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Women & Philanthropy, 2004-01-30

 Item — Box: 43
Identifier: 45000000113099

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Women & Philanthropy Records are comprised of five series: Board of Directors Records, Administration Records, Conference Records, Program Records, and Publications. These materials detail the whole of its history from its inception at an informal luncheon to its restructuring as a special project of the Council on Foundations.

Board of Directors Records, 1976-2006, include the materials related to the governing body of the organization. Specific records include information about board meetings, committees, board members, strategic planning, and board orientation materials. These records are the best resource for an overview of the organization, its programs, and its strategies. The board minutes are complete through 2006. Generally included with the minutes are detailed meeting packets containing reports, and background materials related to the discussion topics.

The committee files contain correspondence, minutes, and reports from different committees convened throughout the organization’s history. The best documented committees include the Action Research Committee and Executive Committee. The Action Research Committee began as an umbrella committee overseeing the organization’s research projects. This committee’s files are a good place to find information about research planning and programs. The Executive Committee was the committee of officers and staff responsible for decision making and governance issues arising between board meetings. The records of this committee include meeting minutes, agendas, and correspondence and are complete through 2004 with only meeting information from 2000 missing.

The final segment of the board records deals specifically with board members. Information about individual board members includes small amounts of correspondence and biographical information. Photographs of several board members are also available.

Administration Records, 1975-2007, contain the business and operating files of the organization. Included in this series are development/fundraising materials, executive officer files, correspondence, financial records, historical information, program officer files, and the organization’s transition materials. This is the best place to find information about the internal office operations, fundraising, and executive officer activities. The founding documents, articles of incorporation and bylaws, are also located in these files. An important portion of this series documents the transition of Women & Philanthropy from an independently-run organization to a project of the Council on Foundations.

The largest section of this series is the development and membership files. This segment covers membership recruitment efforts and fundraising for specific projects. The largest portion of the files is from individual foundations. These files include correspondence with foundations concerned with women’s issues and are focused on the development of partnerships between the foundations and Women & Philanthropy to promote various projects. Also contained in the foundation files are grant requests and reports.

The Executive Director files include correspondence, biographies, and office files of the organization’s leadership. While several of the executive officer’s tenures are covered in the general correspondence files, the files of Kim Otis are more extensive and include her both her office files and general correspondence.

The program director files consist of the office files for Carol Barton, program director at the beginning of the LEAD program campaign. Included in her files are correspondence, reports, and notes. These files help trace the beginnings of the LEAD program and give a sense of the ideology behind the program.

Conference Records, 1976-2007, contain the files of meetings and conferences hosted by Women & Philanthropy. Materials included are programs, speeches, correspondence, and meeting packets. The bulk of the records deal specifically with the organization’s Annual Conference covering a vast range of topics and issues. The conferences are further documented by photographs and audio recordings.

Smaller conferences held apart from the Annual Conference are also documented. These conferences encompassed a variety of issues of significance to women and minority groups. Topics include health, gender equity, Native American issues, women and the law, women with disabilities, and adolescent pregnancy. The conference materials contain correspondence, programs, agendas, published findings and reports, photographs, and audio recordings.

Program Records, 1976-2008, contain materials related to the activities and research of Women & Philanthropy. These files consist of correspondence, reports, surveys, research, and interviews. Early program information focuses specifically on research and includes information related to education, adolescent pregnancy, career studies, and funding of women and girls’ programs. Many of these initiatives are also detailed in the board minutes and in the Publication Files. The later programs more thoroughly documented in this series are Far From Done, the Internship Program, Joint Affinity Groups, LEAD, regional initiatives, and surveys.

The Far From Done project files include surveys of women working in foundations, interviews with female foundation executives, and anecdotes about the status of women as foundation leaders, donors, and grant recipients. Interviews contained in these files transcribed (the audio recordings are not included in the collection) and an excellent source of information about the role women played in foundations and philanthropy during the 1980s and 1990s. The published reports are located in the Publication Records.

Started in 1988, the Internship Program was designed to increase the options available to women of color in the field of philanthropy. Files from the Internship Program include correspondence, publications, and meeting information. While the publications talk of the overall work of the program through newsletters and directories, the actual structure of the program is more thoroughly defined in internship files of the specific regions and states. The best documentation is from North Carolina.

The Joint Affinity Groups (JAGs) were an area of specific interest to the organization. Materials in this program area include correspondence with specific groups and general information about JAG meetings. Reports and summaries related to the JAGs are also located in the board minutes.

While earlier programs focused on proving there was work to do, the organization shifted its focus with LEAD to doing the work. These materials look at the development of the program through correspondence, reports, proposals, and evaluation. One of the main aspects of this program was the LEAD Award that recognized individuals whose contributions helped to improve the status of women and minorities. Materials related to the award include the award nomination files containing interviews with potential recipients, correspondence, and biographies. This not only details the activities of the winners of this award, but also of those making major strides in the field. Information about the LEAD Program is also located in Carol Barton’s files.

The organization also maintained strong ties to regional organizations for women in philanthropy and co-hosted events in these regions. The most predominate items in this section are related to the regional meetings sponsored or co-hosted by Women & Philanthropy in the various areas. Materials related to the organization’s relationship to the regional organizations include correspondence, programs, and regional meeting information.

Publications, 1977-2007, include published materials, annual reports, membership directories, newsletters, and articles by and about Women & Philanthropy. These publications provide insight into the history of women in philanthropy and their struggle for equality in work and funding. Many of the publications tie directly into the research and programs of the organization, their findings and options for the future. Because several of these projects revisited the issues over a period of time, they are useful to chart progress and changes. The series of annual reports: 1980-1998/99, 2002/03 is complete (reports were not published in the fiscal years covering 1999/00-2001/02). A few volumes of the membership directory are missing although it is difficult to determine which years no directory was published and which years are missing from the collection. Issues of the official newsletter are missing during 1978 and after 2002.


  • 2004-01-30

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.


From the Collection: 39.4 Cubic Feet (38 cartons, 2 document boxes, 1 pamphlet box, 5 cassette boxes, and 2 video cassettes)

Media Type

Audio cassette


Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA