How did your involvement with The Women’s Fund begin?
After moving from New York City to Marion in the 1970s, I joined the board of the Zeiterion and became enthralled with New Bedford and its history. Once I met Bettina Borders, I became very involved with the fund. For me, it has always been about women and girls. I am on the founding board of Our Sister’s School and Lighting the Way at the Whaling Museum.
What Women’s Fund accomplishments are you most proud?
That we’ve survived! Raising money is hard and raising money for women and girls is even harder. Early on many people questioned the ability for this fund to survive in New Bedford. But, we are still here after 20 years and we have funded and worked collaboratively with other women-led organizations on some spectacular efforts such as LifeWork and Run as You Are.
Why do you continue to support the fund and what excites you about the future of the fund?
I feel so strongly that women need a voice and unfortunately that voice also has to come with money. It is hard to raise money for women, however, New Bedford and the South Coast area have an amazing number of women who are volunteering their time to work on the issues that impact so many in our region. I am excited about collaborating with other women-led organizations. Women need to band together to make positive change. Today, many women are stepping out and taking risks to have their voice heard. We need more women to continue to do this so we can have a true impact.
Why should others give to The Women’s Fund?
When I started giving to The Women’s Fund nearly 20 years ago, I gave based on need and was fixated on results. Now, I am focused on leadership. The staff, volunteers, and leadership at the Fund are incredible. I feel strongly that the path forward is gender balance. Now more than ever, The Women’s Fund is poised to make real systemic change. Women are on a roll and we need to seize the moment!
We have a challenge!
As the Women’s Fund turns 20 years old in 2020, we have a lot to celebrate.
Our impact improving the lives of women and girls can be measured in the quality of the initiatives we fund—from promoting educational access to advocating for a living wage. You have been an important part of our success.The Fund is now positioned to broaden its scope.
Guided by the Economic Blueprint for Women, we have listened to the women we serve, we have learned from them about the barriers they face, and together with your help, we will work to dismantle those obstacles in our local community.
This year, we want to do more -- and with your support we can. Our founding mothers have challenged us to raise $50,000 by December 31, and they will match it dollar for dollar.
The Founding Mothers (left to right): Kate Fentress, Marcy Wintrub, Nancy Kurtz, Rachael Kolb, Bettina Borders, Priscilla Ditchfield - missing from photo: Chrissie Bascom, Nan Johnson, Anna Knight Whitcomb, and Nancy Braitmayer photo credit: Rebecca McCullough
"Why I Give" with Founding Mother Chrissie Bascom
Economic Blueprint for Women
We work with community partners to develop a regional agenda for women and girls, currently the Economic Blueprint for Women. The Women's Fund raises money and makes grants to move forward these priorities. At present, the Women's Fund is predominantly making grants by invitation to organizations moving forward the Blueprint Action Plan priorities. If you would like to learn more, please email email@example.com or call (508) 717-0283.