First, I would like to wish you all a wonderful new year. I hope you have been able to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments during the past year and celebrate your work and your contribution to a better, more just and peaceful world.
As you know, GFW receives funding from the Nike Foundation to support and strengthen adolescent girls programming, better understand the challenges and best practices of organizations working with adolescent girls, and increase the visibility of girls’ programs and issues in order to increase donor attention and investment. In addition to investing in GFW, Nike also supports five other grantmaking organizations working on girls’ rights: American Jewish World Service; EMpower; Firelight Foundation; Global Fund for Children; and Mama Cash. Through support of these six organizations, Nike is hoping to get current, on the ground information about grassroots organizations focused on girls programming, as well as the girls they serve. They will use this information to make the case for continued funding, as well as to help shape their own grantmaking. As such, at the last meeting in New York In October 2011, two learning objectives were developed that all six peer organizations will focus on over the next three years. These objectives are:
- Learn how amplifying girls’ voice inspires action
- Learn how grassroots organizations network with one another to maximize impact
In regards to the second question on networking, it seems that some of you are active in formal networks and most of you have worked collaboratively towards shared goals with other organizations. I would like to invite you to share any advice or lessons learned from participating in or managing networks or partnerships with other organizations. What have been the benefits of networking with other organizations? What have been the challenges? What should groups know or clarify before forming or joining a network or partnership?