Non-profit

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

Website:

www.wfmn.org/

Location:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Tax ID:

41-1635761

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $5,457,848
Expenses: $4,963,410
Assets: $26,376,437

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) is an organization that campaigns for center-left ideas and policies. They also provide funding for various groups and organizations on the political left such as abortion providers and civil rights organizations. It also spends large sums of money on lobbying state lawmakers. The organization focuses on issues such as left-of-center social welfare policy, preventing sex trafficking, and promoting abortion access. It works primarily through funding allied organizations who work to implement their legislative priorities, some which are quite radical.

The organization has spawned similar foundations in states all over the country that work on promoting left-wing causes and legislation under the guise of improving the lives of women.

Overview

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota is an organization that works to promote left-wing solutions to improve the lives of women and girls. The organization focuses on issues such as economic security, preventing sex trafficking, and promoting abortion access. It works primarily through funding allied organizations who work to implement their legislative priorities, some which are quite radical.

The Minneapolis based organization has developed ties with Minnesota lawmakers. Currently, it has an initiative with the Minnesota governor’s office that seeks to develop young women leaders and promote left-wing policy under the guise of “young women’s issues.” [1] But many of the proposals and the framework it works with is radical and is based on far-left thinking. The organization also awards grants to government agencies to implement its agenda.

Programs

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota works on various issues that affect women. It often uses these issues as a venue to promote left-wing views on economic and other political issues. Its primary means of activism is the awarding of grants to affiliated organizations.

WFMN works from an “intersectionality” framework. The framework takes into account factors such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and immigration status. The framework seeks to create solutions that provide for equal outcomes between women and girls in Minnesota.[2]

WFMN seeks to increase the number of women participating in politics and business, increase life skills, boost academic success, and ensure post-secondary enrollment. Currently, WFMN has three grant funds and two research projects in support of this issue area. [3]

WFMN also works to counter sex trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault and harassment. The organization promotes laws against prostitution and focusing on prosecuting the men who patronize them. It also promotes shelters for sex trafficking victims. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota had the third highest rate of human trafficking in 2015.[4] WFMN currently has one grant fund and a couple of research projects working on both the market and the demand of sex trafficking. [5]

WMFN has four grant projects and two research areas working in “leadership.” Among the policies it advocates are racial and gender quotas in both the private and public sectors.[6]

Issues

One of WFMN’s issue areas of focus is on the sex trafficking trade in Minnesota. WFMN gives grants to some county prosecutor’s offices that work on the issue. WFMN is also one of the stakeholders, along with government agencies, in the No Wrong Door Initiative. The initiative provides services and assistance to youth who escape from sex trafficking.[7]

Another major issue that WMFN is working is on increasing government spending on women and girls. It also seeks to increase government regulations on employers in areas such as paid leave and working conditions for women employees. In 2014, WMFN was instrumental in passing the Women’s Economic Security Act. The organization funded like-minded left-wing groups who then lobbied for the legislation in Minnesota. [8]

The legislation mandated new requirements in everything from pay to working conditions for women. It raised the state minimum wage to $9.65 as of 2018, mandated basic accommodations for pregnant women, and protections for women who breast feed. It also expands unemployment insurance to women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It mandated businesses that had 40 or more employees that sought state contracts to certify that the average compensation for employees in similar positions does not vary by gender. It also increased funding to promote the hiring of women in high paying positions where they are not represented, including in the construction industry. Finally, the law increased unpaid leave for both men and women from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.[9]

At the time of passage, WFMN president Lee Roper-Batker said “nothing else like this is happening in the nation.” WFMN organized a coalition of women’s and progressive organizations to pass the legislation. [10] Among the groups that backed the legislation were AARP, Minnesota Women’s Consortium, AFL-CIO of Minnesota, ACLU of Minnesota, and Organizing for Action.[11]

The WFMN conducts an annual research report called the “Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota.” The research is conducted with the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School’s Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy. The report has the goal of ending gender and racial inequality. The research conducted is based on the “intersectionality” framework. [12]

The 2018 report claimed that women made 18%-45% less than white men on average. The “pay gap” varied by race. It also claimed that women were underrepresented in high paid, high skilled work. It also claimed that the underperformance of women, especially women in color, was due to racist and other discriminatory policies.[13]

