Past Program

Oct 18 - Oct 23, 2009

Smart Change: Investing in Women and Girls- Leveraging Philanthropy for Global Impact


Thirty years ago there were few philanthropists investing in women and women-led solutions. As more women's funds, foundations and donors focus on strategies in this arena, there is now consensus that investing in women and girls is the "smart thing to do." Increasingly, savvy social investors seek opportunities to invest in women and girls to be active leaders and solution builders at all levels of society.


Authorities from the UN and World Bank to corporations and private donors agree that investments in women accelerate the economic security and good health of families, communities and nations. Mounting evidence shows that supporting gender equity also advances wider economic and social development and improves the financial climate of entire countries and regions. When communities and nations include women, positive outcomes result.


Despite these demonstrated positive results, investment focused specifically on women and girls' leadership and development remains low compared to overall investment flows. In the current global economic climate, as world leaders strive for new solutions to spur growth and avert deeper crisis, investments in girls and women may hold the key to some of the globe's biggest economic challenges over the long term.


As the world rethinks its established economic and investment models, how can philanthropy place this proven strategy at center stage? What is the niche in this arena to push this agenda forward? How can the philanthropic community work together to leverage change through its spheres of influence? What will it take to fast track the strategies, multiply resources for the advancement of girls and women, and set in motion a positive cycle of investment and change? The ultimate goal for collective action is to advance toward economic security, the end of violence against women, and the creation of healthy communities on every continent. With an agenda that places women and their families at the center the world will achieve this goal more rapidly.


The anticipated outcomes of this session are the following:

  • Creation of a common framework;
  • Strategies and partnership opportunities with allies to increase the efficacy of the strategy and agenda;
  • Actions to expand allies across sectors to support shared goals;
  • Suggestions to widen the window of opportunity for women and women-led solutions during the economic downturn;
  • Approaches the group can support and pursue in addition to grant-making; and,
  • Commitments of leadership and influence to move the agenda forward.


    This program will convene leaders in philanthropy, individual donors, and investors to work on an actionable global agenda. Participants will look at the roles of innovation, advocacy, policy and partnerships. Participants, then, will articulate a set of collective actions that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of philanthropic investments. The result will be a collaboration to put women and girls at the heart of the world's new economic and social development agenda - a powerful and smart agenda.


    This program is undertaken in cooperation with the Women's Funding Network. The program is being underwritten in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


    Please note that Session 465 is by invitation only, therefore the online registration is not available. If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions Office