History and Vision of filia.die frauenstiftung
We, the founders of filia, have the vision of a just, humane and diverse world in which women* have a decisive contribution. It is in our interest that women* and girls* everywhere in the world are given better opportunities and that they can shape their lives in a self-determined way.”
(From the founding preamble 2001)
What we are:
filia understands itself as a daughter of women’s* movements. Hence the name: filia is the Latin word for daughter. filia’s mission is to provide funds and canalize money and transform it into activities organized by women* and girls* for women* and girls*. Our goal is: Change, not Charity – social change, not welfare!
In 2001, the founders decided on implementing the model of the community foundation: this model suits the goal of a growing community that invests capital and ideas so that women* gain more power and influence. In this way, filia brings together the ideas of the women’s* movement and the work of a foundation.
filia is a platform for empowering women* and girls*. We promote women* and girls* worldwide. By early 2021, filia has supported over 400 projects in more than 40 countries.
What we want:
As a provider of grants and advocate, we support women* and girls* worldwide on implementing their ideas and projects which encourage social change. filia takes an intersectional approach: our special focus is on women* and girls* who face multiple discrimination and disadvantages because of their gender, ethnic and social background, skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, age…
What we do:
filia supports grassroots groups and networks that stand up for women’s* rights and want to encourage structural changes. Why? Because we think that women* on-site know the situation best and they are the ones who can better assess how money can wisely be used. We take women* seriously as experts, and we see ourselves as partners, not as benefactors.
Our mission as a women’s* foundation: We redistribute money. With private donations and endowments, we can directly support women’s* groups. Smaller grassroots groups that do not have access to these sources are at the top of our list. In this way, we support local and community-based programs.
In our operational programs, for which filia acquires external funding, we can set topics that are considered relevant in the women’s* foundation movement and that become an urgent concern, such as growing anti-feminism or domestic violence in Corona times. Here we look for cooperation with ministries, other foundations, and corporations. Even within these programs, we strive to redistribute as much funding as possible to small groups (re-granting).
We are many:
filia is internationally networked, we have established long-term partnerships with women* organizations and foundations around the world. Since its foundation, filia has been a member of the growing global women’s* foundation movement.
How it all began: A foundation for and by women*
filia.die frauenstiftung was founded in Wiesbaden in 2001 by nine women* with a founding capital of 260,000 euros. These nine founders are life benefactors. They chose the model of the community foundation, which is designed for growing and participating; because as many should participate in making the world a better place for women* and girls*.
Initially, the work was done on a volunteer basis, but soon the workload was beyond our capacities. A full-time position was established and the foundation was moved to Hamburg in 2004.
The Community Foundation grew. Not only the number of employees grew, but fortunately also the capital (as of 2021: 16 million euros). The number of donors and project sponsors is also growing steadily.