Grantmaking for women and girls

In the spring of 2000, Simone P. Joyaux, a donor to the Rhode Island Foundation, approached us to discuss the possibility of creating a women’s fund for Rhode Island. That fall, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island was launched.

The Women’s Fund was set up to promote equality for women and girls by systematically removing the obstacles that preclude their full participation in economic, social, cultural, and political arenas. The Fund was committed to creating progressive and enduring change for women and girls, serving as a model of empowerment and collaboration.
Grant making through a gender lens ensures that programs and projects which focus specifically on women’s and girls’ issues are not marginalized. It also ensures that women are proportionately represented in the policy-making positions within grantee organizations. The gender lens attempts to redress the paucity of philanthropic dollars spent on girls and women, and helps to put gender-specific issues on the map for larger foundations.

“The Rhode Island Foundation established itself as a national leader by giving $2.5 million to establish an endowment for WFRI and staff support,” says Simone, and it continued to support the Women’s Fund in its early years in fundraising, grantmaking, and operations. Well on its way to success, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island became an independent organization in 2005.

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Providence, RI 02903


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