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Talk to the Funders: Where should we invest?

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Hello everyone!

I have an amazing opportunity on Saturday morning to bring your voices and advice into a conference of women donors who care about funding change for women around the world.

We want to know: What do you think are the top 3 capacities or themes that need to be funded to take the global women's movement to the next level?"

Some examples might be grassroots women's organizing, communications infrastructure, educating girls, policy change.....what are your ideas and opinions??

Please post your thoughts by Saturday at 10 am PST!

Warmly yours,
Jensine

Comments

aarsenal's picture

According to Twitter

Hi, Jensine,

Looking at the trending on Twitter over the last few weeks, I think key themes could include violence against women, social entrepreneurship, and microfinancing. Hope this helps.

Thanks and best regards,
Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

tainadelsol's picture

ideas.....

first i just want to say this is an amazing opportunity to have funders talking about this. As an ed of a womens non profit and of the two or three all women of color run and led in new york city this is such an important conversation.

So i would like them to know that moving forward...
i think funders should be looking at multi year funding that really builds th einternal capcacity of an organization to be viable. So many communities already dont trust us becuase so many of us come and go that their is little to no chance to see long term impact which in most countries we are talking about tackling big and dangerous issues.

there also needs to be money toward healing an acknowldegement that women on the frontlines are dying, most often times look towards their higher self, god, the goddess, universe whatever to help them get through but will never say it because they know they wont get funded or becuase cultural and spritual organizing is not seen a womens organizing.

Im sure i have othe rthings but this is what i can think about right now. Good luck and thankyou for being our voice.

In bold hope
DEE

In Bold Rebirth
DEE

tainadelsol's picture

also....

also becuase so many of us are doing this work becuase we have suffered injustice , live in the very community that we are figting with and for, have experience the same violence and oppression we are fighting against...as women when we take on these leadership rolls or organizign positions ... we need time and support to look within, build our skills level to succeed within the funding world, build our vocabulary to give logic models, outcomes etc. sometimes in this work hearing and doing this for the first time. more importantly, we must find our voice, connect to our spirit, and believe that another world is possible. We need funders to give us money to support that transformation within.

In Bold Rebirth
DEE

everlyrose's picture

Hello Jensine

I agree with Anna, microfinancing would be number one, communication probably will be another ( you may tap on Beatrice Achieng Nas she will be attending a communications conference in Iowa this December, she could echo it to the whole global team), women health issues, protection and education are vital too.

If a woman is healthy, financially able, technologically equipped and educated she can take care of herself, her family and enable a community.

take care

everly

Solvitur ambulando
(it is solved by walking)

sapnashahani's picture

Thank you so much for asking this!

Hi Jensine,
Funding is so critical to the survival of a new project like ours. We got started last year with WaveIndia.org thanks to a generous grant but it was seed funding so now we're finding that raising the same amount next year is improbable :(

We realise that we need to change into a social entrepreneurship model as soon as possible as that gives us a better chance to sustain ourselves. But I haven't been able to find too many funds to enable us to develop our social business model.

Personally, I think media programs that sensitise people about issues through a gender lens are important to invest in, not just because I work in a program like this, but because I have become more aware about how impactful this work is.

Besides funding, I think younger women like myself need training and leadership mentoring as well, particularly in areas of social business training, technical training in communications and the web (like VOTF which is great) and strategic planning.

I hope that more people with resources become philanthropists and invest wisely in our future. Thank you ever so much for your inspiring work in the movement,

Sapna.

Rosebill's picture

I think we should invest in

definitely micro finance as most of the women in my country struggle to find unemployment after they finish their education - even if they have a college degree, improvement on maternal health in developing countries is also i think something that seriously needs to be worked on, more support to women grassroots organisation is important as is the continued support on ensuring good quality education especially for girls
thanks
Rosebill

Rosebill Satha
Chairperson
Self Advancement for Youth in Malawi (SAYOM)
P O Box 30621, LILONGWE, Malawi

lenka1st's picture

teach fishing

Money is a very interesting object. Nobody and never have enough money.
Sometimes expert is our friend but we go to another and pay. Organization can make a revision of members to know - have they a lawer? couch? manager? ect. Maybe no. So... The 1 way - to find expert wich want to become a member and help. Another way - to get a scholarship from sponsor. And then used this expert as a couch, not only to consult, but to teach. Sponsors can help to have a newspaper of organization - to give experience of one to all. And, sure, quick internet - is a great help.
so, 3 positions. 1. scholarships to make own experts in main stream
2. newspaper
3. internet
it is enough for people wich want to do something, but not so much for people wanted only have money.

