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Womensphere's Fundraiser:

Global Fund for Women

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BENEFITING: Global Fund for Women

EVENT DATE: Dec 31, 2011



The Global Fund for Women plays a leading role in advancing women’s rights by making grants that support and strengthen women’s groups around the world. We mobilize and redistribute resources that enable women to develop creative solutions to local, regional, and transnational challenges. We bring grantees and donors together in an international network that promotes women’s action for social change, equality, peace, and justice worldwide.

The Global Fund for Women envisions a just, compassionate and equitable world in which all people, regardless of their gender, class, age, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability may live free of poverty, violence, and all forms of discrimination. Each person and all peoples are guaranteed their fundamental human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. Women everywhere have a voice, have choices, and are able to realize their full potential within their societies.

The Global Fund has been a catalyst in the global women’s rights movement since 1987 by mobilizing nearly $85 million from 20,000+ diverse individuals and institutions and in turn, providing grants to 4200 groups in 171 countries. In 2010 alone, our efforts reached 125,000 women and girls and benefited thousands more.

What We Do
We advocate for and defend women's human rights by making grants to support women's groups in five regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia and Oceania and the Americas. Since its inception in 1987, the Global Fund has granted over $93 million to more than 4,400 women's groups in 172 countries.

How We Work
We listen to the concerns of women and girls worldwide and trust them to design solutions that address the needs of their communities, regions and nations.
We seed newly formed women-led initiatives that that use innovative strategies to address complex issues that challenge systemic injustice.
We strengthen the capacity of women's groups to sustain their own work and be more effective.
We link women's groups, networks and coalitions to advance shared learning and build powerful movements for social change.

What Makes Us Unique
Accessibility: women’s groups from any part of the world may write to us in any language and in any format.
Global Expertise: our board and advisory council include local activists who know the realities facing women and the operational challenges for women's rights organizations.
Flexible Grants for General Operating Support: General support grants allow groups to seize opportunities, respond to crises, and strengthen the capacity of their organizations.
Building Local Philanthropy: we invest in local women's funds to promote social change philanthropy and increase funding for women's rights globally.

The Global Fund for Women has played a vital role in catalyzing women's rights movements around the world. And for nearly 25 years, Global Fund grantees have demonstrated the power of these movements and the impact of holistic, community-based, women-led initiatives for social change.

We have mobilized over $88 million dollars to support the innovative work of over 4,300 women-led civil society organizations in 172 countries.
We have built a broad, global network of more than 20,000 supporters, 4,300 grantee partners, and over 1,000 advisors. Each member of this network is a powerful voice for change in her or his community.
We support approximately 600 grantee partners each year - collectively these groups directly benefit over 125,000 women and girls annually. However, many grantees work on "root causes" of issues, working to pass new laws that may, for example, criminalize domestic violence or ensure women have a right to own property. Ultimately, these kinds of concrete changes have benefited millions.
Being a leading edge funder enables us to tackle complex issues early and help increase their visibility with larger donors. For example, GFW funded girls' equitable access to education years before it became a staple of mainstream philanthropy. In the mid-90s, GFW convened a donor learning and advocacy circle on sex trafficking that proved to be an early effort in US philanthropy to confront this issue. We funded the first ever hotline for women experiencing domestic violence in China, the first march for lesbian women's rights in Mexico, and some of the earliest efforts by women's groups to tackle environmental issues in Central Asia.
We have the networks and capacity to reach grassroots organizations and particularly marginalized populations. Over 80% of all grants reach women and girls who live in rural areas or who are especially marginalized, including women living with disabilities, adolescent girls, members of ethnic or religious minority communities, LBTQI women, and refugee women and girls.

More broadly, global women's movements have played critical roles in securing major changes in women's lives. Over the past quarter century:

The average percentage of parliament seats held by women worldwide has risen from less than 12% to over 19%.

The maternal mortality rate has fallen by more than one-third

Globally, literacy rates for girls have risen from 55% to 74%


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