It is my honor to have served as CEO of the Women’s Funding Network since February 2015. Ever since pioneering the first online learning communities in the mid-1990s, I have been inspired by the power that is available to us by connecting and sharing knowledge – across borders; across racial and ethnic backgrounds, and across. There is no better place to incorporate best practices than into this network bound by a shared desire to create a world where women and girls’ have what they need to reach their full potential.
In the past year we have focused on creating a Women’s Funding Network that is nimble, vibrant, and dynamic enough to meet the evolving needs of our network. We streamlined our operations by engaging in flexible workplace structures, relocated to a co-working office space, and significantly reduced overhead costs. To further cement our competencies, I was delighted to offer the position of Chief Strategist to Dr. Marcia Coné, former CEO of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island—a long-time member of Women’s Funding Network. Marcia brings over 25 years of nonprofit management experience, deep knowledge of women’s foundations’ practices, and an extensive background in policy advocacy. Her talents are enormous and have been critical for our growth.
Looking forward, my team seeks new and innovative ways to raise the profile of women’s funding organizations to increase their impact and influence, mobilize resources, and advance the rights of women and girls. Women’s Funding Network occupies a unique space, being afforded a macro-level view of trends, models, and strategies that are working to advance women and girls’ human rights. By sharing comprehensive data analysis we come to better understand opportunities for learning, collaboration, and for identifying critical tipping-point shifts in social change. In our 2014-2015 annual report, you will find stories of the ways we have done so.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations in October, 2015, we feel a sense of both urgency and focus. This global growing demand for gender equality, represents a coming-of-age for Women’s Funding Network, which along with its 100 members, has been working day-by-day to achieve just that for the past three decades. We enter 2016 full of spirit and commitment. Feedback from our members, funders, and other stakeholders has been immensely positive about the current and future direction of the network. I hope you will share in this enthusiasm and will join us in our collective mission.