Economic Security Summits

New Orleans and New York City were the lively host cities for our 2016 Summits. In response to member interest in connecting with one another, Women’s Funding Network designed the Summits to provide a more intimate space for women’s funds and foundations to talk to each other, to drive conversations about what’s working and the challenges in doing the work, and to dig deep on how to accelerate and advance their economic security investments in women and girls.

One hundred participants attended each Summit and were engaged in immersive and focused conversations with leaders from the corporate, government, and philanthropic sectors all investing in economic security for women and girls. These conversations resulted in new collaborations, strategic action plans, and learning communities. Many of our members participated in the Impact Showcase which provided an overview of a high impact model or collaboration and how these efforts are generating results in their communities. The Showcase provided a valuable snapshot of the work happening throughout the Network.


of attendees reported that the summits were valuable to their work.

With Gratitude to Our Sponsors:

W.K. Kellog Foundation

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi



Partnership for Women’s Prosperity

More Than Jobs

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 to build the economic power of women — community by community. We know that advancing the economic security of women and girls is more than a women’s issue—it’s also a catalyst for family and community change. 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 know that it takes more than job training and post-secondary education for low-income women to rise from lives of economic scarcity to achieving economic goals for themselves and their families. Wraparound support strategies — i.e. to help women cover financial and other basic needs while attending school, meet responsibilities as primary caregivers in their families, or gain necessary knowledge to reach their goals — was a critical component of each approach the PWP partners invested in.



Greater Knowledge & Impact


Women’s Funding Network was honored to be nominated to attend the Clinton Global Initiative.  We formed a cross-sector coalition of 30 organizations working together on a “Girls, Women and the Global Goals” commitment. The coalition[1] is working to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. More specifically: promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors. One aspect of our commitment was to secure funds to create and launch a Digital Storytelling Platform to drive interest and engagement in our members’ economic security initiatives. The platform was successfully launched in the fall of 2016.

[1] The Coalition is comprised of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International.


Launched in June 2016, our  interactive funding map – Mapping Investments for Women and Girls – allows funders, nonprofits, and researchers to scan the women’s funding landscape, analyze funder giving patterns, and increase their knowledge about trends in women’s philanthropy.

The Funding Map provides two views of funding patterns and impact of women’s foundations:

“EXPLORE: Women’s Foundations Investments” displays data collected by Women’s Funding Network from its annual member survey. It provides a deeper understanding of women’s foundations’ grantmaking, including the amounts invested, along with their geographic reach and supporting publications. This data is self-reported by Women’s Funding Network members, capturing funding invested in their top three priority issue areas.

“SEE: Where the Money Goes” showcases grant recipient data from women’s foundations across the same priority issue areas, allowing you to see which countries and organizations around the world receive funding from women’s foundations.

Mapping Investments in Women and Girls is supported by grants from Walmart Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The site is powered by Foundation Maps.



While the 2016 presidential election result left many in a state of shock, Women’s Funding Network seized the opportunity to shine a spotlight on women leaders within and outside the network.  With #SheLeadsToo we highlighted women leaders who work every day to establish gender equality. In short order, 49 of our 101 members were profiled with more flowing in daily. Equally important, the enthusiasm and support for the campaign spread to elected officials, researchers, journalists and more. #SheLeadsToo served as an important reminder that one election does not define women’s leadership, women’s movements or the path to equity for women and girls.


Media as Messenger


One in four Bulgarian women— over one million—are victims of physical or sexual violence.  67% did not report acts of violence to authorities. The Bulgarian Fund for Women (BFW)  produced a provocative, animated video ; its 16-day, call-to-action campaign asked: What is the true face of violence?

Engaging Policymakers & Advocates


Women’s Fund of Omaha released Nothing About Us Without Us, a report drawing from the insights of 22 survivors of sex trafficking in Nebraska. It outlines immediate and long-term needs of trafficked individuals seeking to leave “the life;” survivor-led solutions and survivor-informed approach to systems change. Read the full report here.

Engaging the Community


The Vermont Women’s Fund released Where Vermont Women Work, and Why it Matters, a report focusing on occupational segregation – the uneven distribution of labor across and within sectors by gender – its impact on women’s wages and the way in which it compromises Vermont’s ability to make the most of home-grown talent.


Setting Policy Advocacy Tables

Change requires action at multiple levels- awareness, resources, behavior and policy. Though members and grantee partners work across all levels there was a definite uptick in policy advocacy work in 2016. We conducted a survey to explore two specific areas of policy advocacy: funding it and doing it.

We discovered that policy advocacy is front and center for many of our members:

  • 70% are funding policy advocacy
  • 41% interested in training on funding policy advocacy
  • 53% are engaged in direct policy advocacy
  • 60% interested in training to build direct advocacy skills

Top 5 policy advocacy activities funded:

  1. Issue education
  2. Research
  3. Communications
  4. Coalition work
  5. Community organizing

Top 5  advocacy activities conducted:

  1. Issue Education
  2. Research
  3. Community organizing
  4. Providing testimony
  5. Policy implementation

Women’s funds and foundations are not waiting for a seat at the table, they are building and setting their own tables as well as influencing economic agendas in their communities to better reflect the lives of women and girls.