Investing in Innovation to Drive Gender
What We Do
Our goal is to raise transformational gifts to make the maximum investment in and with communities across the state to create a world of equal opportunity for women and girls.
How We Are Different
At the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, we apply an Intersectional Equity Framework™ inclusive of gender, race, place, and additional identities (ethnicity, sovereignty, class, age, ability, LGBTQ+, immigration status) to our research, grantmaking, public policy agenda, and internal work.
What is intersectionality?
Intersectionality is the practice of examining the intersecting identities of people and communities and how it impacts their access to opportunity and well-being.
What is equity?
Equity is ensuring people and communities have what they need to thrive.
How do we apply it?
Step 1: Analysis of Problems and Solutions
Gender – How are women, girls, men, and boys differently or disproportionally affected, represented, or impacted? How and why? What gender norms limit or impact equity?
Race – How are racial and ethnic communities differently or disproportionally affected, represented, or impacted? How and why?
Place – How are rural, suburban, or urban communities differently or disproportionally affected?
Additional Identities – How are additional identities, including ethnicity, sovereignty, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, and immigration status affected, represented, or impacted? How and why?
Step 2: Implement Solutions with Intersectional Equity in Design to Ensure Equity in Outcomes.
Theory of Change
We lead with research and community to expand gender and racial equity and we apply our Theory of Change to all the steps of our process and decision-making to ensure our solutions are inclusive for everyone.
As we invest, leverage, learn, influence, and scale, we use equity in design to ensure equity in outcomes.
Our Areas of Impact
What We Aim to Achieve
We find solutions with communities and begin with research. We scale impact by listening and responding to community concerns and leading systems change in three areas:
Ensuring a Minnesota where doors to opportunity are abundant and open to all girls and women in every community, and pathways to prosperity assured.
Ensuring a Minnesota where all girls and women are free from all forms of violence and can experience their homes, schools, and communities as safe places.
Ensuring a Minnesota where barriers are eliminated and all girls and women are respected and thrive.
Take a closer look at our impact areas and the funds and research that support them.
We Conduct Research to Listen, Learn, and Drive Action With Communities
In Minnesota, data show that girls and women, particularly from communities of color and those who live in greater Minnesota, experience economic, safety, health, and leadership disparities that prevent them from thriving. The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota conducts qualitative and quantitative research to better understand the lives of women and girls within communities, identify assets and barriers, and fund solutions.
What is a Systems Change?
For the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, systems change is about shifting structures in order to reduce or eliminate barriers, increase access to opportunity, and achieve gender and racial equity.
Our role is to be the connective tissue and backbone to drive systems change towards gender and racial equity. Systems change and direct service work together. Both are important, interconnecting gears that meet individual and community needs today, while shifting systems, institutions, behaviors, and policies for tomorrow.
The process of systems change includes shifts in:
- Institutions, laws, or policies
- Community or individual behavior
- Definition or reframing of issues
- Engagement /Movement-Building
- Maintaining or holding the line