Grants Awarded

Since 2001, the Women’s Fund of Central New York has awarded more than $325,000 to local organizations and programs supporting women and girls. These were made possible through the generous support of our fund’s donors.

Grant Spotlight

Women's Summer Science Camp

In 2012-2013 the Women’s Fund received a grant proposal from the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).  Despite the growth of opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the proposal pointed out that there was a significant lack of women entering those fields.  The MOST’s proposal addressed that gap with an approach to involve young women with STEM in a fun and engaging way: a Summer Science Camp designed especially for sixth-grade girls from the Syracuse City School District. With support from the Women’s Fund (grant cycles in 2012-13 and 2013-14) the MOST has held the week-long summer camp for last two summers where the girls not only had fun while learning about science, they were also exposed to many new experiences.

"As education director at the MOST, I have had the opportunity to see some of the girls again when they visited as part our SCSD Sixth Grade Program. I am always greeted with hugs and high fives. It is so nice to see how happy they are to be back at the MOST to learn more about science!"


By: Meriel Stokoe, MOST Education Director

Past Grants

2020

King Ferry Food Pantry

$3,000.00

Provide a one-month supply of personal hygiene products and vitamins to women in our community 

AccessCNY

$5,000.00

Provide hygiene baskets for 150 women and girls who receive services through its mental health programs, including employment and CASA, a program for abused and neglected children in foster care.

ACR Health

$5,000.00

Supply protective equipment, masks, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies to clients with compromised immune systems 

Chadwick Residence

$5,000.00

Provide supportive housing and assistance to homeless youth, young mothers, victims of domestic violence, and women with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders

The Haven at Skanda

$5,000.00

Provide emergency child care for school-aged children whose parents are essential personnel or whose families have been identified by the Madison County Department of Social Services as at-high-risk for abuse 

Oswego County Opportunities

$5,000.00

Purchase food, diapers, formula, feminine hygiene products, and clothing for women and girls throughout Oswego County who are fleeing domestic violence, living in a homeless situation, have a history of trauma, are pregnant/parenting or are living in poverty. 

Rescue Mission Alliance-Auburn program

$5,000.00

Supply food and provide tele-case management for families 

The Salvation Army, Syracuse Area Services

$5,000.00

Deliver food and hygiene items weekly to senior citizens 

Tucker Missionary Baptist Church

$5,000.00

Serve hot meals to the community twice per week

Dunbar Association

$5,450.00

Provide virtual supportive group therapy for girls between 5 and 18 years old. 

2019

Providence Services of Syracuse

$5,000.00

to support its Shuttle to Work van pools, which will give women the critical opportunity to get to work, make a living, and begin paths to financial independence.

Vera House

$5,000.00

(in partnership with RISE), to support its Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention program for refugee and immigrant youth, offered to students and young adults ages 14 to 21 enrolled in RISE’s CORE youth group.

You Can’t Fail

$5,000.00

to build its You Can't Fail Experience and Learning Community, in which 10 to 15 millennial women participate. Each participant will be paired with an industry-specific mentor with whom they will develop an individualized leadership development plan.

Auburn Public Theater

$5,000.00

to perform The Tubman Troupe’s A Gatherin’ Place at Auburn Public Theater and SALTSpace.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$5,000.00

to support the Girls After School Coding Club. This grant is made possible with gifts from Lockheed Martin and the Central New York Community Foundation, as well as the Women’s Fund. 

Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

$5,000.00

to form the Girls Circle, a structured support group for girls aged 9 to18 years old.

The Haven at Skanda

$5,000.00

to build the Self-Care at Skanda, a new all-female, multigenerational program to support women who have survived domestic violence while at the same time cultivating the leadership skills of Skanda's teenage female volunteers.

The Image Initiative, Inc.

$5,000.00

to support the Sisters Empowering Sisters 16th Annual Conference, a two-day empowerment conference focusing on self-esteem, relationship violence, STDs/HIV/AIDS awareness and teen pregnancy.

PGR Foundation

$5,000.00

to support its Safe Sitter Training, which provides girls 10 years old and older with training on child care and babysitting, first aid/CPR, rescue skills, safety skills, life and business skills.          

2018

Rise Above Poverty

$1,000.00

To purchase storage cabinets for storing feminine hygiene products, personal care items and clothing for the homeless and poverty-stricken students at Danforth Middle School and Edward Smith K-8 School during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Calvary Food Pantry

$1,500.00

To provide feminine hygiene supplies and sanitary products to female food pantry clients.

Syracuse Habitat for Humanity

$2,000.00

For the Women Build program, which aims to encourage women to participate in all aspects of building a Habitat House, create volunteering spaces that are women-led and provide them with personal and construction skills training.

Crouse Health Foundation

$2,300.00

For educational and emotional support programs for parents who have infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

CNY Arts

$4,150.00

To develop Arts for Female Hearts, a comprehensive program that helps girls and women find their voice through the arts, take charge of their destiny and live lives that matter.

North Side Learning Center

$4,250.00

To support comprehensive S.T.E.M. and college/career-readiness programming for newcomer refugee and immigrant women and girls.

Auburn Public Theater

$5,000.00

For two productions by in-house acting troupe, the Tubman Troupe. The productions aim to increase the artistic capacity and skills of nine amateur African American actresses in the Troupe, engage new audiences at Auburn Public Theater and better serve women of color.

InterFaith Works of Central New York

$7,500.00

To support Thrive, an empowerment program for refugee women which will address the emotional and practical needs of victims of domestic violence and build community and self-esteem through peer support.

Whole Me

$7,500.00

To pilot a deaf women support group, which will offer a safe place for deaf women with common experiences and concerns. The program will include deaf women from all walks of life, including: senior citizens, refugees, single moms, LGBTQ, young adults, those facing isolation, domestic and sexual violence as well as those needing addiction and mental health referrals.

2017

Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

$3,000.00

To assess programming and partnerships to better serve women and girls by helping them drive contemporary social change.

Clear Path for Veterans

$3,000.00

To support the integration of software which will allow Clear Path to better support female veterans, active duty, reserve and guard members.

Syracuse Northeast Community Center

$7,000.00

To support its Northeast Women’s Health Study, which will gather data about women on the Northside to help reduce the rates of teen pregnancies.

Early Childhood Alliance

$7,500.00

To hire a consultant as it prepares for the launch of Help Me Grow Onondaga, a new initiative designed to support parents and children in the first five years of life.

Cayuga-Seneca Community Action Agency

$8,000.00

To work with a consultant to develop a program that will promote financial self-sufficiency and independence among survivors of domestic violence.

Child Care Solutions

$8,400.00

To assess the current state of child care in Cayuga and Onondaga counties to learn the best way to support women that use child care services.

2016

YMCA Greater Syracuse/Syracuse Women's Commission

$1,000.00

To purchase supplies for the 2016 Career Exploration Series. A collaborative effort of the City of Syracuse Mayor’s Office, the City of Syracuse Women’s Commission and the Syracuse City School District, the series is a two-day workshop that exposes middle school girls to information about the wide range of career opportunities available to them, with a focus on STEM careers.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$1,250.00

To purchase supplies to help implement SMART Girls. The program combines informational and experiential learning activities to help girls ages 8-17 develop the knowledge and skills necessary to practice healthy lifestyle choices.

Newland Center for Adult Learning and Literacy

$2,000.00

Grant sponosored by Lockheed Martin Corporation to host art therapy and writing classes for female veterans with mild depression or PTSD symptoms.

Jewish Home of CNY (Menorah Park)

$2,000.00

To support nutrition plans and transportation for its community-based GOOD and Mindful Eating – Sustenance & Safety program. The program focuses on the development and delivery of nutritional education and services for seniors at home to increase intake of healthy food and to improve overall health.

Syracuse NE Community Center

$2,000.00

To purchase supplies and childcare for Power Source Parenting, a skill-enhancing program that impacts young parents – most of whom are single women – and their children by helping them with the development of parenting expectations, empathetic awareness of a child’s needs and their own emotional stability.

Everson Museum

$2,200.00

To purchase supplies and food for Style Engineers, a two-week summer camp program that utilizes fashion design to introduce STEM concepts and hands-on collaborative team building.

Mercy Works

$2,275.00

To purchase food and supplies for its Passport 2 Vision program, which will engage local high school and middle school-aged girls and their mothers in a week-long workshop to help them develop stronger relationships, healthy communication skills and positive self-image in a supportive environment.

Upstate Foundation

$2,400.00

To support its She Matters program, which will enable trained resident health advocates to provide door-to-door outreach, group educational sessions and community health fairs on breast cancer awareness and mammography screening for low-income women.

Milton Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MoST)

$2,500.00

Grant sponosored by Lockheed Martin Corporation to support the Women Scientists SummerCamp program for fourth and fifth grade girls from the Syracuse City School District. The week-long program, which seeks to inspire future women scientists by igniting interest in science at a young age, will also employ five teen counselors selected from Syracuse City School District high schools.

Clear Path for Veterans

$2,500.00

To support projects and programs that focus on helping local service women. Lockheed Martin provided the initial funds, which were then matched and distributed by the Women’s Fund, to benefit female veterans in CNY.

A Woman's Resource

$2,500.00

To support projects and programs that focus on helping local service women. Lockheed Martin provided the initial funds, which were then matched and distributed by the Women’s Fund, to benefit female veterans in CNY.

Girl Scout of NYPENN Pathways

$2,500.00

To establish scholarships for girls from Onondaga, Madison and Cayuga counties to attend Camp CEO 2016. The three-day leadership development camp connects high school girls with some of Central New York’s most accomplished women through interactive workshops, small group discussions and individual mentoring sessions.

Vera House

$2,500.00

To pay for security deposits for its Emergency Assistance Program, which provides low-income sheltered and non-sheltered victims of domestic and sexual violence with provisions to move forward and transition to life on their own, away from their abusers.

YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County

$2,520.00

To support Girls Inc.’s Camp Capstone, a six-week summer camp for girls ages 12-15 in the Syracuse City area, which will focus on empowering girls to impact the world through the exploration of construction and architecture by emphasizing three core competencies: design/building, leadership/legacy and independence/inspiration.

LeMoyne College

$2,880.00

To engage 20 top-performing high school sophomores in STEM disciplines through a one-day experiential learning workshop at Le Moyne College’s Maker Zone. The program will be designed by female Le Moyne students and will emphasize the importance of women role models in STEM fields.

Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

$3,200.00

To support transportation and lodging during a field trip to New York City as part of the Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights program, which inspires young women to become agents of change on the local, national and global stage. The trip will allow participants to learn firsthand what international aid organizations and legislators are doing to address women’s issues.

Toomey Residential and Community Services

$3,275.00

To provide transportation to and from a psychosocial support group for female unaccompanied refugee minors who are resettled in the United States without family and are living in local foster homes.

Special Impact Awards

$30,000.00

Three local colleges each received a $10,000 Special Impact Award from the Women’s Fund of Central New York. The grants, totaling $30,000, were awarded to Onondaga Community College, Cayuga Community College and SUNY Morrisville to provide emergency financial assistance to female full-time college students. Each college will determine how the funds will be spent to support women who face a financial emergency or other crisis that could disrupt their education.

2015

Friend of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

$2,000.00

ZooGuides

A high school internship program for youth to operate as ambassadors and educators at the Zoo.

Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

$2,100.00

Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights Program

To provide lodging for a trip to Washington DC.

Baltimore Woods Nature Center

$2,250.00

Baltimore Woods Nature Center Summer Camp

Grant sponosored by Lockheed Martin Corporation to provide scholarships for K-8th grade girls from Cayuga and Onondaga counties to attend the camp, which features nature-based themed weeks to study the use of natural resources.

