Mama Cash’s 2011 report, ‘Untapped Potential: European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls’, showed that there is considerable interest in funding women and girls among European foundations. However, in practice there is still a significant gap between interest and action. So what stops foundations from acting? What are practical barriers? And what steps have helped foundations move from ideas to action?
To answer these questions, Mama Cash and GrantCraft developed a practical how-to guide for European funders interested in initiating or increasing support to women and girls. The Barrow Cadbury Trust provided funding support. The guide, ‘Funding for Inclusion: Women and Girls in the Equation’, was launched during a session at the European Foundation Center’s Annual General Assembly on June 7th 2012 in Belfast.
The guide is filled with examples of what foundation professionals in 31 European foundations (and their advisors) are doing to integrate a gender perspective in their work— and, when necessary, to focus some of their investments on women and girls. For instance, as one interviewee shared, “my colleague and I focus on our programmes… we will show the impact of these projects and have a good case in two to three years to take the political decision-makers and say, ‘look what we have done on this gender issue; we think we should mainstream this into other programmes’.”
The guide uses a broad definition of gender (including trans people) and provides insights into how a gender lens offers an opportunity to shed light on differences that may otherwise remain invisible and negatively influence the effectiveness of a foundation’s efforts.
Specifically, ‘Funding for Inclusion’ reflects on how gender considerations are being addressed in foundation programmes, processes and procedures. It provides a wealth of practical examples and recommendations to inspire other foundations to use a gender lens. The guide also includes an extensive list of relevant resources and contacts, covering a range of thematic topics. As one foundation executive points out in the guide: ‘At first we weren’t interested in having a gender focus, but then we realised that in order to operate successfully, we have to consider this aspect.’
Our executive director, Nicky McIntyre, has written a guest blog post on Philantopic about the guide and why Mama Cash considered this an important effort to support. Read it here>>