October 2020

Dear Members,

With election day around the corner in the US, many of us are feeling anxious about the stability of our democracy and what the future holds. Compounding this uncertainty are the rising cases of COVID-19 that are impacting our members and partners who are under new quarantine orders in their respective states and countries. During this unprecedented period, one thing that’s clear is the dedication and resolute commitment of this community to transforming our world to be more equitable for all. 

Our goal at this moment is for WMM to be a safe place for us to wrestle with tough questions, challenge ourselves to stretch and apply a new lens to our social change efforts, and find joy in being together in community. The team has been busy creating opportunities for learning, inspiration, and connection, which are recapped here:

  • The Give Bold, #GetEqual Campaign is continuing to gather steam. We are excited to share we have reached a new milestone with $85M in commitments to women and girls! This campaign is a call for action to ensure proper funding to guarantee equal rights, equal pay, and equal power. We are doing a big media push to raise awareness about the campaign and to demand action. Many of these articles you will find in the news section on our website. As we inch closer to our goal of $100M, we hope to blow this goal out of the water before the close of the year… and then keep going! We invite you to join those members who have already made a bold commitment to equality as part of this campaign.
  • This month we launched our first-ever virtual Philanthropic Leadership Program Intensive, Storytelling with Purpose. A powerful tool for social change, this three-part intensive offered a deep experiential dive into storytelling, focusing on crafting personal narratives that can serve as a call to action to inspire others to achieve a shared purpose. We look forward to sharing a few of their reflections next month and the upcoming 2021 offering.
  • WMM Wednesdays are back with a special fall series. On October 7th, we were joined by fair pay icon Lilly Ledbetter and Marcia Greenberger, Rachel Feldman, and Simone Pero to talk about equal pay, anti-discrimination efforts in the workplace, and forthcoming film, Lilly. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Later in the month, we were joined by Dr. Monique Morris and Anasa Troutman for an important conversation about investing in Black girls and youth of color to advance equity and justice. We are grateful to all of these leaders for sharing their time and expertise with us!
  • You asked, we answered! You can now watch/rewatch this year’s Annual Summit program and recorded panels on our website via the Summit agenda tab. We continue to receive positive feedback on this year’s convening from the more than 1,200 attendees, sponsors and partners who joined us. We are leaning into being even more creative with next year’s program - so stay tuned!
  • We expanded our Voices from the Field Series with two new contributors this month. In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we interviewed Deborah Vagins, President & CEO o the National Network to End Domestic Violence, about the crucial work she is spearheading to end domestic violence and support survivors. For the International Day of the Girl, Dr. Monique Morris offered insights and shared how Grantmakers for Girls of Color is responding to this moment through their recently launched Black Girl Freedom Fund.
With 2021 just around the corner, we will be sharing a robust calendar with new and unique opportunities for learning and connection with one another. We look forward to sharing more soon!

As the year comes to a close, please remember to include us in your year-end giving. Your gift to WMM enables us to offer a rich array of programming, partner with movement leaders driving change, and advocate for greater investment in women and girls.

In partnership,

Sarah Haacke Byrd
Executive Director
Women Moving Millions

This month, we offer an exclusive look at the work of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to build a safe and gender equal world.  

Deborah J. Vagins | President & CEO, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)

Q: What is your vision for ending domestic violence?

Our vision for ending domestic violence is three-fold. We want to make ending domestic violence a national priority by working closely with our members—the 56 state and territory coalitions against domestic violence—to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of survivors and the advocates who work with them and to elevate these needs to policymakers in Congress. We want to change the way society responds to domestic violence through a range of programs and initiatives, cross-sector collaborations, corporate and foundation partnerships, and direct support to survivors through tools like our Email Hotline, which provide free legal information to any in need.  And we want to strengthen domestic violence advocacy at every level by providing state coalitions with critical information and resources, training, and technical assistance, in order to develop comprehensive solutions that work.

