An Endowed Fund to Power the Future

Fund for Women and Girls

An endowed fund to ensure that women and girls have resources and opportunities to thrive. When a woman thrives, a family thrives. When a family thrives, a community thrives.

Why This Matters

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.

Even with decades of good work, there's still a long way to go, particularly here at home.

  • 15% of women in Santa Cruz County live in poverty.
  • Over 4,500 families in Santa Cruz County live below the poverty level.
  • 23.4% of Santa Cruz County children are projected to experience food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Poverty is one of the most significant factors in health care outcomes for Latinx women in Santa Cruz County.

Selected Data Sources: Status of Women and Girls in Santa Cruz County Health Care Update 2020, California Women's Well-Being Index, Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project

Participants in the Girls Paving the Way Initiative

About the Fund

Created in 2016, this $2.8 million endowed fund is helping 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 and an additional $500,000 challenge grant. We met the challenge with many large and small additional gifts and through the power of endowment, the fund continues to grow allowing us to make grants for women and girls—forever. The Fund is invested in our Women’s Inclusion Long-Term Pool which focuses investment options on companies or funds seeking to drive greater gender equality through channels such as workplace equality, access to capital, and products and services that benefit women and girls.

During the COVID pandemic, the flexibility of the fund enabled us to help fill immediate needs of local women from helping secure housing, food, and financial assistance for their families and helping moms stay in college through scholarships to Cabrillo students.

More recently, grants to Families in Transition and Monarch Services are working on housing stability for women and their families in one of the most expensive rental markets in the country. Monarch Services is helping prevent eviction and homelessness for survivors of domestic abuse and Families in Transition is helping secure permanent housing for single mother families. Both organizations offer wrap-around care connecting women to food banks, parenting classes, counseling, and financial literacy support.

You can support women and girls in Santa Cruz County.

Donate Today