Gender Funders CoLab





Keely Tongate and Annie Hillar

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Gender Funders CoLab (formerly Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, or PAWHR) is a left-progressive network which provides funding to feminist and gender identity social change initiatives in what it calls the “Global South and East.” 1 2 The organization provides cross-issue funding through a pooled fund for local feminist organizations that are not eligible for large-scale funding. 3

Panorama Global, Gender Funders CoLab’s fiscal sponsor since 2020, is a left-of-center “pass-through” nonprofit which supports left-progressive stances on LGBT issues and other left-leaning causes. 4 5 The Proteus Fund was Gender Funders CoLab’s fiscal sponsor prior to 2020.


Gender Funders CoLab’s mission is to fund global causes related to radical feminism and gender ideology. 6 The organization “use[s] a power analysis” to allegedly demonstrate that “patriarchy intersects” with other forms of oppression which cause the suffering of women and transgender individuals around the globe. 7 It encourages its grantmaking members to advance radical feminism in “all social change grants programs,” especially by “explicitly” advancing women and transgender individuals in leadership positions. 8

Gender Funders CoLab has twelve member organizations: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Foundation For a Just Society, NoVo Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Channel Foundation, Sigrid Raising Trust, Wallace Global Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. All are known for funding left-of-center advocacy efforts, notably climate change initiatives. 9

Gender Funders CoLab is particular about which organizations it funds. The grant application requires that applicants have received funding within the last two years from one of Gender Funders CoLab’s member organizations. Organizations which have established collaboration with other feminist or gender ideology groups and are in the identified area of the “Global South and East” receive preference for funding. Gender Funders CoLab provides “Joint Fundraising Opportunities” grants which give organizations resources to collaboratively secure funding they could not receive individually, and “Advocacy Opportunities” grants which are used to build new funding networks. 10

Fiscal Sponsors

The Proteus Fund previously functioned as fiscal sponsor of Gender Funders CoLab, and donated $300,000 in 2017 and $100,000 in 2018. 11 The Proteus Fund is a “pass through” fund with several donor collaboratives which contribute to issues including reducing private involvement and donations in elections, public and legal support for same-sex relationships, and restrictions of religious expression. 12 13 14

Panorama Global took over fiscal sponsorship of Gender Funders CoLab in 2020, and donated $400,000 to the organization that year. 15 Panorama Global’s founder Gabrielle Fitzgerald previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in high-level positions including as a senior program officer and as director of Global Program Advocacy. 16 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is known for donations to left-of-center causes including legalized abortion, population control, and LGBT advocacy, has donated over $12 million to Panorama Global since 2015. 17

Panorama Global has made donations to funds managed by Arabella Advisors, a controversial left-of-center philanthropic management consulting firm that critics claim operates a “dark money” network which is also supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other Gender Funders CoLab members like the Ford Foundation. 18 19



Keely Tongate is co-director for Gender Funders CoLab. She received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an master’s in international human rights from the University of Denver. In her early career, Tongate worked with local resettlement organizations and global refugee programs including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She then served as director of programs at Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights before departing the organization for Gender Funders CoLab. 20

Annie Hillar, co-director at Gender Funders CoLab, earned an AB in romance languages, literature, and linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1994. In 1999, she became a senior program officer for the Global Fund for Women. She left the organization in 2005 to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology, which she received from Central European University in 2010. Hillar began working as a program director for feminist fund Mama Cash in 2008 and was promoted to the position of senior program officer before departing Mama Cash for Gender Funders CoLab in 2018. 21

Steering Committee Members

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has long been known for donations to left-of-center climate change efforts and abortion groups including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. 22 23 The Wallace Global Fund, run by the family of former U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace, funds similar causes and advocates for governmental control of the internet. 24

The Switzerland-based Oak Foundation funds climate change activism in partnership with the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and donates to a variety of other left-leaning causes. 25 26

Foundation for a Just Society has donated over $180 million to LGBT causes worldwide since its founding in 2011. 27


  1. Gender Funders CoLab. Accessed June 4, 2022.
  2. Gender Funders CoLab. “Pooled Fund.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  3. Gender Funders CoLab. “Pooled Fund.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  4. Panorama Global. “The Upswing Fund.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  5. Panorama Global. “Collaboratives.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  6. Gender Funders CoLab. “What We Do.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  7. Gender Funders CoLab. “What We Do.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  8. Gender Funders CoLab. “Why Movement Building and Philanthropy?” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  9. Gender Funders CoLab. “Our Members.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  10. Gender Funders CoLab. “Pooled Fund.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  11. ProPublica. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.. 2018 990. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  12. Proteus Fund. “Piper Fund.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  13. The Proteus Fund. Hearts and Minds: The Untold Story of how Philanthropy and the Civil Marriage Collaborative Helped America Embrace Marriage Equality. 2015. Massachusetts, Amherst.
  14. Philanthropy New York. “Proteus Fund Announces a New Funder Collaborative to Oppose the Use of Religious Exemptions to Undermine Fundamental Rights.” March 16, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  15. Grants. “Panorama Global For Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights.” William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  16. LinkedIn. Gabrielle Fitzgerald. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  17. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “Committed grants.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  18. ProPublica. Panorama Global. 2020 990. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  19. Gender Funders CoLab. “Our Members.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  20. Gender Funders CoLab. “What We Do.” Accessed June 4, 2022.
  21. LinkedIn. Annie Hillar. Accessed June 4, 2022.
  22. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “ClimateWorks Foundation: Lessons in Leadership and Learning.” February 2016. Accessed June 6, 2022.
  23. Philanthropy New Digest. “Hewlett Foundation Awards $1 Million to Planned Parenthood for Katrina Evacuees.” September 30, 2005. Accessed June 4, 2022.
  24. Wallace Global Fund. “Program Area Highlights.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  25. Devex. “Oak Foundation.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  26. Oak Foundation. “Grant Database.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
  27. Foundation for a Just Society. “History.” Accessed June 6, 2022.
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