The launch of our new Women Kind branding and logo at Sydney Community Foundation’s base in Paddington last week brought together kind women from across the business community to lend their support – and learn more about collective giving.
Despite a few competing Christmas parties – and the Walkley Awards – being held on the same night, enthusiastic supporters joined us to talk, network, and listen intently to the story of remarkable community leader Mona Mahamed. Having set up her Community Support Services in Bankstown just over a year ago, Mona has built a thriving hub for women from the local area, many of them from migrant backgrounds.
Women Kind has helped support Mona’s centre this year as it offered courses, a food bank called the Village Pantry, training and a safe place to catch up for girls and women (men and boys are welcome too).
As Mona reminded us, you can be find yourself isolated and alone in even the busiest suburbs of a big city.
The evening was also a chance to get the message out about why collective giving is so powerful – and why many giving circles (which are like a bookclub for philanthropy) are made up of women who want to regularly donate to support women in need.
In fact, research in the US has found that giving circle members give more and care more about the programs they support than other donors.
And having a focus on women and girls has never been more important.
It surprised many to hear that research carried out by Australian Women Donors Network a few years ago found just 12% of grants went to dedicated programs for women and girls. In the US research by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute found just 1.6% of charitable donations went to organisations for women and girls.
But we can do something about changing this – and that’s why Women Kind was established as a subfund of Sydney Women’s Fund, which is part of SCF.
As Jane Jose, the CEO of SCF explained, it’s about helping people like Mona to expand and create a sustainable organisation that offers the grassroots support so many women in Sydney need to get on their feet and earn a living.
Next year our plans include creating a core group of interested members to help set new goals and decide on other programs we can get behind.
Last week’s event was supported by so many fine people: Cecilia Lim, Julia Quinn, Jane Jose, Caroline Fonda, photographer Candice Epthorp, Boynton Cafe’s Jack, and many thanks to the women from Agender for their contribution.
Please join us in 2020 when can all work on being kinder than ever.