25 Years of Giving… by Women, for Women

There is a strong body of research demonstrating that one of the most effective ways to change the world is through investments in women and girls. Improving the life of a woman creates benefit and opportunity for her extended family, future generations, and even the larger community in which she lives. 

That is the reason the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois was founded 25 years ago. Established as a collective giving effort to be supported by women, managed by women, and devoted to meeting the needs of local women and girls, the fund began with an initial donation of $2,000 from the proceeds of the annual Women’s Lifestyle Show. 

A “Thousand for a Million” Campaign was launched to recruit 1,000 founding members to each give $1,000 to build a $1 million endowment fund. The fund recently achieved a very significant milestone—reaching the halfway mark, or $500,000 in endowed funds—prompting the Women’s Fund Advisory Board to set the ambitious goal of growing the endowment to $1 million within the next 10 years. 

The Women’s Fund invests the proceeds from the endowment in local programs through its annual granting process. Since 1996, 115 grants totaling $357,515 have been awarded to programs that strengthen families in our community by building strong, healthy women and girls. iBi

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