The New York Women’s Foundation – The Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies: A Funder-Activist Collaboration

Report cover page for The New York Women's Foundation's The Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies: A Funder-Activist Collaboration with a black and white photo of women marching holding signs, including some that read "Believe Survivors" and "Women of Color Have Always Led Change. We Won't Stop Now"

The New York Women’s Foundation was an early supporter of Tarana Burke’s me too Interntional as part of The Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies (The Fund). Focused on creating spaces for healing and advocacy, The Fund was a trust-based philanthropic approach that engaged organizations across the U.S. to uplift survivor voices, particularly voices of women of color and other historically marginalized communities, and develop survivor-led programs. After four years of collaboration, The New York Women’s Foundation and Strength in Numbers Consulting Group conducted a summative evaluation that explored the development and implementation of The Fund’s efforts, resulting in specific recommendations for how funders and activists can work together to advance a common agenda and spark change.  The evaluation distilled ways that philanthropy can partner with emerging organizations to take bold steps towards change through direct support of movement leaders and trusting their visions.  

Funders can be critical partners to activists building movements towards social justice. However, for these unique relationships to flourish, funders and activists must work closely together and create a common understanding for how to collaborate given the historical power dynamics and inequities that have existed between philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. To advance movements, funders and activists have the opportunity to redefine these terms and create new relationships that center the work of activists and help build connections among organizations leading similar work across the field.