Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative Announces RFP for 2020 Giving Cycle

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is pleased to release an open request for proposals for funding from the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative for its 2020 Giving Cycle.

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), housed at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, launched in 2008 as a multi-year collective investment effort. Its mission is to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington region, with the goal of reducing school readiness gaps among populations of our youngest children. The ECEFC is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations. Our target geographic area includes Washington, DC; Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia; the City of Alexandria, Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.

2020 Giving Cycle

With the 2020 Giving Cycle the ECEFC will invest in organizations and/or organizational partnerships that contribute to systems change in the early care and education space while utilizing a racial equity framework and demonstrating a holistic view of child development.

Specifically, the ECEFC is committed to working on and investing in projects in the region that:

  • Improve early childhood systems infrastructure,
  • Work to ensure families have access to high quality early education programs, and
  • Help early educators effectively meet the needs of all children.

Examples of initiatives that are of interest to the ECEFC within each of the three strategic areas include:

  • Effective Systems
    • Early childhood systems alignment across health and education agencies,
    • Promotion of developmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness tools that include social-emotional development,
    • Increased financing of early education systems tied to program quality, family needs, and educator compensation,
  • Family Access
    • Expanding access to and/or increasing the value of child care subsidies to families,
    • Increasing the number of high-quality, culturally responsive early education classrooms and/or programs in high-need neighborhoods,
  • Strong Educators
    • Elevating the early care and education workforce through professionalization, professional development and technical assistance,
    • Lifting up the family child care community as important contributors to the early care and education system.

Successful proposals will demonstrate how their organization’s work or project will:

  • Contribute to quality improvements across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions,
  • Increase program capacity to effectively support all children across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions; and/or
  • Work to reduce barriers for families to access quality programs across neighborhoods and/or the region.

Successful proposals will also work to address disparate outcomes for children, families, and educators with regard to race and ethnicity and demonstrate how their organization’s work or project works to ensure race, culture, class, and ability equity across early education systems.

The ECEFC seeks to award $365,000 in grants this giving cycle to multiple projects across the DC region. Typically, the ECEFC awards between six to eight grants per giving cycle. The average grant awarded in last year’s cycle was $37,600.

All proposal submissions should be for a one-year grant period beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020.

2020 Funding Proposal

Prospective applicants are required to participate in one of two information session webinars prior to submitting a proposal. Use this link to sign up for one of the webinar sessions: [insert link].

Upon completion of the information session webinar, you will receive the application questions and guidelines and may submit your organization’s proposal for funding. Proposals can be submitted either by a single organization or as a partnership or collaboration across two or more organizations.

Grant Timeline

Applicant Information Session Webinars (Prospective applicants must attend one.) August 13th at 9:30 am or August 14th at 1:30 pm (Click here to RSVP for a session.)
Proposals Due September 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Site Visits (Pending Selection After Proposal Review) October 23 – November 22, 2019
Notification of Award December 20, 2019
Grant Period January 1 – December 31, 2020


Additional Information

Please direct all inquiries to The Women’s Foundation program staff at programs@wawf.org or 202.347.7737.

Recap: Washington Area Women’s Foundation 20th Anniversary Luncheon

Washington Area Women’s Foundation hosted its annual Leadership Luncheon on October 30, celebrating 20 years and raising over $877,000.  The Foundation honored youth activist Naomi Wadler, who delivered an inspiring speech about the importance of voting. The Luncheon also featured an opening performance by Largo High School Band and a special performance by The Women’s Foundation’s Young Women’s Advisory Council and F.R.E.S.H.H. Inc.

The Leadership Luncheon focused on celebrating and highlighting the work of The Women’s Foundation over the past two decades. The organization highlighted the first Leadership Awardee, Marta Urquilla, Chief Program Officer at the Education Design Lab and former Executive Director of Sister to Sister/Hermana a Hermana. She discussed the impact of the first award saying, “When the Women’s Foundation called us in 1998, it wasn’t the small grant we received that mattered most. It was that the Women’s Foundation SAW us. And in turn, we SAW ourselves and our own success in creating a future where all girls would thrive.”

Young leaders age 12-24 from Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) and Griot Girls of FRESHH Inc Theatre Company performed. The script was developed from the experience of the participating young women with the topic: leadership.

“It takes leadership and intentionality to bring together our community to work toward solutions, and that’s what Washington Area Women’s Foundation has done for 20 years. And it’s what brings us together today. In many ways, we’ve come full circle, and as we look to the future, we will also be returning to our roots,” said Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President and CEO, Washington Area Women’s Foundation. “Next year, we will relaunch the Leadership Awards, providing general operating support to smaller organizations working to improve the economic security of women and girls, with a specific focus on women and girls of color.

