Women and Girls

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Women and Girls
Our grantmaking to area nonprofits made possible through our Women’s Fund and Lois McMillen Memorial Fund provides thousands of dollars each year to help women and girls in our region thrive. Pictured: a girl flying down Shepherd’s Hill in Middlebury. Photo by Christopher Massa, Republican-American

Women’s Fund History

The 20th anniversary of Connecticut Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund prompted not only celebration, but contemplation. Reflecting on our grantmaking and other activities on behalf of women over the years and looking toward the future, we undertook an intensive effort in 2014 to listen to women and girls from across our 21-town region, to understand the issues they consider most important and to think strategically about how the Women’s Fund might best impact the community. Local brainstorming sessions and national research raised the persistent problem of low self-esteem among pre-teen and teenage girls. Read the report.

Giving to the Women’s Fund

Funding to support the women’s issues funds have been provided by many generous donors over the past 20 years. These donors were inspired to honor important women in their lives and to encourage the success of future generations. Contribute to the Women’s Fund.

Contact Cynthia Merrick, director of development, to learn about giving opportunities through the Women’s Fund at cmerrick@conncf.org or 203.753.1315

Women’s Fund Purpose

To identify, convene and support programs that promote advocacy and skill development while fostering resilience, self-esteem and self-respect among girls and young women in our region.

Women’s Fund, Possible Grant Funding Projects

  • Creation of inclusive, welcoming, and supportive conditions and positive role models
  • Outreach that builds participation and inclusion of underrepresented populations
  • Meaningful youth involvement in creating the program’s plans and or implementation
  • Programs that contribute to positive youth development and utilize the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets; programs that have established achievable and meaningful goals for participants, as well as tracking systems to follow progress; and programs that include teenage and pre-teen girls.
  • Multiple organizations working collaboratively on establishing goals, developing curricula or schedules, and addressing training needs, implementation and evaluation efforts.
  • Planning grants that allow organizations the opportunity to explore and plan for a potential project. Costs associated with analyzing feasibility, solidifying partnerships, developing work plans or proofs of concept are eligible.
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Women’s Fund proposals are accepted once annually. See Previous Women’s Fund Grantees

Lois Livingston McMillen Memorial Fund: Support for Victims of Domestic Violence

The Lois Livingston McMillen Memorial Fund at Connecticut Community Foundation makes substantial grants throughout our region. The fund, established by Lois Livingston McMillen’s parents, reflects one of Lois’s passions: helping women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. The fund provides tens of thousands of dollars each year to support agencies that provide vital services to women in our region.

McMillen Fund, Purpose

To support agencies that provide critical services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Priority is given to direct service programs to address immediate crises and provide emotional support and guidance to women and children who are victims of social, emotional or psychological abuse or sexual assault and domestic violence. Aims are to promote self-confidence, pride, dignity and personal advancement in those who have suffered from such destructive behavior.

Apply Now

Lois Livingston McMillen Memorial Fund proposals are accepted once annually. See Previous Lois Livingston McMillen Memorial Fund Grantees

Ellen Carter

For more information, please contact:
Wanda Y. Correa, Vice President, Community Impact
wcorrea@conncf.org | 203.753.1315, x 114