January 29, 2015

Women's giving funds: The list

By Beth Briggs

North Carolina women are creating healthy communities across our state through a feminine spirit of giving.

They are making transformational collective connections through the creation of women's funds and giving circles.

And by combining their human and financial resources, they are making high-impact grants to improve the lives of women and girls in their communities.

Each fund's mission, vision, guiding principles and processes are developed locally by the membership.

In the process, members learn about issues affecting women and children, and invest in organizations that impact change. 

North Carolina is host to numerous women's funds and women's giving circles. 

In the ongoing effort to create a knowledge system around the state, the following is an evolving list of North Carolina women's funds.

In the coming year, at least four new funds will be created in rural communities.

Please share your knowledge as we attempt to develop a master list.

If you have information about funds created by women in which women invest their time, talent and their treasure, submit the information to the Philanthropy Journal.

In the coming months, a list of women's giving circles will be added.

The Women's Funds of North Carolina

Bertie-Hertford Women's Fund (Chowan, Currituck, Dare counties)
Contact: Peggy Birkemeier, Northeast region associate
The Harbinger Center, Suite 4, 8845 Caratoke Hwy., Point Harbor, N.C. 27964
888.375.8115 or 252.491.8166

The fund has established an endowment and is in the process of developing leadership and membership.

Women Givers of Northeast North Carolina (Camden, Chowan, Gates, Pasquotank, Perquimans counties)
Contact: Peggy Birkemeier, Northeast region associate
The Harbinger Center, Suite 4, 8845 Caratoke Hwy., Point Harbor, N.C. 27964
888.375.8115 or 252.491.8166

Established in December 2006, the fund hopes to recruit 50 members by the end of 2007.

Members contribute a minimum of $300 a year and can make higher annual donations at the $1,000 level and allocate the share to be distributed and/or saved in the group's endowment fund. 

In the fall of 2007, the Women Givers of Northeast North Carolina made their first three grants to groups benefiting women and children in the Northern Albemarle Community Foundation area.

The Women's Fund, North Carolina Community Foundation
Contact: Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, president, North Carolina Community Foundation
4601 Six forks Rd., Suite 524, Raleigh, N.C. 27609


The Women's Fund, a designated fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation, was established in 1991 by a group of women to address the changing and diverse issues, needs and challenges facing women throughout the state.

In 2007, the grants process was revamped to encourage participation from across North Carolina.

The grants committee is made up of one representative from each of the women's giving groups sponsored by the foundation, as well as other women passionate about supporting women's issues.

The Women's Network, Wake County
Contact: Carrie Gray
North Carolina Community Foundation
4601 Six Forks Rd., Suite 524, Raleigh, N.C. 27609
919.256.6906 or 800.201.9533
Fax: 919.828.5495

Established in 2007, The Women's Network focused its inaugural year on recruitment efforts, educational/social events and creating a formal grantmaking process.

Members connect to learn about the critical needs facing women and children in Wake County.

In October 2007, The Women's Network awarded a total of $65,000 in high-impact grants to two Raleigh nonprofits serving women and children.

Members make an annual $1,200 commitment for five consecutive years.

Women for Women, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
Suite 1600, BB&T Building, One West Pack Square, P.O. Box 1888, Asheville, N.C. 28802

Women for Women encourages women to join together to give back to their community.

Membership is comprised of more than 300 women philanthropists, each making a tax-deductible gift of $1,100 a year for three years.

Grants of $35,000 to $100,000 are awarded to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations and public agencies working to promote the self-sufficiency and personal well-being of women and girls.

The Women's Impact Fund, Foundation for the Carolinas
217 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C. 28202

The Women's Impact Fund aims to maximize women's leadership in philanthropy by engaging and educating its membership, increasing charitable contributions and strengthening communities through the collective giving.

Members contribute $1,200 a year for five years. With approximately 450 members, the Women's Impact Fund in its fourth year has contributed almost $1 million to 14 nonprofit organizations in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

The Women's Fund of Winston-Salem
Contact:  Tari Hanneman
860 West Fifth St., Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101

Founded in 2006, the Women's Fund of Winston-Salem is an advised fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation.

The fund focuses on providing grants to institutions and initiatives addressing the needs of women and girls in Winston-Salem and aims to build a community of women philanthropists by raising awareness and educating women and girls about the power of philanthropy.

All women are invited to participate through either individual or group memberships. Individual members, and groups collectively, contribute $1,200 a year for three consecutive years. 

As of December 2007, the fund had over 600 members and awarded seven grants totaling $144,022 during its inaugural grant cycle.

