HowFund

About Us

Grantee Partners

The family seeks grassroots leaders who recognize the strength, courage, and capacity of women and girls, and who address a constellation of their needs with direct service projects. Our philosophy is in order to create equity for women and girls around the globe it is imperative to invest in solutions that are holistic and comprehensive in nature

Working with Us

We work with a very select group of philanthropists that are: visionary, passionate and curious; from all areas of philanthropic interest and focus; typically have assets in excess of 1 million and up to 50 million; are willing to be vigorously self reflective; and truly want to engage in creating positive change in our world. Contact us to learn more.

Our Founder

Sasha Rabsey

Sasha Rabsey is the founder of the HOW Fund and HOW Fellowship, which support international mentorship programs for girls, and is co-founder of the innovative Present Purpose Network, a group of highly engaged women funders in the US and Europe making critical grassroots grants through informed collective giving. Current HOW Fund and Present Purpose Network grantees include, for example, an anti sex trafficking program in Vietnam, a mentorship program for adolescent girls in Nairobi, a training program committed to ending Female Genital Cutting in Burkina Faso, and a leadership program for young Pakistani women. In addition to providing program grants through the HOW Fund and Present Purpose Network, Sasha’s HOW Fellowship program recognizes and supports grassroots leaders working with young women on issues of education, social justice and reproductive health. HOW Fellows are awarded professional development coaching before during and after their participation in the prestigious Opportunity Collaboration conference in Cancun, Mexico. Sasha currently sits on the boards of IDEX (Thousand Currents), African in the Diaspora (AiD), Bantwana Initiative and is on the Programs and Services Committee for Exponent Philanthropy. Sasha blogs and is a frequent speaker on the empowerment of women and girls internationally and current issues in philanthropy. She consults on meaningful and effective philanthropic engagement for family foundations, and individual donors and non-profits. Sasha has a lifelong commitment to giving girls a chance her vision is of a world where all girls are empowered with education and opportunity. When Sasha founded the HOW Fund in 2009, she quickly honed her philanthropic focus to programs the offered mentorship for adolescent girls and since then has passionately advocated for girls and young women, providing not only grants to projects benefiting them, but writing a widely-read blog, and, in 2011, creating the HOW Fellowship program. In its second year the Fellowship has recognized four mentoring innovators from around the world, each of whom will receive a professional development grant and attendance at the prestigious Opportunity Collaboration Conference in Ixtapa, Mexico. Sasha’s commitment to girls’ empowerment is firmly based in her belief that giving girls a chance is a worthy goal in and of itself, not just because it supports food security and economic development. “It’s the right, just, and fair thing to do.”

Initiatives

How Fellows

Margaret Butler

Margaret Butler is the Executive Director of Komera, a non-profit that works with the most vulnerable girls in rural Rwanda. Komera develops self-confident young women through education, community and sport. Over the past 10 years Margaret has worked with The Clinton Foundation, Partners In Health and the Ministry of Education in Rwanda. Two of those years were spent living and working in rural Rwanda where she learned from local communities about their challenges and achievements.

In a past life, Margaret ran competitively for the Canadian National cross country and track and field team. She has two little girls and a husband and currently resides in Boston, MA with a short commute to Rwanda. Margaret holds a Masters degree in International Education and Development from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington.

Amy Oyekunle

Amy Oyekunle is a gender and development practitioner with cross-disciplinary experience in project development, management, resource mobilization, donor relationship management, community mobilization and project execution. She has over 12 years experience in working with policy-makers, civil society and community based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Her extensive experience is in designing and implementing programmes for adolescent girls and women especially around issues of violence against women and girls, women’s political participation and more recently, peace and security.

Amy is a Vital Voices Lead Fellow (2013), HOW Fund Fellow (2010) and Global Fund for Children International Fellow (2009). She has a Masters degree in development studies from the University of Leeds, UK, postgraduate diploma in management from the Leeds Metropolitan University and a Bachelor of Science in sociology from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Amy is a consultant working towards building enhancing knowledge management, fundraising and resource mobilization capacity of civil society organizations in Nigeria.

