As part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ new mission and values, we are featuring in-depth profiles of key sponsored projects to highlight their work in creating a just world. The Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity (CGRE) is a learning community of donors and foundations uniting to advance gender, reproductive, and racial equity. Through their grantmaking, they combine a rigorous data-driven funding strategy, deep expertise around movement needs and priorities, and trust and credibility with a robust network of national, state, and local partners to create tangible impacts.

RPA spoke with CGRE’s Executive Director, Margaret Hempel, about the collaborative’s work. Margaret discussed CGRE’s origins, the importance of intersectionality in philanthropy, and her recommendations for donors looking to get involved in the gender and reproductive rights space. This interview reflects edits for length and clarity.

What was the impetus for starting CGRE?

At the end of 2018, the Packard family and the board of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation wanted to bring new money and new donors into work around gender and reproductive equity. A semi-formal cohort already existed around these issues, but funders were seeking community and ready to coalesce around new ideas and leaders. The Foundation made an initial five year, $50 million commitment and reached out to other donors to join. The JPB and Ford Foundations joined almost immediately, and were later joined by philanthropists newer to this funding space, like Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Our mission centers around the idea that if we build a space for donors that allows them to learn together, then we could also amplify the impact of their work. We wanted to accelerate existing work that had been historically under-resourced and to provide significant resources to groups and leaders who had new ideas and tactics they wanted to test.

This group of funders chose to work at the intersection of gender ,reproductive, and racial equity. We saw that issues around contraception and abortion were often kept separate from other gender equity issues, whether that is childcare, paid leave, pay equity, or LGBTQ rights. This set of issues are often further siloed from racial justice work and democracy building work. All these intersect and must be worked on together; frankly, that is what BIPOC leadership has been telling us for decades. Philanthropy has been slow to catch up, but at CGRE, we hope to help move the needle.

Read the full article about reproductive justice at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.