Organizing for change

To change women's lives, you have to change the social context: priorities, policies, resources, approaches.

This is how we do it.

Identify the need

We work from the ground up. Grant making at the grassroots level uncovers emerging needs, not just emerging organizations. Giving Councils and participatory grant making give the Foundation a presence in more communities and keep us connected to the realities of women’s lives.

Gather the facts

We initiate and we support research: unbiased data gathering and analysis of issues, evaluations of program outcomes, analysis of best practices.

Find out who’s doing what

We work hard to stay current, and to stay connected to everyone making a difference to women and girls, whether on the program side or the funding side.

Convene

We bring people together and connect them to each other. It might be bimonthly meetings for everyone— city departments, private agencies, funders—who is working on domestic violence. It might be workshops that bring women who want to make a difference together with agencies who need talent and leadership. It might be a roundtable on the impact of minimum wage. Whatever form the assembly takes, its purpose is to elevate.

Collaborate

We encourage grantees to collaborate, to work together or share resources and expertise, either formally, as with the Eleanor Network, or informally. We use grant making to build collaborations among grantees whose work affects different parts of a woman’s life: an emergency housing provider, an employment training program, an agency that offers counseling services.

We collaborate, too: with other foundations that are looking for in-depth, issue-specific expertise, or corporations working to develop a community impact strategy or philanthropic leadership.

Together, we believe these strategies are creating a new context for women, aligning people, ideas, and resources for maximum impact on the issues that matter most.