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The New York Women’s Foundation and the YWCA of the City of New York
Partner for Girls IGNITE! Grantmaking Fellowship
Unique Grantmaking Initiative Allows Young Women to Become Funders

New York – This fall, 15 racially and culturally diverse teenage girls and gender-fluid youth became the first recipients of the Girls IGNITE Grantmaking Fellowship, a partnership between The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) and the YWCA of the City of New York (YW) to empower the next generation through philanthropic education and giving.  The fellows are exploring social justice issues, leadership, advocacy, peer group dynamics, consensus building, community engagement and financial decision making.

”The New York Women’s Foundation has engaged members of the community in grantmaking since its inception. We believe that philanthropy is more than an act of giving, it is a highly participatory and broadly influential engine for social change that helps shape the world. Thus, we are proud to introduce a participatory grantmaking program for young women to engage the next generation of philanthropists, while also providing an opportunity to develop them as leaders. Dr. Danielle Moss Lee and the YWCA of the City of New York are champions of women and girls, and committed to eliminating racism, and thus are perfect partners in this endeavor,” said Ana L, Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation.

The innovative nine-month program offers participants the opportunity to work as a team to distribute The Foundation’s youth grantmaking funds to local, youth-led nonprofit organizations or projects that the group selects. 

“Under Ana Oliveira’s leadership, The New York Women’s Foundation has made amazing headway in emphasizing the kind of philanthropic urgency that matches the immediate needs of our city’s most vulnerable women and girls. This initiative signals an important milestone in The Foundation’s legacy of participatory philanthropy which firmly plants those whose lives are affected by good works at the center of problem-solving and solution creation. The YWCA of the City of New York considers this partnership a true honor and an opportunity to exemplify what it looks like when philanthropy meets its highest purpose,” said Dr. Danielle Moss Lee, President of the YWCA of the City of New York.

Before the participants begin their grantmaking, the fellows will complete 11 sessions of curriculum to learn how nonprofits work, trends in philanthropy, and the process of grant making, including designing a request for proposal, evaluating proposals, making site visits, and creating recommendations for funding. The participants will have $30,000 to distribute.

Each fellow will be encouraged to become a philanthropist by donating 10 percent of her stipend, in addition to the $30,000 decided upon as a group, to an organization of her personal choice, as a way to instill that meaningful giving comes in all denominations.