Many people are familiar with crowdfunding. Whether it’s Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe or the myriad other sites that give creators and individuals the power to raise money for themselves, bypassing traditional fundraising and funding routes which can often be very difficult and exclusionary.
What we love about the crowdfunding eco system is how is it particularly giving women and marginalized voices a way to get their ideas out to the public without having to go through the typical “gatekeepers” of any given industry. Seed & Spark, started by Emily Best out of Los Angeles, specifically helps female filmmakers fund their projects and support a community of female creators.
iFundWomen, started by former Google executive and Vproud video platform creator Karen Cahn is a woman-only crowd-funding platform that creates a deliberate solution to the lack of funding given to female-driven ideas within the venture capital world.
“There is such a massive funding gap for women in venture. It’s a little-known fact that women only get about 2-6% of venture dollars. We knew we had to do something about that,” Karen told The Cut in an interview about her launch.
It’s not just about the gender equation, it’s about creating an intentional community of women who know they will be supported by other women coming from a similar place. Well now there is a new female-only crowdfunding platform, and this one has a very significant advantage over the others.
You may already be familiar with the media website Women You Should Know, who, as the name suggests, are all about sharing the lives, stories and accomplishments of women and girls around the world who don’t get the type of mainstream media attention they deserve. Recently, they have decided to take their advocacy one huge step further, by announcing the launch of their own crowdfunding platform, Women You Should Fund.
Here’s where WYSFund already has a major advantage over other new crowdfunding initiatives, they have a massive community already at their disposal to support the campaigns on their new platform. There is no other crowdfunding platform out there that has a built-in community of support, especially geared toward women.
On their website, the team shared an important piece of information when it comes to funding female-driven ideas, in the hope it will entice women to choose WYSFund over other platforms simple because of their large community of women.
“Women control $20 trillion, or about 27% of the world’s wealth. In the U.S. alone, women exercise decision making over $11.2 trillion of investable assets,” writes Andrea Turner Moffitt, senior vice president at the Center for Talent Innovation and author of the book Harness the Power of the Purse. “Yet much of this wealth is surprisingly on the sidelines particularly as it pertains to closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs.”
Women You Should Fund is the bridge that connects the power of women-led innovation and women-driven investment to usher in much needed change.
WYSFund is also featuring an exciting new campaign on their platform this month. ‘Bring Harriet Home’ is a campaign created in conjunction with the Harriet Tubman Home, a 32-acre newly designated national historical site in Auburn, New York, which survives on minimal donations to keep the homestead on which Tubman lived for more than 50 years open to the public. The Home brought the idea of the campaign to WYSFund, which coincided well with their launch.
A recently-discovered and rare photo of abolitionist and Civil War spy Harriet Tubman is set to be auctioned off by New York City auction house Swann Galleries. WYSFund and the Harriet Tubman Home want to ensure this photo goes where it belongs. Because of the scarcity of actual photos of Harriet herself, this is an important campaign in the greater fight to bring more representation to the lives of pioneer and heroic women who are part of America’s history.
The young Harriet photo is part of an album that was recently happened upon by a private citizen. Believed to have been owned by Tubman’s dear friend and fellow abolitionist Emily Howland, the photo album, and all of its contents (including Harriet), are scheduled to go on the auction block, as a single lot, in less than 4 weeks.
What’s historically “remarkable” about this photo, which has been authenticated by leading Tubman biographer Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, is that it shows a much younger Tubman (estimated to be 43-46 years old) than we’ve seen, to date. Presumed to have been taken at a local photography studio in Auburn, New York, circa 1866-1868, shortly after the end of the Civil War, the photo shows Harriet, young and vibrant, unadorned and beautiful, at a time never before seen in her extraordinary life.
“Of the 60,000 artifacts representing Harriet’s life and work that we house and cherish on our property here in Auburn, this photo would be the most significant acquisition of our collection, by far. But with an auction house now involved in the sale of this photographic treasure, which is expected to fetch $20,000 – $30,000, we are painfully aware that there is a real dollars and cents cost attached to bringing Harriet home,” said Karen V. Hill, President & CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc.
Considering Harriet Tubman is one of the most pivotal figures in the underground railroad movement, her legacy deserves to preserved in a way that as many people can access her history and story as possible, through the Harriet Tubman Home, not in some hard-to-access private collection that gets hidden away from the public.
The home receives very little outside funding, according to a press release from WYSFund, and instead relies on donations from the public, philanthropic entities, and the descendants of slaves.
The campaign went live on WYSFund a few days before the 104th anniversary of Harriet’s death, and also coincided with an important time of year when it comes to celebrating the contributions of women around the world.
“We cannot think of a more historically significant and synergistic campaign to debut on our platform, especially during Women’s History Month. It’s a privilege to work hand in hand with the Harriet Tubman Home on this determined attempt to bring such an important piece of Harriet Tubman’s legacy home, where it’s meant to be,” said Women You Should Know co-founder Jen Jones.
#BringHarrietHome is supported and endorsed by Women On 20s, the historic campaign launched by Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone that resulted in a public vote calling for Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20 bill. Subsequently, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew selected Harriet Tubman to be on the newly designed $20, which is set to be unveiled in 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment establishing women’s suffrage.
To be part of preserving an important piece of American history, you can donate to the Bring Harriet Home campaign while it is still running by clicking here, and watch the promo video below: