Women’s Giving Alliance announces a record $543,000 in grants aimed at breaking the cycle of female poverty

Press Release
October 31. 2018 5:00 p.m.

The Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA), an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, today announced a record $543,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Northeast Florida to them help lift women from poverty. More than 300 WGA members attended today’s annual meeting and voted overwhelmingly to ratify the 2018 grants, which represent the second round of annual funding since WGA began its focus on Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty: Intervention and Prevention. In just two years, WGA has channeled more than $1 million toward its poverty focus.

WGA’s grant process is research-based and designed to create sustainable and impactful programs. All WGA members contribute to the grantmaking pool of funds, and nearly one quarter of WGA’s membership participated in the decision process for awarding grants.

The 2018 grantees include:

Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center: Breaking the Cycle (BTC) $68,696 (All Counties) DBWPC will work to identify and change policies, practices, obstacles and barriers in the areas of court costs and housing that lead to intergenerational poverty for girls impacted by the justice system, and those who identify as females living in NE Florida. These changes will result in strategic recommendations and solutions, responses, policies and practices that break the inter and multi-generational cycle of poverty for justice-involved girls and their families.

Family Promise of Jacksonville: Back to Work, Back to Home $50,000 (Duval County) Utilizing a blend of social services, volunteers, and underused buildings, Family Promise of Jacksonville offers hope to homeless women with children. Family Promise partners with local multi-denominational congregations to provide temporary housing and meals to families. At the Family Promise Day Center, women receive wrap around services and intensive case management focused on resources needed to transition from the shelter to affordable housing.

Girls Inc.: Breaking Cycles of Female Poverty and Welfare Through Mentoring Programs For 4-8th Grade Girls $100,000 (Duval County) Strong, Smart, and Bold Mentoring Program assists high-risk girls in 4th -8th grades in overcoming barriers that prevent them from successful high school graduation. Working with Duval County Schools, Girls Inc. supports academic achievement and on-time grade advancement, social and emotional development, and experiential opportunities for personal and career discovery. This grant enables Girls Inc. to add 4th and 5th grades to the existing program, including purchase of evidence-based social and emotional learning curricula.

Her Song: Economic Empowerment Program/EMPath (Economic Mobility Pathways) $38,210 (Referrals from all NEFL Counties)

Her Song is the first residential program in NEFL providing healing home and holistic programs for survivors of human trafficking to aid in their journey toward recovery and restoration. Residential Coaches, using the EMPath Bridge to Self-Sufficiency® and the Mobility Mentoring® system, give survivors the time, support, safe space and a prescribed pathway from victimization to empowered living. Participants use EMPath tools to increase their incomes, secure permanent housing, attain education, and establish themselves in careers that help them break the cycle of poverty.

I. M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless and Hubbard House: Step Up To Success $150,000 (All NEFL Counties) This collaboration will assist formerly homeless women (many with children) and survivors of domestic violence by lifting them out of poverty through career training, vocational certification, and job/career placement. Oneon-one mentoring by a Goodwill College Navigator and the A-Step Program will help women reach economic security and self-sufficiency through gainful employment at a living wage or entrepreneurial self-employment. Upon completing their education, participants will be eligible for micro-loans and/or stipends to assist them in acquiring the tools/equipment to start their new career.

Jacksonville University: POWER Camp $16,094 (Duval County) JU will create and conduct a camp for rising 7th to 9th grade girls from low income households. POWER camp will provide girls with an early awareness of the possibilities and benefits of a college education through exposure to creative writing and arts, STEM careers, healthy coping skills, career development, and health education. JU student mentors are paired with camp participants and continue their mentorship through the following year.

Jewish Family and Community Services: 360 Wraparound Program $120,000 (Duval, Nassau, St. Johns Counties) JFCS will provide in-home, intense financial assistance case management to low-income female heads of household. Individualized home visits and coaching will help women emerge from crisis with skills and resources to achieve and maintain economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. This includes wraparound genderresponsive, trauma-informed care. There will also be limited emergency financial assistance provided for housing stability and basic needs. WGA President Ellen Wiss presided over the meeting, noting that WGA’s commissioned research from The Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has guided WGA grantmaking since 2016 when they shifted to the new focus area, and has been “shared with our grant partners, policy makers, and the public to help drive positive impact in policy change, population outcomes, and all sector coalition building around a common agenda that is structured to help move the needle farther and faster.”

Wiss added that growth in membership is key toward increasing impact in the WGA focus area. She credited the entire leadership team and membership for this year’s record 15% growth and 92% retention in membership, which resulted in the largest grants pool to date. Per Wiss, the annual financial membership investment of $1500 is the most significant driver of the impact, enhanced by deeper volunteer involvement available at various levels, depending on each individual member’s desires.

WGA has also increased lifetime legacy memberships, now totaling 55, which speeds up the growth in the WGA endowment to ensure this work goes on forever. An investment of $25,000 or more establishes a lifetime legacy membership.

Another growth driver is the Delores Barr Weaver ‘4Sight’ initiative, which began in 2016. WGA has enjoyed success in recruiting more women 40 and younger for a half-price first year annual dues membership. ‘4Sight’ stands for ‘foresight” which means care and provision for the future.

“Our goal is to energize our organization today and sustain it going forward,” said Wiss. “This ‘4Sight’ initiative facilitates the ability of a dynamic group of younger women to experience the impact of WGA strategic philanthropy and connect with our vibrant community of caring women throughout NE Florida.”

About Women’s Giving Alliance WGA, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, is a dynamic group of diverse women who pool their philanthropic giving to make a lasting impact on the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida. Since 2001, hundreds of women in the region have become WGA members and each make an annual contribution of $1,500. With these contributions, WGA has made grants totaling more than $6 million to more than 50 non-profit organizations to support critical services for women and girls. WGA has also built an endowment in excess of $3.7 million. For more information: www.womensgivingalliance.org.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (www.jaxcf.org), Florida’s oldest and largest community foundation, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Now in its 54th year, the Foundation has assets of $398 million and has made grants of $450 million since 1964.

For more information: Media Women’s Giving Alliance Susan Datz Edelman, VP Ellen Wiss, President Strategic Communications [email protected] The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (720) 256-6143 sedelman

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