• slide1

    Less than 8¢ out of every
    philanthropic $1 spent in the U.S.
    today goes to help women and girls.

    Help us change that.

  • slide2

    We’re a community foundation
    that invests in just one thing: basic
    rights and equal opportunities for
    women and girls throughout the
    Chicago region.

    Join us.

  • slide3

    Give justice, safety, health,
    and economic security to all
    women and girls.

    Invest now.

  • 7K0A0938

    What matters most for women and girls? Weigh in.

Our Community

In 2014, working with more than 2,000 donors and local partners on the front lines, we funded 150 projects in 4 counties serving 53,000 women and girls.

  • Naomi-web
    Naomi-web
    Naomi Walker
    Collaborator
    National Engagement Consultant, ITVS Public Media's Independent Voice

    ITVS Public Media’s Independent Voice Community Cinema has been partnering with Chicago Foundation for Women since the Women’s Empowerment Film Series we did together back in 2010. CFW has been an amazing ally with ITVS’ Women and Girls Lead initiative, introducing us to their stellar list of organizations and leaders that are making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Chicago. ITVS supplied the documentaries and CFW brought the change-agents.  Together we have organized thoughtful discussions on challenging topics, ranging from health and education, jobs and opportunities, media literacy, gender-based violence and much more. We are so grateful to the Chicago Foundation for Women for this partnership, and for helping Chicago Community Cinema highlight the great work going on in our own backyard.

  • Blair Brettschneider-358
    Blair Brettschneider-358
    Blair Brettschneider
    Grantee
    Founder and Executive Director, GirlForward

    The refugee girls we work with embody the American dream. They come here with nothing, and all they want is to have a good life and to help their families. I want that to still be possible, and I think it really is, as long as we’re willing to make sure that they can be the members of our country that they want to be.

  • Adela-Cepeda-1
    Adela-Cepeda-1
    Adela Cepeda
    Donor, Board member
    President, A.C. Advisory
    Board member, CFW

    Doors close to you for things that you don’t control: because you’re a woman, because you’re brown, because you’re short, whatever. That’s no reason not to have an opportunity.

    Having been fortunate myself, having had the chance to go to great schools, to join a Wall Street firm, to develop my business, why wouldn’t I support an organization that works to level the playing field for other women? It’s so important that we give back this way. And Chicago Foundation for Women is a great way to give and know that the funds are going to the most promising, women-led solutions.

  • Kamaria-358
    Kamaria-358
    Kamaria Woods
    Grantee
    Recipient of 30th Anniversary Pioneer Award
    Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

    I started volunteering at ICAH—it’s a grassroots organization that’s funded through CFW’s Catalyst Fund. I worked on the blog “SexEd Loop,” which provides reliable sex education for teens. Through ICAH, I have become a feminist and an advocate for reproductive justice.

    ICAH taught me how to use my voice. It has prepared me for meetings with legislators and has trained me to explain the importance of teens having comprehensive information on their sexual health.

  • Frank1
    Frank1
    Frank Baiocchi
    Collaborator
    Senior Program Officer, The Polk Bros. Foundation

    The Polk Bros. Foundation is proud to partner with the Chicago Foundation for Women, providing more than $1 million in grants over the past twenty years. Recent grants support the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative, which offers cumulative learning opportunities in a given issue area or organizational strategy, the time and resources to implement changes or new ideas, and the ability to hear from their peers’ experiences.  We offer capacity-building grants and scholarships to give participants the flexibility to engage outside experts or enroll staff in professional development programs. The Polk Bros. Fund for Emerging Organizations at CFW offers grants to organizations that don’t meet our Foundation’s eligibility requirements, but are providing promising solutions to address the unmet needs of women and girls.  It is a privilege to partner with CFW to accomplish our mutual goal of ensuring that each woman and girl in Chicago has the opportunity to reach her full potential.

  • Myrla-358
    Myrla-358
    Myrla Baldonado
    Grantee
    Latino Union of Chicago
    Winner, The White House’s Champions of Change Award

    I came to America with a dream of living a happy and purposeful life. CFW’s Advocacy Academy has given me the confidence I need to live out that dream and help other women live it, too.

