Non-profit

Ms. Foundation for Women

Website:

forwomen.org

Location:

BROOKLYN, NY

Tax ID:

23-7252609

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $4,325,917
Expenses: $7,138,935
Assets: $40,648,614

Formation:

1972

Type:

Nonprofit

President:

Teresa Younger

Ms. Foundation for Women (Ms. Foundation) is a left-of-center nonprofit that supports feminist policies, including expanded contraception and abortion access. The group was formed in 1972 by liberal journalist Gloria Steinem, feminist journalist Patricia Carbine, political activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and actress Marlo Thomas. [1] It is the first and oldest national public women’s foundation in the United States. [2] [3]

Girls and Women of Color

Since the 1970s, the Ms. Foundation has specifically focused on issues associated with women’s safety, women’s health and abortion access, and economic issues for women. Since December 2019, the organization has shifted its in focus to promoting political leadership among women and girls of color. [4] In, Ms. Foundation launched a five-year plan to invest in and expand the political power of women of color. [5]

In 2020, Ms. Foundation created a report entitled “Pocket Change: How Women and Girls of Color Do More With Less”,[6] which claimed that philanthropic organizations and donors often bypass women and girls of color. [7] The report is designed to be used as a baseline to guide donor activity and encourage donors to give more to organizations that focus on women and girls of color. [8]

Activist Collective Fund

Ms. Foundation created the Activist Collective Fund in January 2020[9]  to unify advocacy organizations and increase investments in let-of-center social advocacy organizations that are led by and for women and girls of color, including indigenous and transgender women and girls. [10] In May of 2020, the Activist Collective Fund awarded grants totaling $275,000 to 15 organizations led by women and girls of color. [11]

Ms. South

In December of 2020, Ms. Foundation created Ms. South, a multi-year grantmaking strategy that focuses on women and girls of color in the southern region of the United States. In conjunction with the Foundation’s “Pocket Change” report findings, the Foundation focuses its grantmaking efforts on organizations led by women and girls of color in the American South, citing a lack of existing support in the region. [12]

Ms. Action Fund

Ms. Action Fund (MAF) is the 501(c)(4) lobbying and electoral arm of the Ms. Foundation formed in early 2020. MAF was created to further the work of the Ms. Foundation and its partners,[13] to give the Ms. Foundation an ability to engage in left-of-center political organizing and lobbying efforts,[14] and to focus on integrating political policy strategies with the Foundation’s advocacy work. [15]

Alignment with the Democratic Party

Ms. Foundation president and CEO Teresa Younger and the Ms. Foundation openly support the Democratic Party and its left-leaning policies.

Ms. Foundation released a statement on November 5, 2020, two days after the 2020 elections, congratulating President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their victory. The foundation emphasized that Vice President-Elect Harris will be the first African American person, the first Asian person, and the first woman to ever serve as Vice President. [16]

After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, Younger expressed her disdain for the Republican Party in filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat with then-appellate Judge Amy Coney Barrett, claiming that party was trying to erase Ginsburg’s liberal legacy. [17]

Leadership

Teresa Younger has acted as the president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation since 2014. She is a member of the Democracy Frontlines Fund’s Brain Trust. Younger was previously the executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and the executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut. Younger received $284,011 in compensation in 2018. [18]

In June 2020, Ms. Foundation named Raquel Willis, a transgender activist and writer, as its new director of communications. Willis is responsible for planning and executing the Foundation’s communications strategy. [19]

Financials

In August of 2020, Ms. Foundation received a $3 million grant from #StartSmall LLC,[20] created by Twitter and Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, in relation to his initiative to fund global COVID-19 relief. Dorsey’s grant was specifically meant to target organizations led by women of color. [21]

Shift in Investing

When Younger joined Ms. Foundation in 2014, she did not believe that the Foundation’s assets in its endowment were in sync with its mission. Years later, she oversaw a strategic review, which decided that the Foundation would specifically focus on women and girls of color, rather than women and girls in general. [22]

In 2020, the foundation made three private investments, one of which included a 10-year real estate fund that invests in affordable housing across the U.S. The second investment was a venture fund that is led by an African-American woman who invests in small- and medium-sized enterprises that are focused on African American and Latino populations. [23]

The Foundation is planning to create a strategy for program-related investments that will fulfill the Foundation’s mission and act as a supplement to its grantmaking. Over the next five years, Ms. Foundation plans to invest $1 million in its programs. [24]

Grants

Ms. Foundation has provided grants to over 100 organizations since its creation, totaling over $54 million,[25] that are focused on granting access to abortions, providing affordable or free childcare, and creating childcare jobs. [26] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Foundation provided its grantees with emergency support, including funding for mental health support. [27]

Ms. Foundation has provided grants to left-of-center organizations that support and provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood, the National Network of Abortion Funds, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, and Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health. [28]

The Foundation also utilizes donor-advised funding, which enables donors to use the Foundation’s expertise to recommend grants to charities that fit the donors’ interests. The Foundation currently provides at least two donor-advised funds, including the Oma Fund, which came from the Dickler Family Foundation and is focused on international abortion access,[29] and the Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC). [30]

References

  1. Our Founding Mothers – About. Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://forwomen.org/about/our-founding-mothers/ ^
  2. May, Maggie. “Liveblog – What Donors Can Do About Lack of Funding for Women and Girls of Color.” Philanthropy Women. July 23, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://philanthropywomen.org/activism/liveblog-what-donors-can-do-about-lack-of-funding-for-women-and-girls-of-color/ ^
  3. Chiu, Bonnie. “How Six Gender Justice Funders are Providing COVID-19 Emergency Funding.” Forbes. May 4, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniechiu/2020/05/04/how-six-gender-justice-funders-are-providing-covid-19-emergency-funding/?sh=7c316766b926 ^
  4. Younger, Teresa C. “We Need to Fund Women and Girls of Color on the Front Lines.” Essence. August 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.essence.com/feature/fund-women-girls-color-frontlines/ ^
  5. Lehnert, Tim. “Movement Building for Women: An Interview with Teresa Younger.” Philanthropy Women. December 30, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://philanthropywomen.org/feminist-strategy/movement-building-for-women-an-interview-with-teresa-younger/ ^
  6. Resources. “Pocket Change: How Women and Girls of Color Do More With Less.” Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://forwomen.org/resources/pocket-change-report/ ^
  7. May, Maggie. “July 23 Webinar: Lack of Funding for Women & Girls of Color.” Philanthropy Women. July 14, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://philanthropywomen.org/gender-lens-grantmaking/july-23-webinar-lack-of-funding-for-women-girls-of-color/ ^
  8. Resources. “Pocket Change: How Women and Girls of Color Do More With Less.” Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://forwomen.org/resources/pocket-change-report/ ^
  9. “Ms. Foundation for Women Announces Activist Collaboration Fund.” Ms. Foundation for Women. May 27, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://forwomen.org/activist-collaboration-fund/ ^
  10. Younger, Teresa C. “We Need to Fund Women and Girls of Color on the Front Lines.” Essence. August 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.essence.com/feature/fund-women-girls-color-frontlines/ ^
  11. “Ms. Foundation for Women Announces Activist Collaboration Fund.” Ms. Foundation for Women. May 27, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://forwomen.org/activist-collaboration-fund/ ^
  12. Willis, Rachel. “Ms. Foundation Launches ‘Ms. South’ Grant.” Ms. Foundation for Women. December 10, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://forwomen.org/ms-south-grant-launch/ ^
  13. “Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women: Building the Power of Women and Girls of Color.” Philanthropy News Digest. October 23, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/newsmakers/teresa-c.-younger-president-and-ceo-ms.-foundation-for-women-building-the-power-of-women-and-girls-of-color ^
  14. Lehnert, Tim. “Movement Building for Women: An Interview with Teresa Younger.” Philanthropy Women. December 30, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://philanthropywomen.org/feminist-strategy/movement-building-for-women-an-interview-with-teresa-younger/ ^
  15. Administrator. “Ms. Foundation for Women Announces Ambitious Five-Year Plan to Invest in Women and Girls of Color to Advance Democracy and Promote Gender Equality.” August 7, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2020. https://forwomen.org/strategic-plan-18/ ^
  16. “Ms. Foundation for Women on the Historic Win of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris. Ms. Foundation for Women. November 5, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://forwomen.org/biden-harris-election-2020/ ^
  17. “Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women: Building the Power of Women and Girls of Color.” Philanthropy News Digest. October 23, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/newsmakers/teresa-c.-younger-president-and-ceo-ms.-foundation-for-women-building-the-power-of-women-and-girls-of-color ^
  18. Ms. Foundation for Women Inc., Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule J, Part II, Line 1. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/237252609/06_2020_prefixes_23-26%2F237252609_201906_990_2020060517177403 ^
  19. Branigin, Anne. Ms. Foundation Names Trans Writer and Activist Raquel Willis as New Director of Communications.” The Root. June 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://theglowup.theroot.com/ms-foundation-names-trans-writer-and-activist-raquel-w-1844180049 ^
  20. Grantees List. #Startsmall LLC. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://startsmall.llc/#list ^
  21. “Ms. Foundation Receives $3 Million Grant From #Startsmall.” Ms. Foundation for Women. August 10, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://forwomen.org/startsmall/ ^
  22. Schultz, Abby. “The Ms. Foundation for Women Shifts to Impact Investments.” Penta. October 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-ms-foundation-for-women-shifts-to-impact-investments-01603737997 ^
  23. Schultz, Abby. “The Ms. Foundation for Women Shifts to Impact Investments.” Penta. October 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-ms-foundation-for-women-shifts-to-impact-investments-01603737997 ^
  24. Schultz, Abby. “The Ms. Foundation for Women Shifts to Impact Investments.” Penta. October 26, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-ms-foundation-for-women-shifts-to-impact-investments-01603737997 ^
  25. Past Grantees – About. Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 7, 2020. https://forwomen.org/grants-2/past-grantees/ ^
  26. Our Grantees – About. Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 7, 2020. https://forwomen.org/about/our-grantees/ ^
  27. Chiu, Bonnie. “How Six Gender Justice Funders are Providing COVID-19 Emergency Funding.” Forbes. May 4, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniechiu/2020/05/04/how-six-gender-justice-funders-are-providing-covid-19-emergency-funding/?sh=7c316766b926 ^
  28. Ms. Foundation for Women Inc., Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule I, Part II. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/237252609/06_2020_prefixes_23-26%2F237252609_201906_990_2020060517177403 ^
  29. Dickler Family Foundation – Funders. Population Media Center. Accessed December 7, 2020. https://www.populationmedia.org/funders/dickler-family-foundation/ ^
  30. Grants: Impact Areas – Our Grantees. About. Ms. Foundation for Women. Accessed December 7, 2020. https://forwomen.org/about/our-grantees/grants-impact-areas/ ^

