Our History


Five friends — Janie Wilson, Sarah Holthouser, Mary Jamis, Lynn Eisenberg and Michelle Cook —believed that they, along with other local women, could make a real difference in the lives of women and girls in their community.  A vision took shape, and a collective giving model emerged, planting the seeds for a new way of giving.


The Women’s Fund launches as an advised fund of The Winston-Salem Foundation. Membership is open to Forsyth County women and girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds and beliefs. The year is capped by our first annual luncheon celebration.


Nearly 700 women are now Women’s Fund members, having granted more than $350,000 to date.


Our giving impact reached a half a million dollars as we worked to make our grantmaking process more inclusive to a wide range of organizations impacting women and girls in Forsyth County.


We initiate the first Social Change Exchange - periodic forums that bring together members, grantee partners, and the wider community to learn and work together to solve social issues impacting women and girls in our community.


The Women’s Fund surpasses the $1,000,000 mark in total grantmaking over the past seven years. We launch a fundraising campaign to create an endowment fund that will sustain our mission for years to come. 800+ attendees celebrate at the annual luncheon.


The Fund awards 12 grants totalling $156,861, a record number for a single year.


The Women’s Fund releases its Advocacy Playbook, which explores different forms of advocacy and why they matter. The Fund has now given over $1.5 million in grants, and we celebrate at our 13th annual luncheon.


We announce our simplified membership model to go into effect with the 2020 grant cycle. No matter which level a member chooses, each member will have one vote, embracing the inclusive spirit of the Fund.