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“We, the founders of filia, have the vision of a just, humane and diverse world that women contribute significantly to. We want women and girls worldwide to have better opportunities and to autonomously shape their life.”
Extract from the preamble developed upon filia’s establishment in 2001.
filia.the women’s fund was established in 2001 in Wiesbaden by nine women and with a capital of 250,000 Euros. These nine founders are endowment donors for a lifetime. They put a lot of thought into how the foundation should be structured and what its vision should be.
They adopted the model of a community foundation which is focused on growth and participation as they wanted many to help improve the world for the benefit of women and girls. Initially, filia’s activities were managed and led by volunteers but the work grew so quickly that the office was moved to Hamburg in 2004 and equipped with a managing director and an assistant.
Over the years, the community foundation’s endowment fund grew as well (to 16 million Euros in 2017). The number of donors and project grants increased and the size of the team in the office grew accordingly.
Then the financial crisis hit and the decrease in yields from the endowment fund led to filia’s decision not to provide any project grants in 2011. This break was well used: The fundraising moved from attracting contributions to the endowment fund to seeking donations. Direct and regular donations can be used for project grants and other activities of the foundation in the same year they are made. That diminishes filia’s dependence on yields from the investment of the endowment fund.
Also strategically, filia changed track at that time: The Strategic Plan 2012-2016 for the first time defined clear roles of the foundation, the fundraising efforts were broadened beyond private money to target public means as well. In Germany, the Girls’ Empowerment Programme was created: Since then filia has exclusively financed girls’ projects in Germany, a Girls’ Council co-decides which projects should be funded. This turned into the first operational project of the foundation which then led to others: see Co-operations.
filia considers itself a daughter of the women’s movement. filia’s mission is to provide means that can be “transformed” into activities of women and girls for women and girls worldwide. The aim is: Change, not Charity! By doing so, filia joins forces with the women’s movement.
Our motto: Transform money +++ Empower women+++Change the world