After the first part of the program discussed young leaders, The Women’s Foundation honored one – Naomi Wadler. “When you are an activist at 12, and it is ONE WEEK, before the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION of certainly MY lifetime if not all of yours, well it’s frustrating,” said Naomi Wadler. “So I thought my shaved, orange hair might motivate all of you.  Motivate you to not only go out and vote because I can not, but to bring every single person you know with you. Truly, tell everyone you know that if some 12 year old girl can shave her head and dye it orange, the least they can do is go and vote!!”

The Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Leadership Luncheon was generously supported by Capital One, Deloitte, iHeartMedia, WASH.FM and Kaiser Permanente among others.

For more information about Washington Area Women’s Foundation or to donate, visit www.thewomensfoundation.org.

Rainmakers Giving Circle Releases 2018-19 Request For Proposals

Rainmakers Giving Circle (“Rainmakers”) is pleased to issue a request for proposals for its 2018-19 grantmaking cycle from nonprofit organizations serving economically vulnerable girls and young women age 24 or – younger living in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, Maryland or Arlington County, Virginia.

The Rainmakers’ mission is to improve the lives of the Targeted Population by supporting programs that help them develop useful life skills, improve their self-esteem and achieve their full potential. More specifically, Rainmakers will award grants to programs (each, an “Eligible Program”) that make a compelling case that they will achieve one or more of the following impacts (collectively, the “Desired Program Impacts”):

• Encourage the development of confidence and self-esteem, healthy behaviors and the reduction of risk factors among members of the Targeted Population;

• Increase the competence of members of the Targeted Population in the areas of education, health, interpersonal relations, financial management, employment readiness and prospects, and/or other important life skills; and/or

Provide legal services for the purpose of preventing incarceration or loss of housing or to enhance employment or housing prospects;

All grant funds must exclusively benefit economically vulnerable girls and young women age 24 and younger who reside in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, Maryland, or Arlington County, Virginia. Grant funds may not be used for co-educational programs.

Proposals are due no later than Monday, December 3, 2018 at 5 p.m.

To learn more about the RFP, click here!

New Report: Blueprint For Action

The Blueprint represents the collective voice of more than 250 young women, policymakers, philanthropists, scholars, service providers, and government officials, and provides guidance for policymakers, government entities, community based organizations, school districts, and funders on how to address challenges identified by young women of color living in the District.

The recommendations included in the Blueprint will guide our research, grantmaking, and advocacy, and we look forward to collaborating with young women and members of the community to implement these recommendations.

We invite you to read the Blueprint for Action following this link https://wawf.org/BlueprintForAction 

If you have questions or comments about the report or the Young Women’s Initiative, please reach out to Claudia Williams at cwilliams@wawf.org

New Report: Family Planning Community Needs Assessment

New Report: ‘Family Planning Community Needs Assessment’ for the

DC Family Planning Project (DCFPP)

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW), with support from The Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust and Washington Area Women’s Foundation, conducted a community needs assessment for the DC Family Planning Project (DCFPP) aimed at providing an in-depth analysis of the family planning landscape for women aged 15–29 in DC. This comprehensive community assessment, which includes both primary and secondary data, was designed, implemented, and analyzed between July 2017 and May 2018.

Nationwide, the rate of unintended pregnancy, defined as those pregnancies that are mistimed or unwanted, is one of the highest in the developed world. Although the unintended pregnancy rate has been declining nationally and locally in recent years in the general population, disparities remain – particularly in the District of Columbia. Poor and low-income women continue to bear the brunt of this disparity.

Access to family planning services, including both privately and publicly funded services is one necessary component to reducing unintended pregnancies, and more importantly, to ensuring women and families in DC have the ability to plan if and when to have a child. At The Women’s Foundation, we won’t rest until all women, especially young women and girls of color, have equal access to economic security, safety and opportunity, which is why the Family Planning Community Needs Assessment report is important.

The report identifies gaps, barriers, and facilitators to family planning services and contraceptive utilization in DC. There are several key findings from this study that provide insights for both service delivery sites as well as for direct outreach to the community, including the following:

  • a disconnect between availability of contraceptive services and utilization of these services;
  • limited availability of adolescent-friendly services;
  • widespread confidentiality concerns regarding adolescent reproductive health services;
  • a significant number of sexually active adolescents and young women in DC who are not accessing
    reproductive health care at all;
  • low levels of knowledge of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) methods (which include
    intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants), particularly amongst 15–19 year-olds, non-Hispanic black
    adolescents/women and adolescents/women living in Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8; and
  • negative perceptions and concerns about the safety, side effects, and comfort of LARC methods,
    which influence many women’s decisions regarding contraceptive methods.

