Traditional philanthropy has become an ego-driven system; however, there are a number of philanthropists and thought leaders that are transforming philanthropy into an ecosystem of cooperation and collaboration. Female philanthropists are at the helm of this movement, creating more giving circles and other strategic initiatives that focus more on collaboration and less on the individual.
One of these leaders is Swatee Deepak, the Director of ‘With and For Girls Collective’ – a nine-strong group of funders who have committed to fund female-led and female-focused grassroots organisation. For further information about the work of the ‘With and For Girls Collective’, please refer to the embedded PDF.
Deepak believes in the power of collaboration as a way to create more impact, which she has proved to be correct as the Director of an organisation that is made up of nine very different types of funders. Their differences allow them to take more risks and make bold investments, whilst inspiring the other funders in the group to do the same. Discussion and constructive disagreements allow for growth and opportunities for learning, as each of the nine member companies of the ‘With and For Girls Collective’ bring their own values, opinions and expertise to the table.
Another female-led collaborative philanthropic organisation is ‘The Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity’, which Freada Kapor Klein helped to found in her position as the Co-Chair of the Kapor Center. Established in 1997 by Tarana Burke, The Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity has gained momentum in more recent years, particularly in relation to the #MeToo movement, which shone a light on workplace sexual harassment. The Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity raised $20 million in initial commitments from 11 American funders; however, less than 2% of philanthropic donations in the U.S. are spent on gender-based violence and abuse.
The Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity creates cross-movement spaces where philanthropic partners can learn from each other, whilst also sharing resources and designing strategies in a more collaborative manner. The cooperation that the Fund enables means that the participating funders can work more effectively by teaming up with partner organisations, as issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault and abuse of power often overlap and cross-contaminate.
This is particularly true of racial and gender issues, as racism plays a large role in many of the cases of sexual violence – the first sexual harassment lawsuits were, in fact, made by women of colour against their employees. The Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity is able to work in an ‘intersectional’ manner, meaning that the focus is on those women who are most severely impacted by sexual harassment and violence as an accumulation of their sexuality, gender, race, age and ethnicity.
Kerrin Mitchell is the CDO and Co-Founder of Fluxx, a philanthropic ecosystem that aims to connect all philanthropic organisations into a single network. Fluxx works with a number of highly influential partners, including Microsoft, Forefront and The Knight Foundation, and in 2018 the organisation was able to raise $7.2 billion in funding. Technological advances are at the heart of Fluxx, as it enables companies, funders and philanthropists to connect, opening doors and finding new opportunities for collaboration and more effective giving.
Joey Horn has a number of charitable associations, such as Right to Play, Choate Rosemary Hall, Harvard Business School, Harvard Art Fellows and the Oslo International School. Joey Horn also gives financial support to Lady Garden Foundation, Make A Wish UK and MASS MoCA Museum, as well as being a former trustee of Williams College and a co-founder and co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Giving Committee.