Mary's Pence Wins Award for Responsive Philanthropy - Mary's Pence

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Mary’s Pence Wins Award for Responsive Philanthropy

Mary's Pence board and staff on stage with the award for Responsive Philanthropy.

Mary’s Pence Commitment to Responsive Philanthropy

On October 13th, 2017, Mary’s Pence Executive Director Katherine Wojtan accepted the Minnesota Nonprofit Award for Responsive Philanthropy presented by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a responsive funder during a moment when women and other marginalized people are facing tremendous struggles. Mary’s Pence is committed to supporting women who have experienced injustice. By trusting in their experience and knowledge, together we can create effective solutions and long-term change,” said Mary’s Pence Executive Director Katherine Wojtan.

A Saint Paul-based non-profit organization, Mary’s Pence, was founded by women to support women on the margins at a time when women-led social justice projects were overlooked and underfunded. This year, Mary’s Pence is celebrating 30 years of funding women and changing lives.

Responsive Philanthropy is:

  • Be responsive to citizen initiatives;
  • Recognize public policy issues and long-term strategies to fight problems and
  • Commit substantial resources to disadvantaged people and communities through a process of dialogue and partnership.

Nominated by RISE, a local grantee

Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE), a two-time Mary’s Pence grantee based in Minneapolis, nominated Mary’s Pence for the award. Mary’s Pence envisions a world where empowered women and their communities flourish in solidarity and justice. Through two programs, Mary’s Pence Grants and ESPERA, they provide resources and support to women in the Americas who are working for social change.

Mary’s Pence Grants act as seed money

The Mary’s Pence Grants program funds women’s organizations in the US and Canada that are working with their local communities to create long-term systemic change. Nausheena Hussain, the Executive Director of RISE, says the organization’s willingness to embrace and invest in its vision is critical. “We needed funding to get rolling, and Mary’s Pence really stepped up and invested in what really was our vision at that time. We didn’t have a successful track record, but instead, we had this vision for change, and they understood it,” she said.

To qualify for a Mary’s Pence grant, an organization must collaborate with diverse populations, advocate for change in unjust policies, and educate to build skills and increase capacity—all while having an operating budget of no more than $200,000.

While grantee organizations range in age from newly created to decades old, approximately one-third have been in operation for less than three years.

Watch the video: Mary’s Pence – 2017 Responsive Philanthropy Award
Learn More about the Mary’s Pence Grants program.

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