Q: Why is the work of NNEDV more important than ever right now? 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the advice around the world has been to “stay at home.” But we know that home is not a safe place for everyone, and we know that this ongoing crisis has further strained the already-limited resources available to survivors. Since March, we have been working closely with our member coalitions to respond to the evolving needs of survivors, advocates, and local programs. From creating and disseminating brand-new resources for the field, to partnering with The Allstate Foundation to distribute more than $500,000 to local programs in need, to securing the donation of nearly 80,000 KN95 masks and more than 100,000 surgical masks and face shields to advocates and programs, to raising awareness through initiatives like YouTube's #ISeeYou public service video campaign — we are honored to leverage our resources and expertise to benefit local programs and the survivors who are counting on them amid so much uncertainty. 

We know, too, that this crisis is far from over. It has created housing, childcare, economic, and other barriers that will continue to impact survivors for months, if not years. And these barriers fall disproportionately against survivors of color, disabled survivors, immigrant survivors, and others who already experience substantial discrimination and difficulty accessing resources. NNEDV will continue responding to these and other needs for as long as it takes, even after the pandemic itself begins to fade from the headlines.

Q: What does 2021 look like in terms of priorities, new opportunities for growth, and collaboration? 

We’re looking forward to learning from and building on the work of 2020. NNEDV commemorated our 30th anniversary this year, and while this turned out to not be a year of celebration, we are reminded every day how important our work is: to understand and respond to the needs of survivors and the advocates, coalitions, and local programs that help them. The multiple crises of 2020 – COVID-19, economic insecurity, and ongoing racial injustice – will continue into 2021 and our work must continue to be responsive to those needs. Read More

In responding to COVID-19, we’ve had the opportunity to work nimbly and creatively to sustain our existing funding and partnerships, while moving strategically to cultivate new relationships and imagine new ways of delivering support in a virtual world.  We created a COVID-19 Rapid Response team, integrating the knowledge of experts across our office to coordinate and share consistent guidance and material for domestic violence shelters and service providers, reaching thousands of local, state, territorial, and tribal organizations to help with the sudden shift to digital services and need for technical assistance. COVID-19 has also raised new challenges and hardships for survivors.  In 2021, we look forward to seeking out additional partnerships to support and expand some of our direct services work.  Our survivor-centered, trauma-informed expertise informs the personalized, free legal information shared by attorneys through the Email Hotline and the economic empowerment and credit building microloans provided through our experts with the Independence Project.

We also continue to face the tragic assaults on Black life in America and the need to confront the systemic racism that imperils survivors further. We’ve looked at our partnerships and practices, with an eye toward elevating the work of culturally specific providers who have been advocating tirelessly for survivors of color, often without recognition or attention.  We are also hosting conversations on criminal justice and other systems reforms necessary to center survivors of color and coalitions to work towards lasting social change.  As we look ahead to 2021, we’re excited to continue pursuing sustainable partnerships that can support this work into next year and beyond. 

Q: And what can philanthropy do now to meet the needs of the movement?

Long before the pandemic, domestic violence programs have been drastically underfunded, often leaving them unable to meet the urgent needs of the survivors who depend on them. Our groundbreaking Domestic Violence Counts Report (an annual survey of domestic violence services sought within a 24-hour period) found that in just one day in 2019, more than 77,000 adults and children across the country accessed essential services like housing, counseling, and legal advocacy. But tragically, more than 11,000 adults and children were turned away that same day because local programs simply did not have the resources to meet their needs. 

Now, when we think about programs’ additional burdens brought about by COVID-19—from paying for hotel rooms so survivors can socially distance, to upgrading technology so advocates can deliver services remotely, to buying PPE and cleaning supplies at astronomical markups—the need is absolutely staggering. Most advocates are no strangers to working within the confines of tight budgets, coming up with creative strategies and solutions to meet survivors where they are. Any amount of funding can be a lifeline for these programs and the survivors who are counting on them. However, national, state, and local domestic organizations are most in need of flexible, sustained, and multi-year funding so that they can work towards more long-term solutions once immediate needs are met.

new members

Nazanin Alakija

London, U.K.