Adriana Welsh Herrera

Adriana Welsh Herrera is the co-founder and co-director of Ñepi Behña, A.C. (Women with Dignity), a Mexican non-profit organization founded in 2004 to work with indigenous communities in the state of Hidalgo to advance women’s economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods. In 2008, Ñepi Behña incubated the brand Corazón Verde (Green Heart), which has formed a network of indigenous women artisans in five states of Mexico to market products that are indigenous, fair trade and environmentally friendly. Adriana began her career in 1993, with Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Training Center where she became involved with urban population processes, as well as indigenous communities in the mountains north of Puebla, facilitating training workshops with the human rights committee “Tlacachihualis” made up of náhua men and women. In 1998 she joined the Center of Attention to Indigenous Migrants (CATIM) where she had contact with indigenous people who had migrated to Mexico City from other parts of the country. That same year, she joined IDEAR, an organization that worked with small-scale producers in social and economic projects. Through IDEAR, Adriana supported and accompanied indigenous women in Hidalgo to legally establish Ya Muntsi Behña cooperative, a 250-indigenous women cooperative that is now part of Ñepi Behña’s programs.

Since 2003 Adriana is an active member of RedPar (Network of Rural Promoters and Consultants). Adriana is a long time member since 2010 of Comaletzin – an interregional coordination of rural feminists in Mexico –In the RedPAR and Comaletzin, she joins with another woman who works with indigenous and rural woman, in empowrment leaderships and educational methodologies, to support diferent issues, like Woman's Rights, Environmental and Food Sustentability, woman participation in Community and Local Development, and Citizen and Politic Woman's Right. In Comaletzin they are working in a school for indigenous woman leaders for a Good treatment Culture (Especialidad sobre Cultura del Buen Trato y Bienestar ) to confront violence.
Adriana has a PhD in Rural Development from the Metropolitan Autonomous University of Xochimilco, Mexico City from 2012.

Mary Magdalene Tal

Mary Magdalene Tal, founder and director of the Whole World Women Association (WWWA), is an African leader who works with refugee women and children through leadership and societal integration training, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, supporting small business development, and protecting refugee rights. Mary has worked with the Human Rights Media Center as a refugee project coordinator and at Ilitha Labanthu, where she gave legal advice and assisted abused women and children with their court cases. As a Cameroonian refugee, Mary knows first-hand how difficult it is to get any type of support in South Africa. This experience inspired her to create an organization that provided support especially to refugee women.

Thousands of women have fled their home countries for South Africa to escape persecution, war, political conflict, and gender and/or cultural forms of violence. It is estimated that three to five million refugees and forced migrants live in South Africa. This has resulted in refugees becoming scapegoats for many of the country’s social ills – high levels of unemployment, housing shortages, one of the world’s worst crime rates and the highest level of HIV infection. Refugees seeking an end to the horrors of their homelands instead face sexual assault, police harassment, discrimination, and xenophobic attacks. Those who have no papers are often denied access to healthcare and safe shelter while formal legal status is often difficult or impossible to obtain.

A tireless and passionate advocate for refugee and women’s rights, Mary utilizes courageous storytelling techniques to address trauma through deep healing. WWWA is also working diligently to foster dialogue between locals and refugees to learn from each other and address xenophobia through a program called Building Bridges. In Mary’s words, “this is where we organize social events and women’s dialogues. We talk about commonalities and differences. We get to know each other’s history, where we come from, and our struggles as women. In this program, we find that we have begun to learn so much about South Africa and the South African women working with us are beginning to also open up their hearts to learn so much about women who are not from this country.”

Mary Tal was selected as one of three winners for the Women’s Refugee Commission’s 2014 Voices of Courage Award.

