Women’s Endowment Fund grants grow with community support
To the editor:
It was one year ago that co-chairs Karen Lefton and Dianne Newman announced a campaign to raise $2.013 million by 2013 for the Women’s Endowment Fund (WEF), tripling the fund that makes grants to nonprofit programs benefitting women and girls in Summit County. And on March 13, 2013, at the Fund’s 20th-anniversary dinner, they declared victory — in the largest endowment-building campaign in Akron Community Foundation history.
Back when the fund was starting, in 1993 and 1994, more than 100 donors had pledged $1,000 apiece to launch this new idea in Summit County. And those first checks are still working for women and girls — because in an endowment fund, the contribution grows forever. Only the earnings are distributed in grants.
Grants have been made since 1995, each the result of rigorous review by community volunteers and Akron Community Foundation staff. The first grant was $2,500 for a single project. This year, $95,000 is being distributed to help 11 organizations in Summit County improve the health, safety and economic security of women and girls.
But so much more could be accomplished. WEF receives worthwhile grant requests that far exceed the funds available. The 200 donors to the campaign have done their part.
During this Women’s History Month, I ask everyone who cares about the future of women and girls in our communities to help us grow this fund.
Gifts large and small make a difference. Online givers can go to www.akroncf.org/give/wef or mail checks to Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. For more information, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org/wef. Great satisfaction can come from giving a gift that will live on forever.
Marie Covington, Bath, founding president, Women’s Endowment Fund
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