Connect: Convening Community Partners Across Issues

The Women’s Foundation of California was founded on the ideal of the power of the collective. The third pillar of our strategy connects nonprofit and grassroots leaders, WPI fellows and alums, donors and policy leaders, advocates, grant partners and grantmakers in a variety of convenings and learning opportunities that will collectively build and advance gender justice in California.

One of our important continued partnerships is with the California Budget and Policy Center, with which we launched the California Women’s Well-Being Index in 2016. This first of-its-kind online resource provides data on women’s health, safety, economic security, employment and earnings, and political empowerment for all of California’s 58 counties. In the coming months, with support from JP Morgan Chase Foundation, we will host a series of gatherings to share and use the data to advance system-level change.

In 2018 we will partner with the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose to host the next Bay Area Women’s Summit in June. This action-oriented convening will gather 1,500 people to explore solutions to the most pressing challenges for women and girls in our local region.

Looking across a broader geographic scope, we enjoy a powerful role in the women’s funding movement. This work builds on recent alliances including the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., held in 2016, at which eight women’s foundations came together to launch the National Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives. This collaborative, modeled on the successful initiative led by the New York Women’s Foundation, has already moved women’s foundations in Dallas, New York, Memphis, Minnesota, Birmingham, western Massachusetts and Washington D.C. to develop innovative solutions with and for young women, girls, and trans youth of color.

In California, we recently forged a partnership with Alliance for Girls to launch a Bay Area Young Women’s Initiative and are rapidly bringing on funding partners, including the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation to join us in increasing resources to young women, girls, and trans youth of color.

Our role as a public community foundation gives us a unique position between funders and activists. The Philanthropy and Public Policy Institute, modeled after the Women’s Policy Institute, is an experiential learning opportunity that trains funders about the public policy process and helps them be more effective grantmakers in advocacy efforts. In partnership with the California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and Fondation CHANEL, we will host the first-ever California Gender Justice Funders Convening. This diverse gathering of funders and donors will collaborate, coordinate, and leverage our respective investments for greater effect.