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Initiatives

Collective Action on Critical Issues

Women’s Funding Network helps imagine, incubate, and lead initiatives, programs, and collective action on key issues. While the issues have evolved over time, the power of using our collective voice continues to unite our network for action.

 

Two Generation Learning Lab & Advocacy Cohort

This two year program, funded by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, supports the efforts of women’s foundations across four states to move low-income women and their families out of poverty. Each works in their state to support programs for caregivers and children and advocates for more effective policies. They collaborate regularly as a learning community to share lessons learned and discuss strategies. These findings will be published in a Two Generation Toolkit for Funders on May 31, 2020.

Examples of shifts in policy are listed below.

The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham – led an educational effort and legislative campaign resulting in the passage of Alabama’s first Equal Pay Act. They secured a $300,000 appropriation in the state education budget to connect women with a post-secondary education and the wraparound supports necessary for success, such as child care and transportation.

The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona – building upon years of relationship-building with legislators as a non- partisan resource for issues affecting women and their families, drafted Arizona bill SB1173 to provide child care assistance to families transitioning off of cash assistance due to increased earnings. While the legislation was unsuccessful in 2019, it will be re-introduced in 2020.

Texas Women’s Foundation – increased the baseline childcare subsidy rates to 30% of the childcare market survey and 75% for quality rated programs. With partners, they are supporting a community outreach media and marketing effort to attract new childcare providers to the Texas Rising Star Program.

Women’s Foundation of Colorado – leads a coalition advocating for legislation that supports improvements to childcare, early childhood education, pathways for low income women to become early childhood educators and professionals with a living wage, and paid family and medical leave. Over a dozen pieces of such legislation were passed.

 

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC MOBILITY HUBS (Funded by the Gates Foundation)

Building on their proven success as connectors and strategic investors in women’s economic security, ten locally-based women’s foundations from diverse regions across the U.S. will be selected to establish these Hubs. Each will foster community engagement, deepen cross-sectoral partnerships, and connect community influencers in order to forge a deeper understanding of the critical social, economic, health, and environmental conditions necessary for women and their families to move from poverty to prosperity. Hubs will launch in October 2020.

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EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION REVIEW (funded by the Borealis Fund)

Women’s Funding Network renewed its commitment to equity with facilitated conversations of its Board of Directors; with Executive Directors at its September 2018 Leadership Summit; and throughout multiple workshops at Women Funded 2019. These, along with findings from interviews and a member-based EDI Advisory Task Force, were compiled into a multi-year plan to support the needs voiced by members to advance their EDI knowledge and capacity. At this time, WFN seeks funding to implement the plan.

 

ERESEARCH ON PARTICIPATORY GRANTMAKING (funded by Ford Foundation)

This research project enables Women’s Funding Network to hear from foundations with a wide range of participatory grantmaking practice, and to share these findings with the philanthropic sector. Interviews and surveys are providing input from women’s foundations with over 10 years of experience; from foundations with a non-exclusive focus on gender equity; and from those who are newer to implement participatory grantmaking. Highlights will be shared regularly, and a final report will be published in October 2020.

 

PROSPERITY TOGETHER

Prosperity Together is a nonpartisan, $100-million coalition of 28 women’s funds and foundations dedicated to improving the economic security of low-income women and their families in America. Learn more.

 

Partnership for Women’s Prosperity

Women’s economic security is more than a women’s issue—it is also a catalyst for family and community change. When we help women connect to good jobs, the impact spreads wide. This is why women’s economic security continues to be a focus for our members, with over 80% of grants within the women’s funding community directed to women and girls with low to no income. Partnership for Women’s Prosperity is a collective effort by six women’s funds and foundation to unleash the economic power of economically vulnerable women – community by community. Learn more.

 

EQUAL BY 2030

Women’s Funding Network connects the work of women’s foundations to the United Nation’s goal of achieving gender equality worldwide by 2030. Our members have been securing rights and advancing change for decades. EQUAL BY 2030 provides a much-needed platform to collectively measure the change being made. Take action now.

 

Past Initiatives

Over the course of our 30-year history, Women’s Funding Network has engaged in a number of issues, special initiatives, and collaborative campaigns with members, donor activists, and partner organizations. View some of our past initiatives, or learn more about our history.

If you are interested in connecting to these initiatives as a member, please contact us. If you would like to support women’s funds and foundations to continue this kind of collective action, join the movement with your gift today.