How the Fund for Women and Girls helps make a difference in Fairfield County
The Fund for Women and Girls
2012-2013 Grant Recipients
Cardinal Shehan Center, Bridgeport - $10,000
Through Girlz Zone, girls 8-13 meet weekly after school in their
own, safe, cheerful location to discuss bullying, self-esteem, hygiene,
internet safety, etc. They learn about successful women and also engage
in community work.
Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, Bridgeport - $6,760
Girls who have been victims of or exposed to domestic, dating or sexual
violence discover their strengths and gain confidence to move forward. Through the Girl Talk program, girls learn about coping skills,
sexuality, healthy relationships, gender roles, body image/self-esteem
and stress management.
Domus Foundation, Stamford - $10,000
Middle and high school girls learn how to resolve conflicts, improve
social skills and constructively address adults during weekly sessions. Through Girls Circle, girls learn to speak up while also respecting others.
Family & Children’s Agency, Norwalk - $20,000
Through Girls Challenge, middle school girls from diverse
backgrounds learn about conflict resolution, healthy friendships,
personal boundaries, goal setting, stress management, self-esteem, etc. They also engage in community service.
Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut, Stamford - $10,000
Girls ages 6-11 learn about media influences and how to set boundaries for using social media through Media and Me,
an afterschool program. The girls learn how to cope with external
influence, set boundaries, and even write and communicate their own
positive messages using media, technology and civic engagement.
Norwalk Community College Foundation, Regional - $250,000
In the fall of 2007, the Fund for Women and Girls initiated a
partnership with Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk Community
College Foundation to create the Family Economic Security Program (FESP). In this five-year pilot program, low-to-moderate wage students
who are working heads of households with dependents and accepted into
the program will receive comprehensive wrap around services whereby they
attain: an Associate degree, a Bachelor's degree, financial
coaching/asset building skills, career development, and employment that
pays enough to cover childcare, housing, transportation, food and
Regional Youth Adult Substance Abuse Project (RYASAP), Regional - $20,000
Girls who participate in Finding Her Voice explore making healthy
decisions and setting goals. The program reaches high school girls
from 10 schools of different races, sexual orientations, faiths and
income levels convene to discuss and address shared problems.
YWCA of Greenwich, Greenwich - $20,000 YNET is a dating violence prevention and advocacy program led by
Greenwich High School students. Students are trained to educate other
students on how to identify and prevent dating violence. They also
advocate for teen anti-violence legislation.
Even though females make up more than half of the population, only seven cents out of each charitable dollar go to programs that solely benefit women and girls.
Except for the Fund for Women and Girls.
Established in 1998 by women for women, the Fund for Women and Girls is a permanent Field of Interest fund of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of individuals, families, companies and private foundations, it has become the largest woman's fund in New England.
Since the Fund's establishment, it has awarded $2.3 million in grants to Fairfield County nonprofits that address the unique needs of women and girls.
Focusing on Economic Security
The Fund for Women and Girls published the first research study on the status of women and girls in Fairfield County, titled "Holding Up Half the Sky." Our research confirmed what was expected — that many women and girls in Fairfield County enjoy exceptional achievement, affluence and security. Yet we also found what we feared — too many women are living at the poverty level because of limited education, low-paying jobs and the high cost of child care.
After a decade of investing grants in programs that help women move into safe, affordable housing and help girls cultivate confidence and life skills, we’re intensifying the Fund’s focus to help low-wage women achieve economic security.
Our investments and collaborations aim to create long-term social change to:
Increase women’s earning potential by helping them get education and training to move into higher-paying jobs.
Prepare adolescent girls for their futures so they are educated and trained for tomorrow’s job market, and
Foster social change so all low-wage women in Fairfield County can achieve economic security.
The Fund for Women and Girls recently embarked on an initiative with Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk Community College Foundation on a bold plan that became the Family Economic Security Program.
Over five years, the Family Economic Security Program will provide 100 qualified students at Norwalk Community College with the personal, financial and career coaching they need to earn an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree and enter careers that allow them to support themselves and their families.
The Fund for Women and Girls envisions a county in which all women can achieve economic security and live healthy, safe lives within their communities.
Our mission is to empower women and girls in Fairfield County and enable them to reach their full potential. By leveraging human and financial capital and engaging women in philanthropy, we provide innovative and sustainable solutions to complex problems. FWG believes women are the heart of the community; when you help women, you help their families and all of society.
The Fund for Women and Girls believes that investing in women and girls yields long term social and economic returns for our community. The Fund is a leading field of interest fund of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. As an endowed fund, we pledge to support current and future generations of women and girls. Our mission is supported by our practice of assessing the needs of women and girls in Fairfield County. We strategically focus grant-making, training for nonprofits, and collaborative partnerships to meet targeted needs and ensure long term social change.
Since 1998, we have:
systematically conducted research to determine our county’s critical need
invested in affordable housing for low-income working women
led best practices capacity building for girls’ programming
helped girls develop confidence through life skills and leadership programs
created a partnership with a community college to assist low-income working mothers attain advanced education and achieve economic security; and
strengthened and educated our diverse philanthropic base to be advocates and catalysts for change.
The Fund for Women and Girls is the largest women’s fund in New England. We have awarded over $3 million in grants to 40 organizations, reaching over 3,000 women and girls. The Fund is a member of the global Women’s Funding Network.