  • Jane 1
    Jane 1
    Jane Kimondo
    Collaborator
    Program Director, Crossroads Fund

    Crossroads Fund partnership with Chicago Foundation for Women has enabled us to do what we challenge our grantees to do – form partnerships that allow us to maximize our resources while supporting grantee organizations sustainability.   Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership project provides a space dedicated to women of color organizers to share their stories, strategies, challenges and triumphs as they continue to build on their leadership skills.  As foundations we are committed in ensuring women of color voices are heard, their unique organizing and advocacy strategies are celebrated and the multiple identities that women of color have are lifted up.

  • 5.-Joy-Messinger-1
    5.-Joy-Messinger-1
    Joy Messinger
    Grantee, donor
    Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

    I’ve always seen myself as kind of an activist, you know, somebody who was always in the rally. CFW has shown me that my activism can extend to the boardroom. I’ve been able to use my voice in a number of ways, and I think that adding the voices of women, of color, of youth can only make philanthropy stronger.

    There are not many organizations in the country that are doing philanthropy that serves women and girls, and there’s even fewer that serve women of color and LGBTQ-identified women. I’m really proud to be a part of that.

  • Doris-358
    Doris-358
    Doris Conant
    Donor

    I made this gift hoping it might inspire other women. Women need to be bold in their philanthropy. You might not think you can do this, but you can.

  • 8. Munira Patel
    8. Munira Patel
    Munira Patel, MD
    Donor
    Board member, CFW

    I wanted a hands-on experience where I could be a part of a community and see where my time and money were going. Most importantly, I wanted to focus on Chicago, my home, where the need touches us all.

    Really, anyone can be a philanthropist. And CFW prepares you by making the process easier to navigate and understand.

  • Grace Hou
    Grace Hou
    Grace Hou
    Collaborator
    President, Woods Foundation

    Women of color are disproportionately impacted by racism, sexism, and income inequality.  Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership is one of the few spaces in greater Chicago that intentionally nurtures and develops women of color leaders who are fighting to change these conditions for themselves and their communities at the systemic level.  Sharing their knowledge of the strategies of community organizing and public policy advocacy and coming from work on a variety of issues areas such as affordable housing, LGBTQ rights, public education reform, reproductive rights, criminal justice, and immigrant rights –Cultivate participants have the opportunity to strengthen themselves, their organizations and the larger social economic and racial justice fields.

  • Jerry-358
    Jerry-358
    Jerry Newton
    Donor
    Attorney

    I’d like to believe that the law protects us, and I think to some extent it does. We have equal rights laws, we have gender violence laws, we have reproductive rights laws, but they’re tenuous. As women, we need to elect officials who will enforce those rights and protect them for us. True justice means equal opportunities for everyone, and the choice to decide what you want to do with your own life, whether it’s in terms of a career or family planning.

  • KarenThomson
    KarenThomson
    Karen Thompson
    Grantee
    President, Literature for All of Us

    We’re so pleased to partner with the Eleanor Network at Chicago Foundation for Women to build our capacity to empower women and girls to be successful in the workplace.

  • Gihad-358
    Gihad-358
    Gihad Ali
    2014 Impact Award Winner

    As a young Arab Muslim woman, post 9/11 especially, it was pretty difficult—struggling with different forms of racism, stereotypes as a woman who had decided to wear hijab. We didn’t have places where we could go and talk about these issues. We didn’t really have any opportunities that were specific for Arabs and Muslims, or specific for girls, for that matter. It was really important to help to provide that opportunity. It’s challenging the norms without being inappropriate and without being outright rebellious.

  • 17
    17
    Margarita Arnold
    Grantee
    Union tapper, single mother of two
    Graduate, Chicago Women in Trades

    This is my way up. I can pay my bills. I can help my mom. I have a reliable car. I don’t have to worry about food. I can breathe.

    The best pay is when my foreman calls me back to say thanks for being a good worker and that he wants me back for another job.

  • Wendy-Manning-358
    Wendy-Manning-358
    Wendy Manning
    Board member
    Board chair, Chicago Foundation for Women

    That women and girls would be leading exceptional lives at every level of the socio-economic scale shouldn’t be a “vision” but a reality that we create, together, today.

    There are girls and women out there with hope, passion, and the ability to fulfill their dreams. It is up to us to pay attention when one comes along, create opportunities for her and remove barriers, and become a trusted and knowledgeable resource. In other words, be a leader.

  • SRThakkar-headshot
    SRThakkar-headshot
    Sharmila Rao Thakkar
    Donor
    Alumnae council member, CFW

    The idea is to build a collective movement of women giving back on behalf of women and girls in whichever way they choose to do that, whether it be time, talent, or treasure. Studies have shown that women have a hard time finding mentorship. We’re building a community of women who are learning and growing with each other. We’re like this force field: it’s a group of women to lean on, but also a place where we can bounce back even more energized.

  • Katya Mazon
    Katya Mazon
    Kataya Mazon
    Grantee
    Recipient of the 2014 Pioneer Impact Award
    Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

    I looked into the privilege that I have of being straight and use that to be an ally for people who are discrimiated against and oppressed and ostracized in their communities.

  • Jim-358
    Jim-358
    Jim McDonough
    Collaborator
    Executive Director, Alphawood Foundation

    Our collaboration with the Chicago Foundation for Women allows the Alphawood Foundation to extend its reach and capability in addressing the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children.  Combining our knowledge and experience in this field is a true example of leveraging resources to create greater benefit for our community.

  • 6.-Marcie-Love-1
    6.-Marcie-Love-1
    Marcie Love
    Donor
    Lifelong activist and founder, Personal PAC

    I had never really thought about abortion…but in 1968, I was talking to a neighbor who said she’d just got out of the hospital after having an abortion. She and I, because we were women of means could get a medically safe abortion, but poor or poorer women had to go to back alley abortionists. Having been brought up to fight inequities, I got to work! And have worked to make and keep abortion safe and legal and available (although I’ve not done a very good job on “available”) ever since then!

  • 3. Fatimah
    3. Fatimah
    Fatimah Muhammad
    Grantee
    Paralegal, U.S. Army Reservist
    Bronze Star medalist, Afghanistan
    “Vetrepreneur,” Womens Business Development Center

    My family doesn’t own anything outside of homes, and I want to change that. I want to leave a legacy.

    To me, entrepreneurship is a good foundation for community development. I know that the Women’s Business Development Center will help me get this off the ground. I’m going to be on someone’s best new restaurant list very soon!

  • sujata
    sujata
    K. Sujata
    Donor
    President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women

    When a grantee succeeds, we’re one step closer to our vision of a world and a community where every woman and girl has the opportunity to live a safe, just, and healthy life. We can’t leave 51 percent of the world behind.

  • Deborah-Taylor
    Deborah-Taylor
    Deborah Taylor
    Grantee
    Disabled mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother
    Fellow, Aging Justice Project of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and the Midwest Academy

    If I can get up and move, then I can make a difference. I can advocate on behalf of my community and other seniors like me. There’s a lot of legislation that blocks progress. I want to interact with legislators, work with the people writing laws and be the voice of seniors.

  • Jim-Lewis-358
    Jim-Lewis-358
    Jim Lewis
    Collaborator
    Senior Program Officer and Director of Research and Evaluation, Chicago Community Trust

    The Trust has been proud to be a supporter of Chicago Foundation for Women since its founding.  Recently, it has played a highly valued convening role helping identify the need for evidence of the strength of services provided by domestic violence providers.  This leadership resulted in a path-breaking evaluation project likely to indicate the value of these services as well as identify possible program areas for further development.  Currently, the Trust is partnering with the Foundation on its signature policy effort around key women’s issues.  We are confident that the Foundation will be able to leverage its position of civic leadership to ignite interest in progressive policies essential to women in fields such as health, work, education and safety.

  • Leialoha-1_edit2.jpg
    Leialoha-1_edit2.jpg
    Leialoha Abelardo
    Grantee
    EMT Trainee, Kinzie Industrial Development Corporation

    This training has been very empowering. I appreciate the time and dedication of the instructors. They really care if we make it out there. I would like to continue my education and become a nurse. This is a good starting place.

  • Karuna
    Karuna
    Karuna Adhikari
    Grantee
    Mentee, GirlForward

    If I wasn’t in GirlForward, I would be at home, sitting and reading books.  I wouldn’t have any friends and couldn’t talk to other people and learn more English.

  • Betsy
    Betsy
    Betsy Rubinstein
    Donor, Grantee
    Associate Director of Strategic Development, Heartland Human Care Services
    Member of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LBTQ) Giving Council of Chicago Foundation for Women

    Every day, I meet women and girls who are struggling to access the most basic healthcare needed to keep themselves and their families healthy.

    I often asked myself how I, a 27-year-old with an ocean full of passion and an eyedropper full of money, could change the tide. CFW has taught me that anyone can have an impact. This is what gives CFW its power. It is the power of the collective. We have the power to stand together so that the women and girls of Chicago can stand on their own.

