Washington Area Women's Foundation

Washington Area Women's Foundation is a results-oriented, creative catalyst for social change. We believe in the promise and value of every women and girl in the Washington area. We know that we we achieve our full potential, our entire region benefits. We envision the Washington metro area as a model community where every women and girl is on the path to prosperity. That is why we are using our deep insight into the needs of women and girls to collect, direct, and leverage resources to three core areas: financial education and wealth creation, jobs with benefits, career pathways and family sustaining wages; and high-quality early care and education. By supporting the most effective organiza...
May 27, 2014

Mother's Day and The Women's Foundation

Of all the jobs I’ve held over my career, none have been harder than being a mom. Nothing could have prepared me for the rollercoaster that I ride on a daily basis with my two girls. And during those moments when I’m feeling particularly challenged, I ask my mom for advice. She always demurs, saying, “You’re raising your children in a very different time.” And while she’s right in many ways—technology alone has transformed how parents and children interact—in other ways, very little has changed over time. For many of the 200,000 women and girls living in poverty in our region, the challenges and barriers they face have made poverty multi-generational.

That’s one of the reasons why The Women’s Foundation is investing in a promising and innovative two-generation strategy working with middle school girls and their female caregivers. We are excited to be adding our voice and expertise to the Aspen Institute Ascend Network on two-generation work, and we look forward to sharing our learning with you in the months ahead.

With over 72 percent of mothers with young children participating in our region’s workforce,families are increasingly relying on the wages of women in order to achieve economic security. It’s never been more important that workplace policies reflect the realities of women’s lives. I’m thrilled that the Foundation has been recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Washington Business Journal.  For us, modeling positive policies and ‘walking the walk’ is equally as important as ‘talking the talk’; investing in the talent and strength of our staff has always strengthened us as an organization.

Earlier this month in celebration of Mother’s Day, if you follow us on Facebook, you had an opportunity to meet the women behind the women—the wonderful moms of our staff! We’ve all had a guiding force in our lives, whether it was a mom, friend, neighbor, grandmother, aunt or colleague. She’s the person who picked you up when you were down, told you the truth when no one else would or simply listened when you needed an ear. She ultimately stood with you so you could stand on your own. We hope that you also take a moment to recognize and honor that special woman in your life.


With much gratitude,
Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat

Feb 25, 2014

New Year's Message from the President

Here at The Women’s Foundation, we have hit the ground running and are looking forward to an exciting 2014. With much of a brand new year ahead, I want to share a few of my top priorities:

  1.        Catalyzing Investment:  We will continue to deepen both our impact and reach.  In addition to growing our important Stepping Stones investments supporting low-income women in our region, we are working to catalyze new strategic partnerships in our community that will result in targeted programming and support for middle school girls and their mothers, simultaneously.
  2.        Developing a Policy Agenda:  In partnership with the California Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, and the Chicago Foundation for Women, we are undertaking research to identify the key components of both a local and national women’s economic security agenda that women’s foundations can play a role in elevating.
  3.        Engaging our Stakeholders:  We will continue to find ways to engage you in our work, including providing you with opportunities to lend your voice to our efforts and to deepen your connection with the Foundation and the region.
  4.        Expanding our Resources: We have seen amazing results from our work but must continue to mobilize our community to build the human, social, political and financial capital needed to create the kind of transformation we all believe needs to happen.

We have an opportunity to build the momentum and national messaging generated by The Shriver Report, which emphasizes why we must make investing in low-income women and girls a priority. You -- your presence, voice and support -- are critical to our efforts to transform the lives of women and girls, and the Washington region. I hope that you’ll stand with us in 2014.

Nicky Goren

Dec 4, 2013

Long-term support transforms families and communities

When Elijah was a baby, he and his mother Tia lived with his grandmother. Tia was grateful to have a place to stay, but knew it was only a temporary solution. Elijah was growing fast and there wasn’t room for an active child to play and explore. With rents in the District growing as quickly as her son, and most of her income going to child care, Tia was scrambling to provide a safe and secure future. And then she made a big, bold decision: she was going to buy a home. It took her several years – but she did it. And you helped make it possible.

Your previous gifts to Washington Area Women’s Foundation were invested in programs like the Homebuyers Club, which helps low-income families like Tia’s buy homes through peer support, professional guidance and financial education. Your support transforms families and our entire community.


Tia’s story might sound familiar – she shared her experience at the 2006 Leadership Luncheon. That day, she told the audience how impossible becoming a homeowner seemed – at first.

"I used to think that because I was a single mom it would be too hard for me to buy a house,” she said. “I thought that I didn’t earn enough money and that my childcare expenses would stop me.”

In making the bold decision to move from being a renter to a homeowner, Tia took the first step on the path to financial stability for her and her son. I’m revisiting Tia’s story, because I want you to know that your donations are long-term investments in women and in the Washington region. I’m happy to tell you that seven years after she first shared her story, Tia and Elijah remain in their home, and that buying her home changed the course of her life and that of her son’s.

Elijah is in the fourth grade now. He and Tia’s favorite thing to do is hang out in their living room, playing games and watching movies. They have the stability and security that comes with being in the same house and neighborhood for years, and are important members of their community. And Tia is working to help more families follow in their footsteps. She now volunteers at the Homebuyers Club. She provides childcare for other mothers just starting on the path she took nearly a decade ago – but maybe more importantly, she helps them believe it’s a path they dare to walk down.

“There’s nothing greater than feeling like you can provide for your kids,” she says. “Being a homeowner is a struggle sometimes. But I have the security of knowing I still have a roof over my head. I always have shelter. I always have the security of home.”

Over the past 15 years, supporters like you have made it possible for low-income women and girls to find security through new and better jobs, access to affordable, high-quality early education, and increasing assets. With these targeted investments, we can work together to end poverty in our community. But it’s going to take big, bold action. When change seemed impossible, Tia had the courage to make a bold move. 


Nicky Goren

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