Alice Eshuchi

Alice Eshuchi is a HOW FELLOW 2015 funded by HOW FUND to attend Opportunity Collaboration in Ixtapa , Mexico in October,2015 and undergoing mentorship for professional development in recognition of her leadership skills in empowerment of girls and women In Kenya

She is Co- Founder of Mama Mea a not for Profit organization in Nairobi Kenya, founded in 2016 to empower and advocate for women’s rights through provision of skills, protection of survivors of Gender Based Violence and supporting (re) integration of vulnerable women in the community.

She has over 20 years of experience in HIV and AIDS Prevention Care and Support and adult education with previous work experience in Vietnam and in Kenya and 6 years of experience in humanitarian response on a Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Programs that included case management, child protection, non formal education, girls and women empowerment and community outreach programs.

She worked in different senior management positions as Country Director of Heshima Kenya, Mental Health Counsellor with Medicins’ Sans Frontiers France-Nairobi, Training and Development Advisor, Hanoi Vietnam and Adult Education Officer under Ministry of Education ,Nairobi Kenya.

With previous experience as a consultant for Action AID Kenya on HIV and AIDS Home Based care trainings and Center for African Studies, Alice also served Population Council, World Vision and Path International as a monitoring and evaluation consultant.

Alice extensively travelled and presented in Conferences in Vienna- Austria, Opportunity Collaboration- Ixtapa Mexico, Chicago USA in the Fashion Challenge and in Hanoi- Vietnam, in Nairobi on Diaspora Development and Return in the 5th Diaspora Development Dialogue by Africa Europe Development Platform -ADEPT.

She holds a Diploma in Adult Education from the University of Nairobi with various certificates in Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Development, Trauma Management, Finance Management and working with vulnerable groups- older people in emergencies, LGBTI’s, refugee unaccompanied children, Women and persons with disabilities.

Alice has passion for working with girls and women to empower them so as to reduce their vulnerability to Gender Based Violence that is perpetrated to women due to lack of education, economic power, culture, religion and family values. She is a mother of four girls and believes that ‘GIRLS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD AND MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE IF THEY ARE EMPOWERED. SHE THRIVES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN WOMENS LIVES.

Gulalai Ismail

Gulalai Ismail, is the founder and Chairperson of Aware Girls; a young women led organisation working towards gender equality and peace which she established at the age of 16. She is a highly motivated women’s rights and peace expert, founder of the first even young women and girls’ led organization Aware Girls working for women empowerment, peacebuilding and countering violent extremism, with over 13 years of experience of human rights and peace work. Range of work as program and projects directed included drafting policies and implementing projects across a range of young women empowerment work, young women’s human rights issues, gender base violence, girl’s education, countering violent extremism, peacebuilding, governance, and organizational strengthening. Work experience includes Young Women’s Political Empowerment, Human Rights Education and Leadership, Addressing Gender Base Violence, legal advocacy, Economic Empowerment of young women, setting up Women Support Helplines across the region, Countering Violent Extremism, advocating at national and UN level for youth and peacebuilding, grants management, and capacity building of Civil Society Organizations.

In 2009, she established a Youth Peace Network in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Afghanistan to counter violent extremism through promoting peace activism among young people, preventing young people from joining extremism groups, promoting non-violence and pluralism and engaging young women in peacebuilding process. Her work is characterized by promoting peace and pluralism; challenging religious extremism and militancy; promoting good governance in areas stricken by militancy, providing civic education to young people; strengthening democracy; and political mainstreaming of young women.

She has received 2009 YouthActionNet Fellowship, 2012 International Democracy Award, 2014 Humanist of the Year Award, 2015 CommonWealth Youth Award for her extraordinary efforts in building peace, gender equality, and development. She has been recognized among 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, 2013 and among “30 Under 30” youth activists by National Endowment for Democracy, USA.

