Our Giving Circles Award $395K in Grants to 18 Organizations - Women's Foundation California
Able Works
WomenGo! grant partner Able Works.

For over sixteen years our Giving Circle Network has been making investments in organizations throughout the state that are increasing the economic security of low-income women and families. This year the network awarded $395,000 to 18 organizations working to meet the needs of their local communities. Each of our six giving circles invest in different strategies to positively impact the lives of women and families in California.

Meet our giving circles and our 18 incredible grant partners!

Economic Development and Justice Giving Circle (EDJe)

EDJe is a small group of donors who support organizations primarily in the Bay Area. Currently, the circle has two primary funding areas: access to child care for low-income families and sex trafficking. This year EDJe made two grants totaling $105,000.

California Child Care Resource and Referral
San Francisco
This grant was made to support Children Can’t Wait: Mothers Advocating for Justice in Child Care. This collaborative project seeks to increase access to quality affordable child care for low-income mothers who are waiting for child care services. The grant will also support the development of parent leaders whose knowledge and passion will successfully impact legislative, budget and administrative decisions for child care.

Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY)
MISSSEY supports and advocates for youth who have been commercially sexually exploited. They are a survivor-informed organization that is confronting human trafficking in Oakland, in Alameda County and throughout California. This grant will be used to provide case management for commercially sexually exploited youth over the age of 18.

Race, Gender and Human Rights (RGHR)

The Race, Gender and Human Rights Giving Circle promotes human rights and racial and gender justice by challenging the criminal justice system and its use of mass incarceration in California. RGHR supports organizations and coalitions working strategically at the intersections of race, gender and human rights to advance critical reforms in the criminal justice system in California. This year RGHR awarded $126,000 to five organizations.

A New Way of Life
Los Angeles
This grant was made to support the Los Angeles chapter of All of Us or None (AOUON). AOUON seeks to win full restoration of the human and civil rights of people with past convictions. They give a collective voice to people with criminal records by changing the policies that affect them. In addition, A New Way of Life was granted $1,000 to support the Justice on Trial Film Festival

Californians United for a Responsible Budget
This is a general operating support grant. Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a broad-based coalition of over 65 organizations seeking to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state. CURB was also granted an additional $2,000 to support the professional development of CURB’s leadership.

Center for Young Women’s Development
San Francisco
This grant was made to support the Blue Print Re-Design Project. The project will identify how to most effectively empower young women and girls to navigate the complex issues they face and lead, healthy, violence free, equitable, economically secure lives.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
This grant is for general operating support so that The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights can continue their work of breaking the cycle of disinvestment and incarceration in communities of color. The Ella Baker Center advances racial and economic justice to ensure dignity and opportunity for low-income people and people of color.

Essie Justice Group
This grant will help fund the publication of a report and a one-day summit that examines and exposes the impact of mass incarceration on women with incarcerated loved ones. Essie Justice Group harnesses the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones in order to lead to a safer society and the empowerment of women from traditionally marginalized communities.

Women Give San Diego (WGSD)

Women Give San Diego provides funding to organizations in San Diego County committed to improving the self-sufficiency and economic security of women and girls in their community. Most recently WGSD granted $100,000 to four organizations.

Dreams for Change
San Diego
This grant is for the support of the Safe Parking Employment Assistance Program. The Program provides a safe parking environment and supportive services for transitional homeless people living in their vehicles for overnight stays. Family advocates construct an action plan with each participant placing emphasis on permanent housing solutions, employment, training, emergency supports and asset stabilization and building.

International Rescue Committee in San Diego
San Diego
This grant is to support the Refugee Women’s Ladder to Economic Advancement Project (LEAP). This project assists low-income refugee women recover from war and attain financial independence in San Diego through entrepreneurship as well as employment.

Women Give San Diego grant partner, Leap to Success.
Women Give San Diego grant partner, Leap to Success. On the far right, WGSD member Janeal Ford.

Leap to Success
This grant is for general operating support. Leap to Success educates and empowers women who are overcoming domestic violence, homelessness and other major life challenges to reach their greatest potential. They achieve their mission through providing leadership and employment readiness training.

North County Lifeline
This grant will support Project LIFE, a human trafficking prevention and intervention program that helps victims transition into survivors with an ultimate goal of physical and mental recovery and permanent self-reliance. Project LIFE provides intensive case management, mental health therapy and supportive services through in-house programs and by referral to help victims work through the trauma they have endured. Services are victim-centered, trauma-focused and evidence-based. Project LIFE also works to raise awareness and educate professionals in the community about human trafficking through presentations and trainings, and provides four different prevention group series to youth at high risk for trafficking in mainstream and probation schools and in juvenile detention centers.


WomenGo! currently focuses their grantmaking on increasing access to—and completion of—higher education for low-income women, particularly Latinas. This past year, WomenGo! supported five organizations with $60,000 in grants.

Able Works
East Palo Alto
This grant will support the LiveAble:Women program. LiveAble:Women applies a unique approach to bringing economic self-sufficiency to female head of households ages 18-30. The program provides individual attention as well as a one year cohort experience for peers to move forward together in a healthy, positive and encouraging environment. Program participants benefit from case management, credit counseling, goal setting, educational and career planning, access to affordable housing, jobs and other needed resources – all with respect and sensitivity to their culture.

Santa Clara Unified School District
Santa Clara
This grant is in support of the GAINS program, which is a self-supporting organization providing support, learning and enrichment opportunities for middle and high schools girls in the Santa Clara Unified School District.  The aim of the GAINS program is to help students fulfill their goals of graduating from high school and college and going into a career in STEM field or other non-traditional field.

Girls to Women
East Palo Alto
This grant is for support of Girls to Women’s Combined Academic Support and STEM learning programs. Girls to Women partners with families, other local youth development agencies, and local schools to provide a nurturing environment supporting 45 under-resourced school-aged girls’ healthy development each year. At the core of our youth development approach is respect for the abilities, knowledge and potential of each girl served. They thrive among the positive, culturally-reflective female role models they find at Girls to Women.

This grant is for general operating support. Puente serves the San Mateo County South Coast communities of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar and San Gregorio. Puente both advocates for its communities and leverages resources that foster economic prosperity and security, and that promote individual and community health and wellness. They support local leaders and work together with their neighbors to create solutions for their diverse communities.

Somos Mayfair
San Jose
This grant is for general operating support. Somos Mayfair cultivates the dreams and power of the people of Mayfair through cultural activism, social services and community organizing. The organization is made up of generations of immigrants, rooted in a vibrant community who nurture healthy families and successful students, and who speak out for justice in Silicon Valley.

Women + Girls in California

The Women + Girls in California Giving Circle is an online based circle established in 2014 as a partnership between the Giving Circles Fund and the Women’s Foundation of California. The membership is comprised of women and girls from across the state and allows for philanthropists of all ages to work together virtually. The Circle just recently made its inaugural grant and is currently recruiting new members so that they can further expand their grantmaking. Click Women + Girls in CA to learn more about the Circle or to join today!

Downtown Women’s Center
Los Angeles
The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is the only organization in Los Angeles exclusively addressing the needs of women overcoming poverty and homelessness in Skid Row. DWC provides permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community that fosters dignity, respect and personal stