WFN is dedicated to following the wisdom of local leaders by sharing knowledge and research created by our members that supports funding practices which propel movements forward.

Working alongside funding partners and the membership, WFN creates and curates an ever growing body of reports and learning that provide context, thought leadership, and evidence to support funding practices which propel movements forward. Browse our library of reporting and learning publications below.

Member Research Report

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado – The Cost of Failing to Invest in Women

This 2020 report aims to develop an initial understanding of the economic security of women in Colorado—what economic security means, why it is significant, what are the barriers deterring its achievement, and how to promote it.

The objectives of this research study are to create a better understanding of women’s economic realities in Colorado—backed by relevant literature and current data—and to develop a research framework to answer questions in regarding women’s economic security. Furthermore, the measures used in this report have been disaggregated by race and ethnicity to demonstrate that women are not a monolith. 

Member Research Report

The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation – The Cliff Effect and Other Disincentives in our Public Benefit System

The Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation released The Cliff Effect and Other Disincentives in our Public Benefit System. This report looks at when a small increase in wages triggers a complete cut-off of a public benefit, leaving the worker worse off financially. What started as the search for specific cliffs in our public benefits system has evolved into a comprehensive analysis of the disincentives phenomenon in our public benefit system. These structural flaws make it harder for working women to achieve self-sufficiency. This report is an update to the original 2016 report, and outlines the structural flaws and disincentives in our public benefit system and offers policy recommendations to help correct this system.

Member Research Report

Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation – Black Women’s Historical Labor Trends & Systemic Barriers to Economic Mobility

The Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation released An Analysis of Black Women's Historical Labor Trends & Systemic Barriers to Economic Mobility. This report looks at the history of Black women’s occupational (im)mobility, in order to provide a context for understanding the economic status of Black women today. This is followed by analyses of the large gap in wages paid to Black women, and how both occupational segregation, and discrimination and stereotypes, continue to reproduce well into the 21st century the restrictions of Black women’s labor that began in slavery. 

WFN Research Report

Key Strategies to Advancing Women’s Economic Mobility and Security

Women’s foundations have a long history of working to address women’s economic
security and mobility within their own communities across the country. As more women's foundations apply a holistic systems change approach — from connecting a deep understanding of the underlying economic and social context with programs and intervention development, to policy change and service provision, to scaling efforts by resourcing infrastructure needs — to the complex challenges inherent in advancing women’s economic mobility and security, great strides are being made.

WFN Research Report

A Journey of Community, Commitment, And Growth: Policy Advocacy to Advance Two-Generation Strategies

Over the past three years, four women’s foundations have embarked on a journey to unlock the power of two-generation (2Gen) strategies to build women’s economic equity and security. 2Gen strategies are a proven solution to empower women and contribute to the success of the entire family. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded the Women’s Funding Network (WFN) to launch the 2Gen Policy Advocacy Cohort (2Gen Cohort) to expand the scope and influence of women’s foundations in 2Gen work, bringing a gender equity lens to this effort.

This final evaluation of this three-year 2Gen policy advocacy initiative reflects upon and summarizes the participating foundations’ progress and resulting outcomes in:

  • Developing and implementing a 2Gen advocacy strategy
  • The ways in which they’ve integrated a “2Gen-lens” throughout their organizational culture
  • Their plans for scaling their 2Gen work going forward

Member Research Report

Fondo Semillas – Kaleidoscope

Fondo Semillas released the Kaleidoscope report, which looks at findings and reflections on LGBTQI+ movements in Mexico. The report is a useful tool for organizations, donors, activists and others interested in identifying the needs, challenges, and opportunities for LGBTQI+ movements in Mexico.

Member Research Report

Fairfield County Community Foundation Fund for Women & Girls – Status Report on Women and Girls in Fairfield County

The Fairfield County Community Foundation Fund for Women & Girls released two bodies of research to gauge the needs and service gaps impacting women and girls in Fairfield County, Connecticut. These include Count Them In, which looks at organizations in Fairfield County serving women and girls, and Count Her In, which looks at the status of women & girls in Fairfield County. They also released an executive summary and recommendations based on the reports.

