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.
Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) announced 47 grants totaling $1,087,000 to Chicago nonprofits committed to strengthening women’s economic security and reproductive justice. CFW’s fall grant […]
Stephen Gosset, Chicagoist The election of Donald Trump brought forth a wave of outreach and support for a seemingly endless spectrum of rights and benefits […]
Laura Washington, Chicago Sun-Times The women marched. The politicians boycotted. The Man is still in. Nothing, not the grieving, the sleepless nights, nor the tears, […]
Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) is proud to announce the 2017 Impact Awards honorees — local leaders who have worked across generations to increase resources […]
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT A Quarter of a Million Voices. In a world that so often ignores the voices of women, it is […]
Grant funds support grassroots organizing and civic engagement in first 100 days of the new administration February 20, 2017 — Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) […]
Alyssa Ochs Inside Philanthropy Not surprisingly, a big theme in our coverage lately has been grantmaking in response to new Trump policies. We’ve written about […]
Rebecca Koenig The Chronicle of Philanthropy The unprecedented sums individual donors have given to progressive nonprofits since the presidential election have drawn ample attention. The […]
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT A Day Without A Woman. What would our communities look like without the contributions of women? On January 21, […]
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.