please join us on Tuesday, November 28 at 1 pm EDT (10 am PDT) for a one-hour conversation on the importance of funding women in today’s philanthropy landscape.

Topic: Why #FundWomen on #GivingTuesday?

Host: @philanthrowomen

Discussant: @womendonors

Hashtags: #FundWomen #GivingTuesday

Questions for Women Donors Network:

Q1) Today is Giving Tuesday. What advice do you have for individuals looking to give today?

Q2) What is the advantage of funding women’s rights organizations over other types of philanthropy?

Q3) What actions can we take to support gender equality as citizens and givers?

Q4) What are some resources that donors can use to educate themselves on investing in women’s rights?

Twitter chat guidelines:

At the beginning of the chat, Philanthropy Women will introduce the topic and invite everyone to introduce themselves.  At about 1:10 pm EDT (10:10 am PDT), we will begin tweeting the questions. We invite others to share their answers by using A1 for the first answer, A2 for the second answer and so on for each question.  Philanthropy Women will try to respond to as many of the conversation members as possible, and will also provide some tweets that respond to the questions. Please include hashtag #FundWomen in all tweets.

We did a similar event on National Philanthropy Day with Nonprofit organization WomenThrive. We had over 100 participants including leaders in several women’s funds, and philanthropy leaders Ruth Ann Harnisch and Jacki Zehner. We also had participation from members of the media like PBS’ To the Contrary. We hope this conversation with Women Donors Network will also be as fruitful for generating more awareness about feminist philanthropy and its potential to address a range of social and economic issues.

Hope you join in on #GivingTuesday at 1 pm EST on Twitter!

Related:

Ashindi Maxton: Fund with Radical Trust to Redefine “Expertise”

How WDN Connects Women and Cultivates Progressive Giving

Check Out #FundWomen Remixed with Storify

This Funder is Growing Quickly, and Giving Out Rapid-Response Grants to Fight Trump

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