Child Organizations

  1. Ms. Action Fund (Non-profit)

Coalition Memberships

  1. Neighborhood Funders Group

Donation Recipients

  1. ACT for Women and Girls (Non-profit)
  2. Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice (Non-profit)
  3. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  4. African Communities Together (Non-profit)
  5. Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) (Non-profit)
  6. Black Women’s Blueprint (Non-profit)
  7. Blueprint NC (Non-profit)
  8. Community Catalyst (Non-profit)
  9. Family Values @ Work (Non-profit)
  10. Feminist.com (Non-profit)
  11. Feminist Majority Foundation (Non-profit)
  12. Forward Together (Non-profit)
  13. Fractured Atlas Productions (Non-profit)
  14. Fund for the City of New York (Non-profit)
  15. Highlander Research and Education Center (Non-profit)
  16. Institute for Women’s Policy Research (Non-profit)
  17. Just Vision (Non-profit)
  18. Make the Road New York (MRNY) (Non-profit)
  19. Miami Workers Center (Non-profit)
  20. Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) (Non-profit)
  21. National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) (Non-profit)
  22. National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (Non-profit)
  23. National Network of Abortion Funds (Non-profit)
  24. National Partnership for New Americans (Non-profit)
  25. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  26. New School (Non-profit)
  27. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  28. New World Foundation (NWF) (Non-profit)
  29. New York Women’s Foundation (Non-profit)
  30. Our Bodies Ourselves (Non-profit)
  31. Peace Over Violence (Non-profit)
  32. Pro-Choice Resources (Non-profit)
  33. Project South (Non-profit)
  34. Proteus Fund (Non-profit)
  35. Provide (Non-profit)
  36. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) (Non-profit)
  37. Southerners on New Ground (Non-profit)
  38. SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW (Non-profit)
  39. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  40. URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (Non-profit)
  41. Vera Institute of Justice (VIJ) (Non-profit)
  42. Women Make Movies (Non-profit)
  43. Women’s Foundation of California (Non-profit)
  44. Women’s Media Center (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1974

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $4,325,917 $7,138,935 $40,648,614 $787,987 N $3,193,864 $0 $690,237 $831,509
    2016 Jun Form 990 $6,967,127 $7,276,107 $40,746,775 $1,443,160 N $2,956,267 $0 $592,984 $614,597
    2015 Jun Form 990 $10,421,944 $7,185,748 $45,945,780 $1,924,935 N $7,678,921 $0 $641,827 $654,001 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $8,266,078 $8,221,877 $43,272,978 $1,231,129 N $4,608,704 $0 $792,676 $329,432 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $9,617,852 $8,596,738 $41,696,073 $1,254,728 N $8,277,651 $0 $791,051 $414,353 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $5,751,984 $9,256,105 $38,558,335 $1,851,458 N $4,787,881 $0 $971,548 $487,513 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Ms. Foundation for Women

    12 METRO TECH CENTER 26TH FLR
    BROOKLYN, NY 11201-3858