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New Report: Partnership for Women’s Prosperity

Advancing women and girls’ economic security is more than a women’s issue—it is also a catalyst for family and community change.

Formed in 2011, the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP) is a national partnership of six leading women’s foundations and the Women’s Funding Network working together to unleash the economic power of all women — community by community. PWP supports the efforts of economically vulnerable women to gain financial and economic security through education, job training, and employment opportunities.

With the financial support of Walmart Foundation, leaders of participating women’s foundations, their grantee partners, and other key stakeholders have been working together to positively impact issues of economic security, wellbeing, and empowerment for women, their families, and their communities.

To date, the six participating women’s foundations have invested $13 million, impacting the lives of over 43,200 women in over 100 communities around the United States.

Read more about PWP’s theory of change and the impact these women’s foundations are having in the latest report.

Women’s Funding Network members participating in Partnership for Prosperity include:

 

As the convener of PWP, Women’s Funding Network will continue to share knowledge, strategies, and practices for replicating the work across our movement.

Spark: Engaging Millennials in Policy Advocacy

Spark is educating and training the next generation of philanthropists to invest in the advancement of gender equality around the globe. For over ten years they’ve been engaging millennials in fundraising and crowd-sourced grantmaking programs—now they’re taking on policy advocacy.

On May 3, 2016, a group of 10 young professional Spark members took time off work to embark on a day-long workshop at California’s state house in Sacramento. They meet with assembly members, legislative aids, appropriations committee members, and California Senator Jerry Hill. This was a first-time opportunity for many of the participants to learn about the process of how a bill becomes a law—everything from creating an idea for a bill, to finding an author, to getting it to the governor’s desk.

 

“Having the opportunity to have joined Spark and the WPI during lobby day was inspiring and educational. Being able to speak with representatives to advocate for the bills we were passionate about and learning the political process was an eye-opening experience.” – Spark Member

 

Spark partnered with the Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) to train these Spark members to be policy advocates and champions for women’s rights and equity. They were guided by alumni from WPI’s fellowship program. WPI is a year-long program where women of diverse backgrounds and experiences within the community are paired with mentors to implement policy projects at the county and state levels. In 13 years, the WPI has witnessed the successful signing of 26 bills.

Through replication projects, WPI has spread its impact to women and girls in Rhode Island, Georgia, Illinois, and New Jersey. Stephanie Davis, former executive director of Georgia Women for a Change, shared that their work with WPI helped lead to the state of Georgia implementing “rape kit testing laws, a Safe Harbor law to decriminalize minors involved in the sex trade, and tighter curbs on financial abuse of the elderly.”

Together the Spark members and WPI alumni focused on advocating for SB 1157—”Strengthening Family Connections – In-Person Visitation,” a bill to protect in-person visitation rights in California county jails and juvenile facilities, ensuring that video visitation cannot replace in-person visitation—and SB 1014—”Pregnant and Parenting Pupil Rights,” a bill authorizing parental leave and ensuring that education curriculum is offered for home-review for pregnant and parenting students.

Spark members left understanding how to be heard and how to affect change at the policy level.

 

“Legislatures are really open to hearing your case, and why you feel personally invested in the bill. The more personal you are, the better,” says Amanda Brock, interim Executive Director of Spark.

 


Spark and Women’s Foundation of California are long-time members of Women’s Funding Network. 

Prosperity Together launches $100 million commitment to women’s economic security

On November 13, at the White House Council on Women and Girls “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color” summit, Prosperity Together—a coalition of 28 women’s foundations—announced a commitment of $100 million toward advancing women’s economic security. Cynthia Nimmo, CEO of Women’s Funding Network, was there.


I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see representatives of dozens of women’s foundations standing up together to make the joint commitment of $100 million toward women’s economic security over the next 5 years.

Our members have been working to improve women’s economic security for decades, making great strides. Now this joint effort has a name. “Prosperity Together” will create pathways to secure livelihoods for low-income women and their families by investing in results-oriented programs across the United States, including job training, financial literacy, and girls’ education.

Women’s foundations play a unique and important role as community investors, raising money from within their communities and funneling it back to the community with solutions that work.

This year’s White House Council on Women and Girls summit focused on the opportunity gaps faced by women and girls of color. Our research partner, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), published in their recent Status of Women in the States report series that women’s poverty is increasing. Women are now 30% more likely than men to live in poverty.

More disturbing is that Native American, Black, and Hispanic women are at least two times more likely to live in poverty than White women. Poverty is clearly an issue of gender and race, and the cultural barriers that come with both.

We also see this playing out in the pay gap. IWPR research reveals that when combining the effects of race and gender, the wage gap has significant economic consequences for women of color: Black women earn $14,000 less per year than White men and Hispanic women earn $20,000 less per year than White men.

IWPR gender and race wage gap

The “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color” summit included panel discussions on women’s health, violence against women, and women’s portrayal in the media. We heard from Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. The diversity, experience, and passion of the women leaders in the room was awe-inspiring. To see Women’s Funding Network members inspiring others with their commitment to securing a safe and equal future for women and girls was incredibly rewarding.

Women’s foundations—large and small—understand that helping women connect to good jobs is a powerful catalyst for family and community change. This is clearly a priority for our members, it is certainly a priority for Women’s Funding Network, and it is essential to ensuring an equitable future for women and girls.

—Cynthia Nimmo, CEO, Women’s Funding Network

Read more about Prosperity Together here.

 

New Reports: Most States Fall Short on Work and Family Policies and Women’s Political Leadership

Two new reports released today in the Status of Women in the States: 2015 series, published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), find that most states fall far short on work and family policies and women’s political leadership.

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New IWPR Report Shines a Spotlight on Women’s Health and Safety Across the U.S.

New data released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), as part of its Status of Women in the States: 2015 series, finds wide disparities across the states and among racial/ethnic groups when it comes to women’s health and safety.

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Women More Likely to Live in Poverty in Every U.S. State, Despite Gains in Higher Education

Women have higher rates of poverty and much lower rates of business ownership than men in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, despite having made significant progress over the last 25 years in attaining a college education. Read More

The Future of Women-Led Philanthropy

On October 28th, Women’s Funding Network hosted an intimate gathering of over 40 Bay Area leaders to discuss the Future of Women-Led Philanthropy.

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Cultivating a New Generation of Donors

Spark’s Amanda Brock gives Women’s Funding Network the scoop on how her organization has succeeded in engaging Millennials in philanthropy…and how we can too!

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Gender Transformative Giving: A Report on the Next Phase of Feminist Philanthropy

This report, co-authored by Women’s Funding NetworkTrue Child, and Public Interest Projects, is meant to catalyze a larger conversation around how we view philanthropy and how gifts can impact greater social change when work is conceived through a gender lens.

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Creating Leadership in Philanthropy through Constituent Involvement

Hear from trustee of the Valentine Foundation, Laura Morris, who shares why constituent involvement is necessary for bold, visionary philanthropy. Read More