Helping Girls Step Up: Three Million to Fund Girls' Leadership

Talk about the power of the purse: One of the world’s most prestigious purse makers is targeting its philanthropy on developing more women leaders. The Coach Foundation recently announced a new partnership with Step Up, a non-profit organization that helps girls from underserved communities.

Three million dollars in new funding will help provide more girls with access to Step Up’s after-school Confidence Curriculum, mentorship programming, and college-prep experiences, tripling the number of girls served and expanding its reach to a total of six cities.

A press release on the new investment describes it as “marking an important moment in both the company’s history and brand transformation.” Since 2008 when the foundation launched, the Coach Foundation reports donating over $39 million for a wide variety of causes including breast cancer prevention, education, and domestic violence.

More corporate foundations appear to be clueing into girl power as an important component in building tomorrow’s women leaders. Coach Foundation CEO Victor Luis described reaching girls in underserved communities as “close to the company’s heart and heritage.” He also indicated that there are plans to connect both employees and customer to this work. The Coach Foundation has an employee matching gift program called Coach Cares, which has matched employee gifts and contributed over $375,000 to charity this past year.

With more attention in philanthropy to women and girls, Coach is in line with many foundations -- including Mary Kay, Loreal, Tory Burch, and Avon -- whose products are aimed at women and whose philanthropy is closely aligned with causes that empower women and girls.

Coach, in particular, sees itself as a brand particularly designed for “confident women.” This $3 million grant will help reach about 3,000 girls across the country, helping them build confidence in their leadership skills.

More information on the Coach Foundation’s mission and grantmaking is available here.