Historic Fundraising Initiative to Empower Women & Girls Worldwide Reaches $100 Million Quickly Even as U.S. Economy Slows

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Women Moving Millions -- a groundbreaking initiative to inspire gifts of one million dollars and above to effect lasting social change through improving the lives of women and girls -- announced today that it has raised $100 million. This milestone advances the initiative much closer than expected toward its goal of $150 million by 2009.

The donations are pledged to any of the 128 members of the Women's Funding Network, a global alliance of women's foundations and partners who raise money and award grants to initiatives that offer the greatest potential for lasting impact on issues from dismantling poverty to women's leadership.

Despite the economic downturn and the slow-down of other national fundraising efforts, the Women Moving Millions campaign has created a forward momentum. Women Moving Millions leaders are crediting their success to the compelling case for advancing social change by investing in women and girls.

The initiative, which began with a $10 million gift from sisters and philanthropists Helen LaKelly Hunt and Swanee Hunt, recognizes the growing financial clout of women, who now hold more than half the private wealth in the United States. The goal of Women Moving Millions is to raise the bar on women's philanthropy and to push the aggregate power of women's foundations beyond $1 billion by April 2009.

Over the last two decades, women's foundations have given more than $400 million in grants to nonprofits that benefit low-income women and girls. The funds currently have combined assets of $450 million. The $150 million targeted to be raised through Women Moving Millions will bring the total financial power of the Women's Funding Network to nearly $1 billion.

"We've reached the $100 million point much sooner than anticipated," commented Helen LaKelly Hunt, Co-Chair of the initiative. "It's clear we've touched a nerve, and that women of wealth are ready to become powerful change agents in a way unseen in all of history."

"What we're doing is revolutionizing philanthropy," noted Christine Grumm, CEO of the Women's Funding Network and Co-Chair of Women Moving Millions. "Women Moving Millions is an unprecedented partnership between donors and visionary women's foundations worldwide."

The Women's Funding Network is a global movement of more than 128 women's foundations, raising money and giving grants to create lasting social change through the advancement and leadership of women and girls.

For more information on Women Moving Millions and particular funds, please visit http://www.womenmovingmillions.org

SOURCE Women's Funding Network

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