The Vermont Women’s Fund awarded $103,000 through its competitive grant program to 15 nonprofit organizations that work to improve the economic security of women and girls in Vermont.
“Philanthropy is at the very heart and soul of what we do,” says Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund. “The Women’s Fund supports programs that reach women at touch points in their lives. It might be giving a girl the chance to learn coding in middle school, or helping a single parent get her high school diploma so she can seek employment.” Smith explains, “Economic self-sufficiency comes in many different forms: learning the right skills for today’s workforce, entrepreneurship, leadership training, and for some, it starts with the basics of housing and childcare.”
In addition to its annual competitive grant round, the Women’s Fund is the lead funder of Change The Story. This initiative is the result of a partnership of three statewide organizations that also includes the Vermont Commission on Women and Vermont Works for Women.
Smith continues, “We know through the research of Change The Story, that 42% of women working full-time in Vermont cannot meet their basic needs. This is not sustainable. Our funding is aimed at systemic change so women and girls can rise and thrive in Vermont, in their career paths, and in their communities.”
Established in 1994 as a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, the mission of the Vermont Women’s Fund is to help provide pathways to viable careers and economic self-sufficiency for women and girls.
“We do not do this work alone,” Smith describes. “Our close alliance with the Vermont Community Foundation and its focus on closing the opportunity gap strengthens and informs our work, and vice-versa. The data is very clear: that when women do well economically, communities thrive.”
Since its founding, the Vermont Women’s Fund has granted out more than $2 million to Vermont-based nonprofit organizations. Visit vermontwomensfund.org to learn more.
Vermont Women’s Fund 2019 Competitive Grants
Capstone Community Action received $10,000 for a program that provides at-risk young women an educational foundation, exposure to viable careers, financial literacy coaching, and asset building.
Catamount Connections received $2,500 for a program that works with women throughout greater Bennington County to develop strategies to remove barriers to employment and build fulfillment in their lives.
Center for Women & Enterprise received $5,000 to provide 10 women in Rutland with over 39 hours each of entrepreneurial education that will improve their financial literacy as they start new businesses, which will in turn create jobs and drive economic growth.
The Family Place received $10,000 for an intensive, pre-vocational, interpersonal, and parenting program for young parents and pregnant women living in poverty in northern Windsor County.
Governor’s Institutes of Vermont received $5,000 for scholarships to Vermont girls who could not otherwise participate in the Institutes’ intensive learning residences that build job and college readiness and create new understanding of pathways to career goals.
The Howard Center received $10,000 for a program that provides housing and support to help women throughout Vermont who are transitioning from prison to build the foundation necessary for a sober, healthy, and independent life for themselves and their families.
John Graham Shelter received $10,000 for a program that offers a three-phase process to empower homeless girls and women with skills and confidence to envision, plan, and realize a successful career path and an abundant future.
Let’s Grow Kids received $10,000 for their program Alternative Pathways to Licensure: Unlocking Wage Increases for Early Educators—an initiative across the state of Vermont to unlock significant wage increases and provide job security to a female-dominated workforce that has been chronically undervalued and undercompensated.
Northeast Kingdom Collaborative received $500 to help launch NEK Women Engaged in Leadership, a networking group for mission-driven women in leadership positions in businesses and nonprofits in the Northeast Kingdom.
Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center and Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center and each received $5,000 for their MedQuest program which provides high school students with six-day college campus programs focused on intensive healthcare career exploration.
Southeastern Vermont Community Action received $2,500 for a program that helps young women with limited income, little or no work history, and barriers to entering the workforce obtain core skills, find jobs, and identify further training and educational opportunities to advance their careers.
United Way of Lamoille County received $10,000 to support a residential program designed to provide educational and employment opportunities to low-income, single parents enabling them to obtain higher wages to support their families.
Vermont Technical College received $7,500 for three youth programs structured to get middle and high school students interested in STEM fields, introduce them to computer coding, and to prep them for college.
Vermont Works for Women received $10,000 to expand their existing Step In to Work program to deliver new employment support services to reach more women who struggle financially, to increase awareness, knowledge, skills, and access to work that advances economic stability.
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love.
The heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. We are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future.
Visit vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.