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Landscape Study of Women’s Funds and Foundations – Part 1

October 21, 2022

The central aim of this study is to add necessary insight into what we know about who, what, and how women's funds and foundations - within the WFN alliance - approach their work. This subgroup is important because WFN member funds not only share values, but they also share the ability to create the local enabling partnerships and resources that scale successful prototype projects and catalyze short, and long-term success. Further, WFN's operating premise is that large scale social change comes from collective impact and catalytic leadership versus the isolated efforts of individual organizations. WFN creates a deliberate space for learning, reflection, and dissemination of the most promising practices. Specifically, at this moment of global change, it's necessary to examine this subset of women's funds and their activities at the intersections of racial and gender justice.This report is the first a series of three reports. Part I focuses on the people and organizations in our alliance; Part II will examine programming strategy including advocacy and grantmaking priorities; Part III will discuss how women's funds shift power through equitable community-based grantmaking.

Women's Foundations Put Their Money Where the Need Is

February 11, 2018

Economic security is a core priority for many of our member funds. They also understand that lasting security requires that violence be reduced, leadership increased, and health outcomes improved. Learn more about where member grantmaking dollars went in 2016.

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

December 1, 2017

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.

More Than Jobs: Women's Economic Security Wraparound Strategies

October 1, 2017

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.

Making the Case

May 2, 2017

Making the Case™ is a tool developed by Women's Funding Network in response to an increasing demand among member funds for a tool to measure and evaluate social change. Funders invite grantees to use the online tool to enter information into a database that allows the funder to aggregate data and run reports. The tool is currently available to members of the Women's Funding Network and Grantee Partners, and other organizations that wish to purchase access.

Economic Security Benchmarking Report

September 11, 2016

This report is a one-year snapshot of economic security investments made by Women's Funding Network members between November 2013 and November 2014 and November 2014.The data and analysis shine a light on key indicators and promising practices that strengthen women and families. Further, the data guides future grantmaking by providing critical information about these practices and their associated benchmarks.At a high level, the benchmarking project captures and informs the Women's Funding Network membership on one of the major pillars of grantmaking within the women's funding movement: economic security. Defining the collective investment and impact of our network is critical to establishing the influence of women's philanthropy. With this data, Women's Funding Network candemonstrate the important role women's foundations play in advancing women's economic security and in engaging new communities in order to shift the conversation on how to best support women and children.The benchmarking project enables Women's Funding Network to identify opportunities in our network—from unmet needs in communities to inconsistencies or gaps in language—and to identify strategies for potential collective action. This insight will guide us to new program and convening opportunities, bring new partners to the table as we look for creative solutions, and shape the language and metrics Women's Funding Network uses to describe our vision of creating a better world for women, girls, and their families.

Twelve Women’s Funds in the South: Common Context, Collective Impact

August 22, 2011

Learn how 12 women's funds are addressing critical issues affecting women in the southern United States. In a part of the country too often characterized by its problems, these organizations see enormous potential for women and girls to be the solution.

The Power and Impact of Women's Funds

July 7, 2009

Summarizes six recent reports collected over the period 2006-2009 that examine the investment strategies, social returns on investment, and value of women's funds.

Accelerating Change for Women and Girls: The Role of Women’s Funds (Executive Summary)

April 1, 2009

To understand the increased inclusion of women within philanthropy, the Foundation Center partnered with the Women's Funding Network to chart the current landscape of philanthropy focused on women and girls and document the role of women's funds and foundations.

Building Momentum to Sustain Social Change Evaluation of the of Katrina Women's Response Fund

March 16, 2009

In the time that has passed since powerful hurricanes decimated the Gulf Coast region in 2005, the recovery and rebuilding process continues to expose the deep vulnerabilities of a society that has not effectively addressed the legacy of racism. In response to the injustices, human suffering, destruction, and massive displacement caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Ms. Foundation for Women, WFN and its partner funds, with the $1.3 million support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, continued to strengthen the Katrina Women's Response Fund (KWRF).

Accelerating Change for Women and Girls: The Role of Women's Funds

January 1, 2009

In recent years, interest in philanthropy for and by women has intensified, accompanied by a growing acceptance of the idea that philanthropic investments in women and girls can accelerate positive change in communities. To understand this evolution in thinking and practice within philanthropy, the Foundation Center partnered with the Women's Funding Network, a global movement of women's funds, to chart the current landscape of philanthropy focused on women and girls and document the specific role played by women's funds.

The Powerful Intersection of Margins and Mainstream: Mapping the Social Change Work of Women's Funds

January 19, 2007

Analyzes the field of women's funds and their grantees. The report explores the various action approaches and top priorities for women's philanthropy.