Better Philanthropy for Women & Girls
24 January 2005 at 12:01 pm
Philanthropy focused on women and girls should be driven by fairness, effectiveness and human rights, a new report says.
“The Case for Better Philanthropy: The Future of Funding for Women and Girls,” released by Women & Philanthropy in Washington, D.C, examines issues such as the impact of globalisation, the prevalence of health and wealth disparities, and changes in philanthropy and how they are influencing grants to programs serving women and girls.
In light of those trends, the report recommends funders use three frameworks when considering gifts that can affect the lives of women and girls.
The first is grantmaking based on fairness, or attempting to right historical gender imbalances, an approach the report says has been the traditional framework for giving aimed at women and girls.
The second is a framework based on effectiveness, or giving that “establishes a clear link between results-oriented grantmaking and investments in women and girls,” an approach the emerging generation of philanthropists is demanding.
The report also identifies the emerging human rights framework, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides Not for Profits with a “unifying structure for all justice work,” and is recognised by major governments.
Finally, the report recommends developing a “gender impact statement,” which it defines as a tool to help funders compile and understand information about how their grants affect women and girls.
Many philanthropists are focused on how to document whether their grants create the change they seek.
The Women and Philanthropy organisation says that many grantmakers are interested in evaluating the relative effectiveness of the work of their grantees—and in evaluating their own effectiveness in meeting objectives. But philanthropic effectiveness depends on how well grantmakers can create mechanisms that respond to the needs of different genders, races, ethnicities, abilities, etc.
Ultimately it says if a grant is not adequately addressing the needs of half the population—women and girls—it is failing society as a whole.
The study is based on eighteen-months of learning from meetings and focus groups held in the US in 2002 and 2003 with some of the foremost experts on gender and philanthropy.