ABOUT US

Each day, more than 300,000 women in our community struggle to put food on the table, to keep themselves and their children safe and healthy, and to lift themselves up from poverty and lack of opportunity.

We are about them.

Chicago Foundation for Women envisions a world in which all women and girls have the opportunity to thrive in safe, just and healthy communities.

WE CONNECT NEED, MONEY, AND SOLUTIONS

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Need

We evaluate the needs of women and girls who are living at the margins of success in our society.

Money

We seek out and bring together women who have the power to make a difference and organizations that offer proven or innovative solutions.

Solutions

We raise money to fund those solutions, and we develop women's capacity to drive change at every level, both within those organizations and beyond them.

MISSION

Chicago Foundation for Women invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all.

PRINCIPLES

We value - in ourselves and in every organization we support -  the core principles of equality, empowerment, diversity, collaboration, and integrity.

Equality

We believe that equality is a universal human right, and we uphold respect and dignity as guiding principles in all our work.

Empowerment

We believe in the right of individuals to make choices and have control over their minds, bodies and spirits

Diversity

We value the strength and wisdom that come from all voices and embrace the complexities of communities.

Collaboration

We affirm the transformative power of collective efforts and the importance of having women and girls engaged in issues that affect their lives.

Integrity

We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and level of accountability.

FOUNDERS

In 1984, four leaders of Chicago’s philanthropic community - Marjorie Craig Benton, Sunny Fischer, Iris J. Krieg, and Lucia Woods Lindley - launched a series of planning groups that laid the financial and programmatic groundwork for what would become Chicago Foundation for Women.

From left to right: Iris J. Krieg, Lucia Woods Lindley, Sunny Fischer, Marjorie Craig Benton

The four women shared a vision. They knew that lack of economic opportunity, poor access to reproductive and other health services, domestic violence, and a host of other issues daily threatened the well-being of thousands of women in Chicago, and, by extension, thousands of families. They realized that only a tiny percentage of philanthropic dollars - just 3 percent in 1984 - were being spent to address women's real and specific needs. And they knew that women were underrepresented in philanthropy, unaccustomed to wielding the power to decide what issues were important and direct funding to where it could do the most good.

Working their social and business networks, tapping their own experience, they reached out to women who, like them, wanted to transform society and their own place in it.

By the end of that first year, these women had incorporated the Foundation, had elected its first board of directors, and had begun fundraising. And by spring of 1986, the Foundation made its first grants, totaling $50,000.

The principles that guided the development of the Foundation still guide its operations today.

BOARD AND STAFF

We believe that when women and girls are secure, whole communities are made better.

Board

  • Kelly Smith Haley
    Chair


  • Patricia Costello Slovak
    Past Chair


  • Silvia Rivera
    Secretary


  • Michael Narciso
    Treasurer


  • Jim Alexander



  • Carmin Awadzi



  • Joan Trueheart Bacon



  • Adela Cepeda



  • Allison B. Clark



  • Deborah B. Cole



  • Valerie Colletti



  • Regina Cross



  • Harlene Ellin



  • Sarah Hurwit Gomel



  • Georgina Heard-Labonne



  • Keri Holleb Hotaling



  • Susie Kurowski



  • Tina Manikas



  • Kathleen McDonald



  • Anita Mital



  • Marie Osadjan



  • Munira Patel



  • Jessica Sohl



  • Gretchen Wolf



  • Ann Marie Wright



  • Kelly Smith Haley
    Chair
  • Patricia Costello Slovak
    Past Chair
  • Silvia Rivera
    Secretary
  • Michael Narciso
    Treasurer
  • Jim Alexander
  • Carmin Awadzi
  • Joan Trueheart Bacon
  • Adela Cepeda
  • Allison B. Clark
  • Deborah B. Cole
  • Valerie Colletti
  • Regina Cross
  • Harlene Ellin
  • Sarah Hurwit Gomel
  • Georgina Heard-Labonne
  • Keri Holleb Hotaling
  • Susie Kurowski
  • Tina Manikas
  • Kathleen McDonald
  • Anita Mital
  • Marie Osadjan
  • Munira Patel
  • Jessica Sohl
  • Gretchen Wolf
  • Ann Marie Wright

