June 23, 2009
New York, NY and San Francisco — June 23, 2009. Foundation giving specifically targeted to benefit women and girls has surpassed the rate of overall foundation giving in recent years, and women's funds are a rapidly growing and influential force within philanthropy, according to a new report jointly released today by the Foundation Center and the Women's Funding Network.
The report, Accelerating Change for Women and Girls: The Role of Women's Funds, is the first of its kind and examines giving patterns and trends among larger private and community foundations as well as the distinctive contributions of women's funds to philanthropy. Women's funds are grantmaking entities that seek out and invest in women-led organizations and programs that are building solutions to core challenges in communities.
"This study underscores that investments in women and girls can have big social returns. It suggests that women and women's funds will be increasingly involved in reshaping philanthropy and bringing to the fore important issues like human trafficking and domestic violence that for far too long have been neglected," said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center.
The study found that between 1990 and 2006, giving directed to women and girls by the broader foundation community climbed 223 percent, after adjusting for inflation, compared to an overall giving increase of 177 percent. Giving by the 55 women's funds analyzed in the report also rose an inflation-adjusted 24 percent between 2004 and 2006, while foundation giving overall increased 14.8 percent in the same period. While this growth is promising, the study also notes that foundation giving targeting women and girls remains a small percentage of their overall giving.
"Women are a rising force in philanthropy," said Christine Grumm, president and CEO of the Women's Funding Network. "This report demonstrates the power women-led solutions have in creating sustainable change in communities."
Key findings of the study include:
This study was made possible in part by support from The Wallace Foundation. The Foundation Center's Research Institute is funded in part by The Wallace Foundation, which supports and shares effective ideas and practices to help institutions expand learning and enrichment opportunities. To learn more, visit the Knowledge Center at http://www.wallacefoundation.org/.About the Foundation Center
About Women's Funding Network
As a global network of more than 145 women's funds and a movement for social justice, the Women's Funding Network accelerates women's leadership and invests in solving critical social issues — from poverty to global security — by bringing together the financial power, influence and voices of women's funds. You can learn more about Women's Funding Network at http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/.
Reprinted with permission of The Foundation Center.