GoWomen: New Year, Same Unwavering Commitment
January 08 2020


New Year, Same Unwavering Commitment

We’re starting the year with exciting news! CFW’s Giving Councils and Circles have recently surpassed $1 million in grantmaking! Since their inception in 2004, the Giving Councils and Circles have provided funding through 209 grants to various organizations serving women and girls in our region.

Members of the Young Women’s Giving Council, which awarded its first grants in 2008. In fiscal year 2019, the YWGC surpassed its goal of $15,000 and awarded $16,500 to three organizations.

As a founding member of the South Side Giving Circle, it gives me great joy to share in this fantastic accomplishment. The power of collective giving is alive and well here in Chicago. This collective, our collective, has allowed grantee organizations to receive funding they otherwise would not receive. The majority of the grantees through the Giving Councils and Circles are smaller organizations that are working on the front lines of need in local communities. In many cases, organizations are introduced to CFW through the network of the Giving Councils and Circles. Some organizations even go on to receive additional grants from CFW, and all have the opportunity to participate in our capacity training and workshops.

Our fall grant cycle was finalized just before the end of the year, which included this incredible milestone, and we awarded over $1.2 million to more than 60 organizations. I spent an entire afternoon signing checks for these awards. As I signed each grant check, I felt incredibly grateful to our donors, funders, and Giving Council and Circle members, for helping us make this possible. It’s through our work together that organizations can thrive.

It’s a new year, but what remains constant is our commitment to increasing our investments in innovative solutions to address the most pressing challenges facing women and girls in our region. We are looking forward to an exciting year as we work to put together public programming that uplifts topics and voices not often heard, partnering with local organizations and leaders to continue the work of building a just and healthy Chicago region for all women and girls.

Let’s get to work,

Felicia Davis
President and CEO
Chicago Foundation for Women



Fiscal Year 20 Grants (to Date) Total Over $1.2 Million to More Than 60 Organizations

Our fall cycle grants totaled $1,236,975, supporting economic security and reproductive justice for women and girls in the Chicago region. More than $270k was granted through the Catalyst Fund for Reproductive Justice to support women-of-color-led organizations advocating for women’s access to health care. Through these grants, we’re investing in innovative organizations like Healing to Action, which supports low-wage workers as they organize against gender-based violence, and Chicago House and Social Service Agency, in support of their TransWorks program, helping trans people remove barriers to employment, including housing, name change services, or health care assistance.

Learn more about our grantees here.

Save the Date: 2020 Impact Awards

Mark your calendar for CFW’s 2020 Impact Awards on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, which will be held this year at the Chicago History Museum. Look for our announcement of the 2020 honorees next week!

Learn more here.

Request for Qualifications

Chicago Foundation for Women wants to work with you! CFW’s mission is grounded in our work toward gender equity. To achieve this work, CFW offers capacity building and leadership training to its grantees through our Core Concepts Coaching and Board Member Bootcamp, as well as unique programming to support Black women leaders through the Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative, and women of color leaders through Cultivate.

To help advance this work, we are looking to contract with vendors, consultants, coaches, instructors, and facilitators that are women- and/or minority-owned. Much of our work requires cultural competency and understanding, especially for instructors and facilitators. If you, or someone you know, would like to have the opportunity to work with us, please complete this Request for Qualifications.

Responses to this RFQ will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Responses received by February 28, 2020, will be given priority review and consideration for immediate needs.

Our 2019 Annual Report: With Us, For Us is Available Online at withus.cfw.org

As a community-based funder, we are only as strong, innovative, and effective as our community. And, the CFW community rocks!

Our sincerest thanks to everyone who supported CFW’s 2019 investments in 117 organizations working to improve the lives of over 70,000 women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming people in our region.

Together, we are building a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. For women. For girls. For all of us. Read more in CFW’s 2019 Annual Report: With Us, For Us, and share your thoughts with us by using #CFWWithUsForUs.

Staff Update: Meet Christina Córdova-Herrera, Director of Communications

Chicago Foundation for Women welcomed its newest staff member, Christina Córdova-Herrera, in November 2019. As the Director of Communications, Christina is responsible for the development and execution of the foundation’s online communications, media, marketing, and public relations efforts.

