In order to be as effective as possible and make critical strides in addressing the issues facing economically vulnerable women and girls, Washington Area Women’s Foundation invests in the community through a multifaceted approach in the following core areas:
- Financial education and wealth creation;
- Jobs with benefits, career pathways and family-sustaining wages; and
- High-quality early care and education.
The Foundation funds the most effective nonprofits that are addressing those areas through the Stepping Stones Initiative and Giving Circles.
In response to the findings in A Portrait of Women & Girls in the Washington Metropolitan Area, The Women’s Foundation created Stepping Stones to help build the economic security and financial independence of women in the Washington region who are living under 200 percent of the federal poverty level, with a special emphasis on women-headed families. Stepping Stones is the first multi-year initiative of its kind for our region and is the major focus of our grants and program work. Grantmaking includes targeted investments in:
- Financial education and wealth creation
- Jobs with benefits, career pathways and family-sustaining wages
- Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative
To complement our grantmaking efforts, Stepping Stones also has community education, advocacy, and leadership development components.
Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Giving Circles provide creative and exciting opportunities to engage women in meaningful philanthropy in the region, while cultivating new leaders for The Women’s Foundation and our community. Giving Circles provide a vehicle for like-minded women to pool their money, uncover specific community needs, and decide as a group where to make grants. Each Giving Circle determines both how and where they will make their grants. We currently have two Giving Circles: Rainmakers and the African American Women’s Giving Circle.