Despite the assertion that “we’ve come a long way,” our society’s most chronic problems, from poverty to lack of access to healthcare to violence, disproportionately affect women and children. In Maine, 39.3% of all families with children living below the poverty line are headed by single mothers, compared to 20.6% headed by single fathers and 5.5% headed by married couples. Despite significant need, women and girls receive only a tiny portion of the charitable funding available. Nationally, less than 7% of philanthropic dollars specifically target women and girls. Yet, research consistently shows that to eliminate barriers for women and girls, funding must be gender-specific.
Women control more than 60% of the nation’s wealth. Never before have women had such financial power and thus the opportunity to shape society’s future. Women’s philanthropy is often the key to important social change. Yet, many women lack the confidence, comfort or experience to make philanthropic decisions. An essential part of our mission is to encourage women to develop as philanthropists who give confidently and to their full potential.