What do you remember about turning 15? What I remember most about that incredible year was learning to drive. Getting a learner’s permit and being able to hit the road (with a licensed adult) was my first really big step toward independence and, if my mother’s terrified face over in the passenger’s seat was any indication, I was starting out enthusiastically but needed a little guidance. Her hand on the wheel helped steer me away from the mailboxes and signs that lined Roswell Road. Her slightly strained voice reminded me that I needed to switch lanes after checking my blind spot (and turning just my head, not the whole minivan). She taught me how to read a map to make sure that I was going in the right direction. Eventually, she kept her hands off the wheel and trusted me to change lanes without saying “car! Car! CAR!” to me with increasing urgency.
In January we announced that Washington Area Women’s Foundation turns 15 this year. Our anniversary comes on the heels of some big transformations (strategic planning, a new mission, and a new logo) and right in the middle of a growth spurt (the Campaign to Prosperity). Since 1998, there have been several donors whose guidance, generosity and support have helped the Foundation grow into the catalyst for change it is today.
Marion Ballard began making donations to The Women’s Foundation even before the organization was incorporated. She holds the record for longest consecutive giving history (17 years!). Anne Morrison, Anne Mosle and Jim Whitney have been giving for 16 years each. And Nancy Folger has been giving for 15 years. Donors who have supported the Foundation consecutively for the past 13-14 years are: Maya Ajmera, Coralie Bryant, Susan L. Butler, Donna Callejon, Lisa Claudy Fleischman, Julia Horman and Marjorie Pray.
More than a decade ago, these donors made a commitment to a small organization with a big goal: to transform our community by investing in women and girls. That commitment has been reflected in their continued philanthropy, but it goes beyond that. They have helped us grow by enthusiastically sharing our work with others – in fact, many of you probably heard about The Women’s Foundation through one of them. They have helped us map out our future. They trust the staff of experts at the Foundation to make changes when the environment and community call for them. And they remain well-informed and connected throughout the region, helping us keep an eye on the blind spots.
Thank you to the donors who got on the road with us 15 years ago and to those who have joined the ride since.
Want to share a memory about one of our early donors? Leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.