  • Kandace. CFW. 2
    Kandace. CFW. 2
    Kandace Robinson
    Grantee
    Member of The Empowered Fe Fes, Access Living

    When I first started coming to the meeting, I was a young woman now I have matured into a woman from being in Empowered Fe Fes and also becoming a mother to a beautiful daughter. My favorite part about being a mom is the joy of having her, it just makes me complete. She smiles a lot, she keeps me happy, and she keeps me motivated. I need to advocate not only for me but for my daughter’s future!

  • Rosalva-358
    Rosalva-358
    Rosalva Nava
    Grantee
    Member of POWER-PAC, Community Organizing for Family Issues (COFI)

    I’m a domestic violence survivor. Nineteen years ago, I was ready to end my life. But then a door opened, and I walked through it. That door was COFI.

    Until I met COFI’s POWER-PAC moms, I didn’t know you could channel anger into passion, and passion could become action. And that action? Well, it becomes change. Today, I’ve testified before the Chicago Board of Education and the U.S. Senate.

    CFW gave COFI the resources to confront injustice, and to empower people like me to do the same.

  • Claire
    Claire
    Claire Denton-Spalding
    Collaborator
    Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform, Founding Member

    Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform (IWCIR) brings an important voice to the immigration reform movement by highlighting the contributions of women and the unique situations they face. As a founding member of IWCIR, CFW has brought attention to immigrant women in Illinois, be they survivors of violence, entrepreneurs, or mothers. A majority of immigrants coming to the United States are women and children. Although we do not know what the next months will bring in terms of immigration reform, IWCIR will continue to advocate through events, lectures, and actions that bring attention to the experience of immigrant women.

  • Aklesiya_edit1
    Aklesiya_edit1
    Aklesiya Dejene
    Grantee
    GirlForward

    My mentor helps me out with my college applications, essays, even personal life, ANYTHING!

  • 7.-Nick-Brunick-1
    7.-Nick-Brunick-1
    Nicholas J. Brunick
    Donor
    Board Member, Chicago Foundation for Women

    As a law student, I worked for a nonprofit in rural Mississippi. I met women working in catfish and chicken processing plants for poverty-level wages with no benefits. Here in Chicago, I have met women working hard at low-wage jobs in health care, retail, and hospitality, struggling to make ends meet, traveling long distances to get to work, and spending half of their income on housing to live in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods with the lowest-quality schools.
    These women have inspired me to get involved. If women are suffering, societies suffer.

Naomi-web
  • Naomi Walker
    Collaborator
    National Engagement Consultant, ITVS Public Media's Independent Voice

    ITVS Public Media’s Independent Voice Community Cinema has been partnering with Chicago Foundation for Women since the Women’s Empowerment Film Series we did together back in 2010. CFW has been an amazing ally with ITVS’ Women and Girls Lead initiative, introducing us to their stellar list of organizations and leaders that are making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Chicago. ITVS supplied the documentaries and CFW brought the change-agents.  Together we have organized thoughtful discussions on challenging topics, ranging from health and education, jobs and opportunities, media literacy, gender-based violence and much more. We are so grateful to the Chicago Foundation for Women for this partnership, and for helping Chicago Community Cinema highlight the great work going on in our own backyard.

Blair Brettschneider-358
  • Blair Brettschneider
    Grantee
    Founder and Executive Director, GirlForward

    The refugee girls we work with embody the American dream. They come here with nothing, and all they want is to have a good life and to help their families. I want that to still be possible, and I think it really is, as long as we’re willing to make sure that they can be the members of our country that they want to be.

Adela-Cepeda-1
  • Adela Cepeda
    Donor, Board member
    President, A.C. Advisory
    Board member, CFW

    Doors close to you for things that you don’t control: because you’re a woman, because you’re brown, because you’re short, whatever. That’s no reason not to have an opportunity.

    Having been fortunate myself, having had the chance to go to great schools, to join a Wall Street firm, to develop my business, why wouldn’t I support an organization that works to level the playing field for other women? It’s so important that we give back this way. And Chicago Foundation for Women is a great way to give and know that the funds are going to the most promising, women-led solutions.

Kamaria-358
  • Kamaria Woods
    Grantee
    Recipient of 30th Anniversary Pioneer Award
    Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

    I started volunteering at ICAH—it’s a grassroots organization that’s funded through CFW’s Catalyst Fund. I worked on the blog “SexEd Loop,” which provides reliable sex education for teens. Through ICAH, I have become a feminist and an advocate for reproductive justice.

