4W applauds the power of philanthropy to support women’s reproductive health, 2015. (Photo by Jill Lundberg

Leadership in Women’s Philanthropy

Our Project

According to “Women and Philanthropy in Education” by Andrea Walton, “Both philanthropy and education were among the earliest spaces where women […] found opportunities to participate in the public sphere.” Women’s philanthropy has emerged over the past 40 years as a field where women have invested their intellectual, financial, social, and cultural capital in order to improve the world around them.

4W’s women’s philanthropy project focuses on “philogyny” – a play on the Greek word “philanthropy” that has been used to describe women’s philanthropy that is focused specifically on women and girls. This project aims to highlight a “new frontier” that is sensitive to a women’s approach to giving to women and girls. This gender sensitive lens finds a comfortable home in 4W as research suggests that women have a predisposed likelihood to give to academics (higher education) that serves women and girls in tangible ways. The interinstitutional 4W model, which visibly combines research and community activism in Wisconsin and the world, allows for unprecedented donor participation and activism in higher education. This project seeks to raise awareness within the field of Women’s Philanthropy, via a collaborative approach, to the importance of a gendered lens to giving to higher education institutions and academia.