Giving Compass' Take:

• The Women's Funding Network shares its philanthropic giving approach which is bottom-up, rather than top-down. The women raise their own funds in the community and are part of the problem-solving process to help organizations working on gender equality. 

• Why is this approach effective for women's philanthropy? 

•  Read about the rise in female philanthropists. 

Formed 33 years ago in California, the Women’s Funding Network (WFN) was a gathering of 20 women leaders who were convinced that philanthropy and social change needed to recognize women’s voices more fully and include them in the discussion. With an intention to “bring together the financial power and influence of funders of gender equity in order to address and solve critical and complex social issues ranging from poverty to global security,” the WFN was born, and is now a growing community of more than 100 women’s funds and foundations spanning 14 countries, with a string of successful campaigns to its name.

Cynthia Nimmo, president and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network believes that it’s through this kind of long-term strategy – rather than just throwing money at gender-based issues – that WFN, by enabling women to take action in the social, political and financial spheres, has contributed to an environment in which the Me Too and Time’s Up movements have gained traction.

“What [women’s philanthropy] has done, and how it’s changing the landscape, is it’s just broadening it, and broadening it, and broadening it, where Me Too is about a collective narrative, and I think that’s why it’s so powerful,” she says.

And this is why the WFN was created in the first place – as a diverse group of women from all levels of society working as an antithesis to the white male-dominated world of top-down philanthropy.

It’s this ground-up philosophy – crucial to WFN’s existence – that stops the organization from being cut off from the groups they are trying to help. “Women decided they would raise their own dollars from within the community, so the majority of these foundations are public, though some are, of course, family foundations; they would raise money, and because it was their money they would decide and they would identify women leaders within the community and include them in the creation of the solutions.

Read the full article about women's philanthropy by Megan Clement at News Deeply