Young Women’s Giving Council

Who We Are

Young Women’s Giving Council of CFW invests in and empowers girls and young women in the Chicago region to create social change. It is an extension of the work of the Foundation. We are young professionals committed to supporting young women and girls through philanthropic efforts. We utilize our strength as a network of young women to fundraise in order to make grants to local groups annually. In addition, we develop the potential of women as leaders and philanthropists, empowering them through educational programming, leadership opportunities, and professional development.

2023 – 2024 Co-Chairs
Elianne Bahena, Rosaura Gabriel, KayLynn Harris, Elise Polly

Who We Support

The impact of our work is strong! We have awarded grants totaling more than $170,000 since 2008.

FY2023 Grantees: $10,000

  • Yo Soy Ella
  • Imagine Englewood If

FY2022 Grantee: $5,000

  • Black Girls Break Bread

How It Works

  • Membership is on a fiscal year basis (July 1-June 30).
  • Meets monthly
  • Events are scheduled and organized by members
  • Grantmaking occurs in the winter and spring with funding being awarded in June
  • You choose your level of participation

Member Benefits

  • Amplify your giving by leveraging your dollars with those of other members.
  • Give voice to the issues affecting the women and girls in your community by deciding with your peers on the Council which programs to fund.
  • See the impact of your giving as funded programs share with membership accomplishments that were made possible by the Council’s grants.
  • Develop new personal and professional relationships with like-minded women.
  • Learn from trainings, workshops and conversations on philanthropy, women in philanthropy, issues and needs of women, how organizations are serving women, and trends and gaps in funding.

Member Responsibilities

  • Make an annual contribution between $100-$400, choosing from a variety of options to make payments affordable.
  • Participate in group and individual fundraising. This may include soliciting donors, sponsors, and in-kind contributions, serving on an events committee, or recruiting members.
  • Participate in the Giving Council grantmaking process, a cooperative effort to select the recipients of grants. This may include identifying organizations and programs to fund, reviewing proposals, conducting site visits, and voting on grant recommendations.
  • Provide good stewardship and thought partnership to the Council with your active and positive participation. This may include attending meetings, or contributing to discussions about fundraising and grantmaking.
  • Connect Chicago Foundation for Women with organizations and stakeholders doing work on behalf of young women and girls in the Chicago region.


For more information about the Giving Council, contact Vanessa Lee (Program Officer) at