Clear Path for Veterans

$2,250.00

Women Warrior Wellness Workshop

Grant sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation for an educational series which addresses topics of interest for female veterans and their family members.

Community Action Partnership of Madison County

$2,500.00

For the Grandparents Group initiative to provide information and support through group sessions.

Syracuse Jewish Family Services

$2,500.00

SeniorCents

Program to improve older adults’ financial literacy, budgeting and money management skills.

Syracuse University WISE Women's Business Center

$2,500.00

Exito! (Success!): Entrepreneurial Outreach to Latina Women

To provide services in training, business, networking and technical support.

Schweinfurth Art Center

$2,600.00

To purchase two sewing machines for their MakeRoom project, which offers sewing and quilting classes for women and girls.

YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County

$2,700.00

For the Girls Take Charge program which focuses on girls’ physical and mental health.

Unity House of Cayuga County

$2,750.00

For its mental health peer-counseling program in support of women’s personal growth and recovery from mental illness.

Cayuga Home for Children (Cayuga Centers)

$3,000.00

Creative Approach to Residential Enhancement (CARE) Program

To empower young women through access to speakers and field trips.

Syracuse City Ballet

$3,350.00

Empowerment Through Dance

To support the 8-week educational dance program for girls aged 12-18 in residence at Elmcrest Children’s Center.

2014

Women's Opportunity Center

$1,000.00

Non-traditional Scholarship Fund

Offers women clothing, transportation, childcare and employment assistance.

Contact Community Services

$1,000.00

Mental Health First Aid for Women of Color program

Friends at Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnett Park

$1,250.00

ZooGuides

Internship program for 16-year-old low-income students.

North Side Learning Center

$1,400.00

Publishes the Unity of Sisters collaborative storytelling and poetry programming for African Women.

PEACE, Inc.

$1,500.00

Girls Empowerment Mentally & Socially (GEMS) to Jewels program

24-session program that exposes yound girls to strong women in history.

Booker T. Washington Community Center

$1,500.00

Developing Safe and Healthy Relationships

Provides workshops, support groups, and counseling for women.

Child Care Solutions

$1,500.00

Columbus Day Professional Development Conference

Somali Bantu Community Association of Onondaga County

$2,000.00

Women & Girls Empowerment Project

Provides tutoring and afterschool programming to at-risk middle school and high school Smali-Bantu girls.

Visions for Change

$2,000.00

Circles leaders program

Mary Rose Clinic

$2,500.00

Community Action Partnership

Offers pro bono medical services for low-income women and girls in Madison County.

Museum of Science and Technology (MoST)

$2,500.00

Young Women Scientist Summer Camp

Fosters interest in science among 4th and 5th grade girls.

Networking InterFaith Achievement (NIA) Ministries

$2,550.00

EXPRESS Yourself Support & Transitional Program

12-week program helps incarcerated women develop goals life communication and interpersonal skills.

Girls Inc. at the YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County

$3,075.00

Life Empowerment Action Plan

Summer program which helps young women evaluate their education and career choices while also helping them build their leadership and financial management skills.

2013

Child Care Solutions

$1,180.00

It's Your Business

A 1-day mini conference on family childcare.

Cayuga Community College

$1,875.00

Direct Selling Women's Entrepreneurship Program

A 30-hour training program promoting leadership skills and entrepreneurial thinking.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$2,000.00

SMART GIRLS

Small-group workshops to help girls make healthy physical and emotional lifestyle choices.

On Point for College

$2,000.00

Post-secondary and career advancement for women

Outreach and financial resources for 10 college students.

Rescue Mission Alliance

$3,000.00

Family Transitions in Cayuga County

Trauma counseling, case management, crisis intervention, and transportation to help homeless women and families move into affordable, stable housing.

Syracuse Northeast Community Center

$3,000.00

Teen Mom Time

Parenting program and weekly skill-building meetings with pregnant teens and teens with a child under age one.

CAP for Madison County

$3,400.00

Moms Moving Forward/Early Childhood

Focused on rural moms, bi-monthly programming, and networking.

Catholic Charities

$3,750.00

Ready, Set, Apply of Onondaga County

Weekly house meetings with staff and residents to assist female residents with the steps to apply for jobs.

The MoST Museum of Science and Technology Foundation

$4,800.00

Young Women Scientist Summer Camp

New program - A day camp to help build interest in science among 4th and 5th grade girls.

2012

Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc.

$1,140.00

Syracuse

Support for Project Butterfly, a youth development program for young women

Syracuse Habitat for Humanity

$1,250.00

Syracuse

Support for the Women Build program, which enables women to participate in planning, fundraising and construction of a home

Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc.

$1,500.00

Cayuga

Provide supplies that will enable women fleeing abusive relationships to maintain or obtain employment

Community Action Partnership for Madison County

$1,500.00

Madison County

Support for the Transitional Housing Program, which provides fully furnished homes for homeless families

Child Care Solutions

$1,500.00

Syracuse

Partner with Cooperative Federal to provide intensive financial literacy program for 15 local women who own a  child care business

CONTACT Community Service, Inc.

$2,000.00

Syracuse

Support for L.A.D.I.E.S. program, a mentoring program for young women in the Paving R Way after school program at Lincoln Middle School

Friends of Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

$2,450.00

Syracuse

Program support for Fellows program portion of ZooGuides, a science-based internship program for underserved teens

YWCA Syracuse & Onondaga County

$3,660.00

Syracuse

Hire a consultant to help train staff and develop a manual for new computer software at the Girls Inc. facility

Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship/ Whitman School of Management

$9,000.00

Syracuse

Partnership with WISE Women’s Business Center, Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship and the Southside Innovation Center to establish an entrepreneurial Kick Start gift fund for low income women who desire to start or who have started a business

Total for 2012

$24,000.00

2011

Cayuga Home for Children

$550.00

Cayuga, NY

Support the Emerson Intensification program to provide young  women with skills development, college readiness, career planning   and vocational skill building

Dunbar Association

$1,000.00

Support the Empowered Young Women program to encourage and support leadership training and career advancement with young girls

Neighborhood House

$1,000.00

Cayuga, NY

Support More than a Teacher program, which provides teachers  access to professional enrichment classes at Cayuga Community College

Think Positively Pink

$1,000.00

Provide care packages to 100 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients that are designed to help them understand the disease, the choices they face and resources available to them and their families

Community Action Partnership for Madison County

$1,500.00

Madison County, NY

Support a mentoring program that provides at-risk youth with adult role models as well as social, recreational and education experiences that broaden their world-view

Delta Torch Foundation

$1,500.00

Support the Delta Academy, Delta Gems and Delta Pearls programs, which provides academic achievement programming for girls

Jewish Home of Central New York

$1,500.00

Expansion of the Employee Learning Center, which teaches essential skills and competencies that can be used in various daily activities and occupations

Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare

$1,500.00

Syracuse, NY

Purchase computers and software for female residents of Harriet May Mills which will help them to obtain their GED and attend online college or skills classes

Children’s Consortium

$1,900.00

Syracuse, NY

Support Just for Teens, a multiple session workshop focused on increasing high school graduation, reducing child neglect and    increasing healthy relationships between teenagers and their children

Women’s Opportunity Center

$2,000.00

Support the Continued Education Scholarship Fund to help transport women to employment skills training programs and acquire professional clothing

Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$2,250.00

Syracuse, NY

Implement the Career Launch for Girls program to help teen girls recognize the importance of education and develop a vision for a  future career path

Somali Bantu Community Association

$6,475.00

Hire a project coordinator for the Community Mothers & Children Program, which provides refugees with English as a Second Language classes and individualized tutoring

Total for 2011

$22,175.00

2010

Auburn Public Theater

$1,000.00

Auburn, NY

Support for the Children’s Summer Theater Workshops production of MERCURY 13, Women who Dared to Dream

Cazenovia Public Library

$2,000.00

Cazenovia, NY

To provide books to take home to participants of the Story Room at CazCares, an early literacy program of the library

ENABLE

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support Pink Wheels Work, a role modeling and mentorship program for high school girls and young women with disabilities who are just entering the workforce

On Point for College

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support for the College Access and Success program, which will target 10 college‐ready female students to enroll them in college and keep them on point at college

YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County

$3,295.00

Syracuse, NY

Support for Computers 101, which will provide basic computer training for 28 women from the Residence Program at the YWCA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$4,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support for SMART Girls, a program that helps Club members develop healthy attitudes and lifestyles

Women’s Opportunity Center

$4,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support toward the Non Traditional Scholarship Fund that will give women enrolled in the program bus passes, gas cards, professional attire, food, background checks and flash drives

Unity House of Cayuga County

$4,250.00

Auburn, NY

Support for the BOCES Certification Tuition for Four Women in Recovery

Mercy Works

$4,500.00

Syracuse, NY

Support for the Passport to Vision program, which helps 15 Syracuse high school girls and their mothers develop positive relationships

Total For 2010

$27,045.00

2009

Catholic Charities

$1,570.00

Syracuse, NY

Support the Building Bridges Project aimed at creating cross cultural experiences for refugee and native born youth group members

YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County

$1,580.00

Syracuse, NY

Support annual YWCAs Girls Summit aimed at introducing career opportunities to 150‐200 girls

Community Action Partnership for Madison County

$2,000.00

Madison County, NY

Support for Dove Real Beauty Workshop for Girls promoting positive self‐esteem and a healthy body image

Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Purchase materials for developing individualized portfolios for SMART Girls program participants

Light Work Visual Studies

$2,700.00

Syracuse, NY

Support Imaging Women: Exploring Issues of Identity, Faith, and Culture through Photography program

Syracuse University/ University College

$3,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support Count on Us Child Care Fund to assist with child care costs for part‐time students

Girl Scout Council of Central New York

$3,150.00

Syracuse, NY

Support Cadettes Connect personal leadership development program for fifth and sixth grade girls attending Bellevue Elementary and Bellevue Academy

YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County

$4,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support By the Book Plumbing Maintenance Program which will provide vocational training for 10 women

Total for 2009

$20,000.00

2008

On Point for College

$1,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support safety net activities to help young women to persist and succeed at their college education

Light Work Visual Studies, Inc.

$1,500.00

Syracuse, NY

Purchase 10 digital cameras to support a six-week photography workshop at Light Work in the summer of 2008

ENABLE

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support "Pink Wheels Work" project with the purchase of meals/snacks, transportation and honoraria

PEACE, Inc.

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Provide free child care and food to support the County South Family Resource Center's program, "Food for the Parent's Soul"

Women's Opportunity Center

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Develop and implement the Non Traditional Scholarship Fund to assist with the purchase of professional attire, transportation, and education/training opportunities

YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County

$4,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support the instructor costs for "By the Book Plumbing Maintenance Program" which provide a valuable option for ten women from the Residence Program who are seeking employment skills that will lead to a high paying position

Total for 2008

$12,500.00

2007

Syracuse Housing Authority

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Careers Scholarship Program

Greater Love in Christ Church, Inc

$2,250.00

Syracuse, NY

Boys and girls club/young women's group

Syracuse University Continuing Education (SUCE)

$2,366.00

Syracuse, NY

Count of Us Childcare Fund

Nosotros Radio, Inc.

$3,384.00

Syracuse, NY

Young Women in Radio

Total for 2007

$10,000.00

2006

On Point for College

$500.00

Syracuse, NY

Enroll underrepresented youth in college and help them stay in college

Neighborhood House of Auburn, New York, Inc.

$750.00

Auburn, NY

Offer college classes to ten child care center staff members

LeMoyne College/Department of Nursing

$1,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Tuition assistance for one female student with financial need in the nursing degree program

Catholic Charities/Northside CYO

$1,800.00

Syracuse, NY

Provide professionally facilitated support through education, cultural, social experiences for 20 young Liberian refugee woman going through their American maturation process

Girl Scout Council of Central New York, Inc.

