Founded by Melinda French Gates, Pivotal Ventures accelerates social progress by removing barriers that hold people back.

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Melinda French Gates Announces $1B Commitment to Advance Women’s Power Globally

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With the rollback of women’s rights and headwinds to social progress in the U.S. and around the world, Melinda believes that now is the time to provide urgent capital to people and organizations fighting to protect and further equality and remove the barriers that hold women back. This includes investing in the health and well-being of women and families, in line with her belief that health is a critical lever in enabling women to have their full power in society. 

This $1B commitment will include the following grants made by Pivotal Philanthropies Foundation:

$200 million

in grants aimed at supercharging the work of organizations that are fighting in the U.S. to advance women’s power and protect their rights, including reproductive freedom. These grants will be structured to provide flexible funding to spend as organizations see fit.

$240 million

devoted to partnerships with a diverse group of 12 global leaders. Each leader will be provided with a $20 million fund to distribute to charitable organizations they consider to be doing urgent, impactful, and innovative work to improve women’s health and well-being in the U.S. and around the world.

$250 million

to be awarded through an open call, launching later this fall, with Lever for Change to identify organizations working to improve women’s mental and physical health worldwide.

Sign up to receive updates about the open call

"For too long, a lack of money has forced  organizations  fighting for women's rights into a defensive posture while the enemies of progress play offense. I want to help even the match."

Portrait of Melinda French Gates
Melinda French Gates

This new commitment includes the following organizations and individuals.

Supercharging the Work of Organizations

Center for Reproductive Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates fighting for reproductive freedom around the world. For over 30 years, the Center has played a critical role in securing victories for abortion, contraception, maternal health and more within the halls of the U.S. Congress, before national and international courts, and at the United Nations. The Center’s goal is a world where reproductive rights are treated as fundamental human rights.

Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity

The Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity provides funding to unite advocates across issue silos, defend gender, reproductive, and racial equity, and work towards a future where every person has the resources and autonomy to thrive.

Collective Future Fund

The Collective Future Fund is an intermediary feminist fund that brings together social justice movements, survivors, and donors to heal, resource, and mobilize toward a future free from violence.

Community Change

Community Change is a national organization that builds the power of low-income people, especially people of color, to fight for a society where everyone can thrive.

Institute for Women's Policy Research

The Institute for Women's Policy Research is a national think tank with a mission to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. It builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families.

MomsRising Education Fund

MomsRising Education Fund is a nonpartisan public charity that is part of the MomsRising movement, a grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all moms, women, and families in the United States.

Ms. Foundation for Women

The Ms. Foundation for Women is a nonprofit organization that builds women’s collective power in the U.S. by investing in, and strengthening, the capacity of women-led movements to advance meaningful social, cultural, and economic change.

National Domestic Workers Alliance

The National Domestic Workers Alliance works for the respect, recognition, and rights for more than 2.2 million nannies, housecleaners, and home care workers who do the essential work of caring for our loved ones and our homes.

National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to make life better for women and families. It advocates for health and economic justice, reproductive rights, and policies that support women and families in the 21st century.

National Women's Law Center

The National Women's Law Center fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in society. It uses the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families.

New America

New America is a think and action tank dedicated to renewing the promise of America in an age of rapid technological and social change. Its work prioritizes care and family well-being, advances technology in the public interest, reimagines global cooperation, builds effective democracy, and ensures affordable and accessible education for all.

The 19th

The 19th is an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics, and policy. Its goal is to empower women and LGBTQ+ people—particularly those from underrepresented communities—with the information, resources, and tools they need to be equal participants in our democracy.

Roosevelt Institute

The Roosevelt Institute advances ideas that rebalance power in our economy and democracy, and invests in leaders and experts to create a more equitable, high-care, and low-carbon future.

States United Democracy Center

The States United Democracy Center is a nonpartisan organization advancing free, fair, and secure elections. It connects state and local officials, law enforcement leaders, and pro-democracy partners across America with the tools and expertise they need to safeguard democracy.

TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund  

Housed in and administered by the National Women's Law Center, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund connects people facing workplace sex harassment and related retaliation with legal and PR assistance.

Washington Center for Equitable Growth

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a nonprofit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. 

Partnering with a Diverse Group of Global Leaders

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble is a pioneering psychologist, scientist, author, founder, and expert devoted to mental health and suicide prevention in intersectional youth and young adults of color, including LGBTQ+ youth and those with disabilities. She is the founder of The AAKOMA Project.

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix is one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of all time and an advocate for Black maternal health, pay equity, and pregnancy protections. She is also the founder of the women’s specific footwear company Saysh.

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is an award-winning filmmaker whose groundbreaking work aims to advance equity and social justice by telling stories that change hearts and minds. She is the founder of ARRAY, a multi-platform arts and social impact collective.

Crystal Echo Hawk

Crystal Echo Hawk is a leader and advocate working to advance contemporary stories of Native Americans in an effort to shift public perception and increase support for Native peoples and issues. She is the founder and CEO of IllumiNative.

Gary Barker

Gary Barker works to promote gender equality and create a world free from violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women, girls, and individuals of all gender identities. He is the CEO and founder of Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice.

Hauwa Ojeifo

Hauwa Ojeifo started a movement that gives mental health a voice in Nigeria, enabling those with mental health conditions to tell their own stories, co-create solutions, and advocate for their own rights. She is the founder of She Writes Woman.

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern is the former prime minister of New Zealand who has shown the world how leading with compassion can drive impact. She is a passionate advocate for climate action and a fierce champion for women, including through her continued leadership of the Christchurch Call.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker, and women’s rights advocate. An award-winning global thought leader for peace and social justice, she is the founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa and the executive director of the Institute on Gender, Law, and Transformative Peace at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.

M. V. Lee Badgett

M. V. Lee Badgett is an economist focusing on economic and social inequality for LGBTI people. Her research explores strategies for improving people’s lives and livelihoods, along with building ideas for the global advancement of LGBTI economic power. She is a founding partner of Koppa: The LGBTI+ Economic Power Lab.

Richard V. Reeves

Richard V. Reeves is a scholar working toward gender equality for all by raising awareness of the problems faced by boys and men today. He is the founding president of the American Institute for Boys and Men.

Sabrina Habib

Sabrina Habib works to improve access to quality, affordable early childhood care in East Africa’s low-income communities. She is co-founder and CEO of Kidogo.

Shabana Basij-Rasikh

Shabana Basij-Rasikh has dedicated her entire life to ensuring Afghan girls’ access to education. She is the co-founder of the School of Leadership Afghanistan.

About Pivotal

Since Melinda French Gates founded Pivotal in 2015, we have used different kinds of funding to achieve our mission to advance social progress, including venture capital investments, philanthropic grantmaking, advocacy funding, and partnerships. In 2022, Melinda formed Pivotal Philanthropies Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to support philanthropic grantmaking and help enable this flexible approach to driving impact.

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