What It Means To Be Maverick
A decade ago, Maverick Collective by PSI embarked on a mission—to create a community of women philanthropists ready to roll up their sleeves and bring a burst of innovation to the international organization that is PSI. As we prepare to welcome 2024, we reflect on the lessons we have learned from our members, partners, and the thought-leaders we admire to shift and expand our definition of what it means to be maverick for the next 10 years and beyond.
A decade ago, Maverick Collective by PSI embarked on a mission—to create a community of women philanthropists ready to roll up their sleeves and work hand in hand with an organization willing to go where others won’t. At the time, this new endeavor was nothing short of maverick.
Under the leadership of co-chairs Melinda French Gates and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, our founding Maverick members came together and committed to doing philanthropy differently. They would invest in some of the most catalytic global health innovations for women and become informed and activated in the movements they cared about.
Over the past 10 years, what began with 13 founding members has grown into a community of 52 women spanning four generations, investing in cutting-edge global health initiatives. Powered by PSI’s commitment to engage donors in hands-on experiences, Maverick Collective’s experiential philanthropy approach allows them to immerse in the projects they fund, forging authentic relationships with project teams and learning the intricacies of global health work.
Mavericks stand alongside PSI leaders as collaborators and partners, undergoing a personal transformation that ripples into a transformation of the philanthropy sector; an essential component of a more equitable and just world.
Since 2013, we are proud to have:
- Mobilized $100 million in new funding for global sexual and reproductive health
- Reached over 7 million people in 30 countries through cutting-edge global health programs
- Shifted national guidelines and policies in 5 countries to improve healthcare access
As we close out our first decade, we reflect on the lessons we have learned from our members, partners, and the thought-leaders we admire to shift and expand our definition of what it means to be maverick for the next 10 years and beyond.
Being maverick is about stepping up – continuing the push for a more gender-equitable world, especially when others hesitate. Maverick members have made bold investments that enable PSI to go where others won’t, testing new technologies like digital health tools, new approaches like youth design, and addressing critical women’s health issues like menstrual health and sexual pleasure that are often overlooked or considered taboo.
Being maverick is about standing back – knowing when to listen and create space for change. We challenge our members to bring their A-Game to their philanthropy. This year, members joined sessions at the Sundance Film Festival, Skoll World Forum, and the first women’s cohort of the Freedom School for Philanthropy to examine what it means to be more authentic, accountable, and activated in their philanthropy.
Being maverick is about helping others thrive. In the past decade, our members, partners, and changemakers have joined forces to deliver impact for women and girls globally. On September 21st, we came together to honor six remarkable Mavericks on the Frontlines who are driving change for reproductive justice, climate justice, and social justice. We proudly spotlighted Michele Goodwin, Shruthi Kumar, Hali Lee, Favianna Rodriguez, Pat Mitchell, and Hafsat Abiola, recognizing their contributions to igniting positive change in the world.
As we continue to redefine what it means to be maverick, we invite you to join us. What does being maverick mean to you?