Giving Compass' Take:

•  Surina Khan, writing for Medium, discusses the changes at Women's Foundation California during the pandemic. Mainly, how feminist leadership has helped the foundation adapt funding practices to better address the gaps and needs during the pandemic. 

• How are you adapting your funding practices? What needs are you seeing in your community during this time?  

• Learn more about how the pandemic exacerbates problems for women and girls. 

In every crisis there is opportunity — to adapt, learn, redesign, and restructure towards a better, more sustainable world that centers wellness. At the Women’s Foundation California, our team acted boldly and swiftly to proactively support our staff and community partners as the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changed life as we knew it.

We put in place a number of changes in the first couple of weeks to promote wellness for our team.

We’ve learned that working a 4-day workweek has increased productivity, creativity, strengthened our organizational culture, and brought us more joy. In addition, this shift has promoted work/life balance and wellness, and increased our commitment and capacity to proactively support our partners and adapt our programs to online learning and community building. Though we might be working a shorter work week, our output has been inspiring:

  1. That first week we began working from home, we immediately augmented existing general support grants to our core grant partners to help them offset the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic including loss of fundraising revenue and adapting to working from home in the cases where they didn’t have laptops or Zoom accounts.
  2. It quickly became clear that the health and economic impact of the pandemic is primarily affecting women and girls of color. Two-thirds of California women are minimum wage workers, part-time workers or tipped workers primarily in service and retail industries who are losing jobs at a rapid pace.
  3. Because our Relief and Resilience Fund was up and running early in the pandemic and our infrastructure that enabled us to be proactively supportive, we formed a deeper partnership with our longtime partner, Blue Shield of California Foundation.
  4. We adapted to new circumstances by redesigning our programs to be delivered online. We redesigned California Women Rising Summit, a partnership with the Office of the First Partner and Governor and The California Endowment.

Read the full article about feminist leadership by Surina Khan at Medium.