Strategic Plan 2017–2023

Our vision

“We, the founders of filia, have a vision of a just, humane and diverse world in which women have crucial contributions to make. It is our interest that women and girls all over the world get better opportunities.
Women are different. They come from different cultures and circumstances, belong to different generations and see the world with different eyes. We are convinced that it is precisely in the diversity of experiences and abilities that the creative potential for change lies. We wish for a society that welcomes migrant women and encourages their lively participation.”

From the 2001 preamble

+++ Changing the world +++

We see an alarming increase of right-wing populist tendencies, nationally and internationally, which question many achievements such as the rights of women and minorities. For this very reason, we need to join forces, we need a strong civil society that actively stands up for their rights and the implementation of international agreements. We see our goals and the work of our partners in accord with the Sustainable Development Goals, as an active contribution to CEDAW, the Istanbul Convention and the Gender Action Plan of the EU.

Issues such as climate change, demographic change and refugee movements always have a specific impact on women and girls. filia.die frauenstiftung responds to these changes strategically and concretely by setting new accents in its support.

Since our founding, we have been working together, step by step, to encourage women and girls to enjoy their rights, expand their scope of action and gain more decision-making power. To achieve this, a fairer distribution of resources is needed.

In the regions of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Global South (GS), we have been able to build long-term partnerships with women’s organizations and foundations.

The Girls’ Empowerment Program is a stable project: the Girls’ Advisory Council is a protected space in which girls develop their own opinion and make competent decisions about girls funding in Germany. The Advisory Council includes young women who meet various diversity criteria, according to the groups we also support in girls projects. The participation of the girls’ advisory Council is continuously being expanded. Since 2015, we have been able to expand the program internationally.

Within the international network of women’s foundations Prospera, our foundation participates in strategic developments.

What kind of world do we want to live in? A world that is more just, diverse and sustainable.

filia supports projects that promote social change. Our motto is “Change, not Charity.” Social change, as we understand it, starts with the analysis of the causes of injustice in order to develop activities for structural changes in the interest of women and girls. The inclusion of men and trans in filia’s work is also an important topic.

Fairer – therefore filia promotes activities that develop women and girls in regions where human rights are violated in a particular way and where access to resources and development opportunities is impeded.
Multifaceted – this is why the foundation pays special attention to multiple discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability and age.
Future-proof – we respond proactively to challenges such as climate change and refugee movements. By allowing young women and girls to participate in the foundation’s responsibility and decision-making processes, by allowing girls to develop and manage projects themselves, and by allowing them to represent their concerns in public, we contribute to a generational change.

+++ Empowering women +++

Women make up half of the world’s population. To this day, increasingly in some countries – including CEE – they are denied or hindered participation, equal rights and access to resources, exposed to gender and domestic violence. filia.die frauenstiftung was founded as a platform to empower women and girls. As a funder and advocate, we support women and girls worldwide in implementing their ideas and projects that aim to achieve social change. Appreciation of the experiences and solutions of women and girls is just as crucial as working together in partnership and making their successes visible.

filia continues to strengthen women and girls in their self-confident management of money, assets and inheritance. The model of the community foundation and the work of the girls’ advisory Council are aimed in this direction.

Our founders and supporters form a lively and committed community. They are involved in content-related processes and structural decisions.

+++ Transforming money +++

Whoever donates to filia transforms the money directly into activities and projects by women and girls for women and girls – worldwide. Especially in times of low returns, this is a worthwhile investment. filia donors transform their money twice: it flows into the foundation’s capital and is invested sustainably. The returns from the investments are used to finance the work of the foundation and the activities of the women’s organizations.

As a fundraiser and money investor, filia works to spread the idea of feminist-oriented philanthropy and to develop this benefactor culture in Germany.

As part of our operational activities, we ensure that funds that filia uses or acquires from third parties, benefit other women’s organizations (regranting share). With these shares, we focus on topics that are strategically important to the foundation: Girls empowerment, intergenerational dialogue, transnational exchange, climate change, only to name a few.

Our mission

As a foundation, our mission is to provide and transform funds into activities by women and girls for women and girls. With the model of the community foundation, the foundation has structurally responded to this need: It is designed for a growing community that invests capital and ideas so that women can gain more power and influence. In this sense, filia defines itself as a daughter of the women’s movement.

Our intentions:

  • In 2017-2023, intending to encourage participation and freedom from violence, filia promotes the topics of climate change and gender justice (in the Global South), women and refuge, intergenerational dialogues.
  • Within the Girls’ Advisory Council, girls and young women organize themselves and take responsibility. They are increasingly involved in the decision-making processes of the fund.
  • Fundraising is being expanded to include additional target groups and institutions.

The four roles: Fundraiser, Investor, Provider of grants and Advocate – are continuously developed so that the foundation can realize its mission.

