Funding helps create pathways to economic security for women

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, a member of Prosperity Together, a nonpartisan partnership of public U.S. women’s foundations, announced a collective five-year, $100 million funding commitment by women’s foundations to create pathways to economic security for low-income women and their families in America.

Juanita James, Executive Director, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Juanita James, Executive Director, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

All Prosperity Together members belong to the Women’s Funding Network. The partnership will fund local programs with a proven track record in providing women with job training and child care, among other supports. Prosperity Together made the announcement at the White House Summit on Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color, which focused on a wide range of issues including the barriers and solutions to economic security confronting millions of low-income women living in America.

While women account for 57% of the workforce, the wage gap persists – women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns – and too often occupy minimum wage or part-time jobs, with little to no employer-sponsored benefits, and limited opportunity for growth and advancement. In Fairfield County, CT, women head 21,800 households with children under the age of 18. These barriers to economic prosperity are even greater for low-income women and women of color.

“Together We Thrive are the words we live by at the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” said Juanita James, Executive Director, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “Prosperity Together is an amazing opportunity for women’s foundations throughout the United States to collectively pledge our commitment to all women and their economic future. We are honored to be part of this historic endeavor.”

For more than 30 years, women’s foundations have invested in local solutions for low-income women and their families, community by community. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls has worked with local low-income women in Fairfield County since 1998, focusing on programs like the Family Economic Security Program that helps low- and mid-income women who support their families acquire the education and training they need to move up to jobs that pay family-sustaining salaries.

Prosperity Together will harness the collective power, leadership and proven effectiveness of women’s foundations working together to ensure women’s economic security in America. The partnership will also issue a call to policymakers, business leaders, the philanthropic community and the public to understand that economic prosperity for all is guaranteed only when economic security and equal opportunity are guaranteed for low-income women.

Prosperity Together partners will use their respective experience and knowledge to continue funding programs that are proven effective in their communities and states. The types of programs that will be funded include:

o Job Training: Fund job training programs that are customized to address the cultural and educational needs of low-income women in order to secure a higher-wage job in a stable work environment.

o Child Care: Fund programs that enable access for low-income women to affordable, high-quality childcare, so they can be successful in the workplace and their children have a strong academic start in life.

o Research: Fund state and national research to inform best practices and policies that increase economic security for low-income women, particularly women of color.

Prosperity Together advisory committee members include the Chicago Foundation for Women; Dallas Women’s Foundation; Iowa Women’s Foundation; the Ms. Foundation for Women; The New York Women’s Foundation; The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio; Washington Area Women’s Foundation; the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis; the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota; the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi; the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida; and the Women’s Funding Network.

Click here for more information on Prosperity Together, a list of all participating public U.S. women’s foundations and the five-year funding commitment.

About the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and The Fund for Women and Girls

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded over $185 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls is the largest women’s fund in New England, delivering $4.5 million in grants to more than 40 organizations serving more than 4,000 women and girls. Programs are being funded in 22 municipalities in Fairfield County and are in 40 schools, serving females age 5 to 90.

For more information, visit www.FCCFoundation.org.

Prosperity Together is a nonpartisan partnership of public U.S. women’s foundations dedicated to improving the economic security of low-income women and their families in America. On November 13 at The White House, Prosperity Together announced a five-year, $100 million funding commitment to invest in programs and strategies that will create pathways to economic security for low-income women in America. Prosperity Together demonstrates the critical role and power of women’s foundations to drive this work in communities, state by state, across the country.

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