Two smart philanthropists have begun to map various causes related to women, the organizations working on these causes and the high priority resources and funding required by these organizations. Their team has created a map of funding for domestic women’s causes by examining the 2007 and 2008 990’s (tax forms presented by non-profits to the IRS) of hundreds of women’s organizations and uncovered some interesting initial findings:
1. Total philanthropic dollars to women and girls are less than 10% of all dollars. The following organizations and movements have assets of greater than $3 billion; the America Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Environmental Movement – all of which demonstrates the potential impact of their work.
2. The ranking of where philanthropic dollars are going in the ‘six buckets’* of women’s issues showed that health and women’s bodies (i.e. reproductive rights, breast cancer, maternal health, etc.) and safety (i.e. domestic violence, rape, etc) combined were more than all dollars focused on education, civic and legal rights, and economic justice.
So where do we stand and what can we do? Here are some simple and bold suggestions for donor leaders in social change. Some simple steps;
1. Be aware of the big picture as we allocate our dollars.
2. Work through women’s funds.
3. Urge awareness and collaboration amongst our grantees.
Some bold approaches:
1. Fund marketing and technology as a key function of the mission.
2. Fund finance systems and strategic planning efforts.
3. Fund talent development.
4. Fund areas of economic security, rights, and education at a higher level.
Stay tuned for Phase II of this enlightening research around mapping funding for women’s causes as new data and findings should be available soon!
*Six buckets are defined in this study as civic and legal rights, education, economic security, family and work issues, health and women’s bodies, and safety.