Staff

  • Felicia Davis
    President and CEO


    fdavis@cfw.org
  • Shannon Buckley
    Data & Web Associate


    sbuckley@cfw.org
  • Melanie Conway
    Foundation Assistant


    mconway@cfw.org
  • Christina Córdova-Herrera
    Director of Communications


    ccordovaherrera@cfw.org
  • Emily Dreke
    VP of Development & Communications


    edreke@cfw.org
  • Natosha Johnson
    Manager of Institutional Relations


    njohnson@cfw.org
  • Ilda Lagunas
    Manager of Special Events & Annual Giving


    ilagunas@cfw.org
  • Eli Marsh
    Philanthropic Education Officer


    emarsh@cfw.org
  • Agnes Meneses
    Director of Strategic Initiatives


    ameneses@cfw.org
  • Maleia Scuefield-Ransom
    Community Engagement Officer


    mscuefieldransom@cfw.org
  • Katy Thomas
    Major Gifts Officer


    kthomas@cfw.org
  • Linda L. Wagner
    VP of Finance & Administration


    lwagner@cfw.org
  • Bernadine Wims
    Executive Coordinator


    bwims@cfw.org
  • Lora York
    Senior Program Officer


    lyork@cfw.org
  • Felicia Davis
    President and CEO
  • Shannon Buckley
    Data & Web Associate
  • Melanie Conway
    Foundation Assistant
  • Christina Córdova-Herrera
    Director of Communications
  • Emily Dreke
    VP of Development & Communications
  • Natosha Johnson
    Manager of Institutional Relations
  • Ilda Lagunas
    Manager of Special Events & Annual Giving
  • Eli Marsh
    Philanthropic Education Officer
  • Agnes Meneses
    Director of Strategic Initiatives
  • Maleia Scuefield-Ransom
    Community Engagement Officer
  • Katy Thomas
    Major Gifts Officer
  • Linda L. Wagner
    VP of Finance & Administration
  • Bernadine Wims
    Executive Coordinator
  • Lora York
    Senior Program Officer

SUPPORTERS

Since 1985, CFW has awarded more than 4,000 grants, totaling over $36 million, so that Chicago-area women and girls are healthy, safe and economically secure.

Southwest

The official airline of Chicago Foundation for Women

Giving Councils

Giving Councils bring fresh ideas, unique concerns and perspectives, and new energy to philanthropic leadership and advocacy. The councils provide a basic infrastructure that enables women to

  • focus on an underserved constituency,
  • identify the issues that matter,
  • develop a plan of action to raise awareness and funds, and
  • target those funds to programs that can move the needle.

Giving Councils break barriers, within the Foundation and for the women and girls they represent. They also break ground: according to the Women’s Funding Network, the Foundation’s Giving Councils are the very first of such groups of diverse community members raising funds and investing back in their community at any women's fund in the United States.

LBTQ Giving Council
Lauren Birchlove, Chair

Women United Giving Council
Adoley Jordan, Chair

Young Women's Giving Council
Michele Grim, Co-chair
Amber Kirchoff, Co-chair
Ida Kuruvilla, Co-chair
Adriana Viteri, Co-chair

North Shore Giving Circle
Joan Trueheart Bacon, Chair

South Side Giving Circle
Jessyca Dudley, Co-chair
Phaedra M. Leslie, Co-chair
Melody M. Miller, Co-chair

Western Suburbs Giving Circle
Tanya Davis, Co-chair
Sonal Gupta, Co-chair
Andrea Sidorow, Co-chair

ABOUT THE COUNCILS

Alumnae Council

Through their participation in the Alumnae Council, former members of the Foundation’s board of directors continue to influence the lives of women and girls and contribute to the Foundation’s success. Council members’ knowledge and experience are an invaluable resource to current board and staff; their ongoing affiliation with Chicago Foundation for Women is an honor.

Council membership is limited to those who have served as Foundation directors.

