Category Archives: News Feed

Women’s Foundation’s girlsBEST Application and Process Timeline

(April 18, 2017) -The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota issued a Request for Proposals for multi-year grants from the girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) Fund on March 14, 2017. The girlsBEST Fund is a grantmaking and public awareness program to build the economic power of girls, ages 12-18.

Organizations desiring consideration for funding were asked to complete the online grant application by 5:00 p.m. on April 17, 2017.

2017 Application and Process Timeline

  • March 14: Online application available for organizations to start applying.
  • March 22: Grant Information Webinar at 11:30 a.m.
  • April 17: Proposals due by 5:00 p.m.
  • April-May: girlsBEST Fund Committee reviews proposals and selects organizations to present proposals to the Committee on May 20.
  • May 4: Applicants selected for a site visit will be notified.
  • May 20: Site visits will be scheduled for applicants still under consideration. Site visits will be conducted in-person at the Women’s Foundation offices.
  • May 30: Grant award and declination letters sent to applicants.

Questions? Please contact Andrea Satter, program office, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, at 612-236-1805 or andrea@wfmn.org.

Honoring the Legacy of Sandra K. Butler: Creating a World Where All Women and Girls Can Thrive

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(L-r) Sandra K. Butler and Mary Lee Dayton, founding mothers of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. (Sept. 2011)

On March 10, Sandra K. Butler, a founding mother of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, passed away at age 83. Sandy was an early role model for visionary, confident, women philanthropists dedicated to creating a world that valued women’s equal participation in all areas of public and private life.

In 1984, Sandy and her dear friend, Mary Lee Dayton, agreed to play major fundraising roles in building the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s $10 million endowment. As co-chairs of the major gifts campaign, they raised $5 million from individuals, foundations, and corporations in just over two years.

In an interview in 2011, Mary Lee described their passion, conviction, and good walking shoes. “We were passionate about the mission. Sandy had connections in St. Paul and I had connections in Minneapolis. She taught me the St. Paul skyway system, and even the Minneapolis one!” It took them another 13 years, but the $10 million endowment was raised and the future of the very first statewide women’s foundation in the country was secured.

From a young age, philanthropy and giving back was a strong Butler family value. Sandy served as the first program director of her family’s Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation. Under her leadership, the foundation became a lead philanthropic supporter of women-focused programs, providing early funding for Chrysalis, Domestic Abuse Project, Jeremiah Program, Tubman Family Alliance, and Women’s Advocates. The Women’s Foundation became a core organization supported by the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, which has invested more than $1.5 million in the Foundation, to date.

A natural change-agent and courageous leader, Sandy lent financial support and credibility, early on, to programs that advocated against hate speech and provided services for women who were being sex trafficked.

In Sept. 2011, the Women’s Foundation recognized Sandy as the Mary Lee Dayton Catalyst for Change Award honoree for her lifetime commitment to gender equity and leadership to create a world where all women and girls can create and lead safe, prosperous lives.

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017 | Leading with Hope, Leading with Community Every Day

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Dear Friends:

Today on International Women’s Day, we celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements in our state, nation, and around the world. Yet, we see progress slowing instead of accelerating in many places and populations: in Minnesota, disparities between women and men, and among white women and women of color, are on the rise.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange. We’re heartened by this call. We must be bold, smart, and strategic as we work – within the context of a divided America – to secure equal rights for all.

We’re concerned that much of the rhetoric and policy espoused by the White House demeans people based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and ability. We see it as an ominous sign that the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented hundreds of recent and escalating hate incidents. Further, it concerns us that the White House Council on Women and Girls’ website has disappeared, along with White House websites specific to America’s LGBTQ and disabled populations.

As a statewide community foundation, how will we #BeBoldForChange?

With unwavering integrity, we will hold fast to our vision of a world of equal opportunity in which women, girls –and all people – hold the power to create and lead safe, prosperous lives.

This vision is our North Star. Yet while it transcends, it is also deeply affected by politics. We will continue to work to educate and find common ground with policymakers and corporate, community, and philanthropic leaders to remove systemic barriers to gender and racial equity. And, we will stand in support with communities, ready to defend threats to immigrants’ rights, women’s safety and security, reproductive rights, and access to health care, quality education, and childcare.

We’re determined to fix the broken systems that keep a disproportionate number of women in poverty and in low-wage jobs, vulnerable to sex trafficking and other forms of violence, and unable to reach their full potential. We’ll continue to fund and support community-based solutions, because we know that problems and solutions are found in the same place.

At the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, we will continue to lead with hope, generosity, and inclusion to ensure gender and racial equity, equal opportunity, safety, and economic prosperity for all.

To #BeBoldForChange, our leadership necessarily takes many forms:

  • Increased investments in ground-breaking research that parses the data behind systemic inequality and gives us the fact-based context for our work.
  • Commitment to cross-sector leadership – standing with and for multi-sector partners and individuals – to identify and invest in innovative community-based, community-led solutions to gender and racial disparities.
  • Commissioning a map of the resources available for this work to identify and close the funding gaps.
  • Changing minds and behavior by creating strategic communications rooted in Minnesotans’ shared values and shared humanity.
  • Changing systems by changing policies.
  • Standing with a growing group of national and statewide philanthropic partners, including, most recently, the Immigrants’ Rights Funders Collaborative and the YWI National Funders Collaborative.
  • Developing a toolkit on using a place-gender-race lens for the field.
  • Increasing grants to organizations that pioneer best practices and protect human rights.

