After several years of virtual events, the feminist philanthropy sector is back in person gathering to further the movement to resource gender equality and opportunity. Across these events, questions about the future are being explored, with events ranging from educational conferences to multigenerational celebrations and summits.
Across these gatherings, one statistic will likely be top of mind: the fact that less than 2% of global philanthropic support goes to organizations dedicated to women and girls, a number that has not changed since 2018, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic’s deep impact on women.
Yet hope is on the horizon and feminist leaders will gather this year to continue to influence philanthropy to change. The hope? That new donors join the movement to give powerfully to women-led organizations and causes.
For those interested in gender equality and intersectional feminism, a national tour of sorts is possible throughout the year, with Chicago as a potential first stop. The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) is hosting their first symposium since 2017, All In, All Rise. The sixth symposium hosted by WPI since 2005, this two-day event includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and opportunities for attendees to network. From academics to donors to influencers, this event seeks to connects the dots between research and practice.
Next up, Women Moving Millions, a vibrant donor community with a shared vision of creating a gender equal world, has their annual summit in Half Moon Bay, CA from May 10th- 12th. This gathering invites both existing and prospective members to gather in celebration of, and planning for, bold philanthropic goals in the current global landscape.
The month of May continues with the celebration of the Ms. Foundation for Women’s 50th anniversary in New York on May 16th. While the Women of Vision Awards as a place to celebrate and convene, many may be speaking about the important funding role of the foundation when it comes to funding women and girls of color across the country. With recent research showcasing that women and girls of color account for only 0.5% of $66.9 billion given by foundations, totaling just $5.48 per woman and girls of color in the United States.
Lastly, in Washington DC this September, the Women’s Funding Network gathers for Feminist Funded 2023: Rising, returning this conference to the site of their very first conference back in 1985. Birthed nearly forty years ago by 20 leaders who believed women’s voices needed more of a presence in the philanthropy, WFN is a fast-growing network of feminist funders across the United States. This signature event will bring together thought leaders in philanthropy, advocacy, and culture, dedicated to creating a more just, equitable, and safer world for all of us. It is not to be missed.
For the everyday feminist, these gatherings provide hope that one day gender justice will be funded as powerfully as other causes in the United States. Anyone wanting to start their journey this year and learn more about bringing a gender-lens to their philanthropy, can also pick up a copy of Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change by author Kiersten Marek within which details of key players in the feminist philanthropic scene can be found.