Giving gifts of money
Women control more wealth in the U.S. than ever before, more than half than of all the assets (51.3% of personal wealth, according to Federal Reserve Bank Data).  Some women are asserting their financial power by contributing to funds which assist women and girls; to wit, since 1972, 145 funds have been created with the goal of improving the lives of women and girls both in the United States and around the world.Lisa Belkin has written in the New York Times about “The Power of the Purse” or in PDF without photos.

Women Moving Millions is a stunning example of what women can accomplish when they combine the power of their purses.  In November of 2007, sisters Helen and Swanee Hunt partnered with the Women’s Funding Network.  Helen and Swanee gave $10 Million to establish Women Moving Millions, and then they began to talk to other women of wealth.

The result?  By April of 2009, women had contributed more than $176 million through Women Moving Millions to women’s funds. Many gave as individuals.  Others joined together to provide a combined million dollar gift.  For most of these bold donors, their gift was the largest they had ever made.  It has changed the way the world thinks about women and philanthropy.  These women’s funds now control over a billion dollars in assets.Women Moving Millions site and video.

What do these gifts support?  Donors give to any of the 145 women’s funds of the Women’s Funding Network.  Each fund operates independently, but they all seek to improve the lives of women and girls.  Over 80% of the grants made by these funds flow to women and girls in poverty.  Some funds are dedicated to economic justice. Other common priorities include combating gender based violence and improving access to healthcare and education.

Why give to programs serving women and girls? From the Women’s Funding Network

‘An investment in a woman is an investment in her family and ultimately her community and her nation.’

There’s no shortage of sobering statistics that present a strong moral case for funding women – for example, women produce nearly 80% of the world’s food, but receive less than 10% of agricultural assistance, and a staggering 70% of those living in abject poverty are women.

Evidence shows that when women are the direct users of credit and have greater control over family funds, household welfare increases and more resources are allocated to food and children’s healthcare and education.

For the first time in history, women are funding women in greater numbers and at significant levels – millions of dollars.

Want to support a women’s fund?  Find a fund

Our favorite women’s fund is: The New York Women’s Foundation.

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Women moving millions is supporting happier lives, both those who give and the women and girls they help lift out of poverty.