A 2017 highlight was our biennial global conference, Women Funded, which took place in San Francisco, September 6-8. Knowing that mobilizing for equality requires bold and persistent action, we curated the program under the theme, Tools For Turbulent Times. Hundreds of global leaders and changemakers gathered to share new ideas and innovative thinking, create tangible outcomes and practical solutions, and forged powerful alliances advancing gender equity.
Women Funded 2019 brought together 400+ CEO’s, board, executives, and staff from hundreds of women-led grantmaking organizations from around the world, high-net-worth philanthropists, policy-makers, corporate DEI officers and media.
“It is one of the only events I have been to that represented women in the fullest spectrum of our humanity —women of many geographies, positions and ages; women at the top of their career, women just starting out. Women working in the public sector, the private sector and in civil society.
—Sasha Radovich, Director, P.A.C.E. Program, The Gap Inc.
Thanks again to the sponsors of #WomenFunded2017:
W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, U.S. Trust, Asia Foundation, Comcast NBC Universal, JP Morgan Chase, LinkedIn, Tides Foundation, Eileen Fisher Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Solidago Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Advancing low income and marginalized women entrepreneurs
Conceived and initiated in 2017 and launched in 2018, wercspace.org is a free online platform and virtual community hub created by the Women’s Funding Network with the generous support of the Coca Cola Foundation. It offers a curated list of existing tools and resources, an interactive community, and jargon-free information about capital, practical business growth programs, administrative resources, self-care tutorials and marketing videos.
How is WERC space unique?
The platform was crafted to encompass every step of the business journey – from ideation and launch, to growing and maintaining a business. WERC space is welcoming to women who are starting or growing their small business and may or may not be technologically savvy.
The platform is also a community and directory of women-owned small businesses: women can add their businesses on the site, connect with other women business owners, exchange skills and share video stories about their journeys, hurdles, and victories.
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE COCA-COLA FOUNDATION FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF WERC SPACE
For over 30 years women’s foundations have invested in women’s economic equity. Two-generation strategies encompass programs and policies for both caregivers and children, and are a proven solution for empowering not only women but entire families to thrive. To advance two-generation strategies throughout the U.S., the Women’s Funding Network, in partnership with the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, launched the Two-Generation Policy Advocacy Cohort and the Two-Generation Learning Lab in the Fall of 2017. Both expand the engagement and impact of women’s foundations in two-generation work and bring a gender equity lens to the field of two-generation practitioners.
This three-year initiative is designed to:
Four women’s foundations — The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Texas Women’s Foundation, and Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona — were selected for the advocacy cohort. Each brings a history of two-generation impact in their state. Their aim: to scale up two-generation strategies within their communities by advocating for policy and system changes that will support women’s economic equity and security. Twenty-two women’s foundations are participating in the Two Generation Learning Lab and receiving technical assistance training and services.
Two Generation Strategies for Economic Equity
With support from the Fund for Shared Insight, Women’s Funding Network launched the Transparency Project to better understand transparency best practice of our members. Over a series of interviews and group conversations, we learned how women’s foundations listen and learn from their communities, advocate collaboratively, and incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices.
The majority of participating women’s foundations/funds conduct or refer to research to understand the lives of women and girls within their communities.
Most women’s foundations/funds engage in participatory grantmaking.
Participating women’s foundations/funds value diversity, equity and inclusion.
Why do participating women’s foundations/funds engage in advocacy?
88% of participating women’s foundations/funds engage in legislative advocacy, with most engaging at the state level.
Top advocacy strategies are communications and coalitions.
67% of women’s foundations/funds advocacy funds fund advocacy grants.
Of the 61% of women’s foundations/funds engaging in direct advocacy, almost all participate in coalition-building.
Women’s Foundations/Funds Practice Openness and Transparency