Naza Alakija is a humanitarian, philanthropist, and climate action and global education advocate. She believes that climate change is the defining issue of our time and threatens to wipe out the social development gains of the last half-century in the most climate-vulnerable parts of the world. To protect the social development gains threatened by climate change, Naza focuses her work primarily on identifying and deploying solutions to address its negative impacts in low-income communities whilst providing both emergency and long-term solutions for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through different institutions such as UNICEF and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Naza currently works with and supports a number of key agencies including UNICEF and programs such as GIGA, Nanosatellites, and Conceptos Plasticos. In 2019, Naza launched a foundation - SAGE Innovation Centre – to identify, mentor, and fund climate-solution innovations developed by African and Middle Eastern SMEs that promote equitable and sustainable development.

Jody Allen

Seattle, WA

Jody is Co-Founder, Board Chair, and President of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. She is chair of Vulcan Inc., which she co-founded with brother Paul G. Allen in 1986, Founding Director of MoPOP, and Chair of the Board of the Allen Institute. As trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust, Jody works to ensure Paul’s vision is realized for generations to come. She also serves as chair of the Seattle Seahawks NFL and Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchises, recognizing the role of both teams as catalysts for civic pride. Jody is a philanthropist passionate about conservation, fighting wildlife trafficking, and saving Africa’s elephants from extinction. In 2016 she founded Wild Lives Foundation, and she serves on the board of Sealife Response, Rehab and Research (SR3), an organization dedicated to improving the health and welfare of marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. Deeply committed to education and the arts, Jody is a board member of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, and previously served on the boards of ArtsFund, the University of Washington Foundation, the Museum of Glass, the Los Angeles International Film Festival, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

upcoming events
women moving millions

Save the Date: 2021 Annual Summit

September 30 - October 2, 2021   |   Washington, D.C.

Please save the dates for our next Annual Summit, taking place September 30 – October 2, 2021. We are hopeful that we will be able to convene in person for this event in Washington, D.C., but closely monitor any travel restrictions and guidance related to COVID-19 – stay tuned.


Women Lead: A Conversation on Social Justice

October 20, 2020   |   Virtual

Earlier this month, The New York Women's Foundation hosted a conversation with women leaders Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Creator of the 1619 Project; Cristina Jiménez, Immigrant Justice Organizer and Co-Founder of United We Dreamin; and Maria Hinojosa, President & Founder of the Futuro Media Group, to discuss women’s experiences in some of today’s most pressing issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, economic inequality, and civic engagement. If you were unable to attend the event, use the link below to watch the recording and use code "NYWFGuest" when prompted to enter your email address.

TEDWomen 2020: Fearless

November 12, 2020   |   Virtual

At this year's virtual TEDWomen 2020, participants will call upon our collective fearlessness to create a global step forward together. Talks, along with an array of interactive participatory sessions and other opportunities to connect will be shared via TED's custom digital conference space.

WDN Connect: Rising to the Moment

November 16-18, 2020   |   Virtual

Women Donors Network is hosting its annual conference "WDN Connect: Rising to the Moment" to explore the impact of their collective funding, discuss the outcomes of the U.S. election in November, and talk about what comes next in 2021. Speakers include Greisa Martinez Rosas of United We Dream, Chinyere Tutashinda of BlackOUT Collective, and more!

Rise: Billions Girls CoLab

November 17, 2020   |   Virtual

On Tuesday, November 17th at 12pm ET, The Case for Her, founded by WMM members Wendy Anderson & Cristina Ljungberg, is co-hosting a virtual event with and the Billion Girls CoLab where you'll hear from young girls and see why shifting power to girls will be critical to unlocking new, impactful solutions in adolescent health around the world. Learn more about the program here, and register below by November 4th. 


November 24, 2020   |   Virtual

This November, Australian Women Donors Network is hosting an event featuring Jay Weatherill, CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five and Sam Mostyn, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Australian Women Donors Network in conversation with author and Walkley Award-winning journalist, Catherine Fox, to discuss the value of a gender lens in directing funding for greatest impact.

