High hopes and high expectations for resourcing feminist movements: recommendations to the Equality Fund
Power. Money. Accountability. Sustainability. What do these terms mean when you think about funding for feminist activism?
Over the last year, AWID asked feminist activists from around the world to share their hopes and visions for the new Equality Fund, a new CAD$300-million model to fund women’s rights and feminist movements.
In independent global consultations, we engaged with more than 1,000 activists from over 60 countries and learned firsthand what our movements need and want to resource their organizing.
Read AWID’s report, High Hopes & Expectations: Feminist Movement Recommendations to the Equality Fund, to see how activists themselves define what is needed in this moment and how funders can support feminist realities in all their richness, boldness and diversity.
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About the Equality Fund recommendations report
Starting in mid-2019, the Equality Fund reached out to AWID to conduct independent consultations to help build a feminist fund that lives up to its potential to be a transformative, responsive and accountable resource to support feminist social change. One of the most comprehensive consultations of its kind, the process included regional in-person gatherings, online sessions and outreach to feminist activists across issues and languages.
AWID played a leading role convening activists, documenting their input, and developing this report. As part of its accountability to movements, the Equality Fund will issue a formal public response to the recommendations presented in this report in late 2020.
Although the process was aimed at the Equality Fund, the report is highly relevant to any other funder considering new ways forward for resourcing feminist movements. It is also a useful resource for activists, who seek to influence and shift the current funding ecosystem.
In the report you will find detailed recommendations around the Equality Fund’s three key strategies:
- grant-making for feminist movements
- gender impact investing
The report also includes recommendations on the forms of governance that embed true feminist accontability.
Recommendations on grant-making:
Allocate a greater percentage of funding to feminist grant-making in the first 3 years of the Equality Fund operations
Uphold intersectional feminist principles in all funding
Ensure that funding is accessible for feminists working across different contexts and at multiple levels
Embrace participatory grant-making and movements’ leadership in decision making and distribution of funding
Move forward with feminist approaches to Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL)
Recommendations on investments:
Reassess—and reconfigure—the balance of investments to grants
Develop a feminist Theory of Change (TOC) that guides all investment strategies and portfolios
Boldly set standards for investments that uphold feminist principles in the short- and long-term
Build in accountability to feminist movements in investment governance and monitoring
Work to shift the investment field and support feminist movements’ influencing agenda
Recommendations on philanthropy:
Hold onto the Equality Fund’s feminist identity
Strategically leverage resources mobilized from philanthropy to top up and extend Equality Fund grant-making portfolio
Embrace the Equality Fund’s respective place in the feminist funding ecosystem: share power and support other women’s and feminist funds
Engage with philanthropic advocacy to shift the sector and mobilize more feminist funding
Recommendations on governance & accountability:
Develop and embrace holistic accountability across all areas of the Equality Fund
Put accountability to feminist movements first
Ensure intersectional feminist leadership in all Equality Fund governance structures
Take up these recommendations to design and build your own funding programmes for women’s rights and feminist movements
Organize meaningful consultations to inform your resourcing policies and practices
Ue the findings to advocate with other funders to resource feminist social change
Be part of the dialogue! What does funding for feminist change mean to you? Share a video, image or demand and see what others have to say!
Use these recommendations in your own resourcing advocacy
Claim your voice and seat at the table
Interrogate funders resourcing strategies, including around investments: don’t shy away from learning, asking, and pushing
All: Share the Report!
What is the Equality Fund?
Launched in June 2019 with CAD $300 million from the Government of Canada, the Equality Fund brings together eleven organizations working across sectors.
Led by the former MATCH International Women’s Fund, Equality Fund adopted a three-part strategy:
- grant-making for feminist movements and organizations;
- gender lens investing;
- mobilizing resources from the philanthropic sector.