Gender-based violence is one of the most insidious and pervasive problems affecting women. Throughout the world, it is estimated that one in three will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
While foundation support of work to address gender-based violence has existed for many years, little research has been conducted on the level or type of funding in the United States. Spurred by this paucity of data and analysis together with the importance of recognizing the fifteenth anniversary of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, the Ms. Foundation for Women undertook a multipronged study to measure the scope, focus and impact of funding in this critical area.
Key Grantmaking Findings
- Foundation Center research comparing funding by the top 100 foundations in 1994 and 2008 shows that the number of foundations supporting gender-based violence issues increased 143 percent over that time period, while the dollar amount of funding increased three-and-ahalf fold.
- Sixty-nine (69) diverse foundations responded to the survey and reported awarding 1,042 grants totaling $67,344,220 to gender-based violence issues in 2008.
- By far, the highest percentage of funding addressed issues of domestic violence, followed by sexual assault, child sexual assault, violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and female trafficking.
- Intervention and direct-service programs garnered the majority of funder dollars, followed closely by prevention strategies.
- Grantees employing a social-service approach to their work received the most grant dollars, with a social justice perspective receiving the second highest level of support, followed by human rights and feminist perspectives. Faith-based approaches received by far the least amount of foundation support.
- Include systems change, policy, and advocacy along with direct services funding
- Increase support for violence prevention
- Create connections across the full spectrum of gender-based violence issues
- Create connections between gender-based violence and other major issues addressed by philanthropy
- Provide general operating support and multiyear grants, especially during times of financial hardship
- Don't underestimate the effectiveness of nongrantmaking activities
- Be kind with In-Kind
- Consider how to use your "bully pulpit" more effectively
- Build a gender-based violence funder community