“We, the founders of filia, envision a fair, humane, and diverse world, in which women contribute the decisive aspects. It is in our interest that women and girls everywhere in the world are given better opportunities and that they can determine their future for themselves.”
(from the filia preamble, 2001)
Change is possible. The history of women’s oppression has been transformed into an emancipatory movement. Step by step, all over the world, women and girls are actively claiming their rights, increasing their capacity to act, organizing the distribution of resources in a more just way, and gaining the power to make decisions.
Social change, as we understand it, does not treat the symptoms; it deals with the causes, reduces discrimination, and attacks the root of evil. Lack of equal opportunities prohibits development.
When half of the world’s population is prevented from realizing their potential, this is a disadvantage for our development as a whole.
What kind of world do we want to live in?
One that is more just, humane, diverse, and sustainable. Just – filia is active all over the world in regions where human rights are especially violated. Diverse – the foundation is especially sensitive to multiple discrimination for reasons of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and age. Sustainable – this is where young women and girls play a special role.
Women make up more than half of the world’s population. For centuries, to this day, and in some countries still to a high degree, women are denied participation, equal rights, and access to resources. filia.die frauenstiftung was founded as a platform for the empowerment of women and girls.
As a sponsor, it financially supports women and girls by helping them realize their ideas and projects for promoting social change. In this endeavor, appreciating the experiences of women and girls and their approaches to problem-solving is just as important as cooperating with partners at eye level.
filia also empowers women and girls by helping them to handle money, wealth, and inheritance with self-confidence. The model of the community foundation is a step in this direction.
filia empowers women and girls on exchanges, in international networking, in the sector of German and international foundations, and by demanding funding specifically for women. In this area, filia is also a lobbyist.
When you donate to filia, money is transformed directly into activities and projects by women and girls, for women and girls, all over the world. As a fundraiser and investor, filia promotes the development of feminist-oriented philanthropy and supports the spread of a culture of giving in Germany.
When you donate, money is transformed in two ways at once: First, it is transformed into the investments filia makes, which have a sustaining effect. filia ensures that these stay transparent. The return on these investments not only makes the foundation’s work possible, it also flows into the activities of other women’s organizations. Whenever you give, you also get in return; when you receive, you also give back in many ways by making a change.
As a foundation, our mission is to make funds available and to transform them into activities by women and girls, for women and girls. That is why we formed a community foundation as a way of reacting to that demand: The foundation was conceived with a growing community in mind, who invest capital and ideas that enable women to gain power and influence.
The foundation thus sees itself as a part of feminist development and as a daughter of the women’s movement.
ROLES, TASKS, AND GOALS
filia is a sponsor for women’s rights. We rise to the challenge of collecting money and distributing it to women’s organizations that do relevant work for social change. Our aim is to continue to enlarge the volume of financial support and to make it available to women’s organizations.
Where does the money for women’s rights come from? While filia is constantly on the lookout for possible sources outside of Germany, filia’s focus in this regard lies within Germany.
filia’s goal is to continue to increase its capital through donations. Together with filia’s founders, our endowment donors form a lively and dedicated community. They are included in substantial processes and structural decisions.
We also aim to significantly broaden our basis of sponsors. Our sponsorship body where sponsors regularly give donations contribute sustainably to the funding of filia’s projects.
filia also offers a platform for people looking to place their inheritance in good hands. As an umbrella organization for several smaller foundations and funds earmarked for certain issues, filia networks with like-minded organizations.
We strive to diversify our sources of income to include public funding, support from other foundations, and long-term corporate sponsorships.
Because money is an important tool for achieving goals, we use our investments according to our vision. That is why we have chosen an ecological, universal bank as our house bank and have developed a holistic approach toward handling money.
We pay close attention to where and how the money is invested and whom it benefits or harms.
This means not only do we not support nuclear power, armaments, and child labor, but that it is also important to us that our criteria of sustainability, social and ethical compatibility, and especially gender equality are fulfilled. We also work to convince banks and providers of the importance of these criteria.
We do not want to harvest returns from investments that run counter to our goals. In the next few years, we will continue to focus more on direct investments (for example, through loans to social enterprises, shares in companies, and housing projects) in the interest of women.
To promote greater diversity, we also plan to acquire an office building as a common base for filia and other similar organizations, enabling future growth.
Ten years ago, filia began supporting the empowerment of women and girls with the goal of changing structural discrimination in society. From 2012 to 2016, filia will make an even greater impact by using different strategies to provide support in various regions. We will not only rely more on our partners and provide long-term funding for selected local projects with high funding volumes, but we will also blaze new paths by issuing open requests for proposals, which will also enable us to become acquainted with new partners.
Our two key issues are participation and freedom from violence. Women and girls should be able to live free from violence and to participate by having the power to make decisions as well as access to a just distribution of resources.
The foundation provides strategic and long-term support based on solidarity.
In all our financial support, we are especially dedicated to helping women and girls experiencing multiple forms of discrimination because of their sex, skin color, origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Central and Eastern Europe – 50% of our support budget
Change takes time. That is why filia works together with a small number of women’s organizations and women’s foundations in Central and Eastern Europe. In the future, our funding will not only consist of one-time start-up grants, but predominantly of strategic grants spanning several years. Evaluation will also play a greater role, enabling us to visualize processes of change and their effects. We will expand our field knowledge and strengthen our bonds with partners.
Germany – 20 % of the support budget
We regard girls and young women as agents of social change.
That is why filia supports girls’ projects in Germany, and why filia is establishing a girl’s advisory council. In the girl’s advisory council, girls and young women have a say in decisions.
Countries of the Global South – 20% of the support budget
Cooperating with women’s foundations and trusted partners in the countries of the Global South enable filia to act with solidarity: filia supports the development programs of its sister foundations and strengthens local women’s movements in their struggle for participation and freedom from violence.
Urgent action grants – 10% of the support budget
filia provides quick funding of up to E 5000 to support urgent actions of women’s groups worldwide who want to seize an unexpected opportunity for social change.
filia sees itself as an advocate of women’s rights and philanthropy with a gender-equality perspective. We help to raise public awareness of important feminist issues. We show how women and girls are changing the world.
As an active part of the women’s movement, filia organizes and participates in events and selected campaigns. In Germany, filia provides funding especially for girls and young women – the agents of social change – and it invests in the sustainability of the German women’s movement.
filia is an active and visible lobbyist and advocate in Germany and abroad. Together with other organizations and networks, filia campaigns for putting women’s rights and social change on the donation agenda.
In Germany, we strive for the greater visibility and participation of women’s foundations in the »Bundesverband deutscher Stiftungen« (Board of German Foundations). Together with other German foundations in the »Netzwerk Wandelstiften« (Network for Funding Change), filia stands for an approach to philanthropy that demands a structural change in society.
Through our cooperation and international activity, we connect the local perspective with the global. This inspires our work and enables us to take part in international feminist debates, which we share with activists from all over the world in the »Association For Women’s Rights in Development, AWID«.
As a member of the »International Network of Women’s Funds, INWF«, filia and other women’s foundations strive toward the goal of expanding resources for the work of women’s and girl’s organizations worldwide.