    ICAH taught me how to use my voice. It has prepared me for meetings with legislators and has trained me to explain the importance of teens having comprehensive information on their sexual health.

Frank1
  • Frank Baiocchi
    Collaborator
    Senior Program Officer, The Polk Bros. Foundation

    The Polk Bros. Foundation is proud to partner with the Chicago Foundation for Women, providing more than $1 million in grants over the past twenty years. Recent grants support the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative, which offers cumulative learning opportunities in a given issue area or organizational strategy, the time and resources to implement changes or new ideas, and the ability to hear from their peers’ experiences.  We offer capacity-building grants and scholarships to give participants the flexibility to engage outside experts or enroll staff in professional development programs. The Polk Bros. Fund for Emerging Organizations at CFW offers grants to organizations that don’t meet our Foundation’s eligibility requirements, but are providing promising solutions to address the unmet needs of women and girls.  It is a privilege to partner with CFW to accomplish our mutual goal of ensuring that each woman and girl in Chicago has the opportunity to reach her full potential.

Myrla-358
  • Myrla Baldonado
    Grantee
    Latino Union of Chicago
    Winner, The White House’s Champions of Change Award

    I came to America with a dream of living a happy and purposeful life. CFW’s Advocacy Academy has given me the confidence I need to live out that dream and help other women live it, too.

Jane 1
  • Jane Kimondo
    Collaborator
    Program Director, Crossroads Fund

    Crossroads Fund partnership with Chicago Foundation for Women has enabled us to do what we challenge our grantees to do – form partnerships that allow us to maximize our resources while supporting grantee organizations sustainability.   Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership project provides a space dedicated to women of color organizers to share their stories, strategies, challenges and triumphs as they continue to build on their leadership skills.  As foundations we are committed in ensuring women of color voices are heard, their unique organizing and advocacy strategies are celebrated and the multiple identities that women of color have are lifted up.

5.-Joy-Messinger-1
  • Joy Messinger
    Grantee, donor
    Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

    I’ve always seen myself as kind of an activist, you know, somebody who was always in the rally. CFW has shown me that my activism can extend to the boardroom. I’ve been able to use my voice in a number of ways, and I think that adding the voices of women, of color, of youth can only make philanthropy stronger.

    There are not many organizations in the country that are doing philanthropy that serves women and girls, and there’s even fewer that serve women of color and LGBTQ-identified women. I’m really proud to be a part of that.

Doris-358
  • Doris Conant
    Donor

    I made this gift hoping it might inspire other women. Women need to be bold in their philanthropy. You might not think you can do this, but you can.

8. Munira Patel
  • Munira Patel, MD
    Donor
    Board member, CFW

    I wanted a hands-on experience where I could be a part of a community and see where my time and money were going. Most importantly, I wanted to focus on Chicago, my home, where the need touches us all.

    Really, anyone can be a philanthropist. And CFW prepares you by making the process easier to navigate and understand.

Grace Hou
  • Grace Hou
    Collaborator
    President, Woods Foundation

    Women of color are disproportionately impacted by racism, sexism, and income inequality.  Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership is one of the few spaces in greater Chicago that intentionally nurtures and develops women of color leaders who are fighting to change these conditions for themselves and their communities at the systemic level.  Sharing their knowledge of the strategies of community organizing and public policy advocacy and coming from work on a variety of issues areas such as affordable housing, LGBTQ rights, public education reform, reproductive rights, criminal justice, and immigrant rights –Cultivate participants have the opportunity to strengthen themselves, their organizations and the larger social economic and racial justice fields.

Jerry-358
  • Jerry Newton
    Donor
    Attorney

    I’d like to believe that the law protects us, and I think to some extent it does. We have equal rights laws, we have gender violence laws, we have reproductive rights laws, but they’re tenuous. As women, we need to elect officials who will enforce those rights and protect them for us. True justice means equal opportunities for everyone, and the choice to decide what you want to do with your own life, whether it’s in terms of a career or family planning.

KarenThomson
  • Karen Thompson
    Grantee
    President, Literature for All of Us

    We’re so pleased to partner with the Eleanor Network at Chicago Foundation for Women to build our capacity to empower women and girls to be successful in the workplace.

