Women’s funders respond to tremendous need in their communities: Preliminary data from first round Response, Recovery and Resilience Collaborative Fund grantmaking
Women’s Funds and Foundations are rapidly adapting and recasting their work for the greatest impact during the pandemic. Yet, about one third of U.S. women’s funds and foundations are in danger of not surviving the year. Their loss could set economic mobility measures for women and families back decades. As congress stalls over yet another round of negotiations over the next stimulus package, it has been essential for philanthropy to step in and fill the void left by the federal government’s inaction, with women’s funders seeing even greater levels of need than previously anticipated, according to newly-released data and findings from Women’s Funding Network’s first round of grantmaking for the Response, Recovery, and Resilience Collaborative Fund (RRRCF).
Due to their deep, cross-sector relationships and the trust of front-line service providers, these organizations are positioned to understand the areas of greatest need within their communities. This positioning is critical to providing strategic, targeted support to nonprofit infrastructures. These Women’s Funds and Foundations — both led by and serving women and girls of color — are often the only feminist funding organizations in their area, and they are facing an increasing shortage of resources. Similarly, 37% of RRRCF grantees are led by women of color, and are collectively serving over 940,000 women and girls in the United States.
Launched in June, RRRCF is a multi-million dollar initiative to quickly deploy stabilization grants to women’s funds and foundations as they adapt to the post-pandemic landscape while remaining committed to their grantmaking and advocacy for the women and girls most impacted by systemic racism and injustice. The Fund will also convene thought-leaders, partners, and frontline community groups to help identify and resource bold strategies that, by 2022, will strengthen the gender equity and justice philanthropic sector as a vital, influential and effective advocate for social change.
Grantees included Arizona Foundation for Women, Aurora Foundation for Women, Boston Women’s Fund, Inc, Chester County Fund for Women, Iowa Women’s Foundation, New Mexico Women, The Fund for Women and Girls at Fairfield County Community Foundation, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Western New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, Women’s Fund of Hawai’i, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.
Most RRRCF grantees will be featured on the new PowerOf.org platform, which is a collaborative effort from several social sector organizations led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The platform connects people who want to make a difference with organizations addressing the impacts of COVID-19.