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...
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.


Mar 26, 2012

Highlights of upcoming work in 2012

Many exciting things are happening at Washington Area Women's Foundation.  On January 30th we moved offices and we are now located at 1331 H Street, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005.  We encourage our stakeholders to visit us and see our new space!

On March 1st, we unveiled our new logo and tagline - Stand together.  So she can stand on her own.  It perfectly encapsulates our mission to mobilize our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in our region have the resources they need to thrive.  We know we can’t do it alone, but together, everything is possible. (Our new logo will be available to view shortly)

We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Urban Institute to undertake a national research project to measure the return on investing in women and girls in the United States.  This groundbreaking research will provide important context for funders and policymakers on how vital it is to invest in women and girls. 

In the coming months we hope to expand our grantmaking to address the critical needs of girls and young women as they build their own path to prosperity.

And finally, in December 2011, our board approved $240,000 in grants to eight area nonprofits whose work is transforming the lives of women and girls.  Five of the nonprofits received funding from the Foundation’s Early Care and Education FundersCollaborative (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 Washington, DC metropolitan area.  The ECEFC Grantee Partners are: CentroNía ($50,000) Empower DC ($50,000) Fairfax Futures ($50,000) Hopkins House ($25,000) Voices for Virginia’s Children ($50,000).  Three nonprofits received funding from the African American Women’s Giving Circle.  The giving circle supports African American women led organizations that improve the lives of African American women and girls in the Washington region.The African American Women’s Giving Circle Grantee Partners are: New Community for Children ($6,070) Our Place DC ($6,070) Petals of Primrose ($2,000).

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