'These Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Giving': 12 Leaders in Women's Philanthropy Speak Out
Over the past several years, we have seen women rising up in all kinds of powerful ways. In addition to the unprecedented surge of women running for office and organizing grassroots movements, women have also been exerting their influence through philanthropy, mobilizing their economic power and resources to create change by giving to myriad causes, campaigns and donor networks aligned with their values.
Women have become increasingly energized and resolute, and our commitment to giving has strengthened and continued. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (and growing awareness about the many cracks and inequities that plague our society and institutions such as systemic racism), women’s philanthropy has become a powerful force responding to the many urgent needs on a local and national level, filling in the gaps of inadequate government funding and also addressing the often unrecognized specific needs of marginalized communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including women and Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC).
The fact is, we need philanthropy more than ever—not just to assist those who are most vulnerable as a result of the pandemic but also to proactively use gender-lens, intersectional giving as an engine to support a purposeful re-shaping and rebuilding of a more equitable and just world. Money is underutilized as an enormous potential force for good, and now is the time to use as many tools as we have to address the many serious problems we currently face.
I reached out to an esteemed group of leaders in the space of women’s philanthropy to get their visions about the role philanthropy could play in these turbulent and transformative times, what innovative ways their organizations and members are responding, how women can lead the way and mobilize resources, and also what ideas they have to inspire a culture of giving. We are in a moment where no matter what resources we have—be it in dollars, in time volunteering, in both small and grand acts of kindness—we all have a role to play in supporting each other and contributing to positive change at this pivotal point in our history.
With insights from: Jennifer Alcorn, Emilienne de León Aulina, Elizabeth Barajas-Román, Sarah Haacke Byrd, Vanessa Daniel, Latanya Mapp Frett, Donna P. Hall, Surina Khan, Monique W. Morris, Ana Oliveira, Kavita Ramdas and Teresa Younger.