We are facing a pivotal moment in history where two major movements are aligned.
The #MeToo groundswell is changing the way we talk about taboo subjects that long seemed immune to honest discussion and genuine change. At the same time, women in philanthropy are achieving a rising level of wealth and influence.
It’s time for female donors to capitalize on this entry point and accelerate change, especially on issues that profoundly affect women and girls.
This moment is made even more powerful by broader trends.
Women philanthropists and nonprofit leaders are keen to collaborate with business and government. This is increasingly important as we develop comprehensive solutions to social issues at home and abroad that require collaboration to achieve deep, systemic change.
In addition, collective funding approaches such as giving circles are on the rise, with women in the forefront. These efforts often are in line with greater activism by donors, encouraging them to engage directly in solving problems rather than just spend money.
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I encourage all women philanthropists to invest your resources, your intellect, and your time, and to work together to take advantage of this unique moment in history. Here are three ways how:
1. Support women running for office.
The U.S. midterm elections are under way. More women than ever before are running for office, impelled by the outcome of the last election, rampant Trump administration moves that harm women, and the energizing momentum of the women’s marches. Giving these candidates the means to run powerful, effective campaigns will directly lead to policy making that respects the rights of women and protects the most vulnerable in society.
2. Invest in solving an intractable problem.
If an ingrained culture of sexual harassment can be tackled head on, so can any number of other workplace issues that disproportionately affect women. Closing the pay gap, raising the minimum wage, and offering pay transparency would create economic security for women. So would offering paid family leave; the United States is the only developed country that does not do so, forcing people, mostly women, to choose between their job and caring for a loved one.
3. Invest in something new.
There are many issues affecting women and girls that are inexplicably off the philanthropic radar screen. They have been neglected for far too long. A handful of generous, targeted investments could make a big impact.
We must make the most of this confluence of global conversations about #MeToo and global energy motivating women’s philanthropy. Be bold, collaborate, and exploit this opportunity to make lasting change for women and girls everywhere.
Read the full article about female donors uniting to foster change by Gabrielle Fitzgerald at Chronicle of Philanthropy.
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