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Share the Joy and Unique Promise of Giving for Gender Equality

Editor’s Note: I wrote this post a year ago, but I 100% endorse it again as the best use of your Giving Tuesday resources.

Since starting Philanthropy Women, we have chosen to embrace Giving Tuesday each year in different ways, but always as a great opportunity to give back to women. This year we are celebrating Giving Tuesday by naming our Top 10 Picks for feminist giving for the day. We hope you enjoy the list and relish the experience of making an intentional gift to one or all of them on Giving Tuesday.

giving tuesday 2020
Did you know that research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute showed that in 2018, women gave the majority, 64.9%, of dollars donated on Giving Tuesday? Perhaps that’s because women generally look for opportunities to give, and when a new holiday is established where the sole purpose is to give to charity, women are all over it.

#1 Women’s Fund of Rhode Island or Your State’s Women’s Fund

There is really no better bang for your charity buck than your own local women’s fund. Ours here in Rhode Island does a fantastic job of gender equality education and training, civic engagement, and grantmaking. Imagine if every adult in Rhode Island (roughly 800,000 people) gave just $1 to the Women’s Foundation of Rhode Island? That would mean $800,000 in resources that would exponentially increase the education, engagement, and grantmaking for one of the most influential women’s organizations in the state. Then we could really see what WFRI is capable of in terms of helping our state move toward gender equality. If you don’t live in Rhode Island, you can find your local women’s fund by visiting the Women’s Funding Network where most state and regional women’s funds are members.

#2 Desai Foundation

The Desai Foundation out of the Boston area is doing a bang-up job of growing opportunities for women and girls through its vocational classes, health camps, volunteer outreach, and sanitary napkin programs. By destigmatizing period poverty and turning sanitary pad production and distribution into a small business women can run on their own, Desai has done some groundbreaking work. As a foundation that converted into an on-the-ground nonprofit, Desai estimates it has impacted 682,000 people in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, India, Boston, and New York. This year, through its Masks of Hope program, it is also employing women in sewing masks during the COVID pandemic.

Information on how to donate for Giving Tuesday can be found on the lower half of their homepage. Desai is encouraging donors to make gifts in honor of women who inspire them as an added way to “pay it forward” for women on Giving Tuesday.

#3 Plan International

We got to hear from Plan International’s President and CEO, Dr. Tessie San Martin, about the recent deep pivot of this global organization toward women and girls, as well as youth leadership, in one of our webinars this past year. Plan continues to do extensive work around the globe, with more of that work than ever now being centered on women and girls. Given the organizations’s wide reach and deep roots in development, donating to Plan is a very strong and easy way to optimize your Giving Tuesday dollars this year for women and girls.

#4 African American Policy Forum

We started writing about Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 2016 and have been following her work with the African American Policy Forum ever since. Crenshaw is the originator of intersectionality, helping us to appreciate and account for the multiple layers of identity discrimination that some people face. Crenshaw and AAPF also do extensive work facilitating high level thought leadership with the Under the Blacklight webinar series. Donate to AAPF here.

#5 ERA Coalition

For those of us doing the long run on feminism, it’s time to put passing the ERA back on the front burner, and a great way to do that is by funding the ERA Coalition and its sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality. We liveblogged a recent webinar about new leadership for these groups, and are impressed with how they are bringing together multiple stakeholders to get this legislation passed. Under the Biden-Harris administration, passing the ERA will be a critical factor in the big push to accelerate gender equality movements, so please fund the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality today. Special gifts for monthly donors!

#6 Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy

Another important new leader in the gender equality giving realm is Yolanda F. Johnson, founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy. Johnson is doing amazing groundwork to create a strong network for women of color to build themselves more professional influence in the giving realm. Supporting this young organization is a great way to celebrate Giving Tuesday for women and girls and also give a boost to a marginalized group within the philanthropy realm.

#7 Ms. Foundation for Women

Ms. Foundation’s Pocket Change report told us all we needed to know about lack of funding for women and girls of color, and helped to place the onus of responsibility on those with resources to do something about this gross inequity. Helping the Ms. Foundation amplify its work to address this funding gap is a great way to get the most out of your Giving Tuesday dollars.

#8 Women’s eNews

So many stories about women simply never make it into the mainstream media. Women’s eNews has been on the case about this problem for the past two decades, and continues to do top notch work in helping to get the relevant narratives into the media that help address gender discrimination. Any spare change you can throw their way this Giving Tuesday will be money well spent.

This election season has given us an unusual opportunity to make an enormous impact by gaining more Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate in Georgia during runoff elections in January. Stacey Abrams and are working hard to try to take back the Senate, and wow, what a powerful way to spend some of your Giving Tuesday money! If you do donate, I bet you’ll be thanking your stars soon that you did.

#10 A Call to Men

There is much to be gained by our culture coming to understand the role that men must play in advancing rights for women and girls. A Call to Men is an organization doing that work — helping men to recognize the harmful gender roles that may be influencing their lives, and calling them to take responsibility for changing their ways so that the women around them feel empowered. Supporting A Call to Men is a great way to take your support for women and girls in new directions.


P.S. We’d also love it if you would consider supporting Philanthropy Women with a donation or by buying some art. Happy Giving Tuesday!


For Giving Tuesday, Join Us in Giving to Women’s Fund of RI

(Liveblog) Empowering Gender Equality with ERA Coalition

Giving Tuesday 2019 Reports Nearly $2 Billion in U.S. Donations

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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