Equitable Foundations

A Framework and Case Studies for
Gender-wise Philanthropy in Partnerships

The Equitable Foundations Framework has been produced as part of a collaboration between Australians Investing In Women and the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Social Equity Institute, with funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Our shared vision is to help the philanthropic sector and other funders and partners improve the effectiveness of investment by understanding and responding to disadvantage and gender inequality in their area of focus.

Equitable Foundations provides exemplar models and a Framework to guide philanthropic funders in incorporating a gender lens, or gender equity principles, into their partnerships with other funders, including governmental and private entities.  

Two companion resources have been produced to support philanthropic partnerships and collaborations to apply a gender lens:

"The lenses through which we view the world affect what we prioritise, who we see and what levers we pull to create positive change. Increasingly, such change relies on partnerships and collaboration to bring the best combination of resources, experience and will to solving wicked problems."

Why use a gender lens?

A gender lens applied effectively to your partnership can:

  • Challenge assumptions and norms that underpin the investment or project design
  • Uncover blind spots in information and analysis
  • Improve the rigour and quality of analysis and understanding of the issue
  • Enable fully informed decision making

Who is Equitable Foundations for?

The Equitable Foundations framework and case studies are for all philanthropic organisations and funders regardless of their area of focus, as gender inequality exists in every aspect of philanthropic endeavour.

Applying a gender lens in philanthropy

Philanthropy has the power to play a pivotal role in addressing complex challenges facing society. Increasingly, philanthropic funders recognise that this power can be amplified when they work in partnership and collaborate with other funders and key stakeholders to achieve an outcome that would not be possible alone.

The Framework provides a clear and practical roadmap to help philanthropic organisations to:

  • apply a gender lens to partnerships and collaborations,
  • include gender analysis in the design, delivery and measurement of projects, and 
  • better understand the ways that gender inequality plays out in areas of philanthropic investment and grantmaking such as poverty, disadvantage and housing and recognise the benefits of applying a gender lens.

Informed by case studies and broader sector expertise, the framework draws on the experiences of funders and partners in projects supporting women’s housing to map out gender-wise principles and pathways forward that can be applied to any collaboration seeking to positively impact any social issue.

Above: visualisation of the Equitable Foundations Framework. Click to expand.

"Small but significant changes that bring women and girls into focus can maximise the impact of your investment in community and help create a fairer future."


Two companion resources have been produced to support philanthropic partnerships and collaborations to apply a gender lens: a framework document, and a report featuring two case studies of a gender lens on housing partnerships.

Equitable Foundations:
A Framework for Gender-wise Philanthropy in Partnerships

The Equitable Foundations Framework includes:

  • steps to apply a gender lens to your partnership or collaboration,
  • an exploration of myths around applying a gender lens,
  • a set of leading practice principles for applying a gender lens and gender analysis, and
  • a list of further resources.

Equitable Foundations:
Case Studies of Gender-wise Philanthropy in Housing Partnerships

The Equitable Foundations Case Studies report includes:

  • key insights regarding the application of a gender lens in two case study partnerships

Australians Investing In Women

Our introductory brochure outlines why gender is important in philanthropy, summarises the case for investing in women and girls, points to our Online Project Showcase and provides simple ways you can help.

Guide to Gender-wise Philanthropy

Our Guide to
Gender-wise Philanthropy outlines the case for investing in women and girls, provides an introduction to gender lens concepts, shares case studies and suggests steps for those at the beginning of the journey, as well as actions for those further progressed in gender-wise philanthropic practice.

Gender-wise Toolkit for Grantmakers

Our Gender-wise Toolkit for Grantmakers is a practical step by step ‘how to’ resource that complements the Guide to Gender-wise Philanthropy providing funders with simple downloadable tools.

Presentations and Gender-wise Workshops

We also offer presentations to philanthropic Boards and Gender-wise Workshops for philanthropic staff. Contact us to request a presentation or workshop.

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