Я твайго не вазьму, я свайго не аддам! - I shall not take your, i shall not give my.

NyamburaFoley's picture

Dear Jensine

Just came across your interesting question.

My mother and her mother always told us that you can never climb a tree from the top. You have to start from the bottom up. In keeping with this:

First on the list should be educating women at grassroots level. They need to be taught about the whys' and the hows'. Without this fundamental right, everything else is null and void. Education in this case means having educated women volunteer their time to tutor groups of women on set days. Exchanging of ideas and experiences would go a long way. If you teach one woman, you've taught her whole family. That's the beauty of being a woman!

Secondly, available resources and skills should be put into use. For instance, if it's a community rich in maize plantation, they can harvest, keep what they need to sustain their families and sell the rest to other communities who aren't so lucky in the maize department. Barter trade can be re-introduced.

Thirdly, micro-financing can come into play. The women are in a better position to understand the dynamics as they have acquired some level of education and basic business skills to pull them through.

Warm regards,

Nyambura.

Jensine dear,

Girls are importannt asset and become the nation-future as women.
I believe when we raise up their voices and build their awareness to gender equality, human's rights and harmony within gender empowerment (working with men) it will expanded to family advancement and become future investment.
I believe this PulseWire activity will be very useful to build their perception on gender equality, human rights and many options towards better future in jumping the poverty line.

If possible; many girls need those above now, all victims of Tsunami and Merapi eruption. I am still watching the news and I cried...
They have no home, no school, no job and no future.

Most of young people in Mentawai are desperate; they need the donor's angel hands and we can try raise up their spirits thru PulseWire. My network has sent 2 voluntary students to go there.

In a while many from Merapi refugees shall be in the similar condition. They are still shock now due to wave of heat-cloud up to 600C last mid-night. It is a deep concern of all of the nation.
Our President has came directly to nearby city to give direction in helping people.

One positive news; after eruption the surrounding areas will be very fertile to plant anything. However we don't know when it will stop. The Merapi is still active by now.

Please pray for Indonesia...
Thanks

ES

Jensine dear,

Girls are importannt asset and become the nation-future as women.
I believe when we raise up their voices and build their awareness to gender equality, human's rights and harmony within gender empowerment (working with men) it will expanded to family advancement and become future investment.
I believe this PulseWire activity will be very useful to build their perception on gender equality, human rights and many options towards better future in jumping the poverty line.

If possible; many girls need those above now, all victims of Tsunami and Merapi eruption. I am still watching the news and I cried...
They have no home, no school, no job and no future.

Most of young people in Mentawai are desperate; they need the donor's angel hands and we can try raise up their spirits thru PulseWire. My network has sent 2 voluntary students to go there.

In a while many from Merapi refugees shall be in the similar condition. They are still shock now due to wave of heat-cloud up to 600C last mid-night. It is a deep concern of all of the nation.
Our President has come directly to the nearby city to give direction in helping people.

One positive news; after eruption the surrounding areas will be very fertile to plant anything. However we don't know when it will stop. The Merapi is still active by now.

Please pray for Indonesia...
Thanks

ES

Iffat Gill's picture

Hi Jensine

Dear Jensine,

Thanks for providing us this opportunity to share our ideas directly with you and the donors.
In my opinion, the three areas (among many others) where women need most support in developing countries are following:

1-Social Entrepreneurship,
2-Capacity Building
3-Advocacy

1-Social Entrepreneurship: Most women from less privileged communities are deprived from education, employment opportunities and skills etc and in order to survive, they have to manage their own lives and livelihood. Some women, if they are lucky, even mange to develop their entrepreneurial struggle into a full fledged business sometimes but the enabling environment is mostly absent.

2-Capacity Building: Capacity building is important for both individuals (women) and organizations with a focus on women issues particularly but not only women organizations.A lot of training is needed for these organizations and individuals who are willing to work for more than just themselves so that can reach maximum potential with the limited resources they have available.

