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Women’s Fund grant focus areas create impact

On May 7, 2024, the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region hosted “Spotlight,” an event that celebrated the organization’s impact and awarded seven Impact grants to local nonprofits serving women and girls in Outagamie, Calumet, Waupaca, Shawano, and northern Winnebago counties, focusing on enhancing economic opportunities to help them reach their full potential.

Grants were awarded to Empowered Tutoring for its STEM tutoring for girls; Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes for its partnership with Catalpa Health to bring outdoors experiences to girls in Catalpa’s intensive outpatient treatment; SAFE Families for Children of Northeast Wisconsin for its supporting parents and mentoring relationships programs; Waking Women Healing Institute to support Indigenous survivors of violence in Shawano County with programs and services; Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. to support financial wellness and small/micro business training; World Relief’s African Women’s Group; and VPI for its mental health navigator for women initiative. Read more about this year’s recipients here.

The mission of the Women’s Fund — to promote the advancement of women and girls in the Fox Valley Region — reflects our vision of a community of equality where power and opportunity are not limited by gender. To realize this mission and vision, the Women’s Fund directs its grantmaking resources on creating, strengthening and accelerating economic opportunities that enable women and girls to achieve their full potential.  To best achieve this outcome, the Women’s Fund prioritizes projects, programs and strategic initiatives that center on three priority areas: continuing education and training; life skills mentoring and supports; and mental and emotional wellness.

These priority areas were identified by leadership in 2021 to achieve a greater impact in accelerating economic opportunities for women and girls that will lead to their financial security, stability, and sustainability.

With this focus and through our collective efforts, pooled resources and bold ideas, we will achieve greater impact in improving economic conditions creating pathways for women and girls to thrive.

Knowing that education is a pathway to economic security and financial stability, the Women’s Fund knew that continuing education and training programs and initiatives would empower women to pursue and achieve their post-secondary education goals.

The Women’s Fund recognized that the power of one-on-one mentoring, goal planning, connection to community resources and supportive services to help women identify and work toward their goals was imperative to the advancement of women and girls. Life skills mentoring and supports increases the ability of women and girls to effectively manage challenges, successfully navigate everyday life circumstances, break down barriers, foster increased confidence, and realize a vision of what is possible.

To ensure women and girls have access to a spectrum of supports to nurture mental and emotional wellness to thrive, the priority of mental and emotional wellness was identified to proactively support women and girls to be mentally and emotionally healthy.

The Women’s Fund believes that these priority areas will empower women and girls in the Fox Valley to achieve their full potential and advance the mission and vision of the organization.

Julie Keller is executive director of the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region.

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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