Prativa Subedi

When Prativa was a child, school was not an option for many Nepali girls but with the encouragement of her forward-thinking father, and despite societal limitations, Prativa completed high school and went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Economics degree from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. She took a job in the Women’s Development section of the government and was tasked with implementing community-based development programs for women in rural and urban areas. Through this experience, she was able to see first-hand the difficult conditions of poor women and children in rural areas. She started writing articles about the harsh realities she saw; her writings have been instrumental in communicating the subordinate status of women in Nepal and in promoting social change. In 1991, Prativa was granted an Ashoka Fellowship for her innovative ideas. Sharing her experiences globally, she has helped raise awareness regarding the plight of women. In June 2000, she was chosen as one of six gender experts by the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare and was asked to prepare a report to be presented at a special session of the UN General Assembly. Last year, the Nepalese government nominated her to develop models in microfinance for the national policy committee.

Prudence Mabele

Ms. Prudence Mabele is the founder of the Positive Women’s Network, South Africa and a founding member of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), as well as the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS of South Africa (NAPWA). She has been a prominent South African activist and an expert in the field of HIV and AIDS since 1992. Her skills include community mobilization, advocating for care, support and treatment of people infected and affected with HIV and AIDS, fundraising and resource mobilization for NGOs. She has played a pioneering role in a wide range of organizations – from grassroots up to Cabinet level – and usually as a volunteer. She has also worked with several international aid organizations such as Oxfam, Voluntary Services Overseas, the European Union Human Rights Foundation, Amnesty International, the Centre for Development and Population Activities, the Population Council and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Ms. Mabele has written about women and AIDS in Africa and also devised a manual for grassroots organizations on how to set up NGO without formal skills – this has been distributed globally.

Ms. Mabele was one of the Olympic torch bearers for the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay event where the theme was Pass the flame unite the world. This worldwide relay united the five continents and travelled to 33 cities in 26 countries.

Ms. Mabele has received several awards international, national and regional in recognition of her dedicated contribution to the fight against HIV and AIDS – in 1998 Ms. Mabele was nominated by the Shoprite/SABC 2 women award the South African Women of the Year in the Education category, and was runner-up in the Award for Excellence in Writing on Women and AIDS by UNAIDS and AIDSCAP.

She obtained a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, Diploma in Psychology, and Certificates on “Women in Management”, “Strategizing towards success and enhancing management of fundraising skills”, “HIV and AIDS leadership and capacity building”, and “Monitoring and Evaluation for Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs”.

Zala Ahmad

Zala Ahmad, the founding director of the Humanitarian Organization for Local Development (HOLD), the training and resource center for women and girls in western Afghanistan, spoke at the State Department’s 10th anniversary celebration of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council.

Before an audience that included members of congress, ambassadors, former First Lady Laura Bush, and then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton—who introduced her—Ahmad gave a speech about her work.
“Through providing educational and practical life skills opportunities to young girls, we are bringing positive change in their lives. But at the same time, we must not become complacent. There is much more work to be done.”

Ahmad is from the rural and remote Farah Province. Her father, a professor, believed in the power of education and instilled that in his seven daughters and two sons. “My father always told us that education is such an asset that no one can steal it from you,” said Ahmad. “He never said, ‘You’re a girl so you shouldn’t study.’ Instead, he provided me and my sisters with every opportunity.”

But many of her friends were not as lucky: most girls in her province did not have access to education as a result of decades of war. The literacy rate for women in the Farah Province is a mere 8 percent. Many girls are married by the time they are 14 years old.

Determined to change that, Ahmad—who has worked with UNESCO, the Afghan Ministry of Education, and for USAID—took $4,000 of her own money and founded HOLD in 2008. At the time, it served 50 girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 25. Housed in a basic two-room structure, the center had a modest library and a part-time health counselor.

Today the center is housed in a two-story building with eight rooms. It serves more than 400 girls, and offers classes in English, computers, mathematics, science, and business management. It also provides civic education for rural women in four districts of Farah Province. The center has become a symbol of hope and women’s empowerment in a province rife with poverty and high unemployment.

“I want all Afghan girls to get educated and be economically independent. Education and economic independence brings respect and recognition to women at family and societal levels.”

