Since 2019, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has measured giving to women’s and girls’ organizations through the Women & Girls Index (WGI). While nearly 50,000 organizations are dedicated to women and girls across the United States, the WGI consistently shows that less than 2% of total charitable giving goes to these organizations.

This year, in addition to unveiling the 2022 WGI research findings, WPI celebrated the inaugural Give to Women and Girls Day on October 11. Launched with support from GivingTuesday, the Ms. Foundation for WomenPhilanosPhilanthropy TogetherPivotal VenturesCharles and Lynn Schusterman Family PhilanthropiesUnited Nations FoundationVital Voices Global PartnershipWomen's Funding Network, and Women Moving Millions, Give to Women and Girls Day is a national campaign to raise awareness and galvanize support for women and girls.

To commemorate the launch of the first-ever Give to Women and Girls Day, WPI hosted a virtual event to discuss the need for this campaign, celebrate organizations dedicated to women and girls, and equip the philanthropic community with the latest WGI research findings. The event featured insights from Cindi Leive, Co-Founder and CEO of The Meteor, and former Editor-In-Chief at Glamour Magazine; Nicole R Robinson, CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan ChicagoS. Mona Sinha, Board Chair of  Women Moving Millions; and Ted Bunch, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer at A Call to Men. It also included special performances from Girl Up activist and poet Isabel Liu and Broadway performer Morgan Wood.

The event kicked off with a moving spoken word performance from Isabel Liu, whose poignant words evoked a sense of solidarity and illustrated the power of collective action.

“But I promise you, if all of the doors shut you out, I will lead you through mine…I am not much. A girl. An image. A molecule among molecules. But together we are a movement.”

With the virtual room buzzing in support of women and girls, I shared research findings from this year’s WGI to help frame the panel discussion. The WGI has consistently shown that less than 2% of philanthropic support goes to organizations dedicated to women and girls. As Nicole Robinson reflected during the event, “Sound the alarm! This number has been stagnant for way too long.” I then asked the panelists what’s the first thing that comes to mind when they hear this statistic, and why do we need Give to Women and Girls Day?

Cindi Leive hit it right on the bullseye:

“A national campaign like Give to Women and Girls Day is so important because it helps us position gender-related issues as big public crises that we all need to step up to take action on.” 

Cindi continued, “Reframing the crises that women, girls and gender-expansive people face as institutional and systemic problems instead of sad individual events is such an important repositioning.” By contextualizing these issues in this way, Cindi recognizes the value of collective impact, which we know from our research resonates with women.

Nicole Robinson lifted up the importance of building communities of resilience, because when people feel like they belong, they can thrive. “When we underinvest in women and girls, we actually underinvest in the whole family,” said Nicole.

“But I’m hopeful because there are more philanthropists applying a gender and equity lens to the work.” 

As donors, our research shows women are drawn to an expanded definition of philanthropy that includes time, talent, ties, treasure, testimony, transparency and trust. In her response, Mona Sinha spoke to the importance of trust-based philanthropy in Women Moving Millions’ work:

“It is vitally important to invest in grassroots women who not just experience the issues but who also find the best solutions.”

Emphasizing the importance of men as allies, Ted Bunch shared how the patriarchy’s rigid notions of manhood are harmful to everyone: women, girls, the queer community, as well as men and boys. “If we’re looking at issues impacting women – whether it’s the fact that less than 2% of resources are going to women and girls, or violence against women or the pay gap – we have to look at it through the lens of a male-dominated society,” said Ted.

“We need to look at the collective socialization of men and how we pass that down to our boys. Men and boys need to challenge these privileges and entitlements that are passed down from one generation to the next.” 

The event closed with an empowering rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar” by Morgan Wood, who is currently playing Eliza Hamilton in the “And Peggy” North American tour of Hamilton.

If you weren’t able to join the event, you can watch the full recording here. To learn more about the Women’s Philanthropy Institute and the latest research findings from the Women & Girls Index, please visit our website. Just because Give to Women and Girls Day is over, the movement to increase funding to women’s and girls’ organizations isn’t – learn how you can participate and help spread the word at GiveToWomenAndGirls.Day every day of the year!

Read the original article about giving to women's and girls' organizations at LinkedIn.