Mission: To ensure that women and girls experiencing economic vulnerability in the region have the resources they need to thrive.
About the organization: Founded in 1997, Washington Area Women's Foundation is a public charity committed to advancing an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community and catalyzing social change by supporting local nonprofits working on behalf of women and girls. Since 1998, the foundation has awarded nearly $13 million in grants to more than a hundred and seventy community-based organizations in the Washington, D.C. region.
Current programs: The organization's programs include the District of Columbia Family Planning Project, a coalition of reproductive health stakeholders including community members, advocates, healthcare providers, government agencies, foundation leaders, and experts working to ensure equitable access to high-quality, patient-centered reproductive health information and services; the Early Care & Education Funders Collaborative, which serves as a convener and grantmaker in support of systemic approaches to improving the quality of early care and education; the Washington Region Early Care and Education Workforce Network, which is funded by the collaborative and working to create an early care and education career pathway for the region; and the Young Women's Initiative, which works to advance gender and racial equity by centering and amplifying the voices of young women and gender-expansive youth of color in decision-making processes.
COVID-19 response: In April, Washington Area Women's Foundation created the Stand Together Fund with two areas of focus: the safety of women experiencing violence and the financial stability of frontline care workers. According to the foundation, 75 percent of childcare workers and 90 percent of eldercare workers are women of color, who earn as little as $13.31 an hour. To date, the fund has supported critical services for survivors of violence and abuse, such as expanded hotline capacity and telehealth visits; financial assistance for the caregiving workforce and organizations supporting them; and advocacy efforts to ensure that women and girls of color are front and center in discussions of recovery efforts.
Website: Visitors to Washington Area Women's Foundation site can learn about the impact of the organization's Stepping Stones grantmaking program; browse issue briefs, research reports, and other resources; search a database of former and current grant recipients by location and program type; follow the blog for the latest developments; or access anti-racism resources. They also can find out how to get involved or make a donation to the Stand Together Fund or to the organization.
Funding: Washington Area Women's Foundation is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.