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Member Research Report

Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona – A Formula for Economic Independence

Results of research by Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona and the University of Arizona  find that short-term investment in targeted training programs coupled with childcare support for those engaged in these workforce development activities could lead to long-term savings for the state and benefit for both mothers and their children.

Member Research Report

Partnership for Women’s Prosperity: Scaling Up for Women’s Economic Security

Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP) is a national initiative of the Women’s Funding Network and six of our leading member foundations to improve the economic security of women, their families and communities. This report details the power of the PWP systems change approach: shared learning, best practices, co-crafting, adapting, piloting new strategies across geographies and strategic investments of money and resources. Since its inception in 2011, more than $11 million was channeled into women’s economic security efforts, directly impacting more than 50,000 women and girls.

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Member Research Report

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi – Women’s Access to Quality Jobs in Mississippi

Research conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, finds that for sustained economic security and stability, work should pay a living wage, provide workers with sufficient hours of work (full-time, full-year employment), and provide access to health insurance, a pension, and the flexibility for working women and men to balance work and family. Too many jobs fail the test. The earnings of women workers, especially Black and Hispanic women, are even lower than the median for all Mississippi workers.

Member Research Report

McKinsey & Company, Leanin.org – Women in the Workplace

Women in the Workplace 2017 is a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. This research is part of a long-term partnership between McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org to give organizations the information they need to promote women’s leadership and foster gender equality.

222 companies employing more than 12 million people shared their pipeline data and completed a survey of Human Resources practices. In addition, more than 70,000 employees – including women from different races and ethnicities –  completed a survey designed to explore their experiences regarding gender, opportunity, career, and work-life issues.

WFN Research Report

More Than Jobs: Women’s Economic Security Wraparound Strategies

Launched in 2011, the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP) is a national initiative of six women’s foundations convened by the Women’s Funding Network and working with the initiative’s evaluator, Korwin Consulting, to build the economic power of all women — community by community. Collectively, the foundations have granted $11 million to support more than 80 organizations throughout the country advancing women’s economic security efforts, thanks in part to Walmart Foundation funding.

Drawing from research in the field, first-hand information from grantee partners and the women they support, and deep community-based experience, PWP partners knew from the start that it takes more than job training and post-secondary education for low-income women to progress from lives of economic scarcity to achieving economic goals for themselves and their families. Wraparound support strategies — whether to help women cover financial and other basic needs while attending school, meet their responsibilities as primary caregivers in their families, or gain the knowledge and capacity necessary to reach their goals — was a critical component of each approach the PWP partners invested in.

Member Research Report

Pathways to Progress Vol. 2

The current resurgence of Western New York (upstate area encompassing Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua Counties) has resulted in a new landscape of possibilities for prosperity. The Western New York Women’s Foundation is committed to making sure women can take advantage of these prospects and reap the benefits of the region’s economic growth. Their research shows what is, isn’t, and what can be for women and girls in Western New York. Foundation strategies capitalize on turning opportunities into realities.

Member Research Report

The Status of Women in Hawai’i

In a report commission by the Women’s Fund of Hawai’i researchers from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, (IWPR) found that though there have been important gains in areas like education and health insurance coverage, women still face a widening pay gap and stagnant wages. Nearly four in ten Pacific Islander women are in poverty, compared with only one in ten women in Hawaii overall.

Member Research Report

Women Peace and Security Index (WPS) – Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security (GIWPS)

GIWPS developed this index to offer a more comprehensive measurement of women’s wellbeing. Fir the first time ever, GIWPS captured peace and security along with women’s inclusion and justice. In partnership with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, GIWPS also drew on recognized international data sources to rank 153 countries, covering more than 98 percent of the world’s population. The associated tools and analysis highlight key achievements and deficits from each country.