Global Fund for Women

By Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Victoria Chang
2007 | Case No. SI62 | Length 15 pgs.

The Global Fund for Women (“Global Fund”) was a funding intermediary that made grants to seed, support and strengthen women’s rights groups outside the United States. Global Fund grantees worked to provide women with economic opportunities and independence, improve their health and reproductive rights, increase girls’ access to education and stop violence against females. Since its first year of grantmaking in 1988, the Global Fund had grown rapidly, awarding more than $26.8 million to over 2,500 women’s rights groups in 160 countries as of 2002. Kavita Ramdas joined the Global Fund in 1996 as its second president and CEO, succeeding co-founder Anne Firth Murray. In her new role, Ramdas instituted a number of strategic, organizational, cultural and process changes, while seeking to preserve the mission and values of the organization. Under Ramdas’ leadership, the Global Fund’s fundraising and grantmaking approach continued to support the belief that local women could best determine their own needs and create solutions for lasting change. Looking ahead, Ramdas’ priorities included examining how to guide the fund’s growth without losing the organization’s unique connections with donors, grantees and staff. In addition, she hoped the fund could do a better job of assessing grant outcomes and sharing success stories. Ramdas also wondered how the fund could potentially influence critical policy-related decisions that affected important women’s rights issues.

Learning Objective

The challenges of global social investing, funding intermediaries, post-founder organizational evolution, donor communications and internal, external evaluation processes and philanthropy’s role in policy change.

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