Following a year-long listening engagement with our grantee partners, grassroots leaders, and other collaborators in 2018, I wrote to you about what we learned about movement needs, the impact of our work to date, and what else we should be doing to promote gender and racial justice and support feminist movements that transform lives, communities, and our world. I also shared a few of our commitments across our grantmaking, accompaniment, and philanthropic advocacy strategies. As part of our promise to be accountable to our partners, we are happy to share an update — and pledge to continue to share more details this year.
In 2019, we provided grants to 177 partners working across our focus regions — Francophone West Africa, Global, Mesoamerica, New York City, South and Southeast Asia, and US Southeast — to advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI people. Our total grantmaking for 2019 was $38.5 million — which is a 25% increase from 2018 — and keeps us on target to double our annual grantmaking to $60 million by the end of 2023. Seventy-nine percent of our funding was made in the form of general operating support.
In our strategic planning process, we heard from our grantee partners that they need accompaniment grantmaking funds in addition to core, multi-year support. Many named the need for support that is directed at bolstering the safety and well-being of activists as one priority and strengthening communications capacities as another. In response, over this past year we started to build our accompaniment grantmaking program — twenty-seven grants totaling almost $1.5 million — to provide robust, grantee-driven, capacity support in ways that benefit both organizations and the field, especially in the areas of strategic communications and holistic safety and collective care. We plan to build on what we learned in 2019 and continue to expand the accompaniment program this year.
We also committed to speak out and take braver, bolder action to push philanthropy in the directions that movements want us to go. We are proud to announce that we have committed $2.5 million to the Equality Fund, a groundbreaking collaboration that aims to mobilize over $1 billion for women's rights organizations and feminist movements over the next fifteen years, and joined the Women's Funds Collaborative as noted below.
Together we are progressing toward our future direction and our promise to deepen and expand our support for global movements that advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI people.
Learn about some of our new partners below.
Nicky McIntyre, CEO
Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN) is a network of immigrant-led grassroots groups working at the local, state, and regional levels to lift the voice and leadership of immigrant communities in the US Southeast. The network provides rapid response support to immigrant and other marginalized communities and cultivates spaces for leadership development and collective action to build just and inclusive communities.
South and Southeast Asia
Naripokkho is a membership-based organization committed to creating a strong national movement to build the voice and resistance of diverse women in Bangladesh since 1983. The organization works primarily in the areas of preventing violence against women, ending gender-based violence in the garment industry, cultivating the leadership of young women and girls, and strengthening sexual and reproductive health services.
Francophone West Africa
XOESE, the Francophone Women’s Fund, is a public grantmaking institution that supports initiatives led by women, especially young women, and girls that advance women’s rights, economic justice, and gender equality in the French-speaking countries of Africa. XOESE also conducts regional advocacy to mobilize additional resources for local, women’s rights organizations in Francophone West Africa.
Luchadoras is a feminist collective based in Mexico City that promotes social change through the use of technology and media activism that highlights the stories of women, girls, and gender nonconforming people. Luchadoras uses research, advocacy, capacity building, and online campaigns to promote an Internet that is free of violence against women.
The Women's Funds Collaborative is a $20 million initiative developed through a partnership between Foundation for a Just Society, Open Society Foundations, Hewlett Foundation, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund to support the organizational and field needs of women’s funds globally. The Collaborative, governed by the four founding private donors along with four women’s funds, will collectively seek to build the strength, resilience, and effectiveness of women’s funds and foster shared learning and collaboration.