Ms. Foundation for Women
The Ms. Foundation for Women, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1973 by Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Marlo Thomas. The Ms. Foundation was created to deliver funding and other strategic resources to organizations that elevated women's voices and solutions across race and class in communities nationwide. The “founding mothers,” as they were called, wanted to foster the collective power of women, and they also believed that women who faced discrimination and inequity in their own lives had the wisdom and expertise to advance social change that would benefit everyone. The Ms. Foundation, as an organization, would seed and strengthen women's grassroots organizing around the country and strive to create a vibrant, inclusive feminist movement in which everyone's voice was visible, valued and heard.
The Ms. Foundation for Women was created as a separate but related entity to Ms. magazine. The original intent for the foundation was as a vehicle through which Ms. magazine's profits would be redistributed to the national women's movement. It quickly became apparent, however, that the Ms. Foundation would have to raise funds and provide direction for itself; and that for Ms. magazine to survive, it would also have to sustain itself. Since 1987 the Ms. Foundation and Ms. Magazine have been separate entities: Ms. Magazine is published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.
The Ms. Foundation today works to identify and support emerging and established groups poised to act when and where change is needed. Its grants — paired with skills-building, networking and other strategic opportunities — enable organizations to advance women's grassroots solutions across race and class and to build social movements within and across three areas: Economic Justice, Reproductive Justice and Safety.
Some of the foundation's early initiatives include the establishment of Take Our Daughters To Work Day — known since 2003 as "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day"— and the 1970s multimedia project Free to Be... You and Me.