Message from the CEO and Board President
Dear Neighbors and Colleagues,
In a popular 1980s arcade game, a player could collect bonus points that also gave them a significant advantage. These advantages were called Power Ups and they usually included a brief, but strategically important, surge of additional strength, firepower, or giant-size height that allowed the player to step easily over obstructions and other challenges.
This report includes some of our proudest Power Up moments that allowed us to draw on over fifteen years of experience as a foundation with deep expertise in funding top performing nonprofit organizations that work on behalf of women and girls in our region.
With our Ripple Effect Awards, we recognized 5 outstanding women who made a difference in their communities. The Women's Fund also invested $240,000 in grant commitments in Berkshire, Franklin, Hamden and Hampshire counties. Working within our focus areas of Educational Access and Success, Economic Justice, and Safety and Freedom from Violence, partners in these communities 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 $20,000 investment in leadership training for core grantee staff, and consistent and robust impact evaluations that track successes and help minimize challenges.
In addition, 35 new Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) graduates joined the ranks of LIPPI alumnae across the region. We also conducted a historic survey of issues facing women and their families in western Massachusetts. Our Status of Women in Western Massachusetts report highlighted political disparities along with many other gender differences around health, education, voter turnout rates and much more.
In the new fiscal year, we are already building on these milestones. We are building stronger alliances with organizations and agencies doing work in our priority areas. We know that effective solutions require creative collaboration, and we look forward to leveraging our grant making to attract additional resources from the field. We will also offer another round of multi-year grants in FY2015 that will allow us to partner with organizations in a sustained way. We also look forward to expanding our women's leadership training, and supporting gender-equity policy reforms by activating and deploying our extensive network of leadership graduates, grantees, and volunteers.
Since 1997, your Women's Fund has awarded over $2 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations, impacting over 80,000 women and girls. Our purpose is to leverage philanthropic investments to help build high-performing networks within communities that work efficiently and effectively to deliver better results toward long-term, sustainable, change for women and girls.
We believe in our Women's Fund's ability to leverage resources and work collaboratively to create a better community for women and girls. We know you believe in your Women's Fund too.
Your Women's Fund staff, Board of Directors, and committee members, invite you to join us at this exciting, dynamic, time. We look forward to joining forces with you in the year to come. Thank you for helping your Women's Fund Power Up.
Chief Executive Officer
President, Board of Directors