Women You Should Fund is determined to leverage the power of women, an untapped and undervalued source of innovation and economic strength, to change the world. Launched by Women You Should Know (est. 2011), a leading women’s and girls’ empowerment brand founded by three-time entrepreneurs Jen Jones and Cynthia Hornig, this new crowdfunding platform is designed for women and women-led, gender diverse teams. Fueled by the reach and influence of its big sister, Women You Should Fund delivers a valuable advantage in the fight for funding: a built-in community that believes in the power of supporting women and their ideas.
After 5 years spent dedicated to telling and sharing the stories of extraordinary women, present and past, to drive an important conversation and inspire a dynamic and ever-growing social community, the Women You Should Know team was ready to expand its mission and ignite the most direct form of investment. “Every day, through our work, we see and cover the incredible things that happen when women-led invention meets the mighty dollar. But what we hear over and over is that there never seem to be enough dollars to go around when it comes to helping women get their products, projects, and business ventures off the ground,” notes co-founder Cynthia Hornig. “So we decided to do something about it because now, more than ever, our country is desperate for a more dynamic and diverse ecosystem of women entrepreneurs and leaders.”
“We hear over and over that there never seem to be enough dollars to go around when it comes to helping women get their products, projects, and business ventures off the ground. So we decided to do something about it.”
Women You Should Fund, a rewards-based, all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform, is for women doers, creators, innovators, and change-makers who want to employ crowdfunding to make their new project, idea or business, no matter how big or small, a reality. But this platform brings something markedly unique to the current crowdfunding landscape because it engages the already established Women You Should Know community, putting entrepreneurs and their projects in front of hundreds of thousands of potential backers from go.
“Most crowdfunding starts and stops with a campaign creator’s personal network or social circle,” according to co-founder Jen Jones. “But through our collective brand assets, we can put a Women You Should Fund campaign as well as the story of the woman(en) behind it in front of our sister community. In turn, a campaign creator’s circle of potential backers gets that much bigger… and success gets that much closer.”
The platform made its unofficial debut in March – Women’s History Month – with #BringHarrietHome, a benchmark campaign launched in partnership with the Harriet Tubman Home. This campaign, which sought to raise the funds necessary to rescue a newly discovered photo of the courageous abolitionist from the auction block, made national headlines and surpassed its original fundraising goal of $25,000 in less than 3 weeks.
For Karen V. Hill, President & CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., “There was no question that Women You Should Fund was the only partner for us when challenged to raise a large sum of money in a short amount of time. Their team gave this project their personal attention and passion and inspired their community and network to rally around us; they stopped at nothing to make our first ever crowdfunding campaign a success.”
Filmmaker Leah Warshawski successfully raised funds for a previous film on two of the biggest and most well-known crowdfunding platforms. For their new feature documentary ‘Big Sonia’, which has been selling out screenings and has already claimed 8 prestigious awards, she and her team “wanted to take a different and more personal approach.” That led them to Women You Should Fund. Why? Because “it’s not just a ‘platform’ to raise money,” she said. “Their experience with marketing/PR and brand-building provides a base of knowledge and support that other crowdfunding platforms just don’t offer. Personal relationships mean everything to us and the WYSF crew truly makes us feel like a collaborator versus a client.”
Women You Should Fund has new campaigns launching in the coming days from inspiring and innovative women across a number of industries and areas of interest, all with various fundraising goals. Backers can look forward to seeing campaigns from Ela Joseph, a neuroscientist turned author who is on a mission to inspire kids’ interest in STEM with her ‘Early Scientist’s Bedtime Science’ book series; Jessica Sennett, the cheese maker and inventor behind the Cheese Grotto™, a revolutionary cheese storage device that’s been acclaimed by chefs, cheese lovers and media like The New York Times, NPR, and VOGUE; the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, a nationally recognized leader in the effort to end domestic violence and provide care for survivors; and Hood vs. Hood, a new Seattle-based Women’s Soccer Tournament.
All campaigns are given focused, personal attention with WYSF staff providing consultation, brainstorming, copy editing and more. For campaign creators who need more extensive hands-on support, Women You Should Fund offers comprehensive marketing and video services, drawing on the founders’ 20+ years of experience developing award-winning marketing and PR campaigns for a range of clients and brands.
“… this is the time for us to use our experience to help guide aspiring women entrepreneurs and inspire the next generation of girls who can and will change the world.”
The platform’s support of women does not end in the here and now. WYSF makes efforts to invest in the future. In addition to forging partnerships with major universities to create entrepreneurial programs for young women, Women You Should Fund is also developing a dedicated mentorship program for girls designed to introduce them to entrepreneurship. Both aim to cultivate the doer, maker, innovator spirit in these leaders of tomorrow.
“It’s really about paying it forward, paying it backwards, paying it sideways,” Jones explains. “After decades as entrepreneurs and seeing it from every angle, this is the time for us to use our experience to help guide aspiring women entrepreneurs and inspire the next generation of girls who can and will change the world.”