3-Advocacy:I have noticed this in my community and country, that women have sometimes the rights and resources available but since they are not aware of their rights, they do not know how to reach those line agencies to get help or support. So, more and more organizations need to work on maximum outreach to raise awareness and to sensitize people about their rights.

Hope this input helps although I am sure, that the focus of many donors is already present on these issues.
Best wishes,

Iffat Gill

martha llano's picture

Ideas

Hi Jensine,

It is a difficult question as we have so many needs. But sometimes as I see how much we struggle as adult women I wish someone has start with me as a child women. So I think one idea could be start a program for girls when they are childs. And educational program which might leads our little woman into different ways opening new ideas since they are childs. Those will be the real voices of the future. And by taking them into this program this might take WP to another level which might also take the mothers of that girls to a new level.

I also think we might be thinking in programs to empower woman to reconnect them with nature even we need them connect it to technology.

And finally I think we should have a step by step program which could make us believe that we can have dreams and that there is a network to help us to make it happen. I my country woman have little voice. But they have dreams which remain as dreams....so we need a real network to connect people to make those woman dreams to become real....

So I think education (young and adults), networks and capacity building would be my first three.

Good luck!!!!

Martha

Con afecto

Martha Llano
selva@sentir.org
marthallano.wix.com/serna

HAGA ALGO........ lo que lo haga feliz!
Y tan sólo recuerde que las soluciones a problemas globales dependen de cada individuo.

Amei's picture

Focus long term not forgetting the "now"

This is one of the greatest challenges faced.

Meeting basic need, food, shelter and safety. After meeting the basic needs, education is the most important.

1- Capacity building - training and education, having mixed groups - young and mature (young targeting for the future and matures focusing the 'Now') Emphasizing to Martha's point for education (young & adults). Conducting education projects (violence against women, health, rights, seeking help, self help... example of some projects) with an inbuilt action research component with short term and long term targets. Ongoing assessment on improving. Successful programs to be replicated and adapted to suit the context. Focus on Human Resource building within the community. Empower people to do so.

2- Leadership - In my experiences women in Maldives - in remote and deprived islands women are idle. They hesitate to voice their issues and some need approval from a man. Leadership training to be inbuilt within the training program and fund raising within the community. Rose already mentioned advocacy - developing women "thinkers"

As Anna mentioned micro-financing is important. The projects financed should be assessed for sustainability. Above mentioned issues are all crucial. How the projects are implemented and sustained will become important in the success of financing - we will need critical thinkers to implement projects taking in to consideration the context and relevancy.

My views of key aspects when discussing fanancing. Hope this is helpful.

Thank you for the opportunity.
Amei

Hi Jensine

It was so great to receive in time the wonderful message you have kindly brought.This opportunity I have been trying and waiting for several years. I am very grateful to you and the funders by myself and on behalf of all women. I have been promoting girls education occasionally quite easily without big challenges. I have two dreams of safer saving women and supporting women to be more powerful which are challenging me because of funding.
For more details for my first dream , I want to save the women who are being ill treated and abused. Some might be in courts.One of my friends who is teaching social major in my evening school was trying to accomplish this issue. but she said it was too difficult and seem to paused it. So I am so keen on continuing it by collaborating with her. We can hire some supervisors or lawyers for example of the solutions.

For my second dreams I have had a plan to establish a social enterprise for income generation for the women. In my plan . I am thinking of offering a job to women for making clothes which can be delivered at different markets for their income. I have tried for funding and other assistance. Many people offer their service but not for the fund raising because of financial issue these days. I have already requested a funding proposal somewhere and it was rejected because of no registration with the authority. On the other hand registration also needs quite expensive as well. So up to now I can only do as a freelance ad visor or a participant for the community.
I am sure that I can make my dreams come true with the support of funding.I am also expecting any suggestions as well .I hope to see you online soon.

