Tara Health and a collaborative of leading reproductive health foundations and investors engaged the Camber Collective to map the landscape of the U.S. reproductive health market. We commissioned a report to better understand the sector’s most pressing needs and to identify areas for investment across asset classes that have a high potential to improve access to and quality of reproductive health products and services. See the link to the report below.
Ideas & Resources
Tara Health is proud to support research and evidence-based best practices. In the past year, we supported the publication of five reports and the launch of an interactive map.
Four for Women: A Framework for Evaluating Companies’ Impact on the Women They Employ is a new evidence-based tool, developed with the support of the Tara Health Foundation. The report was authored by Katherine J. Klein, Shoshana Schwartz, and Sandra Maro Hunt, as part of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on the review and synthesis of hundreds of rigorous, independent, and peer-reviewed academic studies, this framework identifies four critical outcomes that determine the impact that a company has on the women of its workforce: Representation, pay, health, and satisfaction. The intention of the framework is that it will contribute to a growth in the number of companies that are good, even great, employers for women.
Ruth Shaber, Founder & President of the Tara Health Foundation, was pleased to team up and co-create the Gender Finance Ecosystem Map with Suzanne Biegel and Nexial’s Marshall Clemens and Alexandra Kanitz. Tara Health was pleased to see the launch of the interactive tool on November 1st of 2018 at the Gender-Smart Investing Summit in London. This map presents a comprehensive picture of the actors, tools, initiatives, and types of capital that comprise the gender finance system, as well as the barriers to and leverage points for systemic change. Users can zoom in, zoom out, drill-into more detailed information and links, and explore the map through an array of different layers: from the role of individual financial life and community roles, to sexual and gender-based violence, to “Womenomics.” Visit the Map
Abortion is a safe and effective form of healthcare, concludes a report released from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the Unites States, was released in March of 2018 and co-sponsored by Tara Health. This evidence-based, non-partisan, scientific research - developed by an independent panel of 16 field experts - is the first comprehensive look at abortion safety, access and care conducted in the last 40 years. The biggest threat to quality abortion care, the research found, is the litany of medically unnecessary regulations that raise costs and delay procedures.
The U.S. Reproductive Health Investment Case was commissioned by the Reproductive Health Investors Alliance Steering Committee. It is dedicated to increasing the total amount of philanthropy and impact investment directed toward high-impact opportunities that increase American women’s ability to manage their fertility in a safe and dignified manner. The report includes a detailed landscape analysis of reproductive health needs in the U.S., a systems view of the actors and issues that affect access to high quality contraception & abortion services, and a set of strategic investment opportunities.
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP), with the support of Tara Health, released The XX Factor in 2017. The report examines the inequalities and opportunities afforded to women and girls and provides the first comprehensive and evidence-based framework to help funders take action. The framework identifies the five dimensions of a woman’s life that are critical to her flourishing: Economic Empowerment, Education, Health, Legal Rights, and Personal Safety. The framework also identifies outcome measures that mark progress in women’s lives and the evidence-based strategies that work to improve those measures.
As recently as five years ago, there were few options for structured venture capital and debt vehicles moving capital with a gender lens. Interested investors had little access to or knowledge of the key players, vehicles and opportunities in this burgeoning field of finance. Tara Health was pleased to support Project Sage: Tracking Venture Capital with a Gender Lens, authored by Suzanne Biegel, Sandra M. Hunt, and Sherryl Kuhlman as part of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. The report maps funds and provides a point-in-time look at private equity and debt funds that publicly state the use of a gender lens.
- (1/8/2019) The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A Doctor’s Scientific Approach to a Grant Maker’s Investments by Marc Gunther. “‘Ultimately, I believe that the traditional paradigm for how foundations drive social change should be turned upside down,’ Shaber says. Most foundations say they drive change through their grant making and that the purpose of their endowments is to enable grants. That leads to thinking the maximization of returns from investments should be a top priority. Instead, Tara Health uses all of the tools that it has — investments, grants, and hands-on support — to drive social change, Shaber says.” Read more.
