Women's Philanthropy

African American Women’s Giving Circle Celebrates Ten Years

This year, the African American Women’s Giving Circle (AAWGC), one of two giving circles sponsored by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, celebrates its 10th anniversary. To date, AAWGC has disbursed more than $226,000 in grants to local nonprofit Grantee Partners serving the needs of African American women and girls.

While we honor what we have accomplished in that time, the recent wave of protests across the country sparked by hurt and outrage among many people—of all colors—reminds us that the most important days of our work are ahead. If we are to address the critical issues facing many communities of color, the economic security of vulnerable women and girls is more essential than ever.

AAWGC’s goals are simple: encourage philanthropy among African American women, and, by pooling our members’ financial contributions, help local organizations address unmet needs. We focus our resources on area organizations that are led by an African American woman and serve the needs of African American women and girls. We look for organizations that demonstrate innovative and promising approaches to addressing the social and economic obstacles that are barriers to success for African American women and girls.

For example, this year, we made $8,000 in grants to three unique organizations: Breast Care for Washington, which operates the only state-of-the-art breast cancer screening facility east of the Anacostia River; Courtney’s House, which helps women and children heal from domestic sex trafficking and commercial sex exploitation; and Ramona’s Way, which offers holistic services for women who abuse substances and who are also survivors of emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

We are proud to support these organizations, the women who run them and the invaluable work they do in our communities.

As AAWGC’s chair, I am equally proud of the women, like myself, who have pooled their financial contributions—and given their time and talents—to help these unique organizations. And I am proud that together and individually we can each say, “I am a philanthropist” and together we are making a difference.