Fund for Women and Girls
Meeting the needs of women and girls in Santa Cruz County!
An endowed fund to power the future
The newly created endowed fund is meant to boost the economic growth of the county by supporting the educational and career success of local women and girls.
The fund was started with a $1.5 million gift from an anonymous donor. An additional $500,000 matching gift is on the table, with the first contribution towards the match a $100,000 gift from the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation. An additional $100,000 anonymous gift has since come in, along with some smaller individual contributions. As of December 2016, $257,000 of the match has been raised.
The goal is to raise $2.5 million for the fund by the end of 2017. And, with your help we'll get there!
Funds in the endowment will be invested to be here forever, with earnings each year used for grants, community education and leadership activities.
Why Women and Girls?
Across the nation, funds like these are proving to be effective strategies for tackling economic disparities, opening doors to educational opportunities and improving the quality of life for all.
When a woman thrives, a family thrives.
When a family thrives, a community thrives.
Even with decades of good work, there's still a long way to go, particularly here at home.
- 17% of women in Santa Cruz County, including 40% of Latina single mothers, live in poverty.
- 55% of single mothers with less than a high school diploma are in poverty.
- In 2015, 7th grade girls in Pájaro Valley middle schools reported chronic feelings of hopelessness (34%), decreased connection to school (56%) and a drop in their academic motivation (45%).
- In 2015, only 56% of graduating seniors from the Pájaro Valley met eligibility requirements for the University of California or California State University systems.
- Latina girls are most at risk with the lowest graduation rate and making up 92% of teen mothers.
Selected Data Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, California Women's Well-Being Index, Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project, California Healthy Kids Survey, HealthyCity [dot] org
Girls in PÁjaro Valley Initiative
The fund launches in 2017, with a project to support the educational, social and emotional health and development of girls in middle school (grades 6 through 8) in the Pájaro Valley.
Nonprofits can apply for grants as part of the initiative through a competitive process, with funding awarded next year.
The goal of the three year extracurricular pilot program is to ready the participating girls for college or technical school and contribute to their future success.
In developing the fund and the initiative, ideas and direction came from and advisory group of local education, nonprofit, government and other foundation and philanthropic leaders, including parents and classroom teachers.
For our daughters and other young girls, middle school is a time for transition and change. Peer influence grows, conflicts with parents and adults intensify and social and gender identity are explored. We see it as a time in a young woman's life where we can make a difference (like the one shared in the video).
The fund's initiative, and its grants to nonprofits, is the first step in a larger effort to support education as a way to boost the economic health of our county.