About Us

The Women's Fund of Central New York started in 1998, after a small group of Syracuse women attended a nationally-acclaimed women's leadership training.  They returned to Syracuse armed with a number of ideas to further the legacy of Central New York women, but found a lack of resources dedicated to the advancement of women and women endeavors.  After more research, they found that women-focused funding wasn't just lacking in Central New York, but was a world-wide issue with only 7% of all philanthropic dollars being dedicated to women's issues and organizations.

2015-16 Women's Fund Leadership Council: (From left to right) Patricia Callahan, Carol Satchwell, Helen Kelley, Andrea Capani, Elizabeth Quilter, Karen Matticio, Jill Palmeter, Lindsey Ferrara, Carol Wixson, Mary Shaheen, Karen DeJarnette.

The small group of Syracuse women decided to create a dedicated philanthropic endowment for women and girls where none had existed before by partnering with the Central New York Community Foundation. The group formed the Women's Fund of Central New York and set an initial fundraising goal of $100,000, asking each founding member to donate $1,000. Amazingly, over $170,000 was received in donations and pledges and the endowment fund dedicated to supporting Central New York women and girls was born.

Founding Members. The small group of Syracuse Women who made a difference: (From Left) Alyse Holstein, Peggy Ogden, Aminy Audi, Adria Ripka, Phyllis Chase (deceased), Ann Higbee, Judy Mower, Maria Fallace, Dottie Irish, Suzie Crockett, and Annemarie Mosley

Today, the Women's Fund of Central New York represents a much larger group of women from many walks of life all dedicated to the idea that women as philanthropists have the power to transform the lives of women and girls in our community.  The Women's Fund endowment has grown to reach more than $1 million and has helped grant more than $400,000 in funding for Central New York organizations and programs dedicated to helping women and girls.

The Women's Fund of Central New York is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation.

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