Welcome to Fenomenal Funds, an audacious initiative to reimagine power and strengthen the global feminist funding infrastructure.
As Co-Chairs of the Fenomenal Funds Steering Committee, we are delighted to introduce you to this collaboration that has been built on Feminist Funding Principles.
Fenomenal Funds is a five-year endeavor imagined and developed to support women’s funds to build up their institutional infrastructure and the resilience of the feminist funding ecosystem globally, with a focus on members of the Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds (INWF). Going through a global pandemic and multiple other crises, we came together to create a transformative partnership with our incredible colleagues representing women’s funds, private philanthropies, and the Prospera Secretariat. We commit to collaboration by developing plans and making decisions together; through all of our work we have equal voice.
We believe that in order to shift power, philanthropy must democratize and decolonize as a fundamental and central aspect of its work. We understand that it takes ambition and imagination to build constructs that center decision-making in the collective power and knowledge of feminist activists and movements.
We boldly challenge how decisions are made and invest in creating a system that will facilitate and sustain those decisions. We are investing in strengthening each women’s fund, individually, while also investing in the collective. Our holistic approach provides flexible core support so that women’s funds can invest in all areas of their organizations, from programs to the operational structures that make essential funding for feminist movements a reality. As individuals we thrive when our self-care is nurtured by collective care; so it is for women’s funds. Our individual support of women’s funds builds the collective resilience of the funding ecosystem.
Committing ourselves to building these new funding structures also means challenging our assumptions, committing to unlearning harmful practices, and learning feminist approaches. It means devoting ourselves to growing and showing up with our whole selves — and making a commitment to each other over the course of the five-year initiative. It also means being intentional about how we create and nurture our self-defined community and being held mutually accountable to each other and the collective. As we work together to imagine and operationalize what could be possible, we are also aware that the status quo in philanthropy needs to be challenged, questioned, and transformed.
The process of strengthening the feminist funding ecosystem has to be iterative, systemic, and imaginative; above all, centering the women’s funds who provide essential resources to feminist movements around the world.
As a collective of private funders, women’s funds, and the Prospera Secretariat, we are pioneering at a time where change is urgently needed and has never been more possible than it is now. We need all of us to be a part of this transformation.
We warmly invite you to be part of our journey!
Maitri Morarji and Leila Hessini