Most of Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs are located in Chester County, which also happens to be the highest income county in the state of Pennsylvania. So it's not surprising to find some interesting philanthropic ventures going on here.
Chester County Fund for Women and Girls is a grantmaking and education foundation that’s exclusively committed to its female residents. This is also a great foundation to know if you’re affiliated with local centers for domestic violence, after-school education, and counseling.
In 2014, the fund distributed $255,000 in grants to benefit Chester County women, girls and their families. The fund recently announced $24,000 in new grants as part of its Girls Advisory Board program. In this program, 25 high school girls take three months to learn about the needs of girls in the community, establish funding priorities, visit nonprofits, and make funding recommendations. There have been 11 sessions of this successful teen advisory board, which has awarded about $200,000 since it began.
“It was an amazing experience that I wish I could be a part of forever," said one Girls Advisory Board member. “It really is wonderful to break away from the bubble you live in and see the neighboring communities and what they need.”
The most recent group of high school philanthropists chose to focus grantmaking on substance abuse and violence, education and support programs, and mental health prevention and support. Recent grants were awarded to the Chester Counseling Center, the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Parkesburg Point Youth Center, and the Kennett After-School Association. Each of these grants was between $2,000 and $5,000 apiece.
But this is just one of the fund’s women-centric grantmaking programs, as it has been on the philanthropic scene for over 18 years and awarded over $2 million to 60 nonprofits. The fund requires “large tier” applicants requesting $15,000 to $20,000 to submit a letter of intent and site visits are commonly conducted. Current fund priorities are (1) the economic freedom and self-sufficiency of women and girls and (2) the security and wellbeing of women and girls.
To learn more about female-focused grantmaking opportunities in this region, check out the 2015 Grant Application homepage and watch for new important dates. General questions can be directed to Grant Manager Linda Stokes at 484-356-0940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.