$2,950.00

Cicero, NY

Provide financial literacy program "CentsAbility" to 150 underserved girls participating in the Destination City outreach program

Total for 2006

$7,000.00

2005

Syracuse Habitat for Humanity

$500.00

Syracuse, NY

Sponsorship of the Women Build Project, bringing women together to organize, fund, and construct a house

Calvary Food Pantry

$1,000.00

Auburn, NY

Hands-on education and training program to develop business skills for women with little or no experience in the workforce

Crouse Hospital School of Nursing

$1,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Summer program for high school students to encourage young women to obtain the skills necessary to successfully complete a registered nurse academic program after high school

PEACE, Inc.

$1,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Transportation costs for three low-income female senior citizens to participate in the Foster Grandparents Program

2004

South Presbyterian Church

$500.00

Syracuse, NY

For the REACH after-school tutorial program

Calvary Food Pantry

$1,500.00

Auburn, NY

Help women learn business skills through small business training and hands-on experience running an evening farmers' market

Catholic Charities/Dorothy Day House

$1,500.00

Syracuse, NY

To establish a fund at the Dorothy Day House to provide relocation assistance to homeless women without a history of substance abuse or mental illness

2003

Catholic Charities / Vincent House

$1,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Support for AVANCEN weekend leadership retreat for 25 Latinamigas girls

Girls Inc. of CNY

$2,000.00

Syracuse, NY

Weekend workshop for 20 girls, using Discovery leadership development curriculum

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Mary Elizabeth Wieting Johnson

Mary’s interests were centered on the advancement of education and drama. She was a lecturer, author, and poet and she was married to Dr. John Wieting who built the Wieting Block on the southern edge of Clinton Square, the largest portion of which was the Wieting Opera House – a theater that played host to many lecturers and theater productions of the day. During Dr. Wieting’s lifetime, the Wieting Block burned down twice (in 1856 & 1881) and was twice rebuilt by him.Upon his death in 1887, his will, which included bequests to many local charities, was declared completely invalid due to tangled legal logistics and Mary inherited his entire estate.Mary became a businesswoman by retaining and managing the Wieting Block. In the early 1890’s she took a chance on the 16 year-old Sam Shubert and hired him as the treasurer of the theater providing him with the financial experience and the theater-world connections that helped him eventually launch the largest theatrical empire this world has ever known. In 1896, the theater burned down for a 3rd time, and Mary re-built it again, making it bigger and better, turning it into the number one theater in Syracuse. Her business acumen served her well and she greatly enhanced the fortune that John, though somewhat unintentionally, left her.In 1900, she married Melville Augustus Johnson and moved out of state. Mr. Johnson preceded her in death by several years, at which point she moved back to Syracuse. Upon her death in 1927, Mary made good on the declared invalid bequests of her first husband, John, thus honoring his wishes to provide $5,000 (about $62,000 in today’s dollars) each to St. Joseph’s Hospital, OHA and the Syracuse Home Association, as well as his desire to provide funds for the addition to the Onondaga Orphans’ Home in the form of a hospital to benefit women and children under the age of 18. Mary allotted $100,000-125,000 for this project, naming it the Wieting-Johnson Memorial Hospital. She also added a $5,000 bequest to Crouse Hospital and an additional $50,000 to John’s original Syracuse Home bequest in order to expand the building. The residue of her estate went to Syracuse University, as per John’s original wishes.So, basically, though she had been living away from Syracuse for over 20 years and though the bulk of Mary’s estate was earned by her in the 40 years since John’s death, her entire estate, with the exception of the additional $5,000 to Crouse Hospital, went to her husband’s designated beneficiaries. It is entirely possible, of course that these were her choice of beneficiaries as well. And, in the end, they are all worthy causes, so does it really matter who chose them? After all – it was Mary’s money to give and it was certainly well given.An interesting note about Mary’s will was her specific instruction that the fire insurance on all her real estate be kept up to date until it was sold.

The Women’s Fund of Central New York’s 1st Blog!

Welcome to the Women’s Fund of Central New York’s first blog.  The Women’s Fund has been supporting, empowering and recognizing the advancement and full participation of CNY women and girls since our first grant awards in 2001.  Since then, we’ve also been trying to efficiently get the word out about the impacts that we’ve made and the other fund “doings”.  So, now we are blogging!  We plan to update you on Fund happenings as often as we can.  The Women’s Fund of CNY is an all-volunteer organization.  Our Governance Council members and other volunteers are going to take turns writing the blog each week.  This will let you get to know the Women’s Fund personally.  We are a diverse group of women who all have our own stories and motivations for volunteering.  This diversity keeps us energetic and fresh.  It brings out new ideas and makes things fun as we work to move the Women’s Fund forward.  Right now, the Women’s Fund of CNY has $850,000 in our endowment.  We hope to be at $1 million by the end of March 2014.  With this milestone, we will be able to increase our grant dollars to programs that are focused on improving the lives of CNY women and girls.  Every year, we have to turn down funding for great programs because we just don’t have enough.  We look forward to the day when we can fully fund these initiatives.  A secondary focus of the Women’s Fund is to encourage and develop women as philanthropists.  We hope that as you learn more about us that you will be motivated to join us through your contributions and/or your volunteerism.  With your participation, we’ll reach $1 million!Talk to you soon!Diana Gerrish Chair, Women’s Fund of CNY

Helen Everson

Helen was the daughter of Giles Everson, who was the son of John Everson, a Revolutionary War soldier and one of the founders of Manlius. Both Helen and her brother, Charles were raised in a grand home on James Street, not far from the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art.There is no doubt that Helen Everson was an art lover. She was a generous supporter of the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art along with her brother Charles. Neither Charles, nor Helen, were fond of the Museum building and, together, they planned the founding of a new venue for the exhibition and study of Fine Art. It was, however, Charles who first proposed the founding of an Everson Museum. He was an architect and a partner in his and Helen’s father’s very lucrative hardware business. As the son, Charles was, of course, the heir to their father’s estate and it was Charles’ will that provided for the founding of a museum if his sister, who was his primary beneficiary, failed to survive him. Charles died first in 1925, and left Helen $900,000 (today’s equivalent of about $11,000,000).Helen made her Will in 1927 and always had every intention of carrying out the wishes of her and her brother. In fact, several plans for a new museum were found in her home, suggesting that she may have hoped to see a new building erected during her lifetime. In order to conserve her estate for a museum, Helen lived strictly within an income derived from stocks. That income provided a very comfortable life for Helen and she continued to live well, travel extensively, and maintain her charitable activities until her death in 1941.Though her intentions were clear, the wording of her Last Will and Testament was not, which is important because it led to legal and logistical entanglements that consumed approximately 28 years. Her Will stated that, after about $31,000 in bequests to family, friends, and employees, including $7,500 to Memorial Hospital and $1,000 to Plymouth Church, the rest of her estate, amounting to $1,000,000 (approximately $14,600,000 in today’s dollars) was to be left to First Trust and Deposit Company as executors “for the purpose of founding, erecting, and maintaining a Museum of Art to be known as the “Everson Museum of Art” to be located in the City of Syracuse, N. Y. Said trustees may also in their discretion, transfer and turn over the property and trust funds coming into their hands as such trustees to any corporation or association organized for a like purpose, on such conditions as said trustees deem proper, provided such trustees are assured that the purpose for which such corporation or association is organized is substantially the same as herein intended”.The underlined words above emphasize the parts of Helen’s Will that resulted in challenges to her will - first from no fewer than 27 cousins (many of whom she never knew and only 3 of whom were first cousins), who said that the word “may” was vague. They also contested the mental condition of Helen at the time of her death. A court case resolved those issues in Helen’s favor. That case was soon followed by challenges from the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art and Syracuse University, who independently claimed that they were the entities already organized for Helen’s intended purpose. During that case, testimony revealed that Helen was outspoken in her criticism of the University, insisting that the museum be independent of the school. Testimony from Helen’s nurse, as well as from friend and architect Edwin Bonta, revealed that the current museum was not to Helen’s liking architecturally.In 1949, the Everson Corporation, with a Board of Trustees, was established. By 1952, the final Court of Appeals decision upheld Helen’s Will against all challenges and thus began a new dispute over where the new museum should be built. In 1959, after years of negotiation, the Everson Corporation merged with the Museum of Fine Arts. The total of Helen’s estate contributed to the combined organization, 28 years after her death, amounted to $1,009,000 - only $9,000 more than her original bequest, showing the financial toll of years of litigation. Perhaps worse than losing the additional funds that the invested money could have earned over that period, $1,000,000 had half the purchasing power in 1959 than it did in 1941, the year of her death, so the value of her philanthropic donation actually decreased by 50%.The landmark I.M. Pei building, which now houses the Everson Museum was finally opened in 1968 and is a stunning tribute to the philanthropy of Helen Everson and is a building of which Helen would be proud.

Rosamond Gifford

Rosamond Gifford was definitely an enigma. Her attorney father, William, and her mother separated when Rosamond was just a child and she lived, for the most part, with her mother in Tully. She attended a boarding school in Boston, where she supposedly lived under the assumed name of Violette LaVigne and married an abusive, womanizing, alcoholic gambler from Montreal who went by the name of Alfred LaFayette (also not his real name) in 1895 when she was 22. They divorced five years later and she retained her maiden name and returned to Tully.In 1904, when she was 31, her father suggested she return to Boston and study music (a passion of hers) in the hope that she could earn a living at it and become self-sufficient. She did so and studied the concert harp until she became proficient enough to begin giving lessons. She lived frugally on rent from some property her mother gave her, combined with the income from 100 shares of Goodrich Rubber stock her father had given her, and the income from the Harp lessons she taught.After her mother died in 1912, she returned to Tully to settle the estate and, at her father’s urging, she sold her mother’s house and moved in with her father on a large farm he owned in what is now the area of Dewitt.To understand Rosamond, it’s important to know a bit about her father, William. He spent most of his time and energy building his financial estate and, though he had plenty of money, he lived rather simply and often felt guilty about his one pleasure, which was raising trotting horses, because they didn’t make him any money. In fact, in his letters to Rosamond, while trying to convince her to move to the farm, he expressed his concern over her ability to make any real money by giving harp lessons, likening her love of music to his love of trotters, referring to such activities as “chasing shadows.”His motto was “live like a hermit and work like a horse.” He was also constantly worried about how his legacy would be maintained and once wrote to her about a friend of his who had worked hard and left a fortune that was squandered by his heirs.William enticed Rosamond to move to the farm with a contract that he put in writing dated May 31, 1913 promising that, if she took care of the farm and managed it for him, he would leave her his entire estate when he died. She agreed and William retired to a home he kept in Syracuse, where he suffered a debilitating stroke a few months later.By all accounts, Rosamond kept her end of the bargain. She was a hard worker and an excellent manager. She began to live by her father’s motto, living like a hermit and working like a horse and the farm flourished. Unbeknownst to her, however, her father, two years after his agreement with Rosamond, drew up a will that, essentially, changed the terms of their 1913 agreement. Instead of giving her his entire estate, he set up a trust, which would provide an income for Rosamond of $60,000 per year for 10 years, after which she would receive the entire estate.Rosamond found out about the will when her father died in 1917 and she sued the trust and its executors and won, inheriting just over $1,000,000 (equivalent to approximately $16,700,000 in today’s dollars).Rosamond worked the farm until 1929, when she divided the property into tracts and sold the land (part of which is now occupied by LeMoyne College). She moved to a large house with a barn on the shores of Oneida Lake and lived a very isolated life, though she kept in close contact with her lawyer and banker, visiting them once a week in her truck, which was driven by her caretaker. One news report from the time recounts that her standard dress for these outings was a leopard skin coat and riding boots. The large home she lived in was very sparsely furnished and her bedroom was the only furnished room on the second floor. When Rosamond died in 1953, her executors had to borrow chairs to hold her very small funeral in the home. The barn contained 33 goats, whose milk was used to feed her over 50 cats (as well as Rosamond herself, who was a great proponent of goat’s milk).Rosamond was a tough, no nonsense woman, there’s no doubt about it. She fought a few high profile court battles in her lifetime over money and she was just as protective of her nest egg as her father was about his. She absolutely hated the IRS (known then as the Internal Revenue Bureau) and she often wrote her tax payment checks to the INFERNAL Revenue Bureau.By the time of her death, she turned the $1,000,000 that her father took a lifetime to build into an estate worth $6,000,000 (the equivalent of just over $48,000,000 today) and she gave almost every penny of it to establish a charitable corporation.We have no record of Rosamond’s involvement in, or contributions to, any charities while she was alive. One article mentiones that she gave anonymously and, of course this is possible, though we do know that, like her father, she was fiercely committed to wealth accumulation. Her will does not specify any particular organization or field of interest stating that the corporation should benefit “religious, educational, scientific, charitable, or benevolent causes”. Did Rosamond give her money to charity in order to keep it out of the hands of the IRS? One can only guess.What we do know is that the Gifford Foundation has been tremendous stewards of her money and has benefited countless organizations and worthy causes. Both William and Rosamond Gifford would be very pleased to know that their nest eggs were certainly not squandered. And Rosamond would be particularly pleased to know that not one penny went to the “Infernal” Revenue Bureau.