“Before we can build bridges between cultures and countries, we have to consider everyone as humans first.”

EAGLS

East Africa Girls Leadership Summit

We envision an annual summit that is for girls, about girls, and driven by girls; that develops critical leadership skills that allow promising young women to be effective change makers in their communities and beyond; and that builds a diverse network of young women leaders who advocate for girls and women’s rights.


Grantees

The family seeks grassroots leaders who recognize the strength, courage, and capacity of women and girls, and who address a constellation of their needs with direct service projects. Our philosophy is in order to create equity for women and girls around the globe it is imperative to invest in solutions that are holistic and comprehensive in nature.

Komera

https://komera.org/

Komera builds self-confident young women through education, community and sports. They sponsor full tuition, room and board to girls in Rwanda, along with a mentor and community program. Komera is unique in using sport to empower and build confidence and positive body image among girls, hosting an annual Global Run.

Fortress of Hope Africa

FOHA projects and programs aim to equip less-fortunate girls in Kenya with social and economic skills they need to be involved and participate in the development agenda of the Country.

Idex

https://www.idex.org/

IDEX invests in initiatives led by the women, youth, and indigenous people who are solving our world’s most pressing problems in the Global South.

Ashoka

http://sahel.ashoka.org/

Ashoka / Aminata Diallo Pioneering support and prevention services for teenage pregnancy in southwest Burkina Faso

Aware Girls

http://www.awaregirls.org/

Aware Girls is a young women led Organisation working for women empowerment, gender equality, and peace in Pakistan.

Girl Trek

Integrate Bristol

http://integratebristol.org.uk/

Integrate Bristol aims to give young people a voice, a platform for expressing their views and ideas. Integrate Bristol also campaigns against all forms of Violence and Abuse Against Women and Girls, (VAAWG), and promote gender equality.

Health Leads

https://healthleadsusa.org/

Health Leads is a social enterprise that envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care.

Whole World Women Association

http://wwwassociation.org/

Whole World Women Association is a multicultural non profit organization that provides comprehensive services to refugees, migrants and disadvantaged women and children throughout the Western Cape province of South Africa

Positive Women’s Network

https://pwnusa.wordpress.com/

Positive Women’s Network (PWN) is an NGO providing community services and programs to positively empower marginalized women and other people living with HIV in South Africa.

HOLD International

http://holdinternational.org/

HOLD International helps develop and implement sustainable projects for communities with the invaluable support from trusted local partners. They focus on education, economic development and human rights in areas throughout South Asia and Central America.

Her Turn

http://www.her-turn.org/

Her Turn empowers girls with essential life skills so they can be educated, empowered and equal. They’ve led workshops for over 1000 Nepali girls.

Africans in the Diaspora

http://www.africansinthediaspora.org/

Africans In the Diaspora (AiD) mobilize diaspora Africans to invest in grassroots organizations and movements built by Africans.

FRIDA

http://youngfeministfund.org/about-frida/

FRIDA provides accessible, strategic and responsive funding for young feminist-led initiatives.

WEMIHS

http://www.wemihs.or.ke/

WEMIHS organization was created by a group of dedicated Kenyan women who used their resources to initiate community response to challenges of health, economic opportunity and food sustainability.

Akili Dada

http://www.akilidada.org/

Akili Dada is an international Non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of Kenya’s leaders includes women from diverse economic backgrounds.

Present Purpose Network

Who is Present Purpose Network?
We are women on the ground creating meaningful solutions to the problems
that impact young women, their communities, their world.

We are women who pool our resources and invest in this transformative work. Together, we are the solution that changes the present and the future for young women
most affected by violence, poverty and inequality.


Philanthropist to Philanthropist

Philosophy

Founded in 2006 by Sasha Rabsey as a way to invest in the future of our world. Through the first hand experience of The How Fund’s visionary leader Sasha Rabsey, The How Fund has evolved from a small family foundation into a center of thought and learning convening philanthropists and their advisors.

