Transforming Philanthropy

Nationally, less than 7% of philanthropic dollars go to women’s and girls’ programs. Less than 1% go to programs led by and targeted towards transgender youth.

The Third Wave Foundation emerged from a joint concern that there were simply not enough dollars focused on women and girls, and that the visions of young women, while instrumental in creating social change, were being drastically overlooked because of gender discrimination. Over the last three years, we have also begun to recognize that transgender people and their programs and similarly oppressed by the same discrimination. Like young women activists, trans youth activists and their organizations have also been traditionally underfunded by the mainstream philanthropic community.

As an activist foundation, we create initiatives that leverage resources, provide philanthropic education programs, and facilitate networking and leadership development opportunities to further the vision of young women and transgender youth.

Third Wave co-founded the Making Money Make Change conference in 1998 and now co-sponsors the annual gathering with Funding Exchange, Tides Foundation, and Resource Generation. Each year, this unique gathering brings together 60 young progressive people with wealth from across the country. Through community building activities, workshops, and discussions, participants inform, support, inspire, challenge and share ideas with each other about personal wealth and social change philanthropy. MMMC is a safe and confidential environment to talk freely about challenged and opportunities related to having financial wealth. From the personal to the political, participants connect with each other to uncover their challenges around wealth.

Third Wave collaborates and partners with peer organizations to further our goal of shifting the allocation of funds, networks, and other resources on both the institutional funder and individual donor levels.

Institutionally, we are active in these networks: