To change women's lives, you have to change the social context: priorities, policies, resources, approaches.
This is how we do it.
We work from the ground up. Grant making at the grassroots level uncovers emerging needs, not just emerging organizations. Giving Councils and participatory grant making give the Foundation a presence in more communities and keep us connected to the realities of women’s lives.
We initiate and we support research: unbiased data gathering and analysis of issues, evaluations of program outcomes, analysis of best practices.
We work hard to stay current, and to stay connected to everyone making a difference to women and girls, whether on the program side or the funding side.
We bring people together and connect them to each other. It might be bimonthly meetings for everyone— city departments, private agencies, funders—who is working on domestic violence. It might be workshops that bring women who want to make a difference together with agencies who need talent and leadership. It might be a roundtable on the impact of minimum wage. Whatever form the assembly takes, its purpose is to elevate.
We encourage grantees to collaborate, to work together or share resources and expertise, either formally, as with the Eleanor Network, or informally. We use grant making to build collaborations among grantees whose work affects different parts of a woman’s life: an emergency housing provider, an employment training program, an agency that offers counseling services.
We collaborate, too: with other foundations that are looking for in-depth, issue-specific expertise, or corporations working to develop a community impact strategy or philanthropic leadership.
Together, we believe these strategies are creating a new context for women, aligning people, ideas, and resources for maximum impact on the issues that matter most.
Today, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) released a new report on the status of women and girls in the Chicago region. Based on the available […]
K. Sujata Crain’s Chicago Business As I write this, one in two female-headed households in Illinois is just one emergency away from total poverty. That […]
Maureen Foertsch McKinney NPR Illinois UIS Kellia Phillips’ teen-aged daughters Jaleece and Janae run track. They have had to do so in ill-fitting shoes sometimes […]
Alysia Tate Op Ed Chicago Sun-Times My dad had a love-hate relationship with the University of Virginia, where white nationalists marched by the hundreds last […]
Carole Levine Nonprofit Quarterly In the appropriately titled “Damage Done,” the Chicago Foundation for Women documented the devastating results of two years without a state budget in […]
Alyssa Ochs Inside Philanthropy Six months into Donald Trump’s presidency, foundation support for embattled immigrant and refugee populations continues to be strong nationwide—and is even […]
Kristen Thometz Chicago Tonight, WTTW After two years of political deadlock, Illinois finally passed a budget last month. But the financial uncertainty caused by the […]
Brandon Richard WSIL Though Illinois lawmakers passed a budget, the two years it took to do it caused lasting damage, according to a new report. Researchers […]
Chicago Foundation for Women is a leading convener of women in Chicago. Check out our upcoming events below. All of our events, including those hosted by our Giving Councils, are open to the public unless otherwise specified.
To read about meetings and events we've held, visit our entire Events Schedule. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.