Why we started PPN:
We’ve seen fantastic projects fail that could have survived with just a little money and a little support. We know that we can find and fund powerful grassroots projects directly, saving money, building relationships and maximizing impact. We know that every girl given a chance to thrive can not only change her world, but our world as well. We want to grow as philanthropists and partners; women in the developing world want to transform their lives through education, information and skill building. That’s why we began Present Purpose Network, so we can all realize our purpose.
Colleen LaFontaine has over twenty years of development and management experience. Colleen was the first Executive Director of One World Children’s Fund, in San Francisco. One World raises funds and awareness for innovative programs providing basic necessities to children. Prior to One World, Colleen was the Director of Fundraising for Sparks, a UK non-profit focused on pediatric and maternal medical research. Her first role in non-profit was the Managing Director of Step Up Women’s Network. She managed the National, Los Angeles, and New York chapters of this organization dedicated to igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential through innovative programming and partnerships. Preceding her move into non-profit Colleen held senior management roles with start-up and media companies. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MSc in Population and Development from The London School of Economics. Colleen currently lives in Denver, Colorado and is the Director of Development with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.
Sasha Rabsey is the co-founder of Present Purpose Network a collective action fund comprised of women who pool their resources and invest in meaningful solutions that impact young women and girls. The women learn about best practices in women’s philanthropy and how to be informed donors.
Sasha is also the founder and director of the HOW Fund, which supports international programs working with women and girls. HOW Fund grantees range from an anti sex trafficking program in Vietnam, to a mentorship program for adolescent girls in Nairobi, to a training program committed to ending Female Genital Cutting in Burkina Faso. In addition to providing program grants, Sasha established the HOW Fellowship in 2011. The Fellowship recognizes grassroots leaders working with young women on issues of education, social justice and reproductive health.
Sasha speaks, writes and consults on effective and meaningful philanthropic engagement with grassroots organizations as well as on girls’ and women’s issues internationally. She is on the boards of IDEX, Africans in the Diaspora, Bantwana Initiative and previously served on the board of GRACE USA.