The Foundation for a Just Society, the Open Society Foundations, the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have announced the launch of an initiative designed to boost the organizational capacity of women's funds and advance opportunities for the women, girls, and LGBTQI people they serve.
While women's funds have received significant new resources in recent years from a range of funders, including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada, and several private foundations, the vast majority of these resources are used to make grants to smaller, grassroots organizations working to advance women's rights. In providing at least $20 million over five years, the new initiative is focused on helping women's funds maximize their impact by investing in areas such as communications, resource mobilization, leadership development, information technology, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning. In addition to helping the funds strengthen their organizational capacity, initiative partners hope to make those funds more visible to other funders and supporters of women's and LGBTQI rights. The funding also will support efforts to help women's funds learn from one another and share those learnings with other philanthropic organizations.
The New Venture Fund has been selected to serve as the initiative's fiscal sponsor, with assistance from Arabella Advisors. By the end of 2024, a third-party evaluation will be published that includes recommendations for future action.
"Women's funds are essential to feminist movement building, and we need to share and fund the incredible work that they do to advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI people," said Hewlett Foundation program officer Alfonsina Peñaloza."I'm particularly excited that we — and other private foundations — will have the opportunity to learn from women's funds about how we can adapt our own practices to better support their work and feminist movements."
(Photo credit: Foundation for a Just Society)