Yours Sincerely

NI NI AYE

Congratulations on Very Happy Teachers Day through ten years journey!

bintu's picture

way forward

This is a very good development and critical to the empowerment of women. One thing is obvious , idea varies in accordance with communities problems. In my Country one important, but very critical vices that promotes womens over endurance to voilation is shelter. If women have access to shelter, most of them would never endured the maltreatment, voilation etc. Therefore in my opinion, if the woman after leaving the man's house, has a roof over her head and her children, she is automatically empowered, to fight back. kick against any form of violation. She is given a voice. she will be able to speak for herself, and fight back. She will build up sense of belonging. The practice that women moved to the man's residence at marriage, with no where to fall back at if the marriage failed, hampered women's ability to fight back.
My Idea is, if women have access to shelter, empowerment is a walk over. limitations is scaled down to acceptable level. the Woman and her children would have shoulder to len on.
The pilot women housing scheme will partner with the government. Land acquired free from the Government, in each of the state of the federation of Nigeria., under the office of the First lady, wife of the Governor, in the case of a state, and President wife in the case of FCT Abuja. Houses build and sole to women at affordable prices, and long term repayment strategy, or as the case may be.
This is my idea, as observed, among forces that is impeding meanful progress in women empowerment, within the third world countries.

Bintu

bintu

Mei Li's picture

What would Pippi say...

I have read every word within the posts above my response and will agree tothe importance of mentorship and grassroots support.

The other night during dinner, my friend told me she thinks we communicate so well because I am really 55 mentally. This led to a discussion about the mentors I have had. I mentioned I wished Pippi Longstocking was translated often and available everywhere! She is, perhaps, my first mentor. She had ten times the strength of boys who would pick on her, was in her garden at eleven o'clock at night, and found sheer joy in "thing-finding." I remember reading her and thinking I could be anything and I loved being a girl.

My friend is a poet and she went to a girl's juvenile facility to share some of her songs and spoken word pieces. Some of the responses from the girls were, "Your poem made me feel happy to be a girl," and, "I loved how you talked about the moon, it reminded me my body is connected to nature." The wrote her beautiful letters exposing their lives and experiences, choices they had made that led them to where they were and the value they did, or did not, place on themselves. In so many of the letters, they thanked her for making them want to look more deeply into themselves, understand where they had come from, but not condemn their own histories - but speak them.

Mentorship is important because silence is deadly. When we feel truly listened to we understand that we can be heard which unleashes voice and a large step in the women's global empowerment movement is giving voice to the voiceless, right?

When I was 16 I met my first mentor. She was 50 years older than me and the first woman I met who was well-spoken, well-educated, well-traveled, active, healthy, full of story, a healer. She taught me about chakras and history. We walked nightly and she was an adult who actually listened to what I was saying. The feeling of being heard filled me with the same feeling Pippi did. I had been mostly silent before then.

Again at 19, when I met Joan. We sat and drank tea every evening. She was a recreational art therapist. She, too, was full of story and animated. She was warm and sought to understand. She was giving of herself, but was rooted in herself. I have no idea what would have happened to my mind, education, ability to communicate, thirst to understand the world around and beyond me without these two women and all of the women in my life who are empowering, empathetic, who know themselves and elevate their voices - they save my life every day just by being who they are and teaching me to know myself.

I know you didn't ask for personal stories - but I write these things because I kept reading the word mentorship and was asking myself what that meant to me as a young girl and what it meant going into my early twenties. What do we mean when we say we need more mentors?

Grassroots support is important. I interviewed a local founder of a safe-house for women in Arizona. She said when she first got started with her organization, she reached out to others who had already gone through the process. Often, she was met with little help and noticed people seemed guarded and weary of helping another person who would just add to the competition for funding. Another friend felt buried by the paperwork process, research to understand it, and organization of taking a grassroots org and transitioning into a 501(c)3. A portion of funding could be used to cover fees in situations as the one above. My friend needed someone versed in the documentation she received for the transition. I think she mentioned fees as well, which we had fundraised. In an above post, Sapna mentioned continued funding beyond seed funding and surviving the first year.

Grassroots Mentorship! :)

I noticed in one organization I was involved in that the two founders were on different pages. This made it difficult for everything else to run smoothly, obviously. Everything else was there though! The method which they would navigate the organization, the first few transitional environments they would offer workshops within, seed funding, but then differences in desired demographic to work with would create conflict. Successfully taking one's idea from vision to reality is a process requiring support and resources which deserve funding.

I know you already spoke to them Saturday, but reading the responses reminded me of Pippi and mentors and trouble aboard the grassroots train - so I thought I would share!

Thank you for extending the question.

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

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