Women's Funding Collaborative

The Women’s Funding Collaborative is a group of grantmaking organizations working together to promote the integration of a gender lens into the philanthropic sector. This gender focus is one element of a larger intersectional approach that acknowledges how gender inequities are inseparable from forms of oppression associated with race, class, ethnicity, age, ability, sexuality, and religion. WFC also acknowledges that rigid gender norms for masculinity and femininity are a root cause of gender inequity and are important to address as part of a gender transformative approach.

Why the Collaborative Started


  • Conversations around equity are a growing part of the philanthropy conversation. However, conversations specifically around gender equity are often overlooked in that larger context.

  • Despite decades of studies showing that gender norms are a key factor in life and economic outcomes, few funders have familiarity with the key concepts and biases that may affect our work.


  • Gender issues remain underfunded. Only 5-7% of philanthropic dollars go towards women and girls’ issues. Transgender causes receive less than one penny for every $100 awarded by foundations. Additionally, very limited funding goes towards projects and organizations that seek to address both race and gender.


  • We must examine our own sector’s disparities before asking other organizations to address theirs. In philanthropy, one-third (34%) of CEO/top administrators are men; 66% are women. However, on average, women make 84% of what men make. The disparity is more pronounced at  lower levels of the hierarchy, where women hold 90% of the positions but only make 78 cents to the dollar. (Exponent Philanthropy, 2018) The disparities are more pronounced for women of color. Transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people account for only 2% percent of the staff and board at participating foundations.



To build a gender transformative philanthropic culture by encouraging funders to:

  • Apply gender smart strategies to our grantmaking practices to ensure that the organizations and programs we fund are mindful of the outcomes and consequences of their programs as it relates to gender.

  • Increase dollars towards programs that intentionally drive gender equity


  • Support the development of a dialogue around rigid gender norms among funders, grantees, and public policy makers


  • Adopt internal policies that better address gender-based disparities, including leadership diversity, equitable pay structures, and flexible work environments


  • Invest a portion of their endowment in alignment with their mission and through a gender lens




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