Social Change Exchanges Promote Dialogue

Focus Group: Unitarian Universalist Women

Grant Process Underway

Meet Participant Scholar: Lesley Lamb

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May/June 2011 

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Social Change Exchanges Promote Dialogue

THE WOMEN'S FUND has hosted two successful Social Change Exchange events this Spring. This series of periodic community forums was designed to allow our members, grantee partners, and the community at large the opportunity to discuss issues raised in the groundbreaking report “Through A Gender Lens: The Economic Security of Women and Girls in Forsyth County”, and other pressing social issues impacting women and girls in our community.

The first forum was held on April 13th and focused on the intersections of race, gender and poverty. For this inaugural session, we partnered with the Wake Forest University Institute for Public Engagement and speakers included: two Wake Forest University Professors, Dr. Sherrie Clark-Lawson and Dr. Ana Wahl; Lori Balogun, Community Member; and Margaret Elliott, Executive Director of Crisis Control Ministry. The audience was particularly moved by Ms. Balogun’s personal experiences and the support services that have enabled her to become more financially self-sufficient. Following the presentations, the attendees participated in moderated small group discussions about the issues raised by the speakers.

The second Social Change Exchange was held on June 2nd and focused on addressing our community’s childcare crisis. Attendees received the latest budget news from Chuck Kraft, Executive Director of Smart Start of Forsyth County and learned how the cuts made in Raleigh will impact childcare and early childhood education programs here in Forsyth County. Attendees then broke into small groups to brainstorm how to address this issue in both the short and long term.

Sharee Fowler, chair of the Women’s Fund’s Women’s Issues Research and Assessment Committee encourages members to see the opportunities for advocacy on a spectrum. “Certainly the philanthropic work of the Women’s Fund is a form of advocacy. It is social change giving. For people who want to take things to another level, there are additional actions one can take—calling or writing legislators about particular issues; attending local board meetings such as the City Council, County Commission or School Board, and speaking during the public comment periods about the issues you care about; writing letters to the editor or op-eds. Continuing community dialogues such as the Social Change Exchange events is also an important way of educating people and brainstorming about how to address the various challenges facing community members,” says Fowler. Additional Social Change Exchanges are being planned for August (teen pregnancy) and October (domestic violence).

Focus Group:  Unitarian Universalist Women

BECOMING PART OF A GROUP that pools its resources to support the work of The Women’s Fund is one of the most rewarding ways to become involved in improving the lives of girls and women in our community. Growing steadily since its initial formation in 2008, the group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem (UUFWS) is one of The Women’s Funds largest, with nearly 60 members. The group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is what The Women’s Fund calls a “super group,” that is a group that has more than 12 members. Super groups must contribute a minimum of $100 per person and receive a vote for every increment of $1200 collected.

An annual membership drive in May helps to revitalize and expand the UUFWS team. The drive includes a month-long display, Q and A sessions, and special Sunday presentations to the congregation. In addition, the UUFWS congregation as a whole donates a portion of a Sunday offering plate collection in May in honor of two original members of the group who have passed away. In the Fall, the group engages in a very active grant review process to determine the group’s annual vote on grant applications. Since they have contributed over $6,000 this year, the group’s vote will be multiplied five times. Coordinator Jamie Huss calls the effort gratifying in many ways. “I firmly believe that the UUFWS and The Women’s Fund have common missions,” she said. “The benefit of building a team is that we are not only contributing to our community, we are getting to know other women better as we exchange values and viewpoints during the grant review process.”

Click here to learn how to form your own membership group.

Grant Process Underway 

THE 2011 GRANT CYCLE is officially underway and once again we are offering grants through two programs.  Our Community Grants Program will provide larger grants of up to $30,000 and our Grassroots Grants Program will support smaller, grassroots organizations with grants of up to $10,000.  Members play a vital role in the Fund’s grant making:  Members not only provide the funding for our grants but also determine which organizations receive the funding.  Members participate on our Grants Review Committee and all members can vote on the final grant awards.  Mark your calendars for September 26 to October 16, 2011 which is this year’s member voting period.  If you are part of a group, make plans to get your group together during this timeframe to cast your ballots.

Click here to read our 2011 Grant Guidelines.

Meet Participant Scholar: Lesley Lamb  

WHEN LESLEY LAMB heard about the Women’s Fund Participant Scholar program as a recent graduate of Salem College in 2008, she was immediately intrigued. Attending an all-women’s college, she was already convinced that women and girls could make their mark on the world. She applied to and was accepted by the program, which awards free two-year memberships to women who cannot otherwise afford the membership dues and who demonstrate proven leadership potential. To learn about the women’s philanthropy movement, Participant Scholars form their own voting membership groups which discuss the grant process and help select final grantees.

“The Women’s Fund offers me opportunities to pursue my strongest interests, such as social justice, women’s issues, the nonprofit process, and giving back to the community,” says Lamb. Because of her commitment to community service, she went on to earn a certificate in nonprofit management, also from Salem. She is currently office manager and development assistant at Triad Academy, a private non-profit school for children with dyslexia. Seeking to expand her engagement with The Fund, Leslie became a member of the Women’s Fund Inclusiveness Committee. Last year when her participant scholarship ended, Leslie joined a membership group so that she can continue to make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

Click here to learn more about the participant scholar program.

Make a Tribute Gift  

HONOR THE WOMEN who have most inspired and influenced your commitment to service and purpose. Make a gift to The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem in honor or in memory of your mentor, mom, sister, or friend.

Your honoree will receive a special card from The Women’s Fund letting her know that a tribute gift as been made in her honor. With a gift of $50 or more, you and your honoree will both be recognized in the program at the annual Women’s Fund Anniversary Luncheon in November.

Click here to make a secure online gift.

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