2013 Grant Awards Celebration

Mission Possible: Making a Difference for CNY Women!Please join us as we announce our 2013 grant recipients!When: Tuesday, April 23rd          5:30-7:30 p.m.Where: Drumlins           800 Nottingham Road           Syracuse, New YorkTickets are available for $50.00 per person,6 for $275, or 12 for $500.Click Here for more information and to register!Register by Friday, April 12, 2013.Questions may be directed tothe Central New York Community Foundation at (315) 422-9538.The Women's Fund of Central New York awards grants to organizations, programs and groups that directly support women and/or girls in Onondaga, Cayuga and/or Madison counties in Central New York.  Available grant funds vary each year and are dependent upon contributions and the current look-back period of the endowment. Last year, the Women’s Fund distributed more than $24,000 to community women-focused programs and organizations.  Typical grant awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, but may be higher.  Grant applications are accepted until November 30 for the following cycle. Official grant awards are announced in April.Download a PDF Invite Here

Women’s Opportunity Center’s (WOC) Non-Traditional Scholarship Fund

The Women’s Fund recently supported the Women’s Opportunity Center’s (WOC)  Non-Traditional Scholarship Fund.  This fund helps provide food, clothing, bus passes and transition dollars to women who are entering the workplace.  The Women’s Opportunity Center usually helps between 200-300 women a year gain access to important community resources and prepare for employment in local business through training, wardrobe and life skills assistance and financial support.  Last year, more than 60 women gained employment through the assistance of the Women’s Opportunity Center.  “Sometimes, something as simple as the cost of bus fare can mean the difference for a woman trying desperately to keep a job.” Says WOC Director Peggy Woods.

2013 Annual Awards Celebration : Mission Possible

Materials

MaterialsCheck here for our forms, brochures, and publishings.

Powerful Women as Far as the Eye Can See Ready to Dream, Believe, Pursue!

As I write this, it is less than 24 hours before the opening of the greatest event in Central New York for women in entrepreneurship -- and maybe even life in general – the 11th Annual WISE Symposium!When I think of the day we will be experiencing, I am totally energized by every single one of the 1,000 women who will be in the room! Think of the Oncenter (the entire complex) filled with anyonefrom our powerful, local women leaders to women with just the tiniest idea of owning a small life-style business to those in corporate America making the changes needed at the Board room level. I think wecould agree the common thread in the room would be Entrepreneurial Greatness!After 11 years of the WISE Symposium and 7 years of the WISE Women’s Business Center, the WISE brand has built itself to be not only an established powerhouse of educational opportunity andnetworking genius but a big collaborator in Central New York. So many organizations are behind us/ with us/asking us to grow and build even bigger dreams with them.The Women’s Fund of Central New York is no different. Our connection this year with the Women’s Fund Kick Start program – implemented here at the WISE Women’s Business Center is a great example.Every woman helped by the Women’s Fund grant has been touched by women in tomorrow’s “Big Room.” Just like WISE, the Women’s Fund grant recipients could fill a room! That room would be full ofenergy just like WISE and would have as its common thread Personal Opportunity!Thanks to the Women’s Fund, women in our Central New York community are gifted to dream, believe, pursue!Submitted by Joanne LenweaverDirectior of WISE and Women’s Fund of CNY Governance Councilmember 

Women's Fund of CNY's Case Statement

In 1998, a small group of Syracuse women returned from the nationally acclaimed women’s leadership training, Leadership America. They had been inspired to find

2018 Women's Fund Grantmaking FAQs

Why I Volunteer for the Women’s Fund of Central New York

When I tell my family and friends that I volunteer, one of the first questions that I’m prompted with is, “you’re doing what and why?  Most individual’s give me an incredulous look coupled with a tone of sarcasm in their voices. You, “they’d ask” -- who work five days a week as the Director of Administration and 401(k) Plans for a wealth management firm?? You -- who act as the caregiver for senior aged parent’s one particularly who has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease? You– who spend 3-4 days at fitness center only to go home and explore the possibilities of your next home improvement project?” Why would you volunteer for the Women’s Fund of Central New York?Volunteering for the Women’s Fund of Central New York has expanded my sense of community to a level that is immeasurable. To be a member of a band of women, who are attracted to a mission, that provides organizations with resources that support the betterment of women, motivates my willingness to grab an instrument and orchestrate solutions that support any woman who wants to meet or exceed her professional goals. Volunteering for the Women’s Fund of Central New York, encourages me to cleave hold to women like myself who have similar interests and a passion for what they love and don’t mind sharing; it’s during our annual grants celebration when I’m prompted to take a quick glance into the eyes of any current or past governance council member or volunteer, as she listens intently to the words rendered by a grant recipient and that, “seal of approval” that is rendered by a smile or a handclap, is why I volunteer.  To receive more than I can ever give while being a part of something that is bigger than myself, is made easy when I volunteer for the Women’s Fund of Central New York. Barbara Manigault SpearsWomen’s Fund of Central New York Governance Council Member

March Newsletter

As I end two years as Chair of the Women’s Fund of CNY’s Governance Council, I want to express my gratitude and thanks to all of the exceptional individuals who have volunteered and donated to the Fund. As a volunteer driven organization, the Council and its working 

Women's Summer Science Camp

In 2012-2013 the Women’s Fund received a grant proposal from the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).  Despite the growth of opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the proposal pointed out that there was a significant lack of women entering those fields.  The MOST’s proposal addressed that gap with an approach to involve young women with STEM in a fun and engaging way: a Summer Science Camp designed especially for sixth-grade girls from the Syracuse City School District. With support from the Women’s Fund (grant cycles in 2012-13 and 2013-14) the MOST has held the week-long summer camp for last two summers where the girls not only had fun while learning about science, they were also exposed to many new experiences."As education director at the MOST, I have had the opportunity to see some of the girls again when they visited as part our SCSD Sixth Grade Program. I am always greeted with hugs and high fives. It is so nice to see how happy they are to be back at the MOST to learn more about science!"By: Meriel Stokoe, MOST Education Director

Women and Philanthropy ~ Giving Together

Women and PhilanthropySubmitted By Patti CallahanMy life as an individual female donor has pretty much evolved along the lines of women philanthropists in my generation. Back in high school, I aggressively sold class rings to raise money for the prom. When I graduated from Wells College, I agreed to be a class agent for the Annual Fund because I recognized the value of the education I received and wanted to give back. As a stay-at-home mom I was the volunteer room mother who was determined to make sure my son’s 2nd grade class would win the prize for selling the most magazines for Most Holy Rosary School, because we would not be able to pay the teachers without our fundraising efforts. Before I wrote a donation check, I would discuss it with my husband to convince him of the cause before invading the family budget.Over the years as my world expanded beyond my kids and my church, I began to join with other women in various capacities to raise funds for causes I care about. We ran special events and wondered how we could make the world a better place. Alongside these like-minded friends, I discovered, much like women everywhere, that our potential for influencing decisions is greatest when we band together. We can achieve greater outcomes, outcomes which truly make a difference, by pooling our resources, including our charitable dollars.   These days, women control a growing proportion of wealth, including a majority of the wealth transfer through inheritance we in the not-for-profit advancement field have been talking about for decades.  That wealth, combined with the collaborative nature of women, bodes well for organizations like the Women’s Fund of Central New York. The Women’s Fund and similar collaborative efforts bring women together to improve the quality of life and opportunities for women and girls. As we work in partnership to raise funds that will address critical needs in our own community, we stand on the shoulders of women who came before us. We flex our collective muscles and give from our hearts to address pressing problems with sustainable solutions. As more women recognize and act upon the power and influence of their philanthropic efforts, the world will surely become a better place to raise our daughters and granddaughters!

Women's Summer Science Camp a Huge Success!

In 2012 the Women’s Fund received a grant proposal from the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).  Despite the growth of opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the proposal pointed out that there was a significant lack of women entering those fields.  The MOST’s proposal addressed that gap with an approach to involve young women with STEM in a fun and engaging way: a Summer Science Camp designed especially for sixth-grade girls from the Syracuse City School District. With support from the Women’s Fund (grant cycles in 2012-13 and 2013-14) the MOST has held the week-long summer camp for last two summers where the girls not only had fun while learning about science, they were also exposed to many new experiences.One experience the girls especially enjoyed was meeting female scientists who came to talk about their careers. Listening to these women’s presentations empowered the girls and made them aware of the many STEM career options available to them.The camp field trips were also a great success and offered an opportunity for the girls to bond with one another. Both years, the girls visited the Clark Reservation State Park. While it’s so easy for many of us to take for granted the ease with which we can go for a walk in the countryside, for these girls it was a new and intimidating experience. During the trips, the campers were led on nature walks and played games. The delight was evident on the girls’ faces as they played and became acclimated to the outdoors.During the 2014 camp season, a second field trip was added to visit Syracuse University. The girls toured labs, watched demonstrations, and participated in experiments in a real lab environment. And of course, they were rewarded a bonus with a surprise visit from Otto the Orange! It was quickly evident how the trip had inspired the girls, many of whom were talking about their aspirations to attend college while still walking around the campus.At the end of each camp session, the girls were surveyed about their experiences. When asked, many of the girls replied that there wasn’t anything they would change about the camp, though a couple did provide more extensive feedback along the lines of “Make it longer, like a few years!”As education director at the MOST, I have had the opportunity to see some of the girls again when they visited as part our SCSD Sixth Grade Program. I am always greeted with hugs and high fives. It is so nice to see how happy they are to be back at the MOST to learn more about science!

Women's Fund News & Notes | Summer 2013

2014-2015 Annual Report

In 2014-2015, the Women's Fund of Central New York embraced the theme of Making an Impact. This year's annual report is about all that we've accomplished with the support of our donors and volunteers and the impact we've had on the lives of women and girls in CNY.

