For the past 17 years the Fund for Women & Girls has played an important role in our community by ensuring women and girls are supported and given the tools they need to succeed. In fact, since 1999, the Fund has provided more than 150 grants to local organizations totaling more than $600,000, all the while, volunteers with the program have also been instrumental in raising an additional $1 million towards an endowment that will provide community assistance in perpetuity.
At this year’s annual Power of the Purse Luncheon, the Foundation shared its plan for the upcoming year is to take some time to conduct a landscape scan and listening project, to ensure the Fund continues to have meaningful impact and is addressing the right issues in the right manner.
It’s important to note that our efforts to evaluate the strategies and impact of the Fund is part of an enterprise wide re-examination of how the Foundation can best amplify and augment the community. These efforts are part of a larger goal of transitioning the Foundation from being far more than a funder and repositioning our role to be a field builder that is convening learning communities and resources to build nonprofit partner capacities in order to more effectively drive consequential impact here in Pierce County.
This time of reflection and evaluation, provides the Foundation team an opportunity to approach our work in a consistent manner because we believe meaningful change only happens when you have intentional action.
During the course of 2016, volunteers will be able to help the Fund in two ways. The first is by serving on our annual grants committee which will meet later this summer and early this fall to review applications and make distribution decisions with this year’s $50,000 funding budget. The second opportunity is to be a part of our listening project that will also begin this summer and will include interviews, convenings and surveys with a diverse group of individuals representing our community. The landscape scan and listening project will inform future strategies.
The possibilities for the future of the Fund are bountiful; however, what’s clear is that we need to stop, catch our breath and determine the best next steps for the betterment of Pierce County women and girls. In any case, we are fully-committed to an inclusive, transparent, thoughtful and caring process. We are incredibly grateful for all the gifts of time, talent and treasure our volunteers have provided us over the years and we are excited to partner together as we move forward.