Gihad-358
  • Gihad Ali
    2014 Impact Award Winner

    As a young Arab Muslim woman, post 9/11 especially, it was pretty difficult—struggling with different forms of racism, stereotypes as a woman who had decided to wear hijab. We didn’t have places where we could go and talk about these issues. We didn’t really have any opportunities that were specific for Arabs and Muslims, or specific for girls, for that matter. It was really important to help to provide that opportunity. It’s challenging the norms without being inappropriate and without being outright rebellious.

17
  • Margarita Arnold
    Grantee
    Union tapper, single mother of two
    Graduate, Chicago Women in Trades

    This is my way up. I can pay my bills. I can help my mom. I have a reliable car. I don’t have to worry about food. I can breathe.

    The best pay is when my foreman calls me back to say thanks for being a good worker and that he wants me back for another job.

Wendy-Manning-358
  • Wendy Manning
    Board member
    Board chair, Chicago Foundation for Women

    That women and girls would be leading exceptional lives at every level of the socio-economic scale shouldn’t be a “vision” but a reality that we create, together, today.

    There are girls and women out there with hope, passion, and the ability to fulfill their dreams. It is up to us to pay attention when one comes along, create opportunities for her and remove barriers, and become a trusted and knowledgeable resource. In other words, be a leader.

SRThakkar-headshot
  • Sharmila Rao Thakkar
    Donor
    Alumnae council member, CFW

    The idea is to build a collective movement of women giving back on behalf of women and girls in whichever way they choose to do that, whether it be time, talent, or treasure. Studies have shown that women have a hard time finding mentorship. We’re building a community of women who are learning and growing with each other. We’re like this force field: it’s a group of women to lean on, but also a place where we can bounce back even more energized.

Katya Mazon
  • Kataya Mazon
    Grantee
    Recipient of the 2014 Pioneer Impact Award
    Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

    I looked into the privilege that I have of being straight and use that to be an ally for people who are discrimiated against and oppressed and ostracized in their communities.

Jim-358
  • Jim McDonough
    Collaborator
    Executive Director, Alphawood Foundation

    Our collaboration with the Chicago Foundation for Women allows the Alphawood Foundation to extend its reach and capability in addressing the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children.  Combining our knowledge and experience in this field is a true example of leveraging resources to create greater benefit for our community.

6.-Marcie-Love-1
  • Marcie Love
    Donor
    Lifelong activist and founder, Personal PAC

    I had never really thought about abortion…but in 1968, I was talking to a neighbor who said she’d just got out of the hospital after having an abortion. She and I, because we were women of means could get a medically safe abortion, but poor or poorer women had to go to back alley abortionists. Having been brought up to fight inequities, I got to work! And have worked to make and keep abortion safe and legal and available (although I’ve not done a very good job on “available”) ever since then!

3. Fatimah
  • Fatimah Muhammad
    Grantee
    Paralegal, U.S. Army Reservist
    Bronze Star medalist, Afghanistan
    “Vetrepreneur,” Womens Business Development Center

    My family doesn’t own anything outside of homes, and I want to change that. I want to leave a legacy.

    To me, entrepreneurship is a good foundation for community development. I know that the Women’s Business Development Center will help me get this off the ground. I’m going to be on someone’s best new restaurant list very soon!

sujata
  • K. Sujata
    Donor
    President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women

    When a grantee succeeds, we’re one step closer to our vision of a world and a community where every woman and girl has the opportunity to live a safe, just, and healthy life. We can’t leave 51 percent of the world behind.

Deborah-Taylor
  • Deborah Taylor
    Grantee
    Disabled mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother
    Fellow, Aging Justice Project of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and the Midwest Academy

    If I can get up and move, then I can make a difference. I can advocate on behalf of my community and other seniors like me. There’s a lot of legislation that blocks progress. I want to interact with legislators, work with the people writing laws and be the voice of seniors.

Jim-Lewis-358
  • Jim Lewis
    Collaborator
    Senior Program Officer and Director of Research and Evaluation, Chicago Community Trust

    The Trust has been proud to be a supporter of Chicago Foundation for Women since its founding.  Recently, it has played a highly valued convening role helping identify the need for evidence of the strength of services provided by domestic violence providers.  This leadership resulted in a path-breaking evaluation project likely to indicate the value of these services as well as identify possible program areas for further development.  Currently, the Trust is partnering with the Foundation on its signature policy effort around key women’s issues.  We are confident that the Foundation will be able to leverage its position of civic leadership to ignite interest in progressive policies essential to women in fields such as health, work, education and safety.

