Giving Compass' Take:
- A recent report from the Bridgespan Group finds that supporting feminist funds and movements can bring about social change in philanthropy.
- Why is a feminist lens essential for social change progress? How can donors better support social change?
- Read these lessons for a feminist approach to philanthropy.
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Donors who want to further social change should step up funding for feminist movements and organizations by at least US$6 billion by 2026, according to a report published last month by the Bridgespan Group, a U.S.-based nonprofit that advises philanthropists globally, and Shake the Table, a project of the nonprofit Panorama Group, that seeks to bridge social justice movements with philanthropy.
In “Lighting the Way: The Power and Promise of Feminist Movements,” Bridgespan and Shake the Table argue feminist funds are necessary to “hold ground against the anti-gender movement and gain traction in shifting power.”
“The solution is in movements—organizations, networks, and leaders that are actually doing this work within communities, led by people who have faced multiple systems of oppression,” says Nidhi Sahni, head of U.S. advisory at Bridgespan and a co-author of the report. “Because they are cutting across systems, they aren't being resourced at the level they need to be.”
Feminist funds are proven, effective, on-the-ground resources with a track record of creating change, but they lack sufficient dollars and unrestricted support to allocate funds to where they are most needed, the report said. At the same time, 80% of wealthy donors surveyed by Bridgespan want to support organizations that are creating social change and are addressing racial and economic inequities, Sahni says.
Donors who want to support systemic social change tend to give to specific causes, such as education or healthcare, the researchers found. But data shows gender inequities are “hard-wired into every system, every society,” Sahni says.
Read the full article about supporting feminist funds by Abby Schultz at Barron's.