Message from the CEO and Board President
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Though a transition can often mean an organization slows down for a period, thanks to donors like you, your Women's Fund was able to go full speed ahead. Our mission: to create economic and social equality for women and girls in western Massachusetts through grant making and strategic initiatives in the areas of educational access and success, economic justice, and safety and freedom from violence.
In May we celebrated 33 new LIPPI graduates at the Women Lead Change celebration at the Log Cabin. It was our largest celebration of graduates since the program's inception five years ago. We also honored Attorney General Maura Healey and Mass. Treasurer Deb Goldberg with a She Changes the World award. A new video about the impact of LIPPI was also unveiled at the event and has now been shared hundreds of times online.
Your Women's Fund is the leading philanthropic organization serving the needs of local women and girls. As authorities in the field, we design grant making programs utilizing the latest research, regional data and analysis, our network of renowned experts, and our unparalleled knowledge of home-grown efforts for gender equity and empowerment. You can feel good knowing that your investment is not only in good hands, but is also doubling in size and impact by compounding it with funds from like-minded donors who have prioritized women and girls in their giving.
In addition to completing the first year of our inaugural multi-year grant cycle, in FY15 we proudly launched 3 new partnerships for a total of $480,000 in grant commitments. Partners will each receive $60,000 over three years to deploy innovative programs that will help shift the landscape for women and girls. During that time, we will encourage their success through an additional $35,000 investment in leadership training for core grantee staff, and consistent and robust impact evaluations that track successes and help minimize challenges.
A brand-new way of investing with your Women's Fund was also established this year with the Survivor's Recovery Fund, our first Donor Advised Fund. These special reserves allow us to expand our partnerships with organizations while connecting donors directly to the work that inspires them. In the next fiscal year we expect to make up to 20 small grants from this pool totaling about $15,000 in funding to the community. We invite you to learn more.
We engaged with new audiences through social media, allowing us to increase awareness about issues that impact women and girls. With the help of our marketing consultant, Cardinale Design, we produced a record number of polished email communications, print ads in BusinessWest and other targeted publications. We updated our website to include a twitter feed on the homepage, carousel of upcoming events and engagement opportunities, and we were the first non-profit in the state to produce an all-digital annual report like the one you are experiencing now. We also had a record number of earned-media placements including articles in The Recorder, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, MassLive and The Republican, Mass Non-Profit News, and television coverage on WWLP, Mass Appeal, and Fox News.
Thanks to you, we started FY16 in one of our strongest positions ever and are building on that success with a new strategic plan, adding office space in Franklin County, and an updated Leadership for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) program. On behalf of the Women's Fund staff, Board of Directors and Committees, thank you for being part of our winning team.
Chief Executive Officer
President, Board of Directors