NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact low-income women and women of color, frontline nonprofits have been doing the essential work of sustaining heavily-affected communities.
The New York Women's Foundation, Women's Foundation California and Chicago Foundation for Women have set up alliance-based initiatives supported by Fondation CHANEL to support women and girls vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
This innovative approach of working together in supported alliances is ever more critical in the current COVID context with less collective funding but considerably rising social needs and deepening health and economic disparities.
Nonprofits often lack the time or resources for vital networking and collaboration. A collective approach to funding deliberately provides alliance organizations with resources to experiment, launch new initiatives they have co-designed and then to collect and share the data with policy makers to help drive public opinion and positive change.
The below three initiatives are testament to the benefits of this approach, funded in part by Fondation CHANEL, an international foundation working to improve the economic and social conditions of women and girls.
"While COVID-19 has forced people all over the country to adopt physical distancing measures to stop the spread of the virus, these alliances are forging bonds of solidarity, knowing that now is a time to come together to care deeply for one another and leverage shared resources."
"We believe that supporting community-based organizations to remain financially and operationally stable and preventing burnout among their staff members has never been more critical. These alliance initiatives are investments in our collective healing and imagination of a more just and equitable society," said Adeline Azrack, Head of US Programs at Fondation CHANEL.
Strengthening the economic security of communities of low-income women and families in New York City
The Brooklyn Economic Justice Project with The New York Women's Foundation is aimed at strengthening the economic security of selected communities of low-income women and families in New York City. The project focuses on solidifying community relationships and building social capital for leaders and residents. It is working with a collection of grassroots organizations through an alliance-based model that combines grant support, peer learning, technical assistance, and dedicated networking for participating partners. Since the first round of funding took place in March 2020, grant support has been distributed to six local organizations specializing in food justice, community development, economic security, affordable housing, urban planning, and public design.
A gender-responsive approach to the intersecting issues of gender-based violence and housing insecurity
The economic fallout from the pandemic has pushed many women, especially women of color, immigrant, trans and gender non-conforming people into joblessness, homelessness and unsafe environments. The Women's Foundation California launched the HOME (Housing Opportunities Mean Everything) Alliance to support seven women-focused organizations throughout the state working on policy change to improve the safety and economic security of women experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence. In addition, Blue Shield Foundation of California has a longstanding commitment to "breaking the cycle of domestic violence" and Conrad N.Hilton Foundation are key funding partners in this work to advance gender justice in California.
Building financial stability for women and families
The Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) designed the Englewood Women's Initiative as a collaboration between ten community-based organizations addressing the needs of women on their journey to financial stability. Englewood, a once vibrant and thriving community on Chicago's South Side, has experienced decades of disinvestment and systemic inequities. These inequities have negatively impacted more than 4,700 families in Englewood, two-thirds of whom are headed by single mothers and half of whom live below the federal poverty line. According to the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University, which is evaluating the initiative, "EWI grew in its collaborative capacity across EWI organizations and in doing so reached the women with the greatest needs who are living, working and spending time in the Englewood community."
About The New York Women's Foundation
Since 1987, The New York Women's Foundation has advanced a dynamic philanthropic strategy based on the fundamental reality that, when women thrive, their families and communities also thrive. The Foundation's grantmaking places it at the top of public women's foundations in the United States, and in the top two in the world. We invest in women-led, community-based solutions that promote the economic security, safety, and health of the most vulnerable women in New York City. We foster women's leadership, create partnerships that spark catalytic change, exchange insights with experts across sectors, and empower women by training them in activism and philanthropy to accelerate and sustain forward progress. Visit www.nywf.org to learn more about our work to transform lives, families, and communities – and create a better New York City for all.
About Women's Foundation California
The Women's Foundation California is a statewide, publicly supported foundation dedicated to achieving racial, economic, and gender justice by centering the experience and expertise of communities most impacted by systemic injustice. For the last 40 years, we've worked to invest in, train, and connect community leaders to advance racial, economic, and gender justice. We do this by providing grants to community-led organizations, training feminist leaders through the Women's Policy Institute, and fostering a network of advocates, donors, policymakers, grant makers, and academics to transform the political landscape of California. Learn more at www.womensfoundca.org.
About Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW funds organizations working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and lack of access to health care and information. Since its founding, CFW has invested over $39 million in hundreds of organizations, leveraging the generosity of more than 2,700 donors, impacting 70,000 women, girls, trans, and gender non-binary individuals in our region. In addition to grantmaking, CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources, and develop solutions. Learn more at www.cfw.org.
About Fondation CHANEL
Fondation CHANEL was created in 2011 to support projects that aim to improve the economic and social conditions of women and adolescent girls around the world. Its mission is to advance women's and girl's independence and agency by increasing their access to economic resources and entrepreneurship opportunities, education and training, leadership and decision-making as well as health and social protection. Visit www.fondationchanel.org for more information.
SOURCE The New York Women's Foundation