October 13, 2022
Ms. Foundation Announces More Than $5.2M in Funding for Fiscal Year 2022, Supporting More Than 150 Grantee Partners Across the Country
With 97% of its grantee portfolio comprised of organizations led by women and girls of color, the nation’s oldest women’s foundation continues concerted effort to invest in those at the forefront of the fight for social justice.
NEW YORK (OCTOBER 13, 2022) – Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced more than $5.2 million in direct grants for their recent 2022 fiscal year, increasing their grantmaking capacity by more than $1 million since last year. This year’s grants provided general operating support for more than 150 grantee partners throughout the country, overwhelmingly led by and for women and girls of color, to help advance a wide variety of projects in order to strengthen reproductive justice, improve economic security, and support equity and justice for all.
FY22 funding represented a wider, balanced portfolio of rural, urban, emerging, and established organizations with a concerted effort to invest and support women and girls of color (WGOC), including trans and non-binary people, with 97% of organizations led by and for WGOC. The funding increase and grantee portfolio expansion reflects the addition of the Birth Justice Initiative, which aims to advance equitable birth outcomes and strengthen the capacity, organizational infrastructure, and financial stability of grassroots Black, Indigenous and women of color-led organizations. The Ms. Foundation launched this initiative in March in order to address the stark racial disparities in women’s health and maternal mortality rates.
“Community and grassroots organizers possess the solutions to society’s greatest challenges, but philanthropic giving does not always reflect this truth,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “The Ms. Foundation is proud to uplift this year’s grantee partners who represent trailblazers at the helm of social justice. We urge the rest of the philanthropic community to make space for organizations led by and for women and girls of color, which have the power to create radical change if we are explicit and intentional with our giving efforts. Our communities and our fundamental human rights are under attack, and there has never been a more crucial time for this work.”
Grantmaking strategies continue to reflect and evolve from the Foundation’s groundbreaking 2020 report, Pocket Change: How Women and Girls of Color Do More with Less, which provided a baseline understanding of philanthropic funding and investment in WGOC throughout the U.S and its territories. The report found that total philanthropic giving to WGOC averages out to just $5.48 per year for each woman or girl of color in the United States – and the amount for WGOC in the South is the lowest in the nation, at less than half the national average.
“This year, we knew that in order to address the multiple issues facing women and girls of color, our grantmaking strategy had to be multidimensional and holistic,” said Ellen Liu, VP of Grantmaking and Capacity Building of the Ms. Foundation. “As an intersectional feminist foundation, our goal is to center the leadership, voices, and experiences of women and girls of color, and each of our partners embody this mission. While our portfolio represents a diverse variety of organizations, they share the same goal to advance equity and justice for all, and we are honored to support their vital work.”
The funds support key programs and ongoing initiatives that center the voices of women and girls of color on the frontlines and bolster them through capacity building, policy and advocacy, leadership development, strategic communications, and political organizing; and are allocated through the following:
- Birth Justice Initiative: A new grantmaking strategy to build power within the birth justice movement, increase connectivity and collaboration between Birth Justice Organizations and movement leaders, and provide philanthropic advocacy, thought partnership, and thought leadership, to influence the movement of more resources to the Birth Justice movement. Grantee organizations include Midwest Access Coalition, Chicago South Side Birth Center, Birthing Cultural Rigor, Dr. Shalon Maternal Action Project, and more.
- S.H.E.: An integrated cross-movement building strategy to advance women’s safety, health and economic justice for organizations such as Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, Inc., EveryBlackGirl, Inc., Native American Community Board, and Trans Sistas of Color Project.
- Ms. South: A multi-year grantmaking strategy to support the sustainability and leadership of organizations led by women and girls of color (WGOC) in the southern region of the United States, such as A Family Affair Living Our Best Life, Southern Rural Black Woman’s Initiative, Center for Participatory Change, and Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
- Building Connections Initiative: Single-year general operating grants to foster increased coordination across social movements, sectors, and inter-generational to ensure the issues impacting women and girls of color are centered to maximize collective impact, such as Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Justice for Migrant Women, American LGBTQ+ Museum, and Collective Power Reproductive Justice.
- Activist Collaboration Fund: A single-year grant supporting transformational movement building to strengthen collaboration across organizations, learn with movement leaders, and increase investment in social justice movements across the country to build collective power, such as Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering, Somos Familia, Women on the Rise, and Interrupting Criminalization.
- Girls of Color Initiative: Funds, researches and increases resources and support for organizations throughout the country that are girl-led or girl-centered, such as I Am Why, Inc., Pu’a Foundation, Youth BreakOut, and Justice for Black Girls, Inc.
For nearly five decades, the Ms. Foundation for Women has made grants totaling more than $82 million to build women’s power across the country and values the amazing work being done by all grantee partners. For equity purposes, please visit our website to see the full grantee list.
The Ms. Foundation for Women transforms our democracy by building women’s collective power. Guided by a gender and racial justice lens, we resource grassroots movements that center women and girls of color, advance feminism in philanthropy, and advocate for policies that improve women’s lives across the country. Since 1973, we’ve opened up worlds of possibility for women and girls. But to finally achieve justice for all, we need you in our fight. Learn more and get involved at ForWomen.org.