GenderSmart Global Summit 2021

February 1-11, 2021   |   Virtual

In light of ongoing COVID travel restrictions and concerns around community safety, the GenderSmart Global Summit will now be delivered as an immersive virtual experience, kicking off with special pre-Summit programming in December 2020 and culminating in the Virtual Summit from 1-11 February 2021, with curated conversations and content running throughout. WMM is proud to be partnering with Suzanne Biegel and Catalyst at Large as a sponsor for this event. Program and registration details will be released in November 2020 - stay tuned!

gender lens philanthropy
the latest

New Campaigns Seek to Generate More Than $1 Billion for Women and Girls

This month, our Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, was featured in a piece by The Chronicle of Philanthropy alongside recent WMM Wednesdays speaker Dr. Monique W. Morris, Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. The article spotlights our recently launched Give Bold, #GetEqual Campaign, and the newly launched Black Girl Freedom Fund from Grantmakers for Girls of Color. Speaking to the urgent need for increased funding for women and girls in this moment, Sarah stated, "I think that there is movement readiness right now. What’s missing is the flow of capital. The movement for gender equality remains chronically under-resourced.”

New Report Points to Women’s Mental Health Crisis

Ms. Magazine published an article this month highlighting the mental health crisis that women are increasingly experiencing amidst this global pandemic. The article points out that in a recent survey, women were almost three times more likely than men to report mental health issues and "...cited issues such as skyrocketing unpaid care burdens and worries about livelihoods, food, and health care."

WMM to Philanthropy: In COVID Economy, Give Bold for Women

This month, Philanthropy Women published an article spotlighting our new Give Bold, #GetEqual Campaign and featured our Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, who explains the significance of this moment for women and girls and how this campaign aims to alleviate the compounding impact they have felt as a result of COVID-19. She argues that "if we don’t have more capital flowing to this work, then the regressive tendency of COVID-19 becomes a permanent reality for women.”

In Pursuit of an Equal America

WMM Board Director, S. Mona Sinha, was recently featured in an interview by the Columbia Business School which discussed her passion and pursuit of gender equality in America. In response to a question on how to open more stages for women, Mona states, "It’s got to be more than just women supporting women. It has to be men and boys realizing that women are equally talented."

Commons Gives Approval in Principle to Judges’ Sexual Assault Training Bill

The Canadian House of Commons voted unanimously to approve "in principle — for the third time — a bill that would require judges to commit to take training in sexual assault law." In pushing for the bill's approval, Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef said, "it will help all of us do right by survivors of gender-based violence."

Women Moving Millions’ Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, Shares Details about A New $100 Million Campaign For Global Gender Equity

Forbes published an interview this month featuring our Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, and focused on the objectives of our new Give Bold, #GetEqual Campaign. Remarking that this campaign is open to participation from everyone, Sarah stated "the lack of funding is indicative of a structural injustice in the sector and everyone, foundations and corporations included, need to get off the sideline and commit to giving boldly." 

Women Were Key to Eradicating Wild Polio in Africa. But Can They Do the Same for COVID?

The Fuller Project recently published an article discussing the need for global leaders to look to women in solving the current global pandemic and using the eradication of polio in Africa as a case study. The article insists that "world leaders, scientists, and civil society can more effectively respond to COVID-19 by harnessing the power of women in local communities globally."

How the Humanitarian Response to COVID-19 Failed to Protect Women and Girls

The International Rescue Committee recently released a report documenting the humanitarian response to COVID-19 and its failure to address increased levels of domestic violence. According to the report, "73% of women interviewed reported an increase in intimate partner violence, 51% cited sexual violence, and 32% observed a growth in the levels of early and forced marriage."

Four Times More Women Than Men Dropped Out of the Labor Force in September

This month, the National Women's Law Center released a report detailing the increased job loss rates that women have experienced as a result of COVID-19. The report claims that "since February 2020, women have lost nearly 5.8 million net jobs, accounting for 53.9% of overall net job loss since the start of the crisis."

Reports of Child Abuse are Down: This Investigator is Scared for the Kids She’s Not Seeing

The Washington Post recently published a piece discussing the potentially dangerous underlying cause for child abuse reports in decline. The article argues that due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay inside, children in abusive homes are not being seen. The article explains that a particular child protective services investigator is increasingly concerned. "She knew that there were still floors with broken glass, babies with broken bones, kids getting hit and going hungry. She knew it was happening, but she didn’t know enough to help."

Women Moving Millions Inc · 19 Fulton Street Suite 301 · New York, NY 10038-2135 · USA