By Cathy Dew
Recently Women’s Funding Network held their 30th annual conference in San Francisco, October 7-9. The event is a forum to amplify the power and voices of women’s foundations, bringing together more than 400 foundation leaders, donors, women leaders from technology and business, and activists—along with a diverse range of funders of gender equity.
For us, it started late in August when Sally and I attended a gathering of local women looking to make a difference. Cynthia Nimma, CEO of WFN, told us about the fund and shared stories illustrating the difference they’ve made. From the Women’s Fund in Mississippi expanding the sex education curriculum (beyond abstinence) in high schools, to the Global Fund for Women helping to create Women’s Micro Bank in Papua New Guinea, operated solely by and for women—WFN is making a difference. The group decided then and there to come together and give. In two months we expanded our reach and exceeded our fundraising goal. In the end we raised more than $28,000 for the conference, funding the opening party and the screening for The Mask You Live In. It was great to to be part of this event.
Women’s Funding Network is the largest philanthropic network in the world devoted to women and girls. An association of over 100 women’s foundations, Women’s Funding Network collectively invests approximately $350 million per year in solutions to society’s most pressing issues, which generally prohibit women and girls’ from reaching their full potential. For over three decades women’s foundations have pushed the edge of philanthropy to resolve critical social inequities. Together, they have redefined “women’s issues”—such as violence against women, the wage gap, teen pregnancy, sex trafficking—as societal issues, impacting the health and well-being of all.
Photo Credit: Lynn Dykstra, www.focusedimages.com