Women Donors Network (WDN) is one of the many inspiring It’s Time Network partners that we are pleased to highlight in this issue. Led by Donna Hall, WDN is a strong community of progressive women philanthropists, who connect with, learn from and take action with one another to bring their shared vision of a fair and just world to life.
Partnership is a core value of It’s Time Network (ITN) because all of our voices and actions are more powerful when we work together across sectors. People and organizations working in different issue areas - or even within their own issue area - don’t know of each other and miss opportunities for collective action and impact.
One important function of It’s Time Network is to enhance connectivity, collaboration and mutual support of partner organizations within the network by making their leaders, programs and initiatives more visible to one another and to a broader audience,
Women Donors Network (WDN) is one of the many inspiring It’s Time Network partners that we are pleased to highlight in this issue. Led by Donna Hall, WDN is a strong community of progressive women philanthropists. WDN members share with one another their knowledge and experience so that members can be more effective in their individual funding practices. In addition, WDN members take with, learn from and take action with one another to bring their shared vision of a fair and just world to life. Collectively, WDN members donate more than $150 million each year in individual contributions and in strategic collaborative funding projects.
Donor education is an important focus and key activity of the network. Through its annual conference, regular webinars, travel programs, and other opportunities, members learn and stay informed about issues such as education, access to reproductive health, immigration rights, global environmental issues, criminal injustice, gender, racial and economic inequality, peace and security, and democracy initiatives. The organization’s main goal is to create a more just and fair world through collaborative work and action -- an approach that is synergistic with It’s Time Network’s mission and programs.
WDN President and CEO, Donna Hall, was recently named one of 50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy by Inside Philanthropy, Hall has worked in both the public and private sector in several strategic and management roles, with organizations such as The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.
In 2002, Hall stepped into her leadership role at WDN as a donor herself and with strong personal interest in the areas of reproductive health and access to health services, education and economic development. An important aspect of her leadership is that she is also a member of the donor community that she heads. By building a strong organization over the past 14 years and by working with, and not just for the women of WDN, Hall and the entire community learn from and influence each other in immeasurable ways. This successful network provides members an environment for learning from each other and for making impactful, charitable donations individually and collectively. As the leader of WDN, she fosters a community of more than 200 progressive philanthropists who have made it their mission to build a just and fair world.
WDN focuses on three strategic initiatives:
Reflective Democracy: Reflective Democracy represents the idea that all citizens have more than just a right to vote -- they have a right to lead, and that our political leadership should reflect the people it serves. WDN is working to break down structural barriers that keep women and people of color from serving in political leadership roles, measuring progress through the Reflective Democracy Campaign.
Economic Opportunity: TheEconomic Opportunity initiative is centered around the idea that all families have the right to prosper and thrive, and encourages WDN members to advocate for women’s economic security. Additionally, WDN helped to develop Make It Work, a campaign focused on changing the narrative around women and work. Members lobby for changes in policy at the state level that improve minimum wage, paid sick leave and paycheck fairness.
- Racial Justice: WDN believes in aligning their values with action, which means educating themselves and challenging systemic bias and oppression. As such, WDN utilizes an intersectional lens that includes race, class and gender in all its work and grantmaking. This year, WDN is especially proud to invest in Black women's leadership and economic empowerment through the Jean Hardisty Catalytic Impact Fund, a new fund that supports critically-needed social justice movement infrastructure.
It is an honor to highlight WDN’s efforts and you can follow the progress of these initiatives by connecting with WDN on Facebook or Twitter. We encourage you to consider becoming a member of WDN to increase the effectiveness of your philanthropic giving and to connect with like-minded women.