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International Women’s Day: what’s going on around the sector

Melanie May | 8 March 2023 | News

Foundervine team

It’s International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity. So, what’s going on around the sector? Here’s a round up of some of the announcements and activities timed for today.

Modibodi announces its first ever global grant to promote innovation & real-world impact

For this year’s International Women’s Day, Modibodi® is announcing its first ever global grant to further continue its work in the social impact and sustainability space.  

Named the Modibodi Game Changer Grant, this annual grant, providing and financial and skills-based support, will provide funding to a range of initiatives, organisations and individuals that innovate and break the status quo, helping them develop their work further and continue to make meaningful change. The 2023, and inaugural, winner of the Modibodi Game Changer Grant is UK based, Irise International and their Period Equality Network which champions grassroots action to improve menstrual health and access to period products.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Women in Fundraising officially launches

Women in Fundraising officially launches globally today, with the support of Resource Alliance. This afternoon there is a networking and co-creation session, Women in Fundraising – How can we advance female leadership in fundraising?, where attendees will meet women leaders and mentors, exchange ideas on female leadership in fundraising, and help to set an agenda of topics.

The event takes place at 4pm GMT.

During 2023, there will be another five online sessions and a mentorship programme to connect women fundraisers.

The Women in Fundraising group was created in 2019 (inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Equality) to celebrate, inspire and empower female fundraisers around the world, providing them with opportunities for career enhancement, leadership and personal development.

Founded by Ana Flavia Godoi, the network fosters relationships of trust and mutual help by exchanging knowledge and discussing daily experiences in the profession of fundraising while respecting and promoting diversity and inclusion.

The initiative started in Brazil and has engaged more than 500 Brazilian women working at all levels in the social impact sector to provide a safe space for women to advance an equitable, inclusive, diverse, and effective profession.

The impact of the initiative was celebrated at IFC 2022 with a first ever workshop in English joined by 60 women.

Month-long Women for Women International campaign celebrates women & allies changing world for better

This March, for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month Women for Women International is celebrating the power of women and allies to change this world for the better, with #PowerToChange — a month-long campaign celebrating change-makers —and a series of events and actions people can join to start flexing their change-making muscles.

The next event is on 30 March, at 6pm GMT online on Zoom: Clarissa Ward in conversation with Sara Bowcutt, Managing Director, Women for Women International – UK.

Actions people can join include:

  1. Sign up to download a Women’s History Month Calendar
  2. Complete the ‘What type of activist are you?’ quiz 
  3. Join the nonprofit on social media and take part in its Instagram giveaway: Share a woman who inspires you to use your power to create change and ask your followers to do the same Tag @womenforwomenuk and use the hashtag #PowerToChange.
  4. Join the Power Up Club to invest in women survivors of war: For a monthly donation of £7 or more, members will be supporting women living in some of the world’s most dangerous places, and will also gain access to free virtual events, exclusive digital content, opportunities to connect and more.  

Jean Johansson

Dress for Success Scotland marks International Women’s Day by announcing ambassadors

Dress for Success Scotland (DFSS) is celebrating the women they support, as well as the work they do by announcing TV presenter and journalist Jean Johansson and broadcaster and PR, Heather Suttie as ambassadors.

They join Scarlett Johansson, the Dress for Success Worldwide Ambassador, as advocates for the charity.

DFSS is based in Glasgow – the only DFS affiliate operating in Scotland – and support women in work and life by providing a free personal styling experience, in a safe setting and access to confidence boosting programmes tailored to individual needs. It works with partners including Remploy, Tomorrow’s Women and Barnardo’s.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘#EmbraceEquity’ and DFSS is supporting the initiative by shining a light on the women they support and the partners they work with.

A man stands over a desk shaking a woman's hands. By fauxels on pexels

New Rogare report focuses on dismantling patriarchal structures in fundraising

Rogare has published a set of recommendations on how to dismantle patriarchal structures in fundraising in a new report, with key recommendations including donor codes of conduct, an awareness campaign to encourage men to call out misogyny, and for ratings agencies and grantfunders to consider charities’ gender performance.

The report, A Blueprint to dismantle patriarchal structures in the fundraising professionis the culmination of the second phase of Rogare’s work on gender issues in the fundraising profession.

As part of this paper, Rogare has devised its own ‘model’ code of conduct that other organisations can use or adapt. Rogare’s model code has donors to sign up to six statements, which include that they will treat all fundraising staff as knowledgeable professionals, never discriminate against or harass them, and not exploit the power they hold in relationships with fundraisers for personal gain.

Read more here.

Big Issue Invest celebrates female-led social enterprise

Big Issue Invest is celebrating the female-led social enterprise Foundervine. The organisation has supported over 5,000 diverse-led ventures to start and scale through training, space, networks and access to capital. The organisation has recently been supported with £127,000 in investment from Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of Big Issue Group.

Founded by Izzy Obeng, since launching in 2018, Foundervine has partnered with private and public sector partners to accelerate the growth of new, diverse-led ventures in Europe. The organisation delivers accelerator programmes in the UK that support early-stage companies, providing entrepreneurs from underserved communities with mentorship, training and financial support. Foundervine transforms society by making innovation open to anyone, anywhere.

The funding from Big Issue Invest will primarily be used to invest in new and current staff at Foundervine, which will help the organisation support even more people. Amongst the new hires is a dedicated business development person to focus specifically on making and closing deals in support of the senior leadership, enabling them to proactively partner with new organisations that support their vision.

The organisation’s vision is to build a world with no social or economic barriers to innovation. Foundervine aims are:

  1. Access: to increase access to entrepreneurship and digital careers for future leaders.
  2. Acceleration: to increase opportunities for emerging ventures, including providing access to networks, high impact learning opportunities and investment-readiness support.
  3. Advocacy: to act as a voice for overlooked founders, creators and innovators in the UK and beyond.

London animal welfare charity celebrates ‘game-changing’ all-female team at Mayhew Georgia

London animal welfare charity Mayhew is shining a light on its all-female team at Mayhew Georgia to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

The team grew in 2022 and ended the year comprised of three vets, one vet assistant and one administrator and has gone from strength to strength, having neutered and vaccinated more than 2,000 animals in 2022 both in the capital and beyond. A highlight of 2022 was the opening of Mayhew Georgia’s veterinary clinic in Tbilisi, the first solely not-for-profit clinic based in the country and run entirely on donations. 

Mayhew Georgia’s clinic also serves as a training centre for vets and other veterinary professionals. In 2022, seven vet professionals received training from Mayhew Georgia’s team and more were welcomed in the first two months of 2023.