Giving Compass’ Take:
• Catherine Gill and Charlotte Wagner explain the need for feminist philanthropy to lift women up through solidarity and mutual empowerment.
• How does your work align with feminism? How collaborative is your approach to giving?
According to Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres, a women’s organization in Nicaragua: “Feminist philanthropy is not a charitable act or an act of power. It is an act of solidarity and mutual empowerment.”
To us, it’s about three things: collaboration, lack of ego, and intersectionality. We’re calling this “feminist” because social science research shows that women tend to be more cooperative and to seek creative, holistic solutions. But—just like feminism itself—this approach isn’t only for women. Feminist philanthropy can help anyone who wants to innovate their giving and maximize their effectiveness.
Traditional philanthropy often reinforces unhealthy power dynamics: Donors impose their priorities onto grantees, who then impose their preferred solutions onto beneficiaries. This structure may result in positive outputs—more children vaccinated, more teachers trained—but it can also result in unintended harm.
Feminist philanthropy means flipping this dynamic on its head. Instead of decision-making power trickling down from the top, we stand side-by-side. Donors roll up their sleeves and collaborate with grantees. Grantees welcome more donor participation. While both come to the table with certain preferences and assumptions, our experience proves it’s possible to approach this as partners, open to learning from each other.
Read the full article on feminist philanthropy by Catherine Gill and Charlotte Wagner at Philanthropy Women.
Learning and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact on Global take a look at these selections from Giving Compass.
Are you ready to give?
If you are looking for opportunities to take action and give money to Gender Equity, here are some Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass where you can take immediate action.