Female Philanthropy: The Time Is Now

The idea of ​​launching a women-only website for philanthropy was first brought to Kiersten Marek in 2016, when Hillary Clinton was expected to win the presidential election and become the first female president of the United States. .. When she launched it the following year, she felt it was even more appropriate.

“I really thought,’She will win, and there will be this major reorganization of government and social strategy on gender equality,'” said Marek’s founder and editor-in-chief. Philanthropic woman.. “But that didn’t happen. Instead, a regression was seen as soon as Donald Trump took office.”

After working for the online news site Inside Philanthropy for several years, Rhode Island-based therapist and social worker Marek realized the need for space to promote and support feminist philanthropy.

“I noticed that there is this prototype of this really extraordinary feminist donor that no one really knew, except for the very small circles of other donors,” she said. “I thought’this is very bad’. It really speaks to the fact that women aren’t promoting their achievements. I’m going to rectify this by filling this space myself. am.”

In that respect, philanthropic women are a positive space, emphasizing the important work being done to benefit women and girls and promote gender equality. But it also shows another, more destructive aspect of the organization’s need to withdraw funds in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and this harsh political season.It’s a big blow Causes of already struggling — Only 1.6% of funding from US nonprofits is used for programs to support women and girls, and only 0.5% is directed to colored women and girls. Foundation..

A shocking number of women-run organizations Millions of moving women (WMM) Strengthen their efforts. “Our concern is that progress towards gender equality is at stake and COVID will have a retreat effect on women and girls around the world,” said executive director Sarah Harke Bird. .. “They need our help more than ever. Unemployment, domestic violence, unpaid care, and an increasing number of young women out of school. This takes our work to the next level. It’s an important time to raise it to. “

The result is WMM’s latest campaign. Boldly and equallyPromised to raise $ 100 million in new funding for women and girls by 2022. Today, we have already generated a $ 70 million commitment from members who primarily invest in organizations focused on economic security, violence against women, education and health. ..

Sapphira Goradia, director of Women Moving Millions, said the campaign speaks for itself, but its focus isn’t new. “The need for resources to support women and girls continues forever,” said Goradia, managing director of the Vijay and Marie Goradia Foundation. “we [as women] We have our own power — why not own it and work together to move the needle? We are stacking women’s shoulders. “

He also talks a lot about how women have grown up in the world of philanthropy and how they are in a position to give. “In the last decade, women have been earning tremendous amounts of wealth — $ 72 trillion worldwide,” Bird explained. “As wealth and leadership improve, we have the power and responsibility to do something at this moment.”

Executive Director of Donna Hall, Female donor networkReflecting this timeline, she added that she feels that the concept of philanthropy is changing. While ultra-high net worth women like MacKenzie Scott and Melinda Gates are setting the stage for women on an equal footing, they’re handing everyone else to emphasize putting money into the system. It’s time to think about how to reach out. “Women who are currently making their own money are not considered ultra-rich, but they are engaged in activities and giving money in ways never before,” said a San Francisco-based organization. Hall said. “I think we have a huge untapped market for women who are earning solid salaries, educated, revitalized and looking for opportunities. And in the next 30 years or so women will inherit. Looking at the assets that are expected to be, that’s just a tremendous amount. ”

Mr Hall added that he hopes women’s funds will be established and financially stable nationwide, calling for the percentage of philanthropic dollars paid to women and girls. Like some Women’s Financing Network When Women’s Fund It has been around in Texas for about 40 years. “This year and the last few years, we have been struggling with the real floating of many women’s funds. This is very sad about the priorities we give to the needs of women and girls in all areas of our society. It’s a commentary, “she said. “It discouraged me.”

“I think I need more help this time, but I need a lot of help. everytimeThe hall continued. “There is still a lot of prejudice against women and girls. We really need to invest in education, training and leadership development for women at every stage of our lives. There is a great need for mentoring. Great needs for resources, resources There is a big accumulation. “

Hall directed the Women Donors Network in 2002. She says that the biggest difference now, 18 years later, is that women are willing to spend money to be more active and empower the people who need them. This is highlighted in the Women Donors Network’s granting model. This tends to provide general working capital and turns people in the field into decision makers on what to do and how to do it. “Currently, there is a complete imbalance in this country and we are trying to deal with it in the way we do business,” she said.

Still, philanthropic woman Kiersten Marek suspects that people are simply burning funding for gender equality. “It’s just difficult. It’s only 1.6%, so most of the time I feel isolated and marginalized,” she said. “You are a very minority in this area and your message is very relevant, but people still don’t pick it up.”

Despite losing herself, she hasn’t given up. She has a knowledge database of more than 675 gender equality funders. She also knows that there has never been a better time to talk about women’s leadership (“science proves it,” she says, as women leaders around the world deal with pandemics. Generally point out how successful it is). She feels her hope that Kamala Harris will “confirm that this agenda will not die” if Joe Biden takes office.

“I think women are really growing because they now understand their abilities,” Marek said. “They are actually beginning to explore more ambitious strategies and different ways to fund a culture that promotes gender equality.”

About the writer: Alyssa Fisher, who recently received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida, is a 2020 Fellow. SySyms Journalism Excellence Program * At Women’s eNews, Sy Syms Foundation.. The Women’s News Fellowship’s SySyms Journalistic Excellence Program supports editing and development opportunities for editorial internships in pursuit of journalism excellence.

SySyms Journalism Excellence Program

Women’s News’ SySyms Journalistic Excellence program was launched in 2014 with the support of the Sy Syms Foundation. Fellowships provide support and development opportunities for editorial internships seeking journalism excellence.

“For democracy to flourish, all voices must be heard,” says Marcy Syms, founding councilor and chairman of the Sy Syms Foundation. “Through investigative journalism, Women’s News understands the essence of great journalism. The Sy Syms Foundation is proud of this collaboration to support today’s latest female journalists.”

Women’s eNews trains, trains and supports new journalists with a focus on social justice and women’s rights as part of their mission to create social change for women and girls through investigative journalism.

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