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European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls

May 27, 2011

According to a new report from the Foundation Center and Mama Cash, the world's oldest international women's fund, more than a third (37 percent) of European foundations have intentionally focused at least some of their work on women and girls, while nearly one in five (19 percent) said that they explicitly named women and girls in their mission statement or grantmaking guidelines.

Based on responses from 145 foundations in 19 countries, the report, Untapped Potential: European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls, found a wide gap in the number of foundations funding women and girls (62 percent) and the number interested in at least one issue area related to women and girls (90 percent). One possible reason for that gap, the report suggests, is that foundations, despite their interest, are still looking for a suitable point of entry for this kind of work.

The report -- the first to examine the scope, distribution, and diversity of European-based funding for women and girls as well as the most comprehensive study to date on the philanthropic activities of European  foundations in general -- also found that, on average, surveyed foundations endorsed eight issues of interest, with especially high levels noted for violence against women (74 percent), poverty among women and/or girls (73 percent), and women and/or girls' access to education (71 percent).  

"The gap between interest and investment tells us that there is genuine potential and motivation for European foundations to step up and provide more funding for women and girls," said Nicky McIntyre, executive director of Mama Cash. "Data consistently show that no country has yet achieved gender equality. We at Mama Cash hope that the report's findings will inspire conversations and collaborations that will, in turn, contribute to mobilizing leadership and realizing increased giving in support of the rights, well-being, and empowerment of women and girls."

To download the complete report (52 pages, PDF), click here.

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