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What Happens When You Give a Group of Girls $10,000?

The Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region started an initiative in 2012 to give us a way to learn directly from high school girls about issues that are impacting them and allow them the opportunity to help other girls in the Fox Valley through a $10,000 grant.

Girl-Powered Giving, formerly known as the Girls’ Grantmaking Project, completed its 10th giving cycle where high school-aged girls were given access to $10,000 to grant to nonprofit organizations and $200 each to complete a mini grant thanks to the support of the J.J. Keller Foundation.

Together with Brenda Haines, co-owner of Blue Door Consulting, the girls dove deep into what philanthropy is, what it means to give back to their community, issues girls in the Fox Valley are facing, and areas of importance to them to help identify where they’d want to make a difference.

For the second year in a row, mental health was chosen as the area of greatest need facing high school girls, specifically access to mental health services for low-income teens.

The girls reviewed grant applications from nonprofits who were invited to apply and, through consensus building, they granted the funding to two separate nonprofit organizations, Youth & Family Counseling at the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley and Girl Powered Voices: Outpatient Mental Health Support groups at Us 2 Behavioral Health.

Each girl was also given the opportunity to make an impact with a $200 mini-grant to make a difference in an area they are personally passionate about. The girls’ grant projects spanned a variety of interests from collecting donations for a local animal shelter, food and hygiene drives, making tie blankets for children in hospitals, and even hosting an activity day for low-income children.

One of the girls shared, “This opportunity as a whole has impacted me in only positive ways. Working within the group made me feel like a part of something bigger and better than myself. I’ve always wanted to help girls within the community, but I never knew how before Girl-Powered Giving. Overall, an amazing experience that I will never forget and hope to do again.”

The girls left Girl-Powered Giving empowered with the knowledge of how they can continue to make a difference to make a lasting impact in our community, becoming the next generation of thoughtful and effective givers.

To learn more about this project, click on Girl-Powered Giving.

The Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation and a separate 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Women’s Fund invests in the needs of women and girls through grants, advocacy and education. Since 1994, the Women’s Fund has awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to innovative programs that improve women’s and girls’ physical and mental health, ensure their economic security, promote their safety and enhance their lives.  

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