What I Was Looking For

By Karen S. DeJarnetteAfter 21 years at a company I realized I knew a lot about the organization and its products and services. I knew a lot about their stakeholders all over the world and could tell you great places to eat and things to do in airports in San Francisco, Paris, and Singapore. However, I was so focused on work I could not tell you a lot about the region in which I lived.  My focus changed when I had the opportunity to go back to school full time. I wanted to do more in the region where I had planted my roots. But how and what? I learned over the next several years there was more than one company in CNY and more ‘opportunities’ (nope, still have not lost my corporate speak) to address.  I worked with community based organizations, associations, and municipal/county/state offices to draft grant proposals and request funding for workforce needs. It was engaging work and it introduced me to a large number of caring, forward-thinking people in the community. Yet, as we wrote our applications I felt as if the Requests for Proposals left something out.  The proposals were for people who needed help, but there were other projects that just did not meet the criteria and had real needs which could not be addressed by the funding sources identified.  I wanted to be involved in an organization where women helped other women succeed and attain their dreams.  Then I was introduced to the Women’s Fund of Central New York. “Women are philanthropists by nature!” Katie Doucette told me and went on to say we should use our voices and dollars to support worthwhile programs.  “Volunteer, make a difference!” said Carolyn May when she asked me to use my understanding of grants (and my penchant for matrices) and join the Women’s Fund Grants Committee. I have been an active volunteer for the Women’s Fund ever since!  I am energized by the dynamic women in this organization; women who live the mission to empower women and girls in Central New York. Together we have dreamed BIG, working toward a million dollar endowment fund.  It is exciting to be one of the women involved in this organization. Whether you are member of the Governance Council, a volunteer, or a women engaged in the community we are all coming together and actively participating to take the organization to the next step.  Our contributions, no matter how big or small, are making a positive difference for the women and girls in Central New York….and that’s exactly what I was looking for! 

2013 Annual Report

The 2013 Women's Fund Annual Report is here!!! The Women's Fund of Central New York had an amazing year in 2013! In this year's Annual Report, you will find:- Success stories from some of our past grants- A list of our 2013 grant recipients- A financial report of our endowment In addition, we wouldn't be able to do what we do without the support of our generous donors.View our supplemental 2012-2013 donor listing. We are grateful for everyone's support and look forward to another wonderful year ahead!

2013 Annual Report Insert: 2012-2013 Donor List

The Women's Fund of Central New York would not be able to do what we do without the support of our generous donors.  Thank you everyone for your support!

Annual Grant Awards Celebration 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Grant RecipientsBooker T. Washington Community Center: Developing Safe and Healthy RelationshipsCAP Madison County: Mary Rose Clinic - Healthy Women and GirlsChild Care Solutions: Columbus Day Professional Development ConferenceContact Community Services, Inc.: Mental Health and First Aid for Women of ColorFriends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park: ZooGuidesGirls Inc. at the YMCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County: Life Empowerment Action PlanMOST - Museumm of Science and Technology: Young Women Scientist Summer CampNetworking InterFaith Achievement (NIA) Ministries: "EXPRESS" Yourself Support and Transitional ProgramNorth Side Learning Center: A Unity of SistersPEACE, Inc.: Girl Empowerment Mentally & Socially (GEMS) to JewelsSomali-Bantu Community Association of Onondaga County, Inc.: Women and Girls' Empowerment ProjectVisions for Change: CirclesWomen's Opportunity Center: WOC Non-traditional Scholarship fundCheck out the photos from our 2014 Fall Endowment Celebration as we celebrated reaching our $1 Million endowment milestone.

Mid-Twenties and Civically Engaged

By Lauren CrossettVolunteering runs in my family. I think it may be genetic. For as long as I can remember both of my parents have been very active in the Central New York community so it was natural for me to do the same and now it has become standard practice for me.  My mother has chaired major fund raising campaigns for local non-profits and is always asking her colleagues to urge their company to donate to one fund or another.  My father supports smaller charities and is continually lobbying for workers’ rights.When I returned to Syracuse after graduating from  Fordham University I wanted to connect with the community again.  My parents were continually inviting me to fundraisers and events that they had some connection to and I started to tag along. I always like to know what’s going on and what’s happening where I live. Shortly after moving home I became involved with 40 Below and it was a natural fit. Through my participation in that organization I have met and worked with so many  people that like me wanted to have a pulse on the city and affect positive change to keep talented people here and engaged.From there my interest in community involvement only increased.  I joined the Junior League, I attended a few alumni association meetings for my high school, I helped my company support the Heart Association’s Heart Bash, and I also became involved with the Women’s Fund of CNY. I choose to participate when I know that a lot of people my age probably think it’s weird or don’t know how to go about it.  I feel lucky to know and continue to meet so many people that believe like me that it’s important to not just have a house somewhere but to be an active and engaged community member.   I like that I know people when I walk into a coffee shop or restaurant and also am aware of what they care about and what they are involved in.The best part about the Women’s Fund is that we collectively ask the community to band together to support the local efforts of women at a grass roots level. We try and support as much as we can and do not focus on a single initiative, what a great way to hear about everything that is happening! 

Ingredients for Impact - Fall 2015

Ingredients for ImpactMore than 150 guests enjoyed an inspiring and delectible event featuring a presentation by Sheila G. Mains, CEO and founder of Brownie Brittle on Thursday, September 24th at the beautifully appointed Bellevue Country Club. We are so grateful to Sheila, our guests, and our generous sponsors for making this luncheon a huge success! Support for the Women's Fund of Central New York means support for the women in our community. Check out some photos from the event below, courtesy of SRW Joyce Photography. 

2014 Newsletter and Annual Report

See how the Women's Fund made an impact on the lives of CNY women and girls in our 2013-2014 Annual Report and Newsletter.

Empowering Refugee Women and Girls

The Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) has been helping refugees in Syracuse since 2004.  Thanks to the support and grants awarded from the Women’s Fund, the work done by the SBCA over the last decade has impacted the lives of many women and girls.In 2011, the Women’s Fund awarded the SBCA a grant to fund the Mother and Children Program, which provided refugees with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, individualized tutoring, and citizenship classes. This program helped more than 50 mothers and their children, and was made possible with the help of volunteers from Syracuse University, who provided childcare so the mothers could actively participate in the weekly sessions. These women worked hard and studied long hours, and almost 30 of them passed the test on their first try, despite their rudimentary English language skills.After two years of working with the women in this program, SBCA staff identified a significant barrier facing the Association and the refugee community at-large: while there were a great number of women refugees in the Syracuse area, very few were aspiring to assume leadership roles. In their native culture, these women and school-age girls stay at home and do not participate in local government, and the SBCA made it their mission to help these women assimilate to life in the U.S. and the new leadership opportunities available to them here.From this initiative came the Women Empowerment Project, which focused primarily on building dialogue and negotiation skills in order to help these women learn to express their needs publicly and actively participate in local governance. The program, which was made possible through a grant provided by the Women’s Fund, taught these women the skills needed to acquire and retain jobs, earn promotions, assume leadership positions in community organizations, and advocate on behalf of other refugees like themselves. Many of the women in the program were motivated to finish high school and college degrees and aspire to professional careers previously unavailable to them, like those in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.As a result of theWomen Empowerment Project, SBCA elected Mrs. Sangabo Abdi as its first female Board President and recruited Ms. Khadija Musa as its first female secretary. In September 2014, a group of young women from the program, along with SBCA’s Executive Director, Haji Adan, visited Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.  During this visit, the women comfortably shared their thoughts about the program and the center’s impact. The Mayor was thrilled with the work the SBCA was doing to empower the Somali Bantu refugee women, and encouraged them to work closely with other refugee ethnic communities, to leverage the leadership skills and lessons learned to help the refugee community address the challenges facing them.This program, which originally began as a way to help refugee women learn English and gain U.S. citizenship, has grown and evolved into something that’s not only helping these refugees start over in America, but is helping to educate them to make their lives and the lives of those like them better. The SBCA shares the core fundamentals of education, advocacy and creating change with the Women’s Fund, and in working together, the two organizations have had an impact on countless lives.  

WOMEN’S FUND HONORED GRANTEES AT AWARDS RECEPTION

 April 18, 2012 (Syracuse, NY) - Nine nonprofit organizations from Onondaga, Madison and Cayuga Counties were awarded grants at the Women’s Fund of Central New York’s annual grant awards reception, held on April 17. The organizations received grants totaling $24,000 to fund programs that support the advancement and full participation of women and girls in Central New York. Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc. received $1,500 to help provide supplies that will enable women fleeing abusive relationships to maintain or obtain employment. Child Care Solutions received $1,500 to partner with Cooperative Federal to provide an intensive financial literacy program to 15 local women who own a child care business. Community Action Partnership of Madison County received $1,500 to support for the Transitional Housing Program, which provides fully furnished homes for homeless families. CONTACT Community Services, Inc. received $2,000 to support the L.A.D.I.E.S. program, a mentoring program for young women in the Paving R Way after school program at Lincoln Middle School. Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship/Whitman School of Management received $9,000 to partner with WISE Women’s Business Center, Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship and the Southside Innovation Center to establish an entrepreneurial Kick Start gift fund for low income women who desire to start or who have started a business. Friends of Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park received $2,450 to enhance support for the Fellows program portion of ZooGuides, a science-based internship program for underserved teens. Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc. received $1,140 to support Project Butterfly, a youth development program for young women. Syracuse Habitat for Humanity received $1,250 to support f the Women Build program, which enables women to participate in planning, fundraising and construction of a home. YWCA Syracuse and Onondaga County received $3,660 to hire a consultant to help train staff and develop a manual for new computer software at the Girls Inc. facility. The Women’s Fund of Central New York supports, empowers and recognizes the advancement and full participation of women and girls in Central New York through an endowment fund, grants and initiatives. Since its inception in 1998, the Women’s Fund has supported 46 different organizations with grants totaling nearly $139,000, and is in the midst of a three-year campaign to grow its endowment to $1 million.  For more information or to make a donation visit: www.womensfundofcny.org. The Women’s Fund of Central New York is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation. Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $128 million. It awards close to $5.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually and has invested more than $100 million in the community since its inception. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of nearly 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit www.cnycf.org. 

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Gift Policy

Women's Fund Gift Acceptance PolicyContributions Any cash gift or its equivalent (i.e. stocks, etc.) given to the Women’s Fund will be directed to that year’s operating budget* to support the organization’s mission and vision, unless otherwise specifically stated by the donor.  Any net revenues at the close of the operating year will be rolled into the endowment. Pledges All pledges and subsequent pledge payments will go directly into the endowment, unless otherwise specifically stated by the donor. Major Events Any ticket sales, sponsorship or contributions to the Women Fund occurring between the major event announcement and one month post event, will be considered as a gift to that year’s operating budget*, unless otherwise specifically stated by the donor. Planned Gifts Any planned gift will honor the donor’s specific intentions. Matching Funds Any matching funds will follow the intent of the donor’s gift to which the match applies.*Note any expenditure of revenue is subject to the review and approval of the Council. 

Home

Making A Difference Through Grant Funding! The Women's Fund of Central New York is truly making a difference in the lives of women and girls from Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties. Visit the WFCNY Grant Impact page to learn more about our past grant recipients and awardees!Women's Fund Leadership CouncilStatement of SolidarityAs an organization whose mission is to improve and empower the lives of women and girls, we believe that Black Lives Matter.We stand with our Leadership Council sisters and the Black community at large.  We are committed to dismantling the systems and policies that have prevented the advancement and full participation of Black women and girls.From funding initiatives like Tubman Troupe in Auburn to helping provide meals at the Tucker Missionary Baptist Church during the current crisis, The Women's Fund has long been committed to supporting the Black community in Central New York.In recent years we have been proactive about diversifying our board to better represent the community of women and girls we serve.  We will continue to do so in order to effect positive change from within our organization and find new ways to more effectively serve our community.  Moving forward, here’s what you can do to support and engage in this critical time:· Have "Courageous Conversations"· Support Black-owned businesses· Donate to organizations or volunteer for organizations that seek to engage and support Black communitiesThe Women’s Fund Leadership Council is committed to continuing support for Black women and girls in our community – now, and in the future.We encourage you to do the same.  We are, after all, stronger together.What We Do

Summer 2012 Newsletter

A Note from our Chair...Your Dollars at Work...Fall Breakfast-Save the Date...Success Through Giving...and more!

