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Global Fund For Women

History of the Global Fund

The Global Fund for Women was founded in Palo Alto California by 4 bold women: Anne Firth Murray, Founding President, Frances KisslingLaura Lederer and and Dame Nita Barrow. The four were convinced that women’s human rights and dignity were essential to the advancement of global agendas for social, economic, and political change. Frustrated by traditional philanthropy’s lack of interest in funding women’s groups and human rights, they forged a new path, founding an organization that would fund women-led organizations directly – unheard of in the early 80’s.

Founding member Anne Firth Murray served as the first Global Fund for Women CEO—from 1986 to 1996. In addition to being one of the first donors (along with the 3 other co-founders) Anne established the Global Fund as a leader in funding for and global expertise in women’s rights. The first grants in 1988 totaled $30,000; by 1996 grantmaking had grown to $1.2 million.