7 Things We Learned This Year
1. Women deserve more.
Hundreds of thousands of women have been forced out of their jobs because of the unpaid labor they must provide to subsidize our country’s economy. The pandemic has caused a “she-cession” that threatens to erase at least a generation’s worth of progress for women in the workplace. We must invest more in women and their economic security to correct these wrongs.
2. Social change is the only way forward.
The pandemic and racial reckoning in our country have exposed the discriminations that are deeply entrenched in our country’s foundation. We must disrupt the systemic roots of sexism and racism to build a more equitable future for all.
3. We can do hard things.
Just months after funding our boldest community investments ever with a groundbreaking report on central Ohio’s gender and racial wealth gap in 2019 and a record-breaking slate of grants for 2020, we faced the hard truth that our annual fundraiser, Keyholder, must be cancelled indefinitely.
Undaunted by the steep challenges to our own sustainability, we found ways to quickly award critical funds to 19 grant partners on the frontlines of the pandemic through our first-ever immediate impact grantmaking initiative last summer. Additionally, we will fund a full slate of annual grants for 2021.
4. Our community shows up.
Through our Fall Challenge, over 400 of you signed up to complete 8 challenges for social change. From writing hundreds of postcards to get out the vote to raising thousands of dollars on social media to support our work, we felt your passion and strength as we created social change together. With your voices, you are paving the way for more impact.
5. We’re darn good at Zoom.
Hundreds of community members showed up on Zoom in July and December to discuss grant applications together and make recommendations for our funding. With our virtual space, we created an accessible environment that continued our legacy of meaningful connections among our diverse groups of grant readers.
6. We must celebrate the good.
Next month, we will celebrate many firsts. Kamala Harris will become the first woman, Black woman, and Indian American woman Vice President of the United States. More women than ever will also represent us in Congress. We look forward to their achievements and the inspiration they will provide to generations of future women leaders.
7. We’re not stopping here.
Undoubtedly, we have much work to do, but there has never been a better time to create enduring progress. As The Women’s Fund looks forward to its next generation of impact, we must be even bolder in demanding more for women and girls.