Roles, tasks and goals

1. Fundraiser

filia is a fundraiser for women’s rights. The challenge is to attract more people, to develop new private and public sources of funds in order to be able to support more women organizations that are doing relevant work for social change. We also see our role as providing our partners with access to additional funding sources through networking, recommendations, and making public funds available to our target groups through the use of filia’s own funds.

filia searches for sources in Germany and abroad.

The main focus of filia is in its own country. filia’s capital is to grow steadily through endowments. filia is also increasingly seeking bequests and inheritances, which can also be implemented as sub-foundation and theme funds. At the same time, our donor base is to grow significantly. Regular donations provide planning security and increasingly support filia’s project funding.

In addition, we are increasingly raising third-party funds – nationally and throughout Europe. filia researches and acquires funds from public institutions and larger foundations. By using our international network, we aim to tap into sources of funding (e.g. EU funds) that are not available to smaller women’s organizations.

The successful acquisition of third-party funds changes the foundation: partner organizations have to settle their accounts according to the funders, the share of operative work within the foundation increases, and the independence of the foundation can suffer.

We are aware of these processes, evaluate the experiences and manage research and acquisition according to our mission.

2. Investor

Money is an important design tool and so we use our investments according to our vision. Therefore, we have chosen an ecological universal bank as our house bank and have developed a holistic understanding of the management of money. We look at where and how investments are made and who benefits or is harmed. We not only exclude nuclear power, armaments and child labour, but it is also crucial for us that our criteria of sustainability, social and ethical compatibility and especially gender justice are met. We also try to sensitize banks and suppliers to these criteria.

3. Provider of grants

Since 2001 filia has been supporting the empowerment of women and girls worldwide with the aim of changing disadvantaging social structures. We are constantly intent to significantly expand our funding.

The topics of “participation” and “freedom from violence” describe the goals of our vision: women and girls should be able to live free of violence and gain access to decision-making power as well as equitable distribution of resources.

Within these two areas, the fund pays special attention to the following three cross-cutting issues: Climate change and gender justice, women and refuge, and the promotion of intergenerational dialogue. In doing so, filia makes sure that the limited funds are used for a structural change.

filia provides funding in various ways:

The strategic funding, which supports women’s organizations and their projects in the longer term with a higher funding volume, has proven itself and will be expanded. The women’s organizations can use this funding flexibly and according to their needs. This funding adapts to filia’s partners.

The impulse funding, which is thought to give impulses and get to know new partners through open calls for projects. filia pays particular attention here to initial funding for small women’s organizations (grassroots) as well as to supporting rather unconventional activities.

filia provides funding in:

Central-Eastern Europe (50 per cent of the funding budget).
Change takes time. Strategic funding in cooperation with selected women’s* organizations and women’s foundations is expanding. Strategic collaborations can emerge from impulse grants. We expand our field knowledge and deepen relationships with partners.

Germany (25 per cent of the funding budget)
We see girls and young women as agents for social change. Therefore, we will continue to fund girls projects in Germany that empower girls and young women affected by multiple discrimination. The Girls’ Advisory Council looks at the results of the funding and visits selected projects.

Countries of the Global South (25 per cent of the funding budget)
Cooperation with women’s foundations and women’s organizations in the countries of the Global South enables filia to act in solidarity: By supporting the funding programs of its sister foundations, filia strengthens local women movements in their efforts for participation and freedom from violence. Since 2017 climate change and gender justice are the topics filia wants to focus on.

By 2023, one goal of filia is to further develop its evaluation practice. Evaluation plays an important role in making change processes and their effects visible.

4. Advocate

filia sees itself as an advocate for women’s rights and philanthropy with a gender perspective. We show how women and girls change the world. With the intergenerational dialogue, the foundation initiates an understanding between young interested people/activists and feminists who have been active for decades. In this way, all participants invest in the sustainability and future of the women’s movements in Germany and other partner countries.
As an active part of the women’s movement, filia designs and participates in events and selected campaigns.

With these activities, we want to increase filia’s reputation as a community foundation, attract new donors, make the successes and issues of the women’s movement visible and work on global issues. In national and international contexts, filia is actively involved as an advocate.

In Germany, we strive to communicate gender-responsive standards to the Association of German Foundations, its members and key multipliers, as well as to mobilize more funding for gender justice. Philanthropy with the aim of structurally change society and investing money sustainably is a common goal of filia together with other German foundations in the Wandelstiften network.

Through our work and activities in international contexts, we combine the local with the global perspective. This inspires our work and allows us to participate in the global feminist issues that we discuss at the Association For Women’s Rights in Development (awid) with activists from around the world. As a member of the International Network of Women’s Funds Prospera, filia joins other women’s foundations worldwide in pursuing the goal of increasing resources for the work of women’s and girls’ organizations.

Strategic Plan