Among the recommendations WFMN’s 2018 report offered were not only encouraging women to pursue high-paying professions, but also encouraging men to pursue lower-paying professions such as caregivers. It also encouraged support for programs such as paid sick and family leave, affordable post-secondary education options, and expanded access to affordable childcare. It advocated for keeping and expanding the Affordable Care Act, supporting Planned Parenthood, and supporting far-left movements like Black Lives Matter. It urged readers to learn more about the left-wing “social justice” movement and to become a good “ally.”[14]

In 2017, WFMN released a “Blueprint for Action”, which was a series of 20 recommendations to improve the lives of young women.[15] The report criticized the concept of assimilating new immigrants and criticized the U.S. government anti-terrorism program called Countering Violent Extremism, alleging that it targeted women who wear Islamic headscarves.[16]

Leadership

The staff of WFMN is led by president and CEO Lee Roper-Batker. Roper-Batker first took over in 2001. She has been working in the left-wing feminist and labor union movements since the 1980s.[17]

The vice president is Saanii Hernandez, who has been involved with WFMN since 2012. Previously, she was with Hispanics in Philanthropy.

Financials

According to its 2018 Form 990 tax return, WFMN raised $4.9 million in revenue in 2017. It awarded $2.7 million in grants and spent $5.7 million in total. It has a total assets of $27.2 million. [18]

Its largest single expense was in grant making and supporting that operation, spending $3.1 million. Its second-largest expense was promoting philanthropy, spending $1.5 million. Its third-largest expense was on its research, spending $285, 721. [19]

It spent $43,630 on lobbying politicians in 2017. [20]

President and CEO Lee Roper-Batker made $293,047 in total salary and compensation in 2017. [21]

Grant Programs

WFMN has four grant programs that it uses to support the work of organizations that agree with its agenda. GirlsBEST (a modified acronym for Girls Building Economic Success Together) supports the work of organizations that work with low income girls, girls of color, and girls from rural Minnesota to improve their future economic prosperity.[22]

Innovation Fund is a program that funds groups that promote left-wing views on social policy. Among the groups awarded grants are Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Action Fund and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. [23]

MN Girls Are Not for Sale works to counter sex trafficking. The fund awards grants to organizations and government agencies involved with ending sex trafficking and aiding its victims.[24]

Pathways to Prosperity is targeted at helping low income women, women of color, and women from rural Minnesota become more economically prosperous. The grants are awarded to organizations that focus on workforce development and entrepreneurship.[25]

Donations to Controversial Groups

WFMN has supported Breaking Free, which works with women who escape prostitution and sex trafficking. The organization has was criticized for allegedly misusing donor funds and using organization housing to house family members of its founder. It led to donors, including for a time the WFMN and the St. Paul Police Department, cutting off all ties with the organization.[26]

Another organization WFMN supports is Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Action Fund, the lobbying arm of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliate in the state. WFMN also donates to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Roper-Baker wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune arguing against cutting public funding for Planned Parenthood.[27]

It also a donor to the Wisconsin-based Freedom Fund, Inc. Freedom Fund pays for abortions for women who cannot afford to have them.[28]

WFMN also supports Our Justice which is formally known as Pro-Choice Resources. The group promotes and encourages abortion. It also pays for abortions for women who cannot afford them. [29]

WFMN also supports another abortion funder, Women’s Medical Fund. [30]

In the past, WFMN has supported Outfront Minnesota, a gay-rights organization. The group has supported the October 2018 decision by Minnesota to grant a “non-binary” gender option on driver’s licenses.[31]