About Us

About UsThe 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 MosleyToday, 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 $280,000 in funding for Central New York organizations and programs dedicated to helping women and girls.

A Note from Our Chair

My name is Diana Gerrish and I am the new Governance Council Chair of the Women’s Fund of Central New York. I work at Lockheed Martin in Liverpool as an Engineering Program Manager and live in Syracuse with my husband Dave and two children, Wesley (7) and Hattie (4). We share the house with two cats and a dog. I have been volunteering with the Women’s Fund since 2006, starting in committee work and becoming a Governance Council member in 2009. This year, I have the honor of succeeding Sarah Merrick as the Chair.I am keenly aware of the needs of women and girls in our community, and I am proud to help through the Women’s Fund grant process and fund raising. Personally, my volunteer work has helped me grow. I have learned to expand my thinking beyond daily tasks, and, with the other Governance Council members, help shape the Women’s Fund of CNY for the future. I am often inspired and energized by the many talented and stimulating women donors, volunteers and grant recipients I’ve met through the Women’s Fund. Please join me in supporting the Women’s Fund of CNY’s mission through your contributions of time, talent and money. I’m sure you will find it a rewarding experience.

Women's Fund Camp Scholarship Fosters STEM Learning For Girls

By Tom Meier“FLASH FLOOD! 10-9-8-7-6…”As the counselor counts down to zero, campers scatter in all directions. Some find large logs to jump upon, others climb trees or dangle from low branches. If they aren’t at least 12 inches off the ground by the time the countdown ends, they get swept away by the imaginary flood waters and lose the game.This was a popular game this summer at Baltimore Woods Nature Day Camp in Marcellus, NY. In all, 575 local children came throughout the eight weeks to explore the forests, look for frogs and crayfish, paint their faces with clay from the creek, build forts with sticks, cook over a fire, and jump feet first into the swamp. They came to learn about nature and science, to make new friends, and to spend time outside learning to care about the environment. At least, that’s why the parents send them. The kids mostly want to play – as they should.As adults, we get caught up in wanting our children to perform well in school, to get good grades so they can get good jobs – and that is perfectly fine…so long as we do not forget the importance of balance in a child’s development, and that spending time in unstructured outdoor play is crucial to the mental, spiritual, physical, and even social health of children. That’s where Nature Play comes in.Nature play, very simply, is time spent playing in and with nature. That’s important – it is not playing on a playground, or on a sports team. It is playing outside, in the woods, or a field, or an overgrown weed lot, somewhere with branches and logs and rocks, water, frogs, chipmunks, salamanders, and mud. It is unstructured and lacks adult interference.Nature Play is different. It isn’t about toys, or curriculum standards, or formal mathematical equations. It is self-led discovery, self-directed problem solving, self-motivated physical development, self-taught learning through direct observation and experimentation. It builds self-esteem and confidence. It sparks imagination, curiosity, and creativity. All of which make for good scientists and engineers.Nature play also sows the seeds for environmental stewardship, for children to grow up with a personal connection to the natural world and a set of personal ethics that includes taking care of the land.Play is work for young children. It may not look like it to us, but it really is. The benefits of this “work” for them cannot be overestimated. At Baltimore Woods, we believe that every child should have a chance to play outside, as much as possible, and to reap those benefits.Baltimore Woods Nature Center was grateful to have received camp scholarship funds in the form of a Lockheed Martin-sponsored grant from the Women’s Fund of Central New York. With this money we were able to bring young girls to our summer nature day camp and give them the opportunity to play outside, connect with the natural world, and to benefit from time spent in nature. In time, these girls may become future scientists and engineers helping to solve humanity’s problems in harmony with nature. 

Get Involved!

As a volunteer driven program, the Women’s Fund relies on many hands to make its work run smoothly. Members can participate in public relations, event planning, membership recruitment ....

Your Dollars at Work: Menorah Park

Menorah Park has been caring for Central New York seniors for 100 years. Over the years, many of its on-staff certified nursing attendants have wanted to work toward earning high school diplomas or GEDs. But they didn’t have the money, time, or other resources to pursue their dreams. Administrators at Menorah Park looked into partnering with other nursing homes that offered on-site trainings, but found that employees couldn’t make the necessary transportation and logistics work. That’s when the Women’s Fund stepped in.A 2010 grant let Menorah Park administrators buy computers to help staff with their educations. Thanks to the Women’s Fund, the organization is now able to offer a collaborative program called ESPORT, which helps build confidence and life skills—crucial ingredients in any self-improvement plan. After that first infrastructure grant, Menorah Park partnered with the employee union to offer GED training. Shirley Hicks, a dietary associate with Menorah Park for 17 years, was the first employee to get her GED. Success story number two was Melissa Doris, a CNA who said she was embarrassed at not having a high school diploma. She wanted a GED so she could show her children the importance of education. Melissa was chosen by the New York Association for Continuing/Community Education as the New York State Adult Education Student of the Year. She traveled to Albany to receive her GED certificate, and had the chance to make a short speech to the state legislature.Thanks to the Women’s Fund grant, Menorah Park hosts on-site training and education, including courses that directly affect employees’ skills and wage-earning capacities. And that kind of empowerment helps everyone in the community.

Give A Gift

Gifts of any size will support the mission of the Women’s Fund. Special recognition is given to women who contribute ....

Success Through Giving: Judy Mower

If success were measured by the sheer number of awards a person accumulated, Dr. Judith Mower would be a superstar. In the last nine months alone, Judy has received a Community Team Spirit Award from the Salvation Army for her business leadership and philanthropy; been named one of “The 100 Who Inspire Girls to Lead and Achieve” by the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways; received an Orange Circle Award for altruism in the Syracuse community from her alma mater, Syracuse University; and been given the 2012 Wisdom Keeper Award by F.O.C.U.S Greater Syracuse. It’s no coincidence that so many community groups have chosen to honor Judy Mower. Her energy, wisdom, passion, and vision have helped make Central New York a better place for decades.In 1998, Judy was one of a small group of like-minded women who created the Women’s Fund to empower women as philanthropists and transform the lives of women and girls around the Central New York region. As a founding member, Judy contributed $10,000 to the fledgling organization. “I needed, and wanted, to be comfortable giving to things I felt passionate about,” she recalls. Clearly she accomplished that goal. Her initial gift was followed by annual donations, including her most recent pledge of $20,000. But dollars and cents are only part of what Judy has to offer. “It’s important for me and other women to learn how to give money, use money, and ask for money,” she says. “That’s how women become community leaders.”For Judy, the real rewards of giving go far beyond any public recognition. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t need to buy more things,” she explains. “It’s very meaningful for me to give back. I feel satisfied knowing I’ve helped someone else, and that I can help change our corner of the world for the better.” The Women’s Fund is fortunate to be on Judy Mower’s long list of charitable priorities.

View Our Grants

Gifts of any size will support the mission of the Women’s Fund. Special recognition is given to women who contribute ....

News and Notes Summer 2012

Global GrowthWhen it comes to driving economic growth in developing countries, entrepreneurship is key. And women make excellent small-business owners. “Being an entrepreneur allows a woman to be economically independent, more so when there are highly opportune markets to be tapped,” said Sairee Chalal, founder of Fleximoms, in an interview in USA Today. Chalal and others attended the recent Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network conference in New Delhi, which brought together some of the top businesswomen in the world. “India is a green field of amazing opportunities,” Lakshmi Pratury, founder of the Ink Conference, told USA Today. “The unorganized sector—household help, people who sell vegetables by the side of the road—are almost all women. That’s what’s going to work in India: many, many small-business owners.” See more at http://tinyurl.com/6ql9vkd.  And speaking of entrepreneurs . . .Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia, a venture accelerator for women-led high-growth companies, has four rules for up-and-coming women entrepreneurs. Number 1: Less QQ, More Pew Pew! Or less whining, more shooting at your goal. Find the other three at http://tinyurl.com/6mzxnxp.Fund FactsWelcome to our three new Governance Council members – Patricia Callahan, Shelby Redmond, and Carol Wixson.Thank you to Governance Council members who have recently finished their board service – Lee Gatta, Carolyn May, Sarah Merrick (chair), Shannon Nelson, Elizabeth Ross, Karen Schroeder, and Laura Spring.

Grant Seekers

Gifts of any size will support the mission of the Women’s Fund. Special recognition is given to women who contribute ....

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Women's Fund of CNY 2012 Annual Report | A Note From Our Chair, 2012 Grantees, Volunteer Committees, Donors, & More!

Grantmaking

Grants and Guidelines for 2020The Women's Fund 2020 grant cycle has been closed. For a list of awarded grants, please click here. 

A Note From Our Chair

The Women’s Fund of Central New York was a brainstorm in 1998, recorded its first donations with the Community Foundation of Central New York in March 1999, and gave out its first grants in 2001, when its endowment reached $170,000 in donations and three-year pledges. Today, halfway through our campaign to boost our endowment to $1M, it’s clear we’ve come a long way. Over the years, the Women’s Fund of CNY has given out nearly $140,000 in grants to organizations that fulfill our mission: To support, empower and recognize the advancement and full participation of women and girls in Central New York. Our endowment was $839,471 at the end of the 2012 fiscal year (March 31, 2012) and we distributed $24,000 in grants at our Spring Event on April 17, 2012. We’re creating a wonderful legacy for our community. Some things haven’t changed since those early days though. The Women’s Fund continues to be managed by a passionate, dedicated group of women who volunteer their time and skills. Personally, I love the stories from the early days of the Fund. One former Chair told me how the Governance Council would meet in someone’s living room to seal envelopes containing newsletters or event invitations. (With a mailing list of over 2,000, we now use a mail house!) The women put in this level of effort because they wanted, and we want, our donors’ gifts to fulfill the Women’s Fund mission as much as possible. The commitment and collaboration of Women’s Fund volunteers strengthen the organization and foster a network of women in Central New York focused on helping one another. Once our endowment reaches $1 million, we’ll be able to give out larger grants and start new initiatives, like the 2012-13 year “Kick Start” grant, where working capital is given directly to qualified women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Fund Governance Council is beginning to look at other ideas that can leverage our funds to result in greater positive impact. I hope you’ll be a part of the change and the legacy by contributing to the Women’s Fund of Central New York – and help us get to $1 million! — Diana Gerrish 

Contact Us

Contact Us Name Email Company Message Security QuestionWhat is the opposite of hot? Mailing Address: Women’s Fund of Central New York C/O Central New York Community Foundation 431 East Fayette Street, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13202 Phone: 315-422-9538 Email: info@womensfundofcny.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/womensfundcny

Grantee Reporting Form

Grantees: complete and email to info@womensfundofcny.org 

Blog

News and Stories from the Womens Fund of CNY Stay up to date with the latest from the Women's Fund of CNY.