The DCFPP, housed at The Women’s Foundation, will use the results of this needs assessment, along with the input of the DCFPP Community Advisory Board to develop interventions to reduce reproductive health disparities and improve reproductive health outcomes in DC.

To find out more, click here to read the full report!

Help Us Celebrate Our 20th Anniversary!

The time is now, to start doing. To stop sitting and start standing. To join us on the frontlines.  It is time to tap into your inner activist, standing up for what is right and just. We invite you to stand with us – to stand together – and to invite your friends to join us, too. This year, at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary. To commemorate the women and girls who have benefited from our work, we want you to join the celebration by participating in our 20for20 Campaign starting on August 20th.

When we think of activists, we often think of someone who has organized sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement or protests like the iconic Women’s March. We think of someone who dedicates their entire life in service of others. But even the smallest acts of kindness or activism have a ripple effect on our communities.

Ask your friends to be an activist too through our 20for20 campaign. In the name of women and girls, we challenge you to get 20 of your friends to give $20 to the women and girls in our region who are living at or below the poverty line.

Tell them that their gift will help ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington metropolitan area have the resources they need to thrive. Washington Area Women’s Foundation will ensure that their gift supports the most effective strategies and programs that help women and girls save for their futures, obtain jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits, and access high-quality and affordable childcare. With the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, your donation never works alone, and it never stops working. Support women and girls as they reach for more.

And, we believe that being an activist should also be fun.  We think you deserve a weekend downtown at the Marriott Marquis, or possibly a night at the theater.  Thanks to our partners, you will be entered in a drawing for fantastic prizes simply by creating your fundraising page.  Then, you get even more chances as you reach your goal.

Click here to create your personal fundraising page, and when you do, you will get a chance to win a fabulous prize.

Then, starting on Monday, August 20th, do some fundraising —  when 20 of your friends give $20 you will meet your goal of $400.  When you reach $400 raised (even if one friend gives the full amount) we will add four more chances for you to win.  And, we will send you a STAND TOGETHER t-shirt, to thank you for standing with us.

Help us continue to set a strong foundation for the resilience and hope for the future of women and girls in the Washington Region!

We have exciting giveaways for all 20for20 Activists:

  • Setting up your personal fundraising page = 1 entry
  • Raising $400+ = 4 entries + 1 “Stand Together” T-shirt
  • All prize recipients will be selected at random.

Be a changemaker! Be an activist today!

Let Your Voice Be Heard Today!

Let your voice be heard today by helping us with two surveys!

Are you a young woman of color between the ages of 12 and 24 years old in DC? Please help us understand what issues you care about in your neighborhood and what solutions you would like to see by answering this short survey: https://wawf.org/GirlsLEADSurvey

Are you a practitioner, researcher or advocate in DC? Please help us understand what you think are the most pressing issues affecting young women and girls age 12-24 and what solutions you would like to see by answering this short survey: https://wawf.org/YWISurvey

Having your input is critical to effecting positive and lasting change!

After completing the survey(s) by June 15th, participants can enter a name for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Amazon!

The survey results, will help to inform the work of the Young Women’s Initiative going forward and help inform our 2018 Recommendation Report.

We would greatly appreciate if you could share the survey with your networks of young women!

Recap: 2018 GirlsLEAD Summit

On March 9, 2018 over 600 young women and girls joined Washington Area Women’s Foundation for the inaugural GirlsLEAD Summit. The all-day event welcomed 300 young women and girls between the ages of 12-24, and was held at the University of the District of Columbia. Over 150 women leaders joined the Summit for Speed Mentoring, and more than 100 women conducted workshops and sessions throughout the day.

Award-winning journalist, media personality and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth, was interviewed by WPGC 95.5.’s Sunni during an intimate Q&A. The girls then participated in a speed mentoring event hosted by WUSA9’s Lesli Foster. Each of the young women had a chance to get one-on-one advice on creating pathways to success from several of the more than 150 dynamic, female business, nonprofit, and government leaders gathered in the room.

DJ Beauty and the Beatz kept the party going during lunch, where are all the girls danced and sang along to the latest hits. The young women and girls experienced workshops and sessions conducted by companies like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Volkswagen, Audi, National Women’s Law Center, Girls Who Code, Beltway Poetry Slam Team, our Young Women’s Advisory Council and more!

For a photo recap visit Facebook now and read about the GirlsLEAD Summit on The Washington Informer!

The GirlsLEAD Summit was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the NoVo Foundation, and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Thank you to our partners University of the District of Columbia, Samsung, KIND Snacks and Bobbi Brown!