This is a historic moment in the global fight for equality. Women’s organizations and movements in Canada and around the world are on the frontlines of change—holding the line, demanding equality and driving transformation. The opportunity and the needs have never been greater. It’s time we boldly invest in their brave work to build a more equal world together.
The Equality Fund is a groundbreaking collaboration designed to deliver new momentum for women’s movements. The Equality Fund will drive the cultural, economic and political changes required to make global gender equality a reality. The time is now for Canada to demonstrate leadership to the world.
Welcome to the Equality Fund.
The Government of Canada has awarded the Equality Fund with an historic $300 million contribution to build a new global funding mechanism and leverage more resources for gender equality around the world. These funds will be invested and paired with an ambitious program to leverage philanthropic and bilateral donor support to create a long-term and self-sustaining source of funding for women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries.
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The Equality Fund’s primary focus will be to support women’s rights organizations and feminist movements in Canada and around the world. We will provide financial resources and strengthen organizations working at the grassroots and on the global stage. We will ground our strategies in the priorities identified by organizations and movements leading change in their communities.
GENDER LENS INVESTING FUND
Our investment strategy will leverage social finance as a tool to scale and transform systems for gender equality. We will apply a holistic approach to gender-lens investing grounded in best practices, innovative and traditional investment models, and a deep understanding of the many forces that perpetuate inequality across the globe. The Equality Fund will also support capacity building among investees by providing access to best-in-class resources, training, and guidance.
Our ambitious philanthropic strategy will assemble and sustain the world’s largest fund for women and girls. To achieve this goal, we will engage organizations, foundations and philanthropists at every level in Canada (and beyond) to design and build a new shared vision for global gender equality. This is an opportunity for Canadian philanthropy to build a gender equality legacy for Canada and the world.
The Equality Fund brings together partners with a feminist agenda to build an innovative solution to fund the fight for gender equality around the world.
The Equality Fund collective is a dynamic partnership between leading actors in feminist organizing, global philanthropy and impact investing that is consolidating talent and expertise to design and build the Equality Fund. Partners convene around shared values and priorities to leverage each of their unique strengths, skills and resources to realize our shared vision for gender equality in Canada and around the world.
The Equality Fund is the organizational home of the consortium. Formerly The MATCH International Women’s Fund (The MATCH Fund), it is Canada’s only global fund for women, girls, and trans* people.
In the building of the Equality Fund, The MATCH Fund contributed its cutting-edge feminist grant-making experience, as well as its Canadian philanthropy expertise to lead the design and build of the Equality Fund in collaboration with its partners. After incubating the Equality Fund, The MATCH Fund officially changed its name to the Equality Fund.
The African Women's Development Fund (AWDF) mobilises financial, human and material resources to support local, national, and regional initiatives for transformation led by African women. Since its establishment in the year 2000, AWDF has provided more than $41 million in grants to over 1,350 women-led organizations in 43 African countries and 3 in the Middle East.
AWDF believes that if women and women’s organisations are empowered with skills, information, sustainable livelihoods, opportunities to fulfil their potential, plus the capacity and space to make transformational choices, then we will have vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities.
AWDF brings southern leadership to the Equality Fund and is a key partner in shaping our grant-making and philanthropic strategies.
Calvert Impact Capital invests to create a more equitable and sustainable world. Through its products and services, Calvert raises capital from individual and institutional investors to finance intermediaries and funds that are investing in communities left out of traditional capital markets. During its 24-year history, it has mobilized over $2.5 billion of investor capital. Calvert Impact Capital has recently expanded its services to aggregate capital where it originates, structures and administers loans for institutional and accredited investors seeking environmental and social impact. Since the launch, it has catalyzed an additional $200mm.
Calvert Impact Capital will bring nearly 25 years’ experience investing private debt into impact opportunities around the globe with a gender lens.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, the Foundation works to achieve systemic change that includes all women. By supporting community programs, the Foundation empowers women and girls to move themselves out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With the support of donors, the Foundation has raised more than $90 million and funded over 1,900 programs across the country.
