Washington Area Women’s Foundation Joins Prosperity Together, $100M Commitment to Grow Economic Security for Women and Their Families



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                        MEDIA CONTACT: Anna Sczepanski

November 13, 2015                                                                                                     anna@cfoxcommunications.com; (301) 585-5034 x116

Washington Area Women’s Foundation Joins Prosperity Together, $100M Commitment to Grow Economic Security for Women and Their Families

First-of-its-kind Partnership Among Women’s Foundations Demonstrates Collective Power


Washington, D.C. (November 13, 2015) — Today at The White House’s Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color Summit, Washington Area Women’s Foundation joined Prosperity Together, a nonpartisan partnership of public women’s foundations from across the country, and announced a collective five-year, $100 million funding commitment to create pathways to economic security for low-income women and their families.

In the Washington region, this investment will help move the 476,000 women and girls currently living in economic hardship to a place of economic security. Prosperity Together will invest in programs with a proven track record in creating opportunities for women including education and job training, mentorship, and job placement – as well as new, innovative solutions to help eliminate barriers. These programs are critical, especially in the Washington region where more than 251,000 women – or 23 percent of all working women in our region – are stuck in low-wage jobs or unemployed.

Prior to this announcement, Washington Area Women’s Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat issued a bold challenge to the Washington community to also make a collective $100 million investment in our region’s women and families.

“We’re thrilled to join 26 other women’s foundations across the country in making this collective investment to help women and their families achieve economic security,” said Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, president and CEO of Washington Area Women’s Foundation. “This investment will build strong foundations for women and families and will also have ripple effect across entire communities. When women are strong, communities are strong.”

Prosperity Together will harness the collective power, leadership and proven effectiveness of women’s foundations from across the country. The partnership will also issue a call to policymakers, business leaders, the philanthropic community and the public to understand that economic prosperity for all is guaranteed only when economic security and equal opportunity are guaranteed for low-income women.

Prosperity Together partners will use their respective experience and knowledge to fund both proven solutions and new innovations, taking into account the context of their local communities and states. The types of programs that will be funded include:

  • Workforce Development: Job training, post-secondary education, job placement and advancement, focused on occupations and sectors that are most likely to pay family-sustaining wages and benefits or to have clear career ladders. Funding will also support adult basic education, case management and supportive services, and access to work supports including childcare, transportation, and public benefits.
  • Asset Building: Financial education services and access to asset building opportunities that help women build economic security by reducing debt, improving credit and building savings.
  • Early Care and Education: Access for low-income women to affordable, high-quality childcare, so they can be successful in the workplace and their children have a strong academic start in life.
  • Two-Generation Strategies: Programs and policies that simultaneously invest in mothers and their children, advancing short-term and long-term outcomes for the whole family.
  • Research: Local research to inform best practices and policies that increase economic security for low-income women, particularly women of color.

Prosperity Together advisory committee members include the Chicago Foundation for Women; Dallas Women’s Foundation; Iowa Women’s Foundation; the Ms. Foundation for Women; The New York Women’s Foundation; The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio; Washington Area Women’s Foundation; the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis; the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota; the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi; and the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida. All Prosperity Together members belong to the Women’s Funding Network.

Click here for more information on Prosperity Together, a list of all participating public U.S. women’s foundations, and the five-year funding commitment.

About Washington Area Women’s Foundation                                                                                                

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a D.C.-based public foundation dedicated to mobilizing our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington region have the resources they need to thrive. Learn more about The Women’s Foundation’s mission to transform the lives of women and girls, the Washington region, and the world by visiting us online, on Facebook or on Twitter.

 About Prosperity Together

Prosperity Together is a nonpartisan partnership of public U.S. women’s foundations dedicated to improving the economic security of low-income women and their families in America. On November 13 at The White House, Prosperity Together announced a five-year, $100 million funding commitment to invest in programs and strategies that will create pathways to economic security for low-income women in America. Prosperity Together demonstrates the critical role and power of women’s foundations to drive this work in communities, state by state, across the country. For more information, click here.