Leialoha-1_edit2.jpg
  • Leialoha Abelardo
    Grantee
    EMT Trainee, Kinzie Industrial Development Corporation

    This training has been very empowering. I appreciate the time and dedication of the instructors. They really care if we make it out there. I would like to continue my education and become a nurse. This is a good starting place.

Karuna
  • Karuna Adhikari
    Grantee
    Mentee, GirlForward

    If I wasn’t in GirlForward, I would be at home, sitting and reading books.  I wouldn’t have any friends and couldn’t talk to other people and learn more English.

Betsy
  • Betsy Rubinstein
    Donor, Grantee
    Associate Director of Strategic Development, Heartland Human Care Services
    Member of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LBTQ) Giving Council of Chicago Foundation for Women

    Every day, I meet women and girls who are struggling to access the most basic healthcare needed to keep themselves and their families healthy.

    I often asked myself how I, a 27-year-old with an ocean full of passion and an eyedropper full of money, could change the tide. CFW has taught me that anyone can have an impact. This is what gives CFW its power. It is the power of the collective. We have the power to stand together so that the women and girls of Chicago can stand on their own.

Kandace. CFW. 2
  • Kandace Robinson
    Grantee
    Member of The Empowered Fe Fes, Access Living

    When I first started coming to the meeting, I was a young woman now I have matured into a woman from being in Empowered Fe Fes and also becoming a mother to a beautiful daughter. My favorite part about being a mom is the joy of having her, it just makes me complete. She smiles a lot, she keeps me happy, and she keeps me motivated. I need to advocate not only for me but for my daughter’s future!

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  • Rosalva Nava
    Grantee
    Member of POWER-PAC, Community Organizing for Family Issues (COFI)

    I’m a domestic violence survivor. Nineteen years ago, I was ready to end my life. But then a door opened, and I walked through it. That door was COFI.

    Until I met COFI’s POWER-PAC moms, I didn’t know you could channel anger into passion, and passion could become action. And that action? Well, it becomes change. Today, I’ve testified before the Chicago Board of Education and the U.S. Senate.

    CFW gave COFI the resources to confront injustice, and to empower people like me to do the same.

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  • Claire Denton-Spalding
    Collaborator
    Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform, Founding Member

    Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform (IWCIR) brings an important voice to the immigration reform movement by highlighting the contributions of women and the unique situations they face. As a founding member of IWCIR, CFW has brought attention to immigrant women in Illinois, be they survivors of violence, entrepreneurs, or mothers. A majority of immigrants coming to the United States are women and children. Although we do not know what the next months will bring in terms of immigration reform, IWCIR will continue to advocate through events, lectures, and actions that bring attention to the experience of immigrant women.

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  • Aklesiya Dejene
    Grantee
    GirlForward

    My mentor helps me out with my college applications, essays, even personal life, ANYTHING!

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  • Nicholas J. Brunick
    Donor
    Board Member, Chicago Foundation for Women

    As a law student, I worked for a nonprofit in rural Mississippi. I met women working in catfish and chicken processing plants for poverty-level wages with no benefits. Here in Chicago, I have met women working hard at low-wage jobs in health care, retail, and hospitality, struggling to make ends meet, traveling long distances to get to work, and spending half of their income on housing to live in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods with the lowest-quality schools.
    These women have inspired me to get involved. If women are suffering, societies suffer.

WHY WOMEN

When you invest in women and girls, you invest in stronger, more stable families and communities. You develop capable workers, people who produce more, save more, and spend more, right now and 30 years from now. You raise a generation of healthier kids with brighter futures, and you lower the cost of everything from public safety to social services to healthcare.

Invest in women and girls, and you invest a society that works—for everyone.

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WHAT WE DO

We focus on the top three issues that affect women’s lives today.

Work and economic security

A woman supporting a family in the Chicago area is 20 times more likely than a man to be earning the minimum wage-or less.

Freedom from violence

One in seven women has been physically threatened. One in three of those women has been battered.

Access to health

Breast cancer is not linked to race or income, but breast cancer survival is.

HOW WE DO IT

Our approach is simple and effective

We invest for impact.

The bets we place are bold and informed, like the investors who make them possible.

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We educate and advocate.

We speak up for women and girls. And we back up our words with evidence.

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We organize for change.

Big goals demand big picture thinking, coordinated effort, and leadership. We've been doing all three for 30 years.

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