With 90% 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 leading the fight for social justice.
NEW YORK – Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced nearly $4 million in direct grants for the 2021 fiscal year, among other initiatives, which will provide general operating support for more than 114 grantee partners throughout the country and help advance a wide-range of projects that work to end gender violence, improve economic security, promote health equity, and more.
This year’s funding is an increase from 2020 and represents a 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 90% of their grantee portfolio comprised of organizations led by women and girls of color, it is aligned with part of the foundation’s strategic plan to invest in and support movement leaders and PRESS social justice infrastructure.
“As we continue to battle converging crises and systemic injustice, our ability to support women and girls of color is of the utmost importance,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “The Ms. Foundation is proud to boldly and unapologetically champion the grassroots work of women and girls of color, and hope to inspire change among our peers in the philanthropic community to do the same – to not only increase giving to women and girls of color by a significant margin, but to also engage and develop a practice in trust-based philanthropy.”
The funding is also in response to the Foundation’s groundbreaking 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.
“Our grantee partners represent community leaders and change motivators who are fighting for a more equitable future,” said Ellen Liu, Senior Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building of the Ms. Foundation. “Each of our partners represent the core values and mission of the Ms. Foundation to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity, liberation, and justice for all. While they differ in location, size, and scope, they are all committed to creating a society where the dignity and rights of every person are valued, and we are honored to support their critical work.”
The funds will 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:
- 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 Beauty Marks for Girls, Citizen SHE, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Healthy and Free Tennessee, Southeast Immigrant Rights Network, and Youth Rise Texas.
- 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 Mauna Kea Education and Awareness.
- 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 Chicago Foundation for Women, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
- 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 A Long Walk Home, S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective, and Native Action Network.
- S.H.E.: An integrated strategy to advance women’s safety, health and economic justice. This cross-movement building strategy has been incorporated into the rest of our grantmaking, such as Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable.
For nearly five decades, the Ms. Foundation for Women has made grants totaling more than $70 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.