Why Women and Girls?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We have received a great deal of positive feedback about the save-the-date notice that went out to our members last week for our 35th Annual Meeting taking place on May 7 and featuring special guest Hillary Rodham Clinton. We are just as enthusiastic about our subject matter for the day: "Full Participation: Exploring the connections between all types of philanthropy and the progress of women and girls at home and abroad."

One might wonder if we chose this topic because we were lucky enough to secure Sec. Clinton, and then shaped the theme around her interests.  In fact, we decided soon after our annual meeting last year, which focused on the very timely topic of Hurricane Sandy recovery, to go deep into issues central to women and girls this year. It just happened that when Sec. Clinton announced her "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project" last November that we saw how closely her agenda paralleled the conversations we were having with members of our Funders of Women and Girls working group and several individual member organizations that fund locally and internationally in this area.

In choosing a topic for our annual deeper dive into a propitious public policy topic, we have sought to identify issues that a good portion of our members are focusing their resources on but about which a much larger portion of members might be interested in learning more -- especially if they might directly or indirectly apply that learning to their funding priorities. In our estimation, the broad topic of Women & Girls fit our criteria perfectly. 

More and more philanthropic organizations are funding projects aimed at improving the lives of women and girls both here and around the world. But more than that, funders crossing all sorts of traditionally defined programmatic concerns -- economic development, health, human rights, criminal justice, education and countless others -- are applying a gender lens to their work to ensure that they are truly having the greatest possible impact with their funding. 

We know that in a single half-day conference we can't possibly explore all of the vast dimensions of gender and the imperative of taking women and girls into account in philanthropic decision making. But we will generate a lot of thinking, and we already have a growing slate of women and girls-themed programming coming for later in the year.  The Annual Meeting will be an opportunity for folks from all across the philanthropic spectrum to come together and hear new ideas, discuss them and figure out what's next.

Based on the interest in the Annual Meeting we've been hearing from all sorts of funders since the notice went out last week, it seems like many of you agree. One thing is for sure, when the registration opens up on April 4, all members would be well-advised to click that link right away to secure a seat. (Seating is limited!) This will be one Annual Meeting you won't want to miss.

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