GoWomen: Power of WE
December 05 2019


Power of WE

This week, Chicago Foundation for Women participated in #GivingTuesday, the annual international day of generosity that inspires millions to give and collaborate. This year, each of our Giving Councils and Circles nominated one nonprofit organization that is addressing the most pressing challenges women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming people face in our communities for an opportunity to receive a one-time special investment of $10,000 from CFW.

We brought our collective giving model to the community-at-large and invited everyone to help us decide which organization would receive this special gift.

Through your gifts and votes, first-place winner A Long Walk Home plans to use their $10,000 award to support youth-led campaigns in Chicago by creating a toolkit that would share the tools participants have learned with other young people to combat sexual violence in their own communities. Runner-up Chicago Volunteer Doulas will receive $3,000, and the four remaining nominated organizations will each receive $1,250 thanks to your generosity, and thanks to the generous matching gift from a member of one of our Giving Circles.

This type of impact can only happen if we all work together toward a common goal. As a proud co-founder of the South Side Giving Circle, nothing gives me more hope than people from all walks of life, joining together to contribute our individual strengths to create collective impact. There is power in community, power in the “WE.” This week, 161 members of our community came together, and WE collectively raised $20,628 in support of the tireless work of six local nonprofits. What does that say about our movement? To me, it says that WE are strong, and together our efforts can accomplish the unimaginable.

Thank you for your generosity and continued support. Let’s build on this momentum and continue to work together, shoulder to shoulder, to make 2020 a better year for women and girls.

Let’s get to work,

Felicia Davis
President and CEO
Chicago Foundation for Women


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

New this year, our Annual Report includes data on our spending with minority and
women-owned businesses. We are proud to report that of the $1.4 million in vendor payments made in FY19, $560,000 went to women-owned businesses. We are committed to supporting women-owned businesses. We know that by doing so, this support helps increase the economic stability of our families and communities. Women-owned businesses create jobs, grow wealth, and give back to their communities in so many ways. They also help shape the way other young girls see themselves as they grow and develop into leaders.

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

Our deepest 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.


Save the Date: 2020 Impact Awards

Mark your calendar for CFW’s 2020 Impact Awards on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. More details to come!



Commentary: This Democratic debate should challenge candidates on health, equity and safety for women and girls

Last month, Felicia penned an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune sharing her thoughts on why the issues affecting women should be top-of-mind for the Democratic Presidential candidates, especially with four women moderating the debate. She focused on health, equity, and safety for women.

Read the article here.

A Giving Circle Focused on Supporting Black Women and Girls

Jessyca Dudley, one of the founders of the Chicago Foundation for Women’s South Side Giving Circle, explains the impetus for starting a giving circle that supports Black women and girls.

Read more here.



Portillo’s Workers Rally for $15 Minimum Wage

CFW grantee Arise Chicago supported representatives from Portillo’s Workers Committee as they publicly announced that they had gathered more than 500 signatures from workers at 22 Portillo’s locations with a list of 10 demands, including a $15 minimum wage and five paid sick days across all stores.

Read more here.

The Manufacturing Mismatch: Manufacturing companies need workers. Chicago has plenty. But linking them together may require a regionally coordinated effort.

CFW grantee Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC) was highlighted along with other workforce development organizations in a three-part series about manufacturing in Chicago on WBEZ.

Read and listen here.



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

Join us at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, December 9, 2019, for a mid-day conversation about closing the gender equity gap for women and girls in Chicago, featuring Felicia Davis, Cherita Ellens, Dorri McWhorter, and moderator Karen Jordan.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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 invited to attend one applicant information session webinar to learn more.

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

Chicago Women in Philanthropy: Empowered Women

From left to right: Sol Flores, Deputy Governor, State of Illinois; Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney; Felicia Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women; Gwendolyn McNutt, Regional External Affairs Manager, Comcast and CWIP Board Member; and Andrea Zopp, Executive Director, World Business Chicago, at Petterino’s for Chicago Women in Philanthropy’s Empowered Women breakfast event on November 20.

On November 20, Felicia Davis joined Sol Flores, Deputy Governor, State of Illinois, Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney, and Andrea Zopp, Executive Director, World Business Chicago for a conversation moderated by Gwendolyn McNutt, Regional External Affairs Manager, Comcast and CWIP Board Member.

The conversation was dynamic and truthful, as each panelist touched on the challenges faced by women in leadership, sharing ways to overcome self-doubt and impostor syndrome, the importance of prioritizing self-care, and leading with authenticity.

Philanthropists Bench Women of Color, the M.V.P.s of Social Change. And We All Lose Out.

Vanessa Daniel, Founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Fund and Groundswell Action Fund, which support organizing led by women of color, penned an article published in the New York Times last month. She spoke poignantly of how organizations led by women of color lose out on funding and support from the philanthropic community, as a detriment to all of us.

Read the article here.

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.


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