Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 40

Community and Diversity

An Intersectional Feminist
Lens on our Sector's Recovery

*	 Safeguard the sector. Women make up more
than 70% of the charitable and nonprofit
sectors. By safeguarding the sector, we
will also protect women and gender equity
(YWCA Canada, 2020). What role is
your organization playing in lobbying the
government on these issues?
*	 Consider social infrastructure. Childcare
and eldercare are as significant social
underpinnings of economic recovery as
roads and bridges, and they must be part of
our plans for economic recovery (Armine
Yalnizyan, 2020). How is your organization
making work easier for your employees?
*	 Leverage the power of philanthropy.
Funders should increase their investment
in organizations led by and focused on the
issues impacting women of color, which will
help elevate the leadership, perspective,
and influence of women of color across the
nonprofit sector at large (Race to Lead, 2018).
*	 Focus on output, not hours worked. Surveys
estimate that the pandemic has added a
minimum of three additional work hours a day
for parents. Fundraisers are performancedriven-have you adjusted your metrics and
expectations in light of this new reality?

40	

Advancing Philanthropy	

women lost their jobs than men (Gordon, 2020). In the
U.S., more women (11.5 million) than men (9 million) lost
their jobs from February to May, with the most significant
losses for Hispanic and Asian women. (Kochhar, 2020)
In addition to this, women still disproportionately
handle the majority of all child care responsibilities, even
if their partner is also at home. Due to the gender pay
gap, women continue to make less than men and are more
likely to leave the workforce when child care options are
limited. White women make 10% less than their male
counterparts, while Black women make between 15-25%
less (Race to Lead, 2020).
With day care and schools closed, and elderly parents
to care for, many women have been stretched to the limit
with homeschooling, working full-time and ensuring
their children's mental health comes first while often
sacrificing their own. "I have had various female friends
have full-blown break downs during the pandemic,"
says Isabel PĂ©rez-Doherty, director of philanthropy and
strategic impact, YWCA Canada.

IMPACT ON WOMEN IN OUR SECTOR
The impact of COVID-19 on the charitable and nonprofit
sectors has been devastating. Demands for support and
services skyrocketed, while sources of funding for many
organizations disappeared. In-person fundraising events
were postponed or canceled, and conferences went
virtual. Despite pivoting to online programming, revenue
losses were inevitable for many organizations, which led
to many staff being furloughed or laid off. "Every week,
I felt like I had another colleague or friend in the sector
laid off or furloughed," says Sarah Cortell Vandersypen, a
fundraiser based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
For those who were fortunate enough to keep their
jobs, the transition to working from home during a
pandemic was significant. Jennifer Harris, a holistic
fundraising and communications consultant based out
of San Diego, shared, "The virus has obliterated any
perceived transition we may have once had between
work and life; there is no barrier. There isn't a commute
or even an office wall in some cases. We are more
vulnerable than ever to flaming out, especially women."
For working mothers, the phrase "working from home"
has an entirely different meaning. This was not a simple
transition in physical location for many mothers, but
something more disruptive. This was a merger of two
worlds, doubling the demands on their time. "Imagine
the situation was in reverse," notes Emma Jenkin, senior
communications officer at University of Toronto Schools,
"and instead you took your children, your pets or your
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org


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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

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