GREENSBORO, N.C. – With almost $2 million already in the bank, the Women to Women Fund in Greensboro is launching the public phase of a campaign to raise an additional $1 million to create an endowment for the benefit of local women and their families.
And at a luncheon attended by 700 guests, the fund awarded its first grant of $25,000 to the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
The grant will allow the organization, started after the death of a victim of domestic violence, to double the number of women it serves, says Portia Shipman, founder and executive director of the foundation.
The foundation now will be able to reach 500 to 600 women each month through support groups, workshops and trainings for volunteer advocates.
“We teach women about domestic violence and talk to survivors,” says Shipman. “Once we teach them, they become volunteers for the foundation and teach other women about what domestic violence is about.”
And having the funds come from women in the community is particularly important, she says.
“This is something we’ve needed for a long time,” she says. “Now that women are empowering each other and comforting each other, we can serve this community a whole lot better.”
Women to Women, a program of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, was created two years ago with a founding group of 50 donors, each of whom donated $25,000 to $100,000 to start the endowment.
And since the luncheon on Nov. 18, the group has raised more than $100,000 in additional funds.
The group has a long-term goal of raising $10 million, which will allow it to award $500,000 annually in grants, but once it has amassed $3 million in endowment funds, Women to Women will begin awarding “high-dollar” grants totaling about $150,000 each year.
Grantees will be selected by donors to the endowment, with a focus on nonprofits serving women in the areas of education, social services, the environment, health and the arts.
To make “transformational” grants, Women to Women envisions funding only one to three organization each year, with the possibility of a single organization receiving the entire $150,000.
“They really want the area nonprofits to think big,” says Lynn Wooten, vice president of marketing and communications for the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. “They want the big picture – the big idea.”