  • We focus on helping people learn HOW to give smarter, give kinder, and influence change more competently on the global philanthropy stage.
  • We are entering a new world paradigm of philanthropy. 

The necessity for cultural and contextual competency is absolutely essential in our world today in order to be effective and responsible in our work.
  • 
We provide support and guidance in helping to take your philanthropy from transactional to transformational.

Advisement by philanthropists for Philanthropists is a rare gem. Our first hand expertise as philanthropists fuels your learning without undue influences or pressure in any way.

We hold confidentiality and discretion as one of our highest values. Safe spaces for philanthropists to explore challenging issues and opportunities is essential.

We believe that philanthropy is complex and there are very few resources in the world for us. We are often seen as prey for for-profit consultants and large philanthropic advisement entities. We need spaces to work and learn together that strengthens us as individuals and as a sector.

We understand forming a philanthropic vision because we have undertaken it and we want to pass on that knowledge to you and your team so you can avoid the pitfalls we survived and also share the lessons which have transformed our philanthropy.

We have had life changing experiences during site visits to our grantees all over the globe. We believe that we can prepare you for these experiences in a way that will transform the encounter for you and potential grantees.

We understand the complexity of being seen as a source of great financial resources and the dynamic that can create. We help you you develop a framework to navigate that to a place of ease and joy of being in solidarity with those seeking funds.


Offerings

Philanthropic Advisement

Our team of skilled advisors can provide support and advisement at all stages of your philanthropy. Helping to determine mission, vision and values all the way to reframing long time philanthropy efforts and breathing new life into your giving.

We focus on areas that are often very challenging for philanthropists. Investment strategy, site visits, grantee engagement, and the long game.

Convening for Philanthropists by Philanthropists.

A few times a year in a beautiful and nurturing environment we convene small (10-15) groups for a 2-day session in personal and professional renewal and learning.

The focus is a concentrated co-learning environment. We bring in world-class facilitators and educators to deep dive with you on the key areas of your philanthropy.

How Fellowships for grantee cohorts

We provide support, mentorship and education for your grantees. One of the key elements many philanthropists miss is building lasting and deeply rewarding relationships with their grantees/partners. These relationships are steeped in culture, context and personal experiences that need nurturing and guidance for the greatest rewards. We teach you and/or your grantees how to navigate funding relationships and leverage their expertise to greater benefit. Amplifying your philanthropy by investing in your grantees is often a missed opportunity.

Blog

Let’s Talk About My Money

Originally published at philanthrofiles.org Here I am sitting at an international funder’s conference as a human rights philanthropist, listening to stories of environmental destruction, and of loss o…
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Why Can't We Aspire For Self Actualization

Imagine women and girls worldwide who walk 5 miles each way, per day in order to bring water for basic needs to their homes. Along comes a non-profit with the promise that women will transform their…
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Helping Girls Thrive: What Global Development Really Needs

I’ve seen it far too many times. A well-meaning organization funds education scholarships for girls in rural and impoverished communities. This organization knows the value of providing girls with an e…
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Girls are Not a Return on Your Investment

I have to speak up. As a philanthropist who supports girls in poverty-stricken countries, there’s this term I hear often in association with funding for initiatives that support girls. It’s a term tha…
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First Lady

Here’s the scene: 90 degrees in Ouagadougou, unrelenting sun, dust so thick I shook it from my hair last night. This morning I scouted my suitcase for an outfit that, after three days of bouncing o…
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What Looks Right

I’ve been home from Burkina for a week.  The red dust is still in the fabric of my sneakers; the images of village women leading us through dusty millet fields to their wonderful new grain mill still fr…
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The Elephant Has Left the Room

A few weeks ago I attended a conference with two grantees, both African women engaged in grassroots work for adolescent girls.  I was excited to be able to introduce them to potential funders and …
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Motivation and Driving Forces

People always ask me “why have you chosen to support women and girls” which immediately follows with “why don’t you help girls here in the USA?” Years ago, when I was a teenager, I went camping with a friend …
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