I’m pleased to report that in the past month, we’ve committed an additional $100,000 in Innovation Fund grants to three community partners facing incredible threats:

  • A grant to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund will help it increase its advocacy capacity to counter threats to exclude Planned Parenthood as a federally-subsidized health care provider for women; and
  • General operating grants to Advocates for Human Rights and Immigrant Law Center will boost their ability to ramp up their legal battles and train lawyers to meet the recent, drastically increased demand for their services.

While times like these call for agile responses to threats, we must also develop proactive initiatives that move upstream. We couldn’t be more thrilled about our new Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN), a $9 million, seven-year bipartisan initiative that we’re co-leading with the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota to create safe and prosperous lives with young women.

In the same way that our bipartisan MN Girls Are Not for Sale campaign changed the way Minnesotans talk about and address sex trafficking, YWI MN seeks to change how communities discuss and invest in young women. YWI MN also provides a timely context in which to build even more meaningful partnerships with corporations committed to workplace equity and workforce development.

Our steady advancement of our mission and strategic goals is not about or limited to these first 100 days of the new White House administration. It is about standing with communities, leading with our values, and defending our mission and vision 365 days per year.

Recently, I spotted a t-shirt that captured my thinking perfectly. It read: “Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It’s not pie.”

Here at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, we intend to serve up heaping slices of systems and policy change until gender and racial equity is achieved.

In these times of uncertainty, I am sure of two things: first, that our vision to create a world of equal opportunity in which women, girls, and all people can lead safe, prosperous lives has never been more important; and second, that our donor- and grantee-partners make this vibrant work possible.

Here’s to our continued partnership, and boldness.

Onward,
Lee


Lee Roper-Batker is president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

URGENT PUBLIC ALERT: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Alerts the Public to New Email Scam

(Feb. 1, Minneapolis) – This morning, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota became aware of an email scam it wants to make the public aware of immediately.

The following is the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s public statement:

This morning, it came to our attention that an individual, via email, is again fraudulently claiming to be an employee of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. This individual is soliciting donations – falsely and fraudulently on behalf of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota – to help women escape sex trafficking. This is a false claim and this individual does not work, volunteer, or represent the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in any capacity.

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has alerted local and state law enforcement authorities.

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota wants to ensure that Minnesotans are informed and protected. Individual support of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s work to end sex trafficking in Minnesota, or its overall statewide work to drive gender equity, is always welcome. We ask that those who wish to do so use our secure donation methods by visiting WFMN.org, and click on DONATE, or simply call 612-337-5010. Thank you.

>> Read and share the press release.

URGENT PUBLIC ALERT: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Alerts the Public to Email Scam

(Dec. 16, Minneapolis) – This morning, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota became aware of an email scam it wants to make the public aware of immediately.

The following is the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s public statement:

This morning, it came to our attention that an individual, via email, is fraudulently claiming to be an employee of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. This individual is soliciting donations – falsely and fraudulently on behalf of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota – to help women escape sex trafficking. This is a false claim and this individual does not work, volunteer, or represent the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in any capacity.

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has alerted local and state law enforcement authorities.

During this season of generosity and giving, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota wants to ensure that Minnesotans are informed and protected. Individual support of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s work to end sex trafficking in Minnesota, or its overall statewide work to drive gender equity, is always welcome. We ask that those who wish to do so use our secure donation methods by visiting WFMN.org, and click on DONATE, or simply call 612-337-5010. Thank you.

>> Read and share the press release.

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and National Partners Commit Over $29 Million to Increase Women’s Economic Security in 2016

(Dec. 14, Minneapolis) – The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and partners of Prosperity Together, a collective effort of public U.S. women’s foundations, committed $29,170,427 in 2016 to help women across America acquire living-wage jobs, educational training and support, and affordable and high-quality childcare. One year ago at the White House, Prosperity Together announced a $100 million commitment to women’s economic security over five years.

The first-year totals are 46% higher than projected. The $29 million supported 996 unique organizations in 23 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, over 4,016,725 women and girls were directly impacted by women’s foundations’ dedication to women’s economic security this year.

>> Read the full press release
>> Read the Prosperity Together Year One Executive Summary
>> Watch the Year One in Review video

 

 

Foundation Awards $150,000 in girlsBEST Fund Planning Grants to Support Future Economic Prosperity of MN Girls

(December 2, Minneapolis) — The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has awarded $150,000 in planning grants to 28 nonprofit organizations through its girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) Fund. The grant period is October 15, 2016 to April 14, 2017. Established in 2001, girlsBEST is a girl-led, girl-driven grantmaking program to increase the readiness of low-income girls, girls of color, and girls from Greater Minnesota (ages 12-18) to achieve future economic prosperity. >> Read the full press release.

Equality Update Newsletter – Fall 2016

View the Foundation’s latest newsletter highlighting exciting work for gender equity.

Learn about the official launch of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a bold new public-private partnership between the Women’s Foundation and the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota to improve opportunity and equity in outcomes for young women (ages 12 to 24) in our state who need it the most.

Read the inspiring stories of Sirena Dubiel and Kolang Vang, two young women working toward future careers in architecture with the support of the Women in Technical Careers Program at Dunwoody College of Technology (a Pathways to Prosperity grantee-partner).

Meet generous donor-partner and Fund Advisor, Romaine Scharlemann, and hear how opening a Donor Advised Fund at the Women’s Foundation helped increase the impact of her giving, include her family in meaningful ways, and best align with her values.

>> Read the EQUALITY Update

Governor Mark Dayton announces appointments to the Young Women’s Cabinet and the Young Women’s Initiative Council

(St. Paul, Nov. 23) – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the following appointments to the Young Women’s Cabinet and the Young Women’s Initiative Council, as part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN). YWI MN will bring together nonprofits, businesses, and government to improve equity in outcomes for young women in Minnesota who experience the greatest disparities.

>> Read the full press release.