Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

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Friendship Bridge attends inaugural Giving List Women Summit

Event focuses on supporting women and girls’ causes around the world

Female CEO Tracie Cordeiro attends the Giving List Women Summit in Montecito, CA.

President & CEO Tracie Cordeiro attended The Giving List Women Summit 2024 in Montecito, CA.

In April, Friendship Bridge was honored to attend The Giving List Women Summit in Montecito, California, an event which highlighted the critical need to direct more philanthropic dollars toward organizations supporting women and girls. According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, less than 2% of all philanthropic funds are allocated to such causes. The Giving List Women seeks to help change this statistic by connecting people who wish to invest in such causes with organizations that support women and girls.

In addition, Friendship Bridge was honored to be among the 48 nonprofits featured in the Giving List Women book, nominated by our partner, Linked Foundation, that invests in social enterprises dedicated to improving the health of communities in Latin America and the U.S.

“It was a tremendous privilege to participate in the summit alongside others who champion equity, compassion, and justice for all,” said Friendship Bridge President & CEO Tracie Cordeiro, who participated in a panel discussion at the event. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire team behind The Giving List. We recognize the dedication and hard work that undoubtedly went into organizing such an exceptional event.”

In the following Q & A with Tracie, learn more about the content of her panel discussion at the summit and gain greater insight into why investment in women and girls is so important to her.

Tracie, what was your panel discussion about at the GLW Summit?

The stage of The Giving List Women Summit

The Giving List Women Summit was held in April to highlight the critical need to direct more philanthropic dollars toward organizations supporting women and girls.

Tracie Cordeiro: One of the key highlights of the summit was my participation in a panel discussion titled “Partnerships Reimagined: Beyond Philanthropy.” This insightful discussion was moderated by Stacey Keare, the Board Chair of Women Moving Millions. I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Nancy Swanson, Executive Director of Linked Foundation, along with representatives from two other notable nonprofits.

During our panel, we delved into the dynamics of true partnerships and how they are crucial in developing and sustaining effective programs. Our decade-long partnership with Linked Foundation has been a success based on our mission alignment and  working together towards the same “North Star”. Linked Foundation, which has been instrumental in the establishment of our Health for Life program in 2015, has approached our partnership with a mutual “learning mindset” rather than a “knowing mindset”. This has enabled us to maintain flexibility as we learn and adapt together. This approach allows us to respond more effectively to the needs of the communities we serve and to innovate continuously based on on-the-ground feedback and experiences.

A Guatemalan healthcare provider conducts a health screening for a woman.

At the summit, Friendship Bridge discussed its Health for Life program, which launched in 2015 to provide preventive health screenings to its clients. The progam was made possible thanks to a partnership with Linked Foundation.

Another significant theme of our discussion was the concept of blended capital— an approach of combining capital seeking market-rate returns with risk-tolerant capital or patient capital to create positive social impact. We also explored how a combination of grants and investments is essential for the success of our programs. Grants are vital for supporting and expanding our education and preventive health services, while investments help ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization by providing sufficient funding to maintain and expand our microcredit services.

This blended capital approach has been instrumental in the success of our Health for Life program. By integrating preventive health care services into our offerings, we can address health complications that often limit women’s potential, thereby enabling them to build better futures for themselves and their families.

For more information about being a potential social impact investor in Friendship Bridge, please contact Amy Kuark, Treasurer, at akuark@friendshipbridge.org.

Why is it important to invest in women and girls non-profit organizations?

TC: Despite significant advancements in various sectors, less than 2% of all philanthropic dollars are directed towards organizations that specifically support women and girls. This statistic is both alarming and indicative of a missed opportunity to drive substantial social and economic change. Here are several key reasons why focusing philanthropic investments on women and girls is imperative:

The Giving List Women book stands on a shelf with Guatemalan textiles.

The Giving List Women book features Friendship Bridge alongside 48 other organizations that support women and girls.

  1. Multiplier Effect on Communities: When women are empowered, entire communities benefit. Women are more likely to reinvest their income in their families and communities, improving education, health, and economic outcomes for everyone. This multiplier effect means that an investment in women and girls generates broader societal gains.
  2. Addressing Systemic Inequities: Women and girls often face unique and systemic barriers to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. By supporting organizations that address these inequities, we can create a more just and equitable society. Investing in women and girls helps to dismantle the structures that perpetuate gender inequality and ensures that everyone has a fair chance to succeed.
  3. Improving Health Outcomes: Women’s health is a cornerstone of community well-being. Organizations that focus on women’s health, particularly in underserved areas, provide critical services that prevent health complications, improve maternal and child health, and enhance overall quality of life. Programs like our Health for Life initiative offer preventive health care in indigenous languages, which is vital for reaching and effectively serving rural populations.
  4. Economic Empowerment: Supporting women and girls economically not only lifts them out of poverty, but also drives economic growth. Women entrepreneurs create jobs, stimulate local economies, and contribute to sustainable development. By investing in organizations that provide financial education, microloans, and business training, we empower women to build prosperous futures for themselves and their communities.

It is our supporters’ steadfast generosity of all kinds that allows us to empower women in rural Guatemala through financial inclusion, preventive health care, and educational initiatives. Thanks to the exposure from The Giving List Women Summit and book, we’re excited and hopeful to connect with new supporters who are passionate about our work. Together, we are creating lasting change and building a brighter future for all.

Read the digital edition of The Giving List Women Book:

Register for a complimentary copy of The Giving List Women Book:

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