- (11/28/2018) Medium. Systems Mapping as a Tool for Systems Change in Gender Finance by Suzanne Biegel. “If you want to change a system, you first need to understand how it works: who the players are, what the obstacles to change are, and where the opportunities and leverage points lie. That’s why, along with Tara Health Foundation’s Ruth Shaber and Nexial’s Marshall Clemens and Alexandra Kanitz, we co-created the Gender Finance Ecosystem Map.” Read more.
- (11/27/2018) Forbes. New Report Identifies Four Factors Women Look For In The Workplace by Erin Spencer. “It seems that for many employers in recent years, the million dollar question has become: How do you attract and retain women? Perhaps the answer to that question can be found by asking a different question: What does it mean to be a good employer to women?” Read more.
- (11/13/2018) Impact Alpha. Some high-profile gender equality funds get low scores…for gender equality by David Bank. “The shareholder advocacy group As You Sow released the free tool, Gender Equality Funds, to help individual and institutional investors apply a gender lens to the often-opaque funds that are the mainstays of most retirement and other accounts.” Read more.
- (9/5/2018) Forbes. How To Overcome The Gender Pioneer Gap by Rupert Scofield. “The gender pioneer gap is a problem for sure, but it’s not a new one. Both high-risk social ventures and women have long been subject to uneven opportunities when it comes to funding. It’s a problem I first encountered in the ’70s and -’80s while pioneering microfinance….” Read more.
- (1/23/2018) NPR. California Bill Would Mandate On-Campus Access To Abortion Pills by Menaka Wilhelm. “As for funding the abortion services, SB 320 doesn’t specify the use of any state or university money. A private consortium that includes the Women’s Foundation of California, Tara Health Foundation and a private donor has agreed to pay for implementation. The estimated cost is about $14 million, says Dr. Ruth Shaber, president of Tara Health Foundation.” Read more.
- (8/3/2017) Knowledge@Wharton. How One Foundation Is Flipping the Paradigm on Social Change, A Podcast Interview by Sherryl Kuhlman with Ruth Shaber. “Ultimately, I believe that the traditional paradigm for how foundations drive social change should be turned upside down.” Watch the video, listen to the audio or read the transcript here.
- (2017) The Philanthropy Workshop. Aligning Public Equity with Social Impact: The XX Factor by Ruth Shaber. “As I gained experience with private investment deals, I could also clearly see the social impact of the companies in which I was investing. However, when selecting a public equity portfolio, I found it very difficult to know if my investment decisions were creating a social impact.” Read more.
"'Ultimately, I believe that the traditional paradigm for how foundations drive social change should be turned upside down,' Shaber says. Most foundations say they drive change through their grant making and that the purpose of their endowments is to enable grants. That leads to thinking the maximization of returns from investments should be a top priority. Instead, Tara Health uses all of the tools that it has — investments, grants, and hands-on support — to drive social change, Shaber says. So its grant making focuses primarily on women’s health, as might be expected, but also on research to improve results through impact investing. 'That is going to unleash a huge amount of capital and really drive change in a way that we could never have dreamed of,'" Shaber explained in a podcast on Knowledge@Wharton.
Abortion is a safe and effective form of healthcare, concludes The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the Unites States, a report released in March of 2018 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with support from Tara Health.
Download the report above and for more information and to #GetTheFacts, please visit http://abortionissafe.com/.
Tara Health was honored that Bank of America, in their 2017 Annual Report, highlighted the work of our Founder and Executive Director, Ruth Shaber, in impact investing. Tara Health has a strong partnership with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, Mary Foust and Alena Meeker, to support a diverse investment portfolio that is 100% aligned with values and mission.
"When Dr. Ruth Shaber started here career as an obstetrician and gynecologist in San Francisco, impact investing was virtually unknown. Today, it's hard to imagine an investment conversation that doesn't begin and end with how to use capital to drive both social and financial return...." Read more.
An early release of the U.S. Reproductive Health Investment Case was shared with 75+ national experts, in reproductive health and impact investing, at a day-long convening in October of 2017 in San Francisco. See above to download the report.
View a slideshow of photos (left) from the event.