WFWM in the News

Seeds of empowerment: Women's GARDEN project aims to grow vegetables, independence.

May, 2015—The Franklin County Women's GARDEN Project—an acronym for Growing Agricultural Resilience and Developing Economic Networks—is funded with a three-year, $60,000 grant from the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts.

Study: Massachusetts is 2nd best state for women

March 5, 2015—One hundred women from around western Massachusetts gathered in downtown Springfield Thursday to come up with ways to make our region a better place to live and work.

Photos: Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts hosts 'Summit for Success'

March 5, 2015—The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts hosted a workshop called the Summit for Success Thursday at the UMass Center in Springfield. March 5, 2015.

Women's Fund of Western Mass. Annual Report Goes Electronic

January 22, 2015—Responding to its eco-minded constituency, the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts this year opted to produce an interactive, electronic annual report that can be accessed anywhere – saving four weeks of production time and thousands of dollars in printing, postage, and handling costs while improving donor relations.

Chicopee Chamber Annual CEO Luncheon Program Highlights Women's Fund

January 21, 2015—The Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce will launch its annual CEO luncheon program on Feb. 11 with Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, as the keynote speaker.

Scaling Up

September 9, 2014—Elizabeth Barajas-Román says there are a number of reasons why she actively pursued the position of CEO for the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM).

Amplifying Women's Voices with New Grantmaking of $240,000 commitment

August 27, 2014—The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts has awarded some $240,000 in partnership grant commitments to organizations in the four counties, including ones that work in the area of foster care, teen pregnancy prevention and with incarcerated mothers. "The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts leverages the power of partnership to positively change the landscape for women and girls in Western Massachusetts," said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, the foundation's new chief executive officer.

Women’s Fund of Western Mass. Names Barajas-Román as CEO

August 8, 2014—The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, which engages in grantmaking to support economic and social equality for women and girls in western Massachusetts, announced that it has named Elizabeth Barajas-Román as its new chief executive officer. She succeeds Carla Oleska, who stepped down after eight years to become vice president of Institutional Advancement at Elms College where she had previously worked for 22 years.

Women’s Fund Event on May 1 Will Launch 100 Good Men Campaign

March 25, 2014—The event is part of a larger effort, called the 100 Good Men Campaign, with several ambitions: to connect men in Western Mass. to the mission and impact of the Women’s Fund, to celebrate and publicly acknowledge men’s support of the women and girls in their lives, to educate the community about the cooperation between women and men in meeting social challenges, and to encourage men’s philanthropic support of the Women’s Fund.

The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and tickets cost $100. Like all money the Women’s Fund takes in, proceeds will be deployed in the four counties of Western Mass.

Powering Up Our Four Counties

September 21, 2013—Mass Live article with video of our Power Up County Gatherings and conversations around the release of our Status of Women in Western Massachusetts Report and changes in grantmaking.

Business West 2012 Difference Makers

February 14, 2012—The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts is proud to have been selected as a 2012 Difference Maker by Business West Magazine. Many thanks to all our supporters who have shared in this 15 year journey with the Fund. From our current board to our past, from our current committee members to our former, to our passionate grantees, our inspired donors, our visionary corporate sponsors and partners, and our three founders.

Connecting Point WGBY

January 17, 2012—Chief Executive Officer Carla Oleska, Director of Grants and Programs, Julie Kumble, and Board President Shonda Pettiford from the Women’s Fund of Western Mass. will discuss the $150 thousand dollar fund they have available to award grants of up to $15 thousand dollars to organizations and programs serving women and girls in the 4 counties of Western Mass.

Springfield Republican

November 22, 2011—At the fund's annual benefit on November 2, Shirley (Shirl) A. Simolari won the bid to have lunch with international philanthropist Jennifer Buffett, president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. Read about Shirl and  all of her passions as she gives back to her community and talks about philanthropy and what it means to her.

Springfield Republican

November 22, 2011—Lovely article by Maureen Sullivan in Pioneer Valley Life section of the Republican talking about our Annual Celebration and how thanks to the Fund, she learned anyone can be a philanthropist.

MassAppeal WWLP Springfield

November 15, 2011—Carla Oleska, CEO of the Women's Fund, Julie Kumble, Director of Grants and Programs and Development Director Claudia Pazmany  share information about the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact. The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts wants local women to make an impact on social change by getting involved in civic affairs including running for political office.  

WGBY, June 08, 2011

Director of Grants and Programs, Julie Kumble joins a panel discussing our Leadership Institute for Political Impact

Springfield Republican, March 08, 2011

"TV, radio correspondent Maria Hinojosa Delivers Keynote at Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts Conference"

Springfield Republican, March 5, 2011

"Celebrating International Women's Day with Carla Oleska: Equal Access to Table Still Elusive for Many"

Springfield Republican, September 18, 2010

"Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts Issues $200,000 in Grants to Organizations in 4 Counties"

MassAppeal WWLP Springfield, July 13, 2010

"Women Learning Leadership as a Whole"

The Springfield Republican, March 28, 2010

"Elected Officials Urge Women to Enter Politics"

Daily Hampshire Gazette, March 26, 2010

"Project Aims to Advance Area Women in Political Leadership"

22 News WWLP Springfield, March 11, 2010

"Women Hit Hard by Recession"

The Springfield Republican, February 21, 2010

"Pulitzer Prize Winner Sheryl WuDunn to Speak on the Power of Philanthropy in Helping Oppressed Women"

The Springfield Republican, January 17, 2010

"Training Women to be Leaders"

The Springfield Republican, January 13, 2010

"Budget Cuts Limit Child Care"

22 News WWLP Springfield, January 12, 2010

"Meeting Focuses on Women in Workforce"

The Springfield Republican, July 12, 2009

"Women's Fund Awards $260,000"

The Boston Globe, February 16, 2009

"Downturn Spurs Some Foundation to Give More"

WFCR, January, 30 2009

"Grantmaker Able to Increase Funding"

The Springfield Republican, January 30, 2009

"In Dark Economy, Charity Sheds Light"

Daily Hampshire Gazette, January 28, 2009

"In Time of Need, Women’s Fund Boosts Grants"

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, October 28, 2008


The Reminder, October 14, 2008


BusinessWest, May 12, 2008, November 22, 2007