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Women's Funding Network Annual Conference

March 30, 2011

(Sara K. Gould, former president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, is The Atlantic Philanthropies Senior Fellow at the Foundation Center.)

Womens_funding_network If you love being in truly global venues, particularly those designed to both facilitate your participation and provide real-time learning, then get yourself to the Brooklyn Marriott, April 6-9, for the Women's Funding Network's annual conference, "The Power of Global Networks." As a long-time staff member of the Ms. Foundation for Women, I attended more network conferences than I can count -- and I always went back for more. Here's my list of the three biggest benefits you'll receive:

Immersion in a global, vibrant, activist network of funders whose uniquely close relationship to their communities and constituencies is reflected in their groundbreaking work on many of the most difficult issues facing our world, including economic inequality and insecurity, violence, migration, and lack of access to health care. You'll make dozens of meaningful connections with women, and men, whose thinking will both challenge and add to your own.

Insight into innovative strategies in grantmaking, building movements, networks and constituencies, fundraising, communications, and other areas.

Inspiration as you learn, in every session, about the courageous, and sometime outrageous, stories of leaders from Nepal, to Wisconsin, to Australia, to Toronto, to Texas, to Ghana -- believe me, the list goes on and on. This year, we'll be joined at the closing plenary by Michele Bachelet, former president of Chile and now head of UN Women, a newly-established agency dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

I should mention that it's also a lot of fun! I'll be attending again this year, and I hope to see you there. And following the conference, I'll share some of what interested me the most.

-- Sara Gould

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Posted by Michael Seltzer  |   April 01, 2011 at 01:24 PM


Many thanks for serving as the reporter in the room for next week's important annual Women's Funding Network conference. I look forward to your postings. From the times that I have had the privilege to attend, I can attest that the three days are provoking and inspiring.

It seems particularly fitting that the WFN gathering is occurring within a few weeks after Eman al-Obedy's courageous confrontation with Gaddafi's henchmen in the press room in Tripoli. She succeeded in showing the world the brutality of the Libyan regime. After being gang-raped and beaten, she still found the strength and the voice to confront her oppressors. I gather that her efforts have now galvanized a new women's organization. It is her spirit that predominates the women's funding movement.

All my best,

Michael Seltzer

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