The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem

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women's fund The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of women and girls by building a community of female philanthropists who provide grants to local programs and initiatives that address the root causes of social issues impacting women and girls in Forsyth County, North Carolina. Read on to find out how you can become a part of this important mission to help women succeed and flourish in our community.


How the Women’s Fund Began

women's fund board

In 2005, a group of five diverse Winston-Salem women — Michelle Cook, Lynn Eisenberg, Sarah Holthouser, Mary Jamis and Janie Wilson — believed that they, along with other local women, could make a real difference in the lives of women and girls in their community. These five visionaries engaged in a year-long planning process that included focus groups and sessions listening to women and organizations serving the needs of women and girls in Forsyth County, laying the financial and programmatic groundwork for The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem. The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem was established in November of 2006.

Women Helping Women

The members of The Women’s Fund, now nearing 800, determine which organizations receive grants. The grants are focused on programs which create social change for women and girls. In 2012, I was thrilled to cast my vote as a member, as The Women’s Fund awarded $150,000 total to Forsyth County groups, including a literacy program for low-income girls run by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership to expand a program that encourages Latinas to graduate from high school and pursue higher education; the group Empowering Girls in Real Life Situations; the Goler Institute for Development and Education for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Girls program; Planned Parenthood Health Systems for a community health educator; and to the local school system for a bilingual social-work assistant to work with Latina teen mothers to help them stay in school.

Becoming a Women’s Fund Member

An individual membership to the Women’s Fund is $1,200 annually. These individuals receive one vote annually to determine the grants to be funded by the organization. Women can also form a group membership of up to 12 women for $1,200 annually, or 4 women for $600 annually, dividing the cost among them. The group must determine a leader and team name, and the group gets one collective vote in determining grants. All members of the group are considered members of the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem. Membership scholarships are also available.

The Women’s Fund is an initiative of the Winston-Salem Foundation, which providesfunding as well as administrative and operating support. The Women’s Fund recently named Sabrina Slade as their new Director, to begin in August, 2013.

For more information:

The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem
860 West Fifth St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

About The Author:

Kristi was born and raised just up the road in Mount Airy (a.k.a. Mayberry) and frequented Winston-Salem often growing up for school field trips, shopping, and dining. After attending Appalachian State University, and a brief stint living in Southern Virginia, Kristi returned to Winston-Salem, NC in 1999 and began her work in non-profit, public relations and writing. She and her family enjoy the convenience of living near downtown Winston-Salem. She enjoys the arts, photography and cooking. "I'm a small town girl at heart, but Winston-Salem isn't an overwhelming city. It is rich with friendly people, history, culture and has a vibrant art community and that is why I am proud to call this "My Winston-Salem!"

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