The Women’s Endowment – established for women by women – is Huntsville’s first permanent grantmaking endowment that seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of women and families across a broad spectrum of issues that impact the Quality of Life in our community. Each year, the fund awards one or more high-impact, high-dollar grants to programs, organizations, or projects that address systemic change and that create positive and measurable impact for women and families.
For 2018, the Women's Endowment Advisory Committee has chosen the focus issue of homeless women and families.
How is the Women’s Endowment different from other local fundraising efforts to help women?
The Greater Huntsville community is very generous, and so it is no surprise that there are a number of worthwhile organizations, projects, and programs that benefit women and children in our area. Many of these projects address targeted areas of concern to women and families such as job training, education, health, human services, or youth development. Furthermore, most of these programs rely on annual donations to support their work.
The Women’s Endowment provides a permanent source of community capital to support the work being done by various organizations and agencies to address a wide spectrum of systemic issues that impact the quality of life for women and families. The fund invests annually through a high-impact grant to address a systemic issue. The Women’s Endowment will not replace the work of any existing organizations but rather provides an additional, perpetual funding source to ensure that good work can continue.
How much of the endowment is available for grants each year?
Half of all donations to the Women’s Endowment will be used for annual grantmaking, and the balance will be used to grow the endowment in perpetuity.
If there are community needs, why create an endowment instead of spending all donations now?
An endowment provides a stable source of income to address the concerns of women and their families forever, and contributions to the Women’s Endowment are a lasting legacy of the women who support it. The impact of these investments will continue to benefit the community long after the donations have been made. Additionally, our community is growing and changing each year, and the needs of tomorrow may be different from our needs today. The Women’s Endowment will be here to meet the needs of the community today and in the future.
Who decides where the grants go?
An Advisory Council, which is a volunteer group of leading women in our community, stewards the Women’s Endowment Fund pursuant to its mission, chooses an annual focus area, convenes a Community Conversation about the focus area, and then recommends annual grant recipients after a competititve grant application process.
This Advisory Committee is appointed annually for a one-year term by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation and serves at the discretion of the Board.
Factors to be included in the grants determination will include the following:
- Community needs
- Grant impact
- Number of women and children served
- Demonstrated success
What types of projects does the Women’s Endowment support?
Each year, the Women’s Endowment awards high-impact, high-dollar grants to programs, organizations and projects that address systemic change in the annual focus area and that create positive and measurable impact for women and their families.
Some examples from other communities with Women’s Endowments include the following types of projects:
- Financial education for women
- Prevention of domestic violence
- Services to address mental health and substance abuse disorders among women and their families
- Efforts to minimize the number of children entering foster care and assist with efforts to find permanent homes for foster children
- Education and training program to assist homemakers transitioning back into the workplace
- Support of sexual assault and/or domestic violence victims
- Efforts to combat human trafficking
How does the Community Foundation publicize the grant opportunity?
The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville promotes grant opportunities from the Women’s Endowment through its website, through social media channels, and through targeted e-mail correspondence.
Who can give to the Women’s Endowment?
Anyone can give to the Women’s Endowment! Although the Women’s Endowment is for women and primarily by women, we recognize that men may also want to donate to celebrate the impact of the women in their lives.
Can I make an honorary or memorial gift to the Women's Endowment?
Yes! Each of us can point to strong women who have made a positive impact on our lives. What better way to honor these women than by making a gift to the Women's Endowment in their honor and creating a permanent legacy to celebrate their contributions forever.
Can I donate assets other than cash to the Women's Endowment?
Yes! The Community Foundation can accept not only cash and credit cards, but also non-cash gifts such as stocks and bonds. Assets such as real estate and other personal property may also be accepted, but are subject to Board approval.
To make a credit card donation to the Women's Endowment, please click the Donate button on the top right and specify the Women's Endowment Fund with your gift. If you would like more information about making a non-cash gift to the Women's Endowment, please contact Stuart Obermann at email@example.com for simple transaction instructions.
All gifts to the Women’s Endowment are appreciated. The Community Foundation will recognize cumulative gifts of $1,000 or more on its website and promotional materials at the following levels:
|Julia Tutwiler||$1,000 - $4,999|
|Fannie Flagg||$5,000 - $9,999|
|Condoleezza Rice||$10,000 - $24,999|
|Tallulah Bankhead||$25,000 - $49,999|
|Coretta Scott King||$50,000 – $99,999|
|Rosa Parks||$100,000 - $249,999|
|Mae Jemison||$250,000 – $499,999|
|Helen Keller||$500,000 or more|
For more information about the Women’s Endowment, please contact the Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 256.535.2065.