The Canadian Women's Foundation brings deep expertise on women's rights in Canada and will support the design and execution of the Canadian strategy.
Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is the Canadian movement for community vitality. CFC's network of 191 community foundations holds $5.8 billion in assets and together reaches 90% of Canadian communities. It is part of a global network of more than 1,800 place-based foundations in over 50 countries around the world.
CFC has the capacity to manage significant financial investments and provide management support. Its Canadian network is a promising entry point to explore new ways of engaging Canadian philanthropists and local activists.
Oxfam Canada is part of a global movement for change, building lasting solutions to poverty and injustice by promoting the rights of women and girls. Established in 1963, Oxfam Canada has decades of experience in women’s rights programming globally, working directly with communities, partners and women's rights organizations and movements to challenge the systems that perpetuate inequality and discrimination. Oxfam Canada will contribute its extensive feminist grant-making and feminist MEL expertise to the success of the Equality Fund.
Philanthropy for Advancing Women’s Human Rights(PAWHR) is a network that mobilizes funders to support the women’s rights ecosystem. Collectively, its membership is comprised of twelve private foundations and philanthropic advisors. PAWHR leverages more than $200 million USD annually toward advancing women’s human rights. Members include: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Channel Foundation, Dietel & Partners, Ford Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, NoVo Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Wallace Global Fund, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.
PAWHR will provide thought leadership, strategic advice and mentorship for grant-making, investment and strategic philanthropy.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-sustainability.
RBC will bring its scale as one of the world’s largest banks based on market capitalization and its expertise in responsible investing and sustainable finance to provide advice and counsel on how to structure and manage the Equality Fund.
Toronto Foundation, established in 1981, is one of 191 Community Foundations in Canada. They pool philanthropic dollars and facilitate charitable donations for maximum community impact. Their individual, family and organizational Funds number more than 500 and they administer more than $480 million in assets. Through strategic granting, thought leadership and convening, they engage in city building, mobilizing people and resources to increase the quality of life in Toronto.
Toronto Foundation brings significant financial management and investment experience to the Equality Fund.
WUSC (World University Service of Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization working to create a better world for youth, especially young women and young refugees. WUSC brings together a diverse network of students, volunteers, schools, governments, and businesses who share this vision. Together, WUSC fosters youth-centered solutions in education, economic opportunities, and empowerment to overcome inequality and exclusion in over 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. WUSC will support the Equality Fund as it builds its financial and operational systems.
Yaletown Partners is a well-established pan-Canadian venture capital fund manager. The firm invests in next generation technologies addressing resource sustainability and climate change, and fostering climate resilient growth. The firm has invested and currently manages over $300 million in assets.
Yaletown will support with an institutional-grade investment platform and will lend their technical expertise and sectoral thought leadership.
In 2018, the Government of Canada issued a call to action and launched a selection process to establish a new partnership for gender equality. The vision was to bring the philanthropic sector, the private sector, civil society and government together to mobilize unprecedented resources and create a sustainable and predictable source of support for women’s organizations and movements in the global South.
The Government of Canada undertook a rigorous two-step selection process and In June of 2019, in Vancouver, announced its intention to contribute an unprecedented $300 million to establish the Equality Fund. The Government of Canada selected the Equality Fund consortium to deliver on its initiative, entering into a funding agreement with three of the collective members: Equality Fund (previously The MATCH International Women’s Fund), World University Services of Canada (WUSC) and Toronto Foundation (TF). The agreement sets out an ambitious agenda for achieving gender equality results enabled by financial and governance systems and structures that meet the Government’s due diligence requirements. As such, the Government of Canada can also serve as a vehicle for other bilateral donors interested in supporting and investing in the Equality Fund, including through delegated co-operation arrangements.
Support to the Equality Fund is a contribution toward the development of a global partnership that will shift resources and power to women's rights organizations and movements in a sustainable manner.