The Amplify Her Foundation, a new philanthropic organization dedicated to providing grants to support nonprofits that promote the economic and social mobility of women and girls in New York City, is planning a $1 million inaugural grantmaking cycle.
The organization at the same time has released a new report on the leadership challenges women and girls face that will serve as a guideline in the upcoming grantmaking process. The analysis, entitled “If She Can Make it Here,” surveyed and interviewed more than 1,000 respondents across the city.
“The mission of Amplify Her is to support women and girls from underserved communities to become transformative changemakers, so we wanted to identify the most impactful interventions that help overcome the barriers to leadership.” said Marti Speranza Wong, founder and executive director at the organization.
“To do this we knew that we needed to center women’s voices and wisdom and let them guide us. So we undertook a comprehensive research project that ultimately connected with over 1,000 women and girls across the five boroughs,” Sepranza explained. “The data and insights we gathered were so illuminating that we decided to take what was originally intended to be an internal blueprint for our grantmaking, and turn it into a resource for the broader community.”
According to the Women’s Policy Institute, funding for women’s and girl’s organizations represents less than 2% of all philanthropic giving in the United States. Amplify Her plans to combat this disparity by directing 100% of its grantmaking to women’s and girls’ organizations. “To truly address the systemic issues facing women and girls from underserved communities, funders must approach their grantmaking with an intersectional and feminist lens.” said Laura Risimini, the organization’s director of grants.
“When we put out a call for organizations to submit a letter of inquiry to apply for funding, we were humbled and overwhelmed by the number of responses we received,” Risimini told New York Nonprofit Media. “There are countless passionate organizations in this city doing incredible work to advance women and girls, but so many of them are woefully underfunded. This chronic under-resourcing of the nonprofit sector, one largely led by women, reflects the ways in which women and women’s work are devalued in the economy."
The report lists eight insights that delve into the challenges women and girls face when climbing up the leadership ladder. It also lists barriers faced and five different opportunity areas for grantmaking organizations to invest in.
One challenge listed on the report referred to the fact that women are now a majority of the college-educated workforce and are obtaining advanced degrees to reach leadership roles. However, their male counterparts are arriving at the same opportunities with less credentials.
Another challenge listed specifically speaks to first and second generation immigrant women who lack structural support and resources when it comes to the workplace. Interviewees have reported lacking a blueprint or guide that helps them navigate American workplaces, such as advocating for raises and promotions.
Some of the report‘s recommendations include investing in women’s workplace safety and wellness, alongside investing in advocacy and research.
Amplify Her grantees will be announced later this year.