Women Moving Millions
Women's Funding Alliance receives three $1 million dollar gifts!
Three long-time WFA supporters give $1 million each to Women's Funding Alliance as part of Women Moving Millions Campaign
It is with incredible enthusiasm that we share with all of you the phenomenal news that Women's Funding Alliance has received our first three $1 million dollar gifts, raising $3,000,000 as part of an historic global fundraising campaign to raise the bar on giving to women and girls by women! (See official press release)
Our amazing donors, Nancy Nordhoff, Rebecca Norlander, and Donna & Matt Bellew, who have all been long time supporters WFA, have each pledged $1 million to take our organization to the next level of size, scope, effectiveness and impact. (Scroll down to see what we are doing with the money). "This is going to fundamentally take our work to the next level," remarked LeAnne Moss, executive director of the Women's Funding Alliance. "In all of our history, we have never received gifts of this size. To say we are grateful for their vote of confidence is an understatement."
Their gifts were inspired by our participation in the Women Moving Millions campaign, a global campaign spearheaded Women's Funding Network (WFN), a global network of women's funds like the Women's Funding Alliance that improve the lives of women and girls through grantmaking and the advancement and leadership of women and girls.
Three years ago, WFN initiated the Women Moving Millions campaign to motivate donors to give gifts of $1 million or more to women's funds around the country. This campaign raised $177 million from more than 90 donors, exceeding its original goal of $150 million. WFA was only one of three other women's funds that raised three $1 million dollar gifts, placing WFA as one of the top 10 funds around the world for campaign participation!
Meet our million dollar donors, for whom we are so grateful!
Nancy Nordhoff has been supporting the mission of Women's Funding Alliance since 1986. In addition to being a faithful and generous supporter of WFA, Nancy has been on the Advisory Board since 2001 and participated on the Honorary Status Study Committee that raised funds for our groundbreaking report on the status of women and girls in our area, A Closer Look.
It was her faith in WFA, combined with the current state of need that clinched Nordhoff's decision to go bold with her gift. "There is an urgency right now to provide desperately needed services and support to women and girls, and WFA is in the best position to do exactly that. I trust that they have the infrastructure and leadership to use my resources well. This is an investment of which I am absolutely proud."
Nancy was born in Seattle in 1932, received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, and raised three children. Nancy says that she is "indebted to Mount Holyoke College for my philanthropic learning and commitment to the support of women's lives and voices." She received an Honorary Degree in 2004 for her "commitment to the causes of women's education and creativity, environmental stewardship, diversity and social justice...."
Early in her life, Nancy developed a career in volunteerism, fund raising and philanthropy and served on local, state and national boards of social service agencies, United Way and hospitals. Highlights of her volunteerism include: She is one of eight women who founded CITYCLUB, a community organization fostering open forum discussions about civic concerns in Seattle and the region; she was founder and president (1982) of Pacific NW Grantmakers Forum, now Philanthropy Northwest; and she co-authored of Fundamental Practices for Success with Voluntary Boards of Non-Profit Organizations.
In 1988 Nancy founded and opened Hedgebrook, a 48 acre retreat on Whidbey Island for women writers where room and board are provided to women from around the world. Nancy has been involved in other major philanthropic efforts, both in the Seattle area and on Whidbey Island.
Rebecca Norlander has been supporting the mission of Women's Funding Alliance since 1993. She has spent the majority of her professional life at Microsoft, having joined the company in 1991 as a developer in the Excel team. She spent 6 years in the Microsoft Information Worker business, and 10 in the Microsoft Windows Business, most recently as General Manager in the Security team. After almost 2 years as Technical Strategist for Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's new Chief Software Architect, Rebecca moved to take a Partner Engineering Manager role in Microsoft's Online Advertising Business. Her primary goal in that role is to help build the next generation of online advertising software and services.
Rebecca graduated from Boston University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science, focusing largely on systems and network design. In her spare time, she works, trains, snowboards and teaches snowboarding in the winter, participates in triathlons in the summer, hacks around in the garden, hangs out with friends, and otherwise stirs up trouble with her spouse.
Donna volunteered on the Board of Directors from 2001-2007, and served as Board President for two of those years. Donna grew up in Oregon and Matthew grew up in Massachusetts. They both moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft in 1989 where they met. They were married in 1995 and now have three children: Evelyn age 12, John age 9, and Helen age 6.
At Microsoft, Matthew worked on Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server. Donna worked in recruiting and Human Resources. In 1999, shortly after Evelyn was born, they both left Microsoft. Since then Donna has been a full-time mom, and has volunteered extensively with Women's Funding Alliance and the Meridian School. Matthew has worked at various startups and at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He currently works at and is a partner at LabKey Software.
So you might be wondering, does WFA still need my support even if I can't give such a large gift?
Yes! The gifts from these donors are incredibly generous and will be a huge investment in our mission. However, we still have a long ways to go to build enough support to meet the needs of women and girls in our community. Organizations continue to significantly need our support. In our recent winter/spring grant cycles, we received over $1.1 million in viable requests but were only able to grant $285,000.
These million dollar donors are spreading out their support over a number of years, which is a huge boost to our sustainability. But we still have to raise at least 73% of our budget from other supporters each year… gits of all sizes. WFA prides itself on building a community of donors from all walks of life – whether you give $10 or $1 million, we need your support. And providing a multi-year commitment like these donors have helps with our sustainability.
You also might be wondering how is WFA going to use these gifts?
WFA is embarking on a new strategic direction. These gifts will help us build our capacity as a high impact funder and voice for women and girls by:
- Being more strategic and targeted with our granting.
- At least half of our granting over the next four years will go toward building overall economic well-being of marginalized women in our region. This includes supporting programs that increase the income and assets of women, policy reform, childcare, and other efforts. We will continue to respond to immediate and emerging needs of women and girls through our other general granting. Although we will be funding both direct service and advocacy, we will increase our advocacy support.
- We will improve our ability to measure and communicate our impact through more in-depth evaluation of our grants.
- Increasing the long term financial stability of WFA and the organizations we fund by building our reserves which will enable us to do multi-year granting and guarantee our support for women and girls over the long haul. We recognize that we can't possibly improve economic security for the organizations we fund and women and girls unless we are financially secure ourselves.
- Creating partnerships and visibility to improve policies and increase resources that will benefit women and girls. This includes collaborating with other funders and policy makers on their commitment to women and girls, increasing our role as a voice in the community to highlight issues and solutions for women and girls, and identifying ways for organizations to work together for policy reform. We have not previously had the resources to invest so strategically in our visibility and community education.
And last but not least, you might be curious about what YOU can do?
JOIN US! It is through the collective investment of people like YOU that we are able to make lasting change for women and girls. Please visit our DONATE NOW section to learn of the many ways you can help to sustain our work. EVERY GIFT MATTERS!