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Melinda Gates Announces $1 Billion for Gender Equality: Are You Prepared for Her Call?

Since our founding in 2016, Wright Collective has conducted over 50 development audits for our nonprofits partners. Of these fifty organizations, more than half of them have been devoted to a common cause: gender equality. In their work, these organizations seek to ensure gender justice in healthcare, gender parity in politics, and equal opportunity for women in economic development, among many other important missions. As we assess the ways they attract and seek funding, our team always takes the time to collect anecdotal data, interviewing and surveying top-tier funders, community members and prospective donors. Over the last few years, the themes from this practice are abundantly clear: 

  • Great organization, but what specifically do they need funding for? 

  • I love this organization, but there are 5 others like it that do the same exact thing. Why should I give to this one?

  • They really are doing a lot of great work, but they seem to be all over the place. Are they really making an impact in any specific area?

Organizations usually answer the question of what we need money for by mirroring the responses: 

  • We need money to fund our mission (Fund what part of the mission?)

  • We need money to reach more people (Who specifically? Where? How? Why now?) 

  • (and our favorite) All the things… (Yes, we know you need more admin, more program staff, more capital improvements. But you need to be clear.)  

Individual or institutional funders need to know what you would specifically do with $10,000 or $10MIL. And you have a brief moment in time to convey your value proposition, build their trust and get them excited and interested in your work. 

Perhaps this has never been more relevant than now- as Melinda Gates splits from the Gates Foundation, taking $12.5BIL with her. In her most recent NYTimes piece, she states:

“I am announcing $1 billion in new spending over the next two years for people and organizations working on behalf of women and families around the world, including on reproductive rights in the United States.”

With this in mind, centering abundance and choosing fearlessness, now is the time to prepare for the $250MIL open call projected to happen in the Fall of 2024, as named by Gates in her recent article. Now is the time to sharpen our pencils and make our messages “LOUD and CLEAR.” To support this, it’s clear Pivotal Ventures is also scaling up, as open positions have been posted for the last few months on top job search sites. Below are three key reminders to ensure your messaging is funder-ready in case Melinda or one of her associates, come a-Googling.

  1. Show your impact. Melinda will likely have a reproductive justice angle to this giving. Be sure you note that this work is part of your mission-making and services. Make sure you can cite the impact you are having on this area. Use numbers. Show change. Consider an Impact Report like our client Birth Center Equity recently published. Their report clearly articulates how and where they are making an impact. Don’t be afraid to say where your future focus lies. No one expects you to have solved every problem today! 

  2. Keep your messaging clear and simple. If you feel like your focus is all over the place, it probably is. Worse, it probably translates that way too in your marketing. Now is the time to put a stake in the ground and focus. Double down on the most important work and get out there and talk about it…a lot. 

  3. Be consistent. This means making sure your website is organized and articulates your focus, impact and messaging clearly and up front. I don’t know how many times we hear from our clients that their message is on their website…yes, buried on page 3 or bits and pieces are all over the place. Don’t make readers work for it. Make it clear, easy to read and accessible. 

  4. And sorry…it needs to be enjoyable too! Don’t blame us, this is TikTok’s fault. Use today's rules of engagement to hook people and keep them engaged. Short video is winning. Don’t over think it… just do it.

We hear time and time again, that you don’t have time, resources and money for marketing efforts. Well, we are sure that when Melinda Gates announces her recipients for this coming call, the winners will all have very refined, clear goals, messages and articulations of their impacts. Now is the time to get you messages bold, clear and out to the world.

Want to prepare even more and get support in applying for funding like this? Contact Wright Collective to learn about our communications and fundraising services.


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