New funder partnerships are often popping up these days, and they're even more important when it comes to niche issues around which smaller funders really need to band together to make impact.
A case in point: A new partnership is looking at the nexus of racism and sexism that affects young women and girls of color in America. This partnership, Grantmakers for Girls of Color, wants to highlight new research and advocacy for this population and provide a platform for funders to explore new pathways for progress on these issues.
An initial project of the NoVo Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, Ms. Foundation for Women, the New York Women’s Foundation and other partners, Grantmakers for Girls of Color wants to serve as a focal point for resource-sharing—a place to learn about the latest research, news, and insights on how philanthropy can maximize its impact to help young women and girls of color, as well as "to promote collective strategizing and partnership."
Some of these partners have worked together before. Between 2009 and 2012, for example, the NoVo Foundation gave $5 million to the Ms. Foundation for Women to support a project called Child Sexual Abuse: A Social Justice Prevention Model.
What kind of research is this new partnership highlighting? One study, called "Finishing Last: Girls of Color and School Sports Opportunities," documents how girls in heavily minority-populated schools have fewer opportunities to participate in sports than girls in heavily white schools, who also have fewer opportunities than their male counterparts.
Other studies highlight issues of sexual abuse and sexual violence against women and girls of color, forced and early marriage in African immigrant communities in New York City, and unequal disciplinary treatment of girls of color in American public schools.
This funder partnership is still in beta and is looking for more partners to join in. It would be heartening to see some of the bigger foundations get on board with this work. After all the attention to boys and young men of color in recent years, there's a strong case now for widening the lens.