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Is the World Fundamentally Unserious About Gender Equality?


As someone who has spent the past five years of her life studying the way we fund gender equality movements, this is the question I am often left with at the end of the day: Is the world fundamentally unserious about gender equality?

Because the more you look at the data, the more it seems that funding for gender equality is so sidelined and misdirected and poorly tracked and evaluated, that it’s really no wonder that progress is as slow as it is.

A new report entitled Tracking Philanthropic and Gender Equality Financing aggregated data from SDGFunders to come up with the following totals of funding from the top 10 private foundations doing this work in Kenya. (Image credit: Publish What You Fund)

Now, a new report by Publish What You Fund and partners helps to elucidate just what funding for gender equality looks like in different nations around the world, and shows us just how little we know about what is going on with this sector of social change funding.

Tracking Philanthropic and Gender Equality Financing attempts to tell the story of gender equality funding for three countries from 2018 to 2021 — Kenya, Nepal, and Guatemala. But it is a very hard story to tell, because the data to tell the story comprehensively and effectively does not exist. As just a small sample of the problems cited about this data:

●There are no data available about the number of projects, the project names, type of assistance (e.g., ODA, blended finance).
● It is not clear if the funding corresponds to commitments or actual disbursements made by the foundations.
● There is no information about the results/impact of the activities that are funded.

The bullet points go on to identify other gaps and lacks in what we know about this funding, but these three are enough to tell a significant amount of what’s missing, and to make my point about whether there is a fundamental unseriousness about what we are doing to address gender equality. The third point, in particular, that there is “no information about the results/impacts of the activities that are funded” kind of says it all about how much the intentions for this funding are being tracked to ensure the funding is being used for real gender equality outcomes.

These bullet points refer to SDGFunders as the source of the data, a product created by Candid to track funding for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The report goes on to discuss data from five other sources and the many data challenges and gaps that these sources present. The report also provides recommendations about how each of the six tools discussed can start gathering and tracking this data in a more useful way. From reading this report, you get a sense that there is clearly a long way to go.

Read the full report here.

Related:

Measure and Inspire: How a New Tool Tracks Women, Peace, and Security

When Women’s Leadership Has Market Value, the World Changes

Facebook Cites Tax Justice Among Solutions to Gender Inequality

Author: Kiersten Marek


Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work in Cranston, Rhode Island, and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.
View all posts by Kiersten Marek



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One-third of donors directed half their giving to disaster relief | Philanthropy news



Last year, 37 percent of American donors gave half or more of their charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts, and 64 percent gave to a charity they had never supported before, a survey commissioned by Vanguard Charitable finds.

Conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable, the survey of more than 1,300 American donors found that the top reasons American donors gave to disaster relief included wanting to assist those impacted by humanitarian crises (46 percent), feeling overwhelmed by a situation and wanting to help (33 percent), seeing charitable giving as the only way they could provide support (30 percent), and having a personal connection to the disaster/crisis (30 percent). The survey found that donors who contributed to disaster relief efforts gave more overall, meaning that disaster relief giving did not take away from, or occur in place of, ongoing giving. 

“From COVID-19 to a devastating humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, we’ve seen donors respond to disaster relief needs in inspiring and meaningful ways,” said Vanguard Charitable president Rebecca Moffett. “In fact, this data reflects that disaster relief support is an integral part of the giving landscape, often increasing total generosity as donors look to give when and where support is needed most. And because the money in donor-advised funds has already been set aside for charitable purposes, donations from DAFs tend to be more responsive in moments of crisis, and more resilient during moments of economic uncertainty.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Drazen Zigic)



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Trust in nonprofits fell slightly last year, survey finds | Philanthropy news



While there is room for U.S. institutions across the board to increase public trust, a majority of respondents believe nonprofits will do what is right for society, a survey conducted by Independent Sector finds. 

Conducted in February in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, the third-annual Trust in Civil Society survey found that 56 percent of Americans said they trust nonprofits, down 3 percentage points from the 2020 benchmark study (59 percent). Trust in philanthropy edged down from 36 percent to 34 percent during the same period. According to the survey, financial well-being and education are major drivers of trust, and trust of nonprofits among women fell during the pandemic.

Given the findings, Independent Sector recommended that nonprofits work to make greater progress to support and strengthen the country, for example by leveraging trust in the social sector to strengthen U.S. democracy, deepening engagement with communities and institutions, and upholding public expectations of government accountability.

“Increasing public trust of institutions and the social sector is a pressing issue for the U.S. We all benefit from strong public trust,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. “Trust is the priceless currency for nonprofits, philanthropies, business charity programs, and all of us to build a healthy, equitable society. We see what happens when trust breaks. Our 2022 Independent Sector Trust in Civil Society report elevates important data and recommendations for conversations about how the social sector can engage more deeply and do better so everyone in our country thrives.” 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/SDI Productions)



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Digital, other channels of giving are expanding, study finds | Philanthropy news



Emerging trends in the United Kingdom and Brazil reveal an expansion of digital and other types of channels for giving, including online giving, crowdfunding, charity rounding up, and social impact publishing, a new research series from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI finds.

The research series, Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving, builds on the school’s Global Philanthropy Environment Index and Global Philanthropy Tracker and will be released in phases over the next five months. The first two studies examine philanthropic engagement in Brazil and the UK prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with profiles of China, India, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea to follow.

Based on an analysis of three case studies in Brazil, the first profile found that prominent emerging ways of giving include charity rounding up, crowdfunding, and social impact publishing, which involves the production of inspiring, revenue-producing editorial content. Donations collected through rounding up for charity via Arredondar increased from BRL1,091 in 2013 (equivalent to $590 in 2021, adjusted for inflation) to more than BRL1.6 million in 2020 (equivalent to $330,186 in 2021, adjusted for inflation). In addition, the study found that the most successful initiatives prioritized transparency and accountability in giving.

Based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 individuals in the UK, the profile found that prominent expanded methods of giving include online giving and crowdfunding. Among donors interviewed between May and July 2021, 60 percent reported that gifts they had made in the past year had been made online, with the most common way being through a third-party app. In addition, researchers found that 63 percent of people who used social media to request donations also made requests in person.

“The results of the first two country profiles suggest an evolution in giving practices and highlight a significant expansion of digital giving practices and peer-to-peer giving,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “While these findings are the first in a series, the documented growth in digital giving and shifting donor expectations in the UK and in Brazil reinforce existing evidence that digital practices can help democratize the practice of philanthropy. Digital innovation makes philanthropy accessible and fosters greater transparency and accountability for how gifts lead to impact.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images)



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