Women's Leadership Council, United Way of Forsyth County
Contact: Sallye Liner, volunteer leader and chair
United Way of Forsyth County
301 N. Main Street, Suite 1700, Winston-Salem, N.C.  27101
stliner@novanthealth.org or 336.721.9334

The United Way of Forsyth County launched the Women's Leadership Council in 2007 to engage, educate and empower women to meet the most pressing needs in Forsyth County. The Women's Leadership Council will help women develop as philanthropic leaders, advocates, and community investors through giving, volunteer, education, and networking opportunities. 

The first investment area for the Women's Leadership Council will be improving the High School graduation rate in Forsyth County.  The WLC is directing new and match dollars to a project which will focus on preparing youth for success as they enter the ninth grade. 

The Women's Fund, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
Contact: John Whisnant at jwhisnant@cfgg.org or Mindy Oakley at moakley@cfgg.org
Foundation Place, 330 S. Greene St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401
Fax: 336.378.0725

A board leadership team of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro has initiated exploratory options for creating a women's fund. 

The vision is to establish a $3 million endowment to launch the initiative. 

The effort is currently identifying leadership, mission and purpose.

Women Giving in Johnston County
Contact: Carrie Gray
North Carolina Community Foundation
4601 Six Forks Rd., Suite 524, Raleigh, N.C. 27609
919.256.6906 or 800.201.9533
Fax: 919.828.5495

Women Giving in Johnston County is seeking 25 founding members and will concentrate on recruitment efforts, education and a formal grantmaking process during its first year.

Members connect to learn about the critical needs of Johnston County.

Members make an annual $600 commitment for five consecutive years.

The Women Givers of Nash-Rocky Mount (Nash and Edgecombe counties)
Contact: Kelly Lee
North Carolina Community Foundation
P.O. Box 7394, Rocky Mount, N.C. 27804

The Women Givers of Nash-Rocky Mount are seeking members and will concentrate on recruitment, education and grantmaking during 2008.

Members make an annual $300 commitment.

beehive collective

Contact: Heather Yandow, buzz@thebeehivecollective.org


Created in 2007, the mission of the beehive collective giving circle is to pollinate community giving in Raleigh and inspire young women to lead.

The beehive collective currently has a nine-member board and membership dues of 0.5% of yearly income.  The group aims to have 50 members by the end of 2008. Through membership dues, events, and other individual donors, the beehive collective will raise and give away significant grants to local nonprofits.

The circle was conceived by a group of young women who organized performances of the Vagina Monologues to raise funds for local women's charities. The circle was created to expand members' philanthropic reach beyond women's issues and engage the community in giving. 

Appalachian Women's Fund

Women Helping Women in the Mountains of North Carolina

Contact: info@appalachianwomensfund.org

P.O. Box 1838, Boone, N.C. 28607

Phone/fax 828.264.4002


The Appalachian Women's Fund is a philanthropic catalyst for social change and economic justice, with the goal of creating a community where all women and girls reach their full potential. The fund assists women and girls in the mountains of North Carolina with a focus on Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties.

Participation is possible at four levels: Junior members, ages 16-22, who volunteer for the fund's projects; Circle of Sisters, $100 a year and involvement in fund projects; Leadership Circle, pledge of $600 a year for four years, can serve on the Board and will assist with events and committees; Philanthropic Circle, pledge $1,000 a year for three years and be active in projects if desired.  Corporate memberships are also available.

Contact the fund for additional information.

Onslow Women's Health Fund

Contact: Melissa St. Clair, 703.580.1638 or onslowwomens.healthfund@yahoo.com

Address: NCCF/OWHF, PO Box 991, Wilmington, N.C. 28402


Launched in June 2007, the Onslow Women's Health Fund is located in Jacksonville and raises money to support under-insured or uninsured women in Onslow County. The fund also is open to women from other counties if they are referred through the Onslow County Health Department.

The fund is administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation.

High Country Women's Fund (Avery and Watauga Counties)

Contact: Lindsay Miller, coordinator

P.O. Box 144, Boone, N.C. 28607

828.264.4007 or info@highcountrywomensfund.org


Created in May 2006, the High Country Women's Fund is an initiative of the High Country United Way. It is a giving circle of caring and committed women who sincerely want to help women move toward self-sufficiency. Funds are used to provide critical assistance for women in a variety of areas, including: transportation, child care, education, housing and personal needs.

Women can become members of the fund's Circle of Friends by donating any amount of their time, talents or treasures. They can have a voice in the fund by serving on committees and participating in our fundraisers and service projects. Members of fund's Director's Circle commit to donating $1200 a year and have a vote on how all money is allocated.


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