Christina joins CFW with more than ten years of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors. She recently worked as the director of marketing and communications for Benefit Chicago, a place-based impact investing fund, where she led the overall communications, marketing, and community outreach. Previously, she managed the website content, social media, and Spanish media relations for the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago as the communications manager for online and Spanish media.

Christina is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Chicago Latinos in Philanthropy, the Hispanic Public Relations Association, and serves as a board member for the Publicity Club of Chicago.

Christina received her B.A. from Columbia College Chicago in Marketing Communications and is pursuing her Master of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of Florida, with a focus on Public Relations.

Christina can be reached at ccordovaherrera@cfw.org.



ABC7 Chicago – Newsviews

Felicia Davis spoke to Mark Rivera about what we’re looking forward to in 2020, what women leaders mean for the Chicago region, and new local legislation that impacts women.

Watch the segment here.

Joan Esposito – Live, Local and Progressive – WCPT 820 AM

Felicia Davis was a guest on Joan Esposito’s show with guest host Andrea Darlas on Friday, December 27, 2019. She spoke about our upcoming public programming plans, shared the importance of gender equity for all of us, and how we each can help move this work forward.

Listen to the show here. (Her segment begins at minute 55:12 and ends at minute 78:55.)

First Midwest Bank Invests in Award-Winning Englewood Women’s Initiative

Last month, our Englewood Women’s Initiative received an investment from First Midwest Bank Foundation in support of our work helping women in Englewood thrive.

Read the article here.

Unfinished Business – Closing the Gender Equity Gap for Women and Girls in Chicago

Felicia Davis, President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women, joined Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed, in a conversation about closing the gender equity gap in Chicago moderated by Karen Jordan, Anchor at ABC7 Chicago, and hosted by the City Club of Chicago. They spoke about the existing barriers in achieving gender equity and some of the ways we can all move progress forward.

To view the recording of the event, click here.



Women’s March Chicago Returning ‘Back and Better Than Ever’ After 2019 Hiatus

CFW is the proud fiscal sponsor of Women’s March Chicago, which returns this year on January 18, honoring those marching with disabilities by having them lead the march, as well as advocating for the 2020 Census.

Read more here.

Fashion & Philanthropy: Western Suburbs Giving Circle Featured in Hinsdale Living

The Western Suburbs Giving Circle’s November member recruiting event was featured in Hinsdale Living this month.

Read the feature here.

Stop Illinois’ Parental Notification of Abortion

Forced parental notice of abortion can and does put Illinois young people in harm’s way. Safe, affirmed, and healthy youth means access to health care, support, and resources – not judges, barriers, and delays. Join us in saying: Trust Youth.

Learn more here.

North Shore Giving Circle is Receiving Proposals!

The North Shore Giving Circle is receiving proposals! Organizations are encouraged to review the guidelines and requirements carefully to determine if this is a good opportunity. The process is competitive. Last year, members invested $50,700 in five organizations, which means 20% of applicants received funding. Interested organizations are encouraged to attend an applicant information session webinar to learn more.

Sign up here for the session on January 9 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.

Save the Date: Beyond Quotas: Putting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Action in the Workplace

The Young Women’s Giving Council invites you for a night of conversation and networking with Chicago-based professionals from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds on Thursday, February 20, 2020, from 5:30 – 8 pm, at the Chicago Community Trust. Attendees will learn from experienced panelists how to implement initiatives that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion at work.

More information will be available soon.

Save the Date: International Women’s Day Dance

The LBTQ Giving Council invites you to their annual fundraising dance, celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday, March 6, 2020, at Beauty Bar.

More information will be available soon.

Maximize the Benefits of your IRA for CFW!

Giving to charitable organizations through your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a tax-efficient way to support the most pressing needs of women and girls in Chicago.

If you are over 70 ½, consider using your required minimum distribution to make tax-free donations (up to $100,000) to Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) this year. It’s as simple as directing your IRA administrator to make a distribution. To discuss how you can maximize the benefits of your IRA and support CFW, contact Katy Thomas at 312.577.2836 or kthomas@cfw.org. Or, learn more about the many, easy ways you can include CFW in your estate plans here.