Open Society Foundations, Foundation for a Just Society, the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Create Group Initiative to Support Women's Funds
NEW YORK—Open Society Foundations have joined with three private U.S. foundations to provide at least $20 million in a combined effort to strengthen women’s funds—organizations that provide financial and other support to advance the human rights and opportunities of women, girls, and LGBTI people around the world.
Women’s funds have a long track record of knowing where and how to support organizations working to achieve gender equality in their communities, countries, and regions. Today, they are leading women’s rights movements in some of the most challenging contexts and informing philanthropic donors in supporting those efforts.
The initiative will help women’s funds invest in their own organizations—strengthening infrastructure, leadership, communications, fundraising, learning, and other efforts—to help them maximize their impact and achieve their goals.
Foundation for a Just Society, Open Society, the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have designed the five-year initiative in consultation with women’s funds.
“We at Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds see this initiative as a great opportunity for ensuring a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for funding women’s rights and gender justice throughout the world. By strengthening the capacity of women’s funds to better operate and respond to a rapidly changing world, these funders will be able to better support feminist movements at the forefront of social change,” said Emilienne de León, executive director of Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds.
New Venture Fund has been selected by the four foundations through a competitive process as the initiative’s fiscal sponsor and will provide guidance and administrative support to the initiative. The Fund will in turn be supported by Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic consulting firm.
Women’s funds have received significant new resources from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada, and several private foundations in recent years. However, the vast majority of these resources are used to support grassroots organizations rather than the development of women’s funds. This gap in funding reflects the limitations of women’s funds to grow, and improve their support of grassroots movements...