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...
Mar 12, 2013

Women's Foundation Awards $805,000 in Grants to 23 Local Nonprofits

Thank you for your continued support and interest in Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Stepping Stones Initiative.  Together, we are working to build the economic security of low-income, women-headed families by focusing resources on three areas: access to high-quality early care and education; jobs with benefits, career pathways, and family-sustaining wages; and financial education and asset building.

In December 2012, The Women’s Foundation awarded grants totaling $805,000 to 23 nonprofits whose work is improving the economic security of low-income women in the Washington metropolitan area. The grants will touch the lives of 5,000 women and children who are living in poverty.

“By investing in effective nonprofits working in these areas, we’re helping our region’s most vulnerable families access the resources they need to thrive,” said Nicky Goren, president of The Women’s Foundation.  “We have the potential to end poverty in the DC metro area by transforming the role economically disadvantaged women and their families play in our economic future.”

Ten of the nonprofits received funding through the Foundation’s Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), a partnership between national and local private foundations, corporate funders and family foundations to increase access to quality early care and education in the DC metro area. The Grantee Partners are:

  • AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation
  • CentroNía
  • Fairfax Futures
  • Hopkins House
  • Mission: Readiness
  • National Black Child Development Institute
  • Prince George’s Child Resource Center
  • Ready at Five
  • Voices for Virginia’s Children
  • Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

The remaining nonprofits were funded for their work in financial education, workforce development and jobs. They were chosen because of their focus on giving women and their families the tools they need to increase their assets and obtain jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits. Those Grantee Partners are:

  • Academy of Hope
  • Capital Area Asset Builders
  • CASA de Maryland Multicultural Center
  • Goodwill of Greater Washington
  • Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative
  • Latino Economic Development Center
  • Montgomery College Foundation
  • Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington’s Capital Area Foreclosure Network
  • Northern Virginia Family Service
  • Prince George’s Community College Foundation
  • So Others Might Eat (SOME)
  • The Training Source, Inc.
  • Year Up

In the coming months we hope to expand our grantmaking strategy to address the critical needs of girls and young women as we continue to invest in programs breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Dec 13, 2012

The Path to Prosperity

You are a part of a community that has come together because we believe that every woman and girl should have the opportunity to fulfill her dreams and to reach her full potential.


Charlotte Perret, a generous donor, said, “The act of writing a check may be a small act compared to the acts of those on the ground. But… the ability of the foundation to create social change can only happen when we help make that possible.”


Your generosity helps us realize our goals and support the over 260,000 women and girls living in poverty in our region.  With your help this year, we will increase our grant making, update our groundbreaking research on the needs of our region’s women and girls, share best practices for workforce development programs, and launch a girls grant making strategy that will invest in programs breaking the cycle of poverty so women and girls in this community have access to the resources they need to get on the path to prosperity.


Women like Okema Wade who bravely shared her story with us. Okema was a jobless, single mom who signed herself up for a job training program so that she could obtain the necessary skills to land a better job.


“This journey… would not have been possible without inner determination to make a better life for myself and my family, programs like So Others Might Eat’s Center for Employment Training, child care services, transitional housing and a host of other support services that helped along the way. These programs exist because organizations like The Women’s Foundation and people like you see how the resources they provide can change lives and give families a brighter future.”


Okema was recently promoted and now serves as the Employment Retention Specialist at So Others Might Eat's Center for Employment Training. This is great news, not just for Okema and her daughters, but also for the women who will go through the program with the help of someone who has been in their shoes and now has a brighter future.  Okema is also exploring her options for taking classes at a local college with the goal of obtaining a degree.


Thank you for supporting our vision of standing together so she can stand on her own. Together we will build a community in which all women and girls have the resources they need to thrive. 

Jun 12, 2012

Stand with us. So she can stand on her own.

Each one of us has the power to transform our community.  Each time we invest in women and girls, we help unravel the fabric of poverty and begin to weave a tapestry of prosperity.

Poverty Among the Powerful.

In our region, one in five women and girls lives in poverty. That means over 200,000 women and girls struggle everyday to get the basics required to take care of their families.   

Imagine that after paying for housing and child care, what you have left is $15 per day—$15 per day to pay for everything that you and your family need: food, clothing, transportation, medicine, school supplies . . . everything. That’s what one in every five mothers in our region struggles with every day.

Building a Future.

Washington Area Women’s Foundation invested in programs that in the last two years helped 2,400 women increase their assets and income by $13 million!  Thank you—we couldn’t have done it without you!

 We helped women like Deborah, a single mom living in a one bedroom apartment who had a dream of something more for her son Dion, and the drive to attain it. She needed knowledge, counseling, and encouragement—all of which she received under the tutelage of the staff of the Homebuyers Club at Manna, Inc., a Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner.  Her first steps included opening a dedicated savings account for her home purchase, reviewing her finances monthly with Manna staff, and making daily decisions to sacrifice in the short-term for her long-term goal, all the while working three jobs.  Three years later she moved into her own home, saying with satisfaction that home ownership, “made me feel my self-worth as an adult.” Deborah is now a thriving member of her community, working with her neighbors to address community concerns and issues.

 Stand Together. So She Can Stand on Her Own.

Every day at The Women’s Foundation we are privileged to see the impact that collective giving has on the lives of low-income women and their families.  We know that together, everything is possible. Together we can help all women in our region thrive and help change the face of poverty in the U.S. 

In 2011, we directed $175,000 to a strategic set of organizations that provide financial education and job training.  The return on that investment was $6.7 million!

Our stakeholders support:

  • Grantmaking to the most effective nonprofits working to improve economic security for women and girls;
  • Research and Education on the needs of women and girls in the region and the policies and strategies that best suit those needs;
  • Advocacy to raise awareness of policy issues that affect the economic security of women and girls;
  • Mobilizing and engaging the public around the most critical and timely issues impacting women and girls in the DC metro area.

Please stand with us, so women and girls in our region can stand on their own and help transform our community, the region and beyond.


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