The Women’s Fund recent Power of the Purse luncheon was an opportunity for the often-overlooked philanthropic endeavor to receive much deserved attention.
Women donate the money, women decide where the money goes and women help the causes they are most passionate about.
Women are in control.
Shannon Dacus, an attorney in Tyler, who chairs the Executive Committee, says it is all about taking “girl power” to a whole new level.
“The Women’s Fund allows women, regardless of their financial wherewithal, to combine their financial gifts to create significant grants that improve the lives of people right here in the community,” she writes on the fund’s website.
The fund was established in 2007 by the Women in Tyler Committee, Fourth Partner Foundation and East Texas Communities Foundation.
To be a member, a woman gives at least $500 — some donate more — and then each member has a vote on how the money is spent. In the first year, 128 women joined. Most are still involved.
The fund helps nonprofits with projects that address one of four focus areas: education, health, human services or arts and culture. Organizations apply to receive money to meet specific needs and fund short-term projects they couldn’t normally afford.
This past year, the Women’s Fund awarded $32,500 to Tyler Day Nursery to furnish two new classrooms; $32,500 to Children’s Advocacy Center to buy specialized recording equipment; and $39,500 to Salvation Army for an outreach program.
Sharon Howell, the incoming president, says that one of the best things about being a member is that women learn more about the needs and services nonprofit organizations provide to those who are among the most neglected and overlooked in the community.
Although only members can vote on which projects receive funding, anyone can donate to the fund and continue its short but growing legacy of help.
For more information on how it works and the good it is doing, see its website, womensfundsc.org.
The Women’s Fund will be featured on the “In Touch with East Texas” radio show hosted by Danny Mogle airing at 6:30 a.m. Nov. 10 on KYKX 105.6 FM and The Ranch KKUS 104.1 FM and at 6:30 a.m. Nov. 11 on Sunny 106.5 FM.