* Founders of Chicago Foundation for Women

Co-Chairs

Ellen Benjamin
Juju Lien


Members

Enriqueta Rodriguez Bauer

María C. Bechily

Ruth K. Belzer

Deborah E. Bennett

Marjorie Craig Benton*

Allegra E. Biery

Saundra Bishop

Catherine Braendel

Betsy Brill

Nick Brunick

Dee Clancy

Fay Clayton

Vickii Coffey

Gwen Gilbert Cohen

Judith S. Cottle

Susan Crown

Barbara Dillard

Jann Drogovich-Stulberg

Isa Ellis

Barbara Engel

Sondra Berman Epstein

Edith H. Falk

Sunny Fischer*

Polly A. Flinn

Trina M. Fresco

Rita M. Glass

Judy Gold

Radhika Sharma Gordon

Cheryl Grace

Marguerite H. Griffin

Marjorie Halperin

Susan Hassan

Millicent Holmes

Ginny Holt

Mae P. Hong

Kathy Hurley

Alejandra L. Ibañez

Nancy Juda

Polly B. Kawalek

Kathryn G. Kennedy

Barbara Levy Kipper

Sally Meyer Kovler

Rachel E. Kraft

Andrea S. Kramer

Iris J. Krieg*

Leslie Landis

Robin Letchinger

Lucia Woods Lindley*

Lois J. Lipton

Marcena W. Love

Gail Ludewig

Bertha G. Magaña

Wendy Manning

Susan Graf Marineau

Patricia McMillen

Dana M. Mikstay

Jo Moore

Patricia McDermott Moore

Susan E. Morrison

Mary F. Morten

Suzanne Musikantow

Tamara L. Nelson

Grace Allen Newton

Darlene M. Oliver

Nancy Olson

Diana Palomar

Audrey Rone Peeples

Celene Peurye-Hissong

Marianne Philbin

Jamie Phillippe

Jean Pogge

Kathleen Johnson Pope

Gaye Preston

Carmen Prieto

Carol Prins

Susan Pritzker

Sylvia Puente

Hedy Ratner

Beth E. Richie

Amalia Rioja

Nicole R. Robinson

Janice E. Rodgers

Leora Rosen

Sheli Z. Rosenberg

Jane M. Saks

Juanita Salvador-Burris

Edna J. Schade

Margot Levin Schiff

Carleen Schreder

Lisa T. Scruggs

Mita D. Shah

Gabrielle Sigel

Anita Sinha

Rebecca Sive

Joan F. Small

Deirdre Joy Smith

Jennifer Steans

Barbara Stewart

Donna M. Stone

Tina Tchen

Sharmila Rao Thakkar

Donna J. Thompson

Aylice Toohey

Laura Tucker

Susana Vasquez

Vanessa J. Weathersby

M. Blair Wellensiek

Courtney Welton

Wendy White Eagle

Patricia Yuzawa-Rubin

Nannette Zander

Frances K. Zemans

 

Professional Advisory Council

Our work would not be possible without the advice and assistance of the lawyers, accountants, financial and insurance planners, brokers and money managers, and other estate planners who comprise the Chicago Foundation for Women Professional Advisory Council.

For more information on the Professional Advisory Council, please contact Emily Dreke, Vice President of Development and Communications, at edreke@cfw.org or 312.577.2842.

Members as of September 2019:

Co-Chairs

Jeanine Meola
Fairpointe Capital

Chad A. Tischer
CFP, DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C.

Members

Karim HK Ahamed
CFA, HPM Partners LLC
Leigh Harter
Schwartz Insurance Solutions
Kerry O'Hare
Oxford Capital Group
Erin Ankin
Waterton
Shannon L. Hartzler
Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered
Laura Parish
Plante Moran
Ashley E. Bebeau
Strategic Wealth Partners, LLC
Dianne Hively
Hobson Advisors LLC
Jodi Pellettiere Patt
Quarles & Brady LLP
Patricia H. Besser
US Trust, Bank of America Private
Wealth Management
Tiffany Irving
US Trust
Celene Peurye
Focused Philanthropy
Betsy Brill
Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd.
Christine Jordan
Rappaport Reiches Capital
Management, LLC
Shari Greco Reiches
Rappaport Reiches Capital
Management, LLC
Terri L. Cable
PNC Bank
Dannyel Kafer
Proven Business Systems
Jeff Rode
Segall Bryant & Hamill
Meridith G. Cannon
Clark Hill PLC
Kim Kamin
Gresham Partners
Janice E. Rodgers
Quarles & Brady LLP
Laura J. Clark
CFA, Oxford Financial Group, Ltd.
Kathryn G. Kennedy
HPM Partners
Brittney B. Saks
PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLP
Regina Cross
Goldman Sachs & Co.
James F. Kinoshita, CFA
PNC Wealth Management
Tom Schroeder
Prather Ebner
Shauntel Dalton-Leeson
JP Morgan Securities, LLC
H. Debra Levin
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Christine Sibrava
Whitnell & Co.
Beth Engel
Wells Fargo Private Bank
Kathleen McDonald
Northwestern Mutual Financial
Network
Vicki Sinar
US Trust
Marlene C. Franke
Marlene Atelier
Tina Davis Milligan
BMO Financial Group
Paul A. Svoboda
Sidley Austin LLP
Asha Goldstein
Cedar Hill Wealth Management
Anita Mital
Northwestern Mutual Financial
Network
Stephanie Szymanski
Sawdust Investment Management Corp.
Clare Golla
Bernstein Global Wealth
Management
Deborah Moline
Highland Capital Brokerage
Sally L. Venverloh
US Trust
Gina Forgianni Gray
Northern Trust Company
Donna E. Morgan
Mayer Brown LLP
Melanie L. Witt
The Law Offices of Melanie Witt
Marguerite H. Griffin
Northern Trust Company
Abosede Odunsi
Infinity Strategic Group
Deborah Lust Zaluda, J.D.
The Bensman Group

Partners

Alphawood Foundation

Domestic violence collaboration

 

Chicago Area Donors to End Domestic Violence (CADEDV) Chicago Council on Global Affairs

State of the World’s Mothers

 

Crossroads Fund, Woods Fund Chicago, Chicago Community Trust

Cultivate, a joint project to develop a cadre of energized, well-connected women of color, leaders from across the social and economic justice movements, whose collective voice and power can be leveraged to brighten the region’s future.

Groundswell Fund

The Catalyst Fund: Resources for Women of Color in Reproductive Justice

Mujeres Latinas en Acción and the Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform

Immigration

 

Pierce Family Foundation

Skill Share Program, encouraging peer sharing among nonprofit organizations.

 

Polk Bros. Foundation

Polk Brothers Fund for Emerging Organizations

Women’s Foundation of California, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network 

Women’s Economic Security Campaign (WESC)

CONTACT

Chicago Foundation for Women
140 South Dearborn Street, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603

312.577.2801 t
312.577.2802 f
312.577.2803 tty
email: info@cfw.org

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Media inquiries
Christina Córdova-Herrera, Director of Communications
312.577.2824

Questions about giving or getting involved
Emily Dreke, Vice President of Development and Communications
312.577.2842

Questions about applying for a grant
Lora York, Senior Program Officer
312.577.2814

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