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Press Release

Partnership of Women’s Foundations Invests $58.4 Million Over Two Years to Create Pathways to Economic Security

To kick-off Women’s History Month 2018, today the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota joins members of Prosperity Together, a nonpartisan partnership of 32 public U.S. women’s foundations located in 26 states and Washington, D.C., to announce Year 2 (2017) results of its collective five-year, $100 million funding commitment to ensure economic security for low-income women and their families across the country. During Women’s History Month in March, the partnership will leverage social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) each week to share successes and engage the public at #ProsperityTogether.

In Year One (2016), Prosperity Together partners invested a collective $29,170,427. In 2017, partners invested $29,251,072 for a total of $58,421,499 – 58% of its five-year, $100 million commitment in just two years. Collectively last year, partners supported 1,022 nonprofit organizations and impacted 137,153 women and girls across 26 states and Washington, D.C.

“As philanthropies working within and with communities across the country, women’s foundations address systemic and institutional barriers and target the resources needed to create equal opportunity and economic security for low-income women and their families,” said Lee Roper-Batker, president and CEO, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. “In Minnesota, we act as a catalyst towards these solutions, on the ground and in partnership with community, funding programs statewide that promise and deliver momentous impact toward women’s economic security.”

To achieve economic security for all women, Prosperity Together partners employ a broad, inclusive approach to grantmaking. In 2017, 90% of partners supported workforce development; 81%, leadership development and community mobilization; 74%, financial literacy and asset building; 74%, research; and 74%, education.

In 2017, Prosperity Together partners targeted their grantmaking to support programs in six areas:

  • Job Training
    Programs that are customized to address the cultural and educational needs of low-income women to secure a higher-wage job in a stable work environment.
  • Two-Generation Programs
    Programs that assist parents seeking education, job training, or employment while concurrently placing their children in high-quality education.
  • Asset Building & Financial Literacy
    Programs that help women develop and keep wealth.
  • Childcare Access & Quality
    Programs that create access for low-income women to culturally appropriate, affordable, high-quality childcare so they can be successful in the workplace and their children can have a strong academic start in life.
  • Research
    State and national research to inform best practices and policies that increase economic security for low-income women, build awareness of community-specific issues, and mobilize support for policy change.
  • Policy Change
    Support policy change efforts that most affect low-income women, including pay equity, paid family and medical leave, minimum-wage increase, improved access to childcare, reducing predatory lending, improving access to childcare subsidies for community college students, and fair scheduling and work-week bills.

To support job training for low-income women, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota invests in Dunwoody College’s Women in Technical Careers program (Minneapolis). The program is a cohort of low-income female students entering degree programs in high-paying, high-demand fields, including construction sciences, computer technology, automotive technology, or robotics. Through the cohort, students are provided need-based scholarships to cover tuition and/or childcare, mentoring by female professionals in their future field, academic support services, and professional development.

Over the next three years, Prosperity Together will continue to harness the collective power, leadership, and proven effectiveness of women’s foundations working together to ensure women’s economic security in America. State by state, the partnership calls upon policymakers, business leaders, philanthropic community, and the public to understand that economic prosperity for all is guaranteed only when economic security and equal opportunity are guaranteed for low-income women.

Prosperity Together members include the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and 31 other public U.S. women’s foundations located in 26 states and Washington, D.C. Click here for more information on Prosperity Together, full members’ list, national impact, and access to annual reports.

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