References

  1. “Young Women’s Initiative Of MN”. 2019. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed January 9. https://www.wfmn.org/ywi-mn/. ^
  2. “Our Work And What We Do”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/about-us/our-work/. ^
  3. “Our Impact And Focus Areas”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/our-impact/. ^
  4. Chandler, Sarah. 2018. “A Closer Look At Minnesota’S Sex Trafficking Problem”. Minnesotamonthly.Com. http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/Minnesota-Life/A-Closer-Look-at-Minnesotas-Sex-Trafficking-Problem/. ^
  5.         “Our Impact And Focus Areas”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/our-impact/. ^
  6. “Our Impact And Focus Areas”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/our-impact/. ^
  7. Chandler, Sarah. 2018. “A Closer Look At Minnesota’S Sex Trafficking Problem”. Minnesotamonthly.Com. http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/Minnesota-Life/A-Closer-Look-at-Minnesotas-Sex-Trafficking-Problem/. ^
  8. Matson, Erin. 2014. “How Minnesota Passed A Massive Economic Security Law For Women – Rewire.News”. Rewire.News. https://rewire.news/article/2014/08/04/minnesota-passed-massive-economic-security-law-women/. ^
  9. Matson, Erin. 2014. “How Minnesota Passed A Massive Economic Security Law For Women – Rewire.News”. Rewire.News. https://rewire.news/article/2014/08/04/minnesota-passed-massive-economic-security-law-women/. ^
  10. Matson, Erin. 2014. “How Minnesota Passed A Massive Economic Security Law For Women – Rewire.News”. Rewire.News. https://rewire.news/article/2014/08/04/minnesota-passed-massive-economic-security-law-women/. ^
  11. “Coalition Members”. 2019. Mnwesa.Org. Accessed January 9. http://www.mnwesa.org/about-us/coalition-members/. ^
  12. 2018 Status Of Women And Girls In Minnesota. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WFMN_StatusReport_Digital.pdf. ^
  13. 2018 Status Of Women And Girls In Minnesota. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WFMN_StatusReport_Digital.pdf. ^
  14. 2018 Status Of Women And Girls In Minnesota. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WFMN_StatusReport_Digital.pdf. ^
  15. Young Women’s Initiative Of Minnesota’s Blueprint For Action. 2017. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/ywi-mn-blueprint.pdf. ^
  16. Young Women’s Initiative Of Minnesota’s Blueprint For Action. 2017. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/ywi-mn-blueprint.pdf. ^
  17. Lehnert, Tim. 2017. “Scaling The Mount Everest Of Gender Equality In Minnesota – Philanthropy Women”. Philanthropy Women. https://philanthropywomen.org/womens-funds/scaling-everest-womens-foundation-minnesotas-lee-roper-batker/. ^
  18. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  19. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  20. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  21. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  22. “Grantmaking Funds And Opportunities”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/grants/. ^
  23. “Grantmaking Funds And Opportunities”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/grants/. ^
  24. “Grantmaking Funds And Opportunities”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/grants/. ^
  25. “Grantmaking Funds And Opportunities”. 2018. Women’s Foundation Of Minnesota. Accessed December 31. https://www.wfmn.org/grants/. ^
  26. Gottfried, Mara. 2015. “St. Paul’S Breaking Free’S Founder Responds To Complaints”. Twin Cities. https://www.twincities.com/2015/08/03/st-pauls-breaking-frees-founder-responds-to-complaints/. ^
  27. Roper-Batker, Lee. 2011. “OPINION EXCHANGE | Roper-Batker: What’s At Stake In Proposed Cuts To Planned Parenthood”. Star Tribune. http://m.startribune.com/roper-batker-what-s-at-stake-in-proposed-cuts-to-planned-parenthood/116776034/. ^
  28. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  29. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  30. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Minneapolis, MN: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. https://5hmu22w0slizp30doyr8p14u-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/FY18-Form-990.pdf. ^
  31. Schubert, Keith. 2018. “Object To Gender Identity? Minnesota Debuts ‘Non-Binary’ Option On Driver’S License”. Twin Cities. https://www.twincities.com/2018/10/02/object-to-gender-identity-minnesota-now-allows-a-non-binary-option-on-drivers-license/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1996

  • 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 Mar Form 990 $5,457,848 $4,963,410 $26,376,437 $492,470 N $5,180,729 $0 $243,393 $390,044
    2016 Mar Form 990 $4,559,976 $4,020,813 $24,412,081 $867,602 N $4,184,722 $0 $301,627 $344,769 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $3,138,226 $3,814,658 $24,589,653 $739,673 N $2,708,698 $0 $303,891 $288,227
    2014 Mar Form 990 $4,913,266 $3,468,297 $23,531,859 $404,194 N $4,337,658 $0 $375,286 $283,260 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $2,937,060 $3,193,269 $20,439,648 $564,792 N $2,256,174 $0 $562,114 $390,579 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $3,939,343 $2,944,804 $19,741,501 $343,062 N $3,880,826 $0 $342,929 $239,572 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

    105 5TH AVE S STE 300
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55401-6050