“As philanthropies working within communities across the country, women’s foundations know that more resources are needed to create equal opportunity and economic security for low-income women and their families across our nation,” said Lee Roper-Batker, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
To catalyze resources and partnerships around women’s economic security, increase awareness of the impact and influence of women’s foundations, and demonstrate the investment, experience, and leadership dedicated to women’s economic security, Lee Roper-Batker spearheaded Prosperity Together.
Prosperity Together was founded in 2015 by a group of six public women’s foundations. Over the course of the year, their group expanded to include a partnership of 29 nonpartisan U.S. women’s foundations belonging to the Women’s Funding Network. On November 13, 2015 at the White House Summit on Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color in Washington, D.C., Prosperity Together announced a funding commitment of $100 million over the next five years by women’s foundations to create pathways to economic security for low-income women and their families in America.
As of November 2016, Prosperity Together met and exceeded Year One goals! In order to meet the goal of $100 million over five years, the expected giving amount for Year One was $20 million; the actual number was $29,170,427, which exceeded expectations by 46 percent.
The $29 million supported 996 unique nonprofit organizations and helped women in 23 states and Washington, D.C. acquire living-wage jobs, educational training and support, and affordable and high-quality childcare. Over 4,016,725 women and girls were directly impacted by women’s foundations’ dedication to women’s economic security this year. It is important to note that this is a considerable underestimate. Thirty-eight percent of Prosperity Together partners do not track the number of women and girls served.
The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota is committed to this national partnership and to advancing this work in Minnesota. Our Pathways to Prosperity Fund was launched in 2015 to increase access to post-secondary education and training for high-paying employment for low-income women, women of color, and women from greater Minnesota who face unique challenges to economic opportunity. To achieve this, we partner with community/technical colleges and nonprofit organizations who provide critical resources for women seeking to achieve economic security and stability.
“As the founder and chief architect of Prosperity Together, the collective progress we’ve made is beyond what I imagined we could achieve together in the first year. It is proof-positive of the power, investment, and impact of women’s foundations and our leadership to drive gender equity in America. The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota remains committed to creating pathways to prosperity for women in Minnesota and beyond,” said Lee Roper-Batker.