Leadership Council

Leadership Council - Women at WorkWith the help of Peggy Ogden, former President & CEO of the Community Foundation, we organized and formed our Leadership Council. In addition, we forged consensus on our mission, our values and these four goals:Identify and provide funding for causes that support and empower women and girlsDevelop and recognize leadership in women and girlsPromote the status of women in the community at largeEstablish in women a sense of identity and responsibility as philanthropistsIn 2001 and 2002 we gave out our first small grants, to mentoring and leadership development programs for girls, to scholarships enabling women to attend training programs in political leadership (one of whom has since been elected to public office), to dialogue circles bringing together girls and women from different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, and to finance an internship in public service law. Since those first grant rounds we have distributed more than $280,000 to programs benefiting women and girls in Central New York. Each year, as the Fund grows, we are able to give more and more.Beth Lynn Hoey, ChairBeth Lynn Hoey has served in the non-profit development field for 29 years.  She is currently the Director of Development for Francis House, a position she has held for the past 23 years.  Beth has been accredited as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 2000.Outside of her position at Francis House, Beth is passionate about training and mentoring non-profits in development, strategic planning, governance and non-profit leadership.  She has presented locally and nationally. She most enjoys enabling non-profit staff and volunteers to recognize and foster a culture of philanthropy within their organization and community.Beth is serving her third year on the leadership council of the Women’s Fund of CNY.  Her past volunteer service includes: board member and past president of the Central New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP); board member of the Central New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); board member of the Junior League of Syracuse; board member for Friends of Jowonio; board member and board chair for Gingerbread House Preschool and Daycare. She was a founding member and past chair of the Leave a Legacy Program for Central New York. Beth lives in Marietta with her husband and four children. She tries to find time to bike, play her accordion and hammer dulcimer, and spend time with her two miniature donkeys.Beth can be reached at bhoey@twcny.rr.com.Women’s Fund of CNY Leadership Council 2020-2021Liz ArmstrongMargaret BarclayGinny BiesiadaJill CharskyJalyn CliffordRina Corigliano-HartSue EdsonMaureen FlynnAnna HartwellCarolyn HendricksonBeth Lynn HoeyLynn HyJen LiddyKate MichaelsLisa MooreCindy OehmigenTamika OtisElizabeth QuilterCaeresa RichardsonBarb StoneKimberly TownsendMeega Wells

Winter 2013 Newsletter

A Note From Our Chair, Emerging Entrepreneurs, and more!

History of Women in Philanthropy

History of Women in Philanthropy While philanthropic funding dedicated solely to women-focused programs and organizations has, for many years, suffered in comparison to other efforts and movements, the history of women philanthropists in Central New York is, both literally and figuratively, a rich one. Their lives are fascinating, their stories are compelling, their accomplishments are legendary, their contributions are immense, and their legacies continue to endure and to enrich our lives!

Grant Applications

Grant Applications for 2020The Women's Fund is no longer accepting applications for the 2020 grant cycle. Please check back in early 2021. Thank you!

Women's Fund of CNY logo

For hi-res vector file, contact the Community Foundation at (315) 422-9538.

A Brief History Of Local Female Philanthropists

Women have a long history of philanthropy in Syracuse and Central New York. Women who saw a need to support and encourage others took upon themselves great societal challenges to help their neighbors cope and thrive and to make their communities better places to live.Over the years, philanthropy, in general, has been shaped by the culture and the social norms of the time in which it took place. Of course, it was further influenced by the particular life experiences of the individual philanthropist. Historian Nancy Hewitt said that, in general, particular philanthropic ventures are shaped by "gender, racial, ethnic, and class relations rooted in structures of social, political, and economic power." This is especially true for the female philanthropists of the 19th and early 20th centuries – a progressive era that witnessed great change in the role of women in society and in how that role influenced their philanthropy as society evolved and as women gained more rights and more self-consciousness.During that progression though, there is no mistaking that some of the female philanthropy of the 19th century would, today, be considered elitist and morally authoritarian and, in many cases, even misguided. Historically, women were the primary institution builders for philanthropic causes and, for the most part, these institutions arose from seriously altruistic intentions, but in the context of the local culture and social norms of the time, there were certain segments of the population that were minimized, or even adversely affected.For example: although Central New York was a hotbed of abolitionist activity, philanthropy to benefit minority populations is conspicuous by its absence from the great majority of organized philanthropic societies and associations in the 19th century, which were usually started by white middle and upper class women. There were concerted efforts to "benefit" Native Americans but this generally involved efforts to purge them of their native traditions (by any means necessary) in order to absorb them into the mainstream of white American Christian culture.In the 19th century, one of the great minority classes, of course, consisted of women themselves. Let's face it – it was definitely a man's world and women, on the whole, were subordinate to men. For some women of the 19th century, philanthropy, particularly financial philanthropy gave them the ability to compensate for their own frustrations about being subordinate to men by participating in the subordination of others – even other women. The New York Women's Hospital, for example, which was founded and funded by women and even had a board of lady managers was involved in practices that are seriously disturbing to the feminists and humanitarians of today. Historian and women's specialist, Ruth Crocker states that, "white women's rights sometimes rested historically on the immiseration of other women."What is most important to acknowledge and remember, however, is that the vast majority of truly charitable and humanitarian organizations in existence in our community today that benefit all mankind would never have begun at all without the women of the 19th century. Though these organizations, their methods, and their beneficiaries have changed with the times, it was women, who without access to capital, took it upon themselves to do what they could to benefit others.From the early years of Syracuse and Central New York, as in the rest of the country, female philanthropy centered on Volunteer Associations, which were started by women, mostly religious women. These Associations were carried on from private homes or church basements – far from the plush offices and board rooms of their influential, moneyed male counterparts. These volunteers were involved in creating an infrastructure that eventually led to institution building. Many of our charitable organizations in existence today, from the Rescue Mission to the Syracuse Home Association, were started by women and their Volunteer Associations.Volunteering was a particularly proper and acceptable activity for the 19th century woman and, for the elite classes, it was expected. The perception of women as more kind-hearted, compassionate, benevolent, and giving than men made the sacrifice of self, or substance, especially appropriate and was, in fact, considered, according to Croker," the essence of Christian womanliness". In the 19th century, charitable activity and Volunteer Associations also allowed women to have a more extensive public and social life, to get out of the house and, in a way, overcome some of the legal and social barriers that the time would have otherwise imposed.There is, of course, another very good reason why female philanthropy was rooted almost entirely in volunteerism – women did not have access to money. By 1860, women constituted only 5.6% of wealth holders in the U.S. At the time, our culture was not very comfortable with the relation between females and finance. In general, women who worked, invested, or speculated for the purpose of accumulating wealth ran the risk of being considered unnatural or unfeminine. Once the Voluntary Associations they started became public institutions they were inevitably run by men. Wealth accumulation was strictly a man's realm and, although women were certainly allowed to work (in some occupations), if they were married or lived with their fathers, they were mostly required to hand over their salaries to the man of the house.At the time, the vast majority of women's wealth was a result of inheriting or marrying into fortunes. But for many of these women, this money gave them the ability to take female philanthropy, and their causes, into a new realm, opening doors to activism and reform, where institutions were not only built by women, but sustained and run by them as well. Of course, in a study of philanthropy, it matters less how you got it than what you did with it.At first, women often gave to their husband's causes or to memorialize their fathers, in addition to their own volunteer organizations – usually to benefit children, the sick and the elderly. Eventually, more individual, esoteric beneficiaries appeared such as the arts and culture. Education was a popular beneficiary though, again, at first they were the schools of husbands and fathers or big-name schools (none of which accepted females) that provided a certain air of prestige and renown for the donor, and gave them the sense of power and authority that they had been denied. As time went on, female philanthropists became more concerned with women's causes such as education for women, suffrage, the right to vote, the ability to control their own resources, and equality. As we move further into the 20th century, minority causes and organizations with a wider geographic scope, like national or international relief agencies, became more prevalent.We will see these trends as we take a closer look and highlight a few individual female philanthropists from our local history to show how their lives and times influenced their giving and what impact their particular philanthropy had on our community. Most of these women had a long history of volunteer activity during their lifetimes but, with some exceptions, the historical record of their financial philanthropy deals mainly with the distribution of their estates, as directed by their Last Will & Testaments.

WFCNY Grant Impact

Grants Awarded Since 2001, the Women’s Fund of Central New York has awarded more than $325,000 to local organizations and programs supporting women and girls. These were made possible through the generous support of our fund’s donors. Grant Spotlight Past Grants

Emerging Entrepreneurs

   Women-owned businesses are changing the landscape of the business world for the better—generating $1.3 trillion in revenues annually, up more than 58 percent over the past 15 years. In that spirit, the Women’s Fund of Central New York tested the waters of funding eight women entrepreneurs to grow their fledgling businesses. With the leadership of the WISE Women’s Business Center the program model of $9,000 ($1,000 for each woman and $1,000 for scholarships to conferences and classroom activity) was part of the annual Grants Committee of the Women’s Fund 2012 awards. The Committee felt it was a new way of increasing the “good” in our community by generating economic impact at the grass-roots level. Eight women worked hard to personally save $1,000. After they achieved that milestone, Cooperative Federal Credit Union matched savings with another $1,000. Then the third $1,000 from the Women’s Fund “Kick Start” program and administered through the Whitman School of Management’s Falcone Center kicked in with another $1,000! So these women will be starting their businesses with a strong $3,000. Congratulations! • Rashida E Shabazz, Rashida’s Transformation Center, Salon services • Lucy Marr, Tall Tails, Online retail store for those who use service animals • Kimberly Murch Huffman, K.M. Murch & Associates, Educational design and community organizing consultancy • Brenda Muhammad, Relatively Speaking, A genealogy-based investigation firm • Antonisha Trapps, Afica (Where Beauty’s Natural) salon, natural and multi-natural hair care • Bernadette Rella, Ma Ma Rella’s Fine Foods, Family recipes – Marinara Sauce, Riggie Sauce, Alfredo Sauce • Abigail Henson, LoFo, Gourmet chef and restaurant-- owner, locavore, fresh foods concept • Phyllis Ivey, Pilates with Phyllis, Fitness and skin care center We wish these new business women the best of everything and expect to hear of tremendous progress far into the future with this Women’s Fund investment! 

Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage

Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage led a fascinating life of ironic extremes: from serious poverty to immense wealth and from an ultra-conservative upbringing to a progressive reformist legacy. As a young adult, she struggled to prove herself as a woman who was prepared to live a life of “single blessedness”, free from the Victorian-era’s stereotype of a woman who was subordinate to, and financially dependent upon, a man. That freedom and financial independence, however, were eventually achieved later in life only through the all too typical inheritance from a filthy rich husband. As an elderly widow, the convergence of her long-standing charitable inclinations, her mission to improve society and open opportunities for women, and her newly overflowing purse allowed her to become one of the greatest female philanthropists our world has ever known.Olivia, as she preferred to be called, grew up in Syracuse as a child of privilege. By all accounts she was very smart, fun, vivacious, well liked, and socially conscious. Her devoutly religious family was a member of the conservative First Presbyterian Church, which remained staunchly opposed to reform movements such as women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. Her father, Joseph Slocum, lost his fortune in bad business deals before Olivia reached her teenage years but, thanks to sponsorship from a wealthy uncle, Olivia was educated at the prestigious, and expensive, Troy Female Seminary.The Seminary was an academically rigorous school that quietly advocated financial independence for women through education. There, Olivia became enchanted by the potential for reform regarding the traditionally conservative, and dependant, role of women in 19th century society. The school’s founder and headmistress, Emma Willard (for whom the school was eventually named) became Olivia’s greatest mentor. Syracuse and upstate New York in the mid-1800’s was a particularly active area for the women’s rights movement. Olivia herself marks 1848, the year of the “Declaration of Sentiments” in Seneca Falls, as the beginning of her interest in women’s rights. In 1852, the Third National Women’s Rights Convention was held in Syracuse while Olivia was living there.Shortly after her graduation, out of financial necessity, Olivia became a teacher (one of the only acceptable female professions of the time). As a working woman, she experienced the limited opportunities and overworked/underpaid difficulties common to all working women of the 19th century.As she moved from teaching job to job, she was always involved in voluntary work and always gave a portion of her small salary to charity. Though she made very little money (averaging about $200 per year), she traveled in prominent circles with the social contacts she made as a young girl. By 1854, the Slocum family was forced to abandon their home and they disbursed, living off the generosity of others in the grand homes of relatives and friends. Though certainly not a destitute existence, it was nevertheless humbling and embarrassing and Olivia had the occasional experience of living in shared one-room hovels.At times she worked as a governess/teacher/guest in the mansions of some of Syracuse’s wealthiest families, like the Leavenworths, the Barnes, and the Longstreets of Yates Castle. These positions embodied the ironic combination of a working professional woman within a domestic setting and they are, in a way, emblematic of her life as a progressive advocate within the general confines of acceptable 19th century restrictions and limitations.She declined a few marriage proposals because she felt that they were not to her advantage and were too restricting. Olivia was not the kind of woman who would have been satisfied with domestic life on the farm. Though she had no money, she had expensive tastes and lots of rich friends who enjoyed her intellectually stimulating and charmingly entertaining company.Finally, in 1869, at 41 years of age, she became the 2nd wife of widower, financier and railroad baron Russell Sage, one of the richest men in America. Unfortunately, for Olivia, he was also a terrible miser. She became a tireless volunteer supporting a wide range of causes from social work to the humane treatment of animals but she could rarely get Russell to part with more than token financial assistance for her charitable ventures. In a 1903 interview for a Syracuse newspaper, Olivia commented that the most frequent cause of unhappy marriages was the “absence of individual incomes”.Her work with Voluntary Associations often challenged the status quo of male dominance and dealt heavily with the education of women and women’s advancement into paid work and professions. Her philanthropy in progressive realms was tempered, however, by social convention and her evangelic Christian values, as she remained very conscious of the “proper” role of women in society. Later, when women were allowed to attend certain colleges, her philanthropy was geared toward protecting the morals and the standards of conduct of female undergraduates for whom she advocated a conservative, paternalistic environment that protected girls from dancing, drinking, smoking, and, of course boys (except in a strictly academic setting).In 1905, Olivia wrote an essay entitled “Opportunities and Responsibilities of Leisured Women” in which she wrote “Woman is responsible in proportion to the wealth and time at her command. While one woman is working for bread and butter, the other must devote her time to the amelioration of her laboring sister”.In 1906, Russell died, leaving almost $75,000,000 (the equivalent of about $1.8 billion in today’s dollars) to Olivia and she began one of the most aggressive philanthropic binges in American history. There is scarcely an organization or educational institution in Syracuse that did not benefit greatly from her largesse, which included the purchase of Yates Castle, where she once worked teaching the Longstreet children, as the home of a new Teacher’s College for Syracuse University.A list of the countless beneficiaries of her gifts would fill pages but you will have some idea of the number when you consider that in the remaining 12 years of her life she gave away over $45,000,000. She received over 300 “begging” letters per day and hired an entire staff to sort through the requests. She was a careful and conservative benefactor who believed in serious investigation of potential beneficiaries and she only gave to those who showed the inclination and motivation to help themselves.By 1907, when she became the nation’s largest individual taxpayer, thirteen years before women had the right to vote, her support for women’s suffrage and representation took on an understandably greater urgency.Olivia was still, however, a woman of her times and she named many of her gifts after her husband and the other men in her family, including the Russell Sage Foundation, which she founded with an initial gift of $10,000,000. Even the college for women she founded was given the name Russell Sage. Many believe that her motive in these regards, including her many gifts to prestigious universities (regardless of their attitude toward accepting and educating women) was her attempt to salvage Russell’s reputation, which was less than stellar on several counts.Although Olivia had the best intentions, some of her gifts also demonstrate the misguided, morally elitist attitudes of the day. She was one of the lady managers of the New York Women’s Hospital whose practices are extremely upsetting to modern day feminists and humanitarians. She was also a large benefactor of the Carlisle School, which tried to purge Native Americans of their rich heritage, by any means necessary, in order to absorb them into the mainstream of white American Christian culture.For the most part, though, there is no denying that Olivia’s gifts allowed major advances in numerous and varied social services and causes including education, women’s rights, and healthcare among many others. The Russell Sage Foundation is still active in improving the social and living conditions in the United States.She was very generous to her family as well, though a woman of principle, she was not afraid to say no, even to them. One of her great nephews once wrote to her saying “Please send money – am one jump ahead of the sheriff”. Olivia’s short two-word reply was “Keep jumping”.She managed her own investments and was able, in the remaining twelve years of her life, to turn her $75,000,000 inheritance into almost $100,000,000. Her local roots proved beneficial to the Shubert brothers of Syracuse (who provided an excellent return on her investment) as she helped fund their New York City expansion and, together with other Syracuse investors, helped them build Broadway as we know it today.Her estate at the time of her death consisted of close to $50,000,000, almost all of which went to charity. Her bequests also demonstrated her personal evolution as she went against conventional trends (as well as her own historical record of giving) and provided generously for 2 African American institutions – Tuskeegee and Hampton Institutes.She chose to be buried next to her parents at Syracuse’s Oakwood Cemetery, as opposed to the Troy, New York cemetery where her husband was buried. The OHA archives contain a very rare (and, perhaps the only) photograph of a funeral in progress at Oakwood from the time, capturing the small but solemn scene at Olivia’s graveside.Though not consciously, Olivia spent the great majority of her ninety-year life preparing for the final twelve years of her philanthropic existence. Her life experiences created a strong sense of purpose and benevolence. The influence of Emma Willard and the reform environment of Syracuse instilled a feminist discontent tempered by her conservative Christian foundation. Her prominent marriage provided the time, and the social expectation, to immerse herself in Voluntary Associations. Though she had the good intentions, the inclination, the determination, and the experience, she was constantly frustrated, during her marriage, about not having the financial resources that would enable her to effect any real change. It’s no wonder that, after one year into widowhood, Olivia exclaimed, “I am nearly eighty years old and I feel as though I were just beginning to live”. In her final twelve years, Olivia gave and gave until she was physically exhausted. And even today, ninety-three years after her death, she is still giving.There is an argument about whether Sage’s philanthropy actually affected major change on a grand scale due to the fact that her funds were disbursed among so many organizations. I would say that, collectively, because her gifts were so large, she did effect major change, but probably not in any one particular field. In addition, because her philanthropy was centered in the Northeastern United States, the change she did effect would most likely not be considered as being on a geographically “grand” scale.But the question remains – can anyone effect major change on a grand scale without having millions or, these days, billions of dollars?The answer to that question comes in the last local female philanthropist to be highlighted with an all too brief mention of a local female philanthropist who is still among us.

Community Foundation

Central New York Community FoundationThe Women’s Fund of Central New York is a component affiliate fund of the Central New York Community Foundation. As an established 501(c)(3) organization, the Central New York Community Foundation oversees the Fund’s endowment and provides professional support to the Leadership Council. Using the Community Foundation to administer the Women’s Fund assures donors that their contributions are professionally managed as a permanent endowment for this community.About the Central New York Community FoundationEstablished in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region. The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $226 million. It awarded $14 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, it has invested nearly $170 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of more than 700 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges.The Women’s Fund Endowment: A Quick ReportingIn 1999, the Women’s Fund Endowment started with just $1,000 and a handful of committed women who wanted to make a difference.  More than 15 years and many donations from people like you later, the endowment now stands at more than $1 million and has helped nearly 70 local organizations by supporting women-focused programs, events and education with more than $280,000 in grants. The amount of grant dollars the Women’s Fund can award to local organizations varies each year based on the CNY Community Foundation’s disciplined investment and spending policies.To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit www.cnycf.org, call 315-422-9538 or email info@cnycf.org.

Give Thanks! Women’s Fund Fall 2012 Event – the Power of the 51%

Women’s Fund supporters gathered on October 30th to hear two inspiring speakers. Gregg Tripoli, Executive Director of the Onondaga Historical Association, high-lighted three women who have enhanced Central New York with their giving. Then, Aminy Audi, President of L. & J.G. Stickley and a Women’s Fund Founder, spoke about women’s philanthropy and the Women’s Fund of CNY. Mrs. Audi summarized giving into three categories: Duty Giving where you feel obliged to give, Grudge Giving where you feel forced to give, and Thanks Giving where you want to give. Thanks Giving is the most powerful because you give of your heart.Thanks Giving is clearly what established our Women’s Fund. Over 14 years, hundreds of women have given of their time, talent and treasure to move us towards our million dollar endowment goal and to support, empower and recognize the women and girls in Central New York. 

Margaret Tredwell Redfield Smith

Margaret was an educated woman and was a graduate of the Troy Female Seminary, later known as the Emma Willard School (after its famous headmistress). She shared with her husband (William Smith – a Railroad executive) a keen interest in natural history, and particularly in collecting shells, minerals and botanical specimens. Together, they were able to amass a serious collection of shells during their lifetimes. She was an accomplished writer and authored several highly acclaimed research papers, often based on historical themes, including a paper on the history of Iroquois Wampum, as well as a general history of Onondaga County, both of which are still regularly referenced at the Onondaga Historical Association. She was a correspondent and a frequent contributor to Syracuse’s Herald newspaper and a prolific poet. One of her more historically-pertinent and eloquent quotes: “We cannot bind scattered rose leaves together, nor bring the bloom again to the faded flower, but ‘life’s lost blossoms’ often leave an after glow and fragrance so rare, that memory, by some subtle power, retains them so firmly, that we almost believe that then is now. After all, we cannot separate the past from the present, so closely does the tide of what has been and what is, mingle together.”Margaret came from a prominent family, which owed much of its local status to her father, Louis Hamilton Redfield, who was a pioneer printer and publisher of “The Onondaga Register” here in Onondaga County. Her mother, Ann Maria Tredwell Redfield was also quite famous in her own right as an educator and author. Ann also graduated from the Troy seminary and Emma Willard was a frequent quest in the Redfield home. Margaret most likely inherited her interest in natural history from her mother, as Ann was the author of a widely disseminated book titled “Zoological Science or Nature in Living Forms.” The book, which was universally praised by educators and scientists throughout the United States and Canada, included a very impressively thorough “Chart of the Animal Kingdom.” Ann eventually served as the Preceptress of Onondaga Hollow, which would make her the early 19th century equivalent of Superintendent of Schools for Onondaga County. She was also the organizer of the Syracuse Historical Society, the President of which was nationally acclaimed preacher and abolitionist Reverend Samuel May.Margaret was old enough to remember many milestones of the early history of our community and, consequently, she became one of our early unofficial historians, following in the footsteps of her mother, and was one of the charter members of OHA. Upon the death of her husband, William, she inherited just a portion of his sizable estate, which left her comfortably situated, and she became a regular donor to local charities. He also left her the life use of their mansion on Irving Avenue, though the house could not be made a part of her estate because, according to the terms of his Will, upon her death, it went to her his residuary legatees. As a witness to the ravages of the Civil War, she was one of the earliest and largest contributors to the establishment of the Soldiers & Sailors monument in Clinton Square (which was originally intended as a monument to our Civil War soldiers).Despite the enormous accomplishments of the women in her family, the bulk of her fortune, however, (about $30,000, which is today’s equivalent of approximately $730,000), which she gave during her lifetime, went to the erection of a memorial to her father, Louis Redfield, in the form of a statue, which still stands today in Forman Park. As a result of this memorial, Margaret’s estate, at the time of her death, consisted of only about $5,000 (about $122,000 in today’s dollars) worth of personal property: mostly her shell collection and the contents of her home. The shells went to the Syracuse School District and the contents were divided between relatives, with her rare book collection and a good deal of her exceptional antique mahogany furniture going to OHA.

Wells College

$4,678.00

To support a STEAM workshop for ten high-achieving female high school students in Cayuga County.

Auburn Public Theater

$5,000.00

to perform The Tubman Troupe’s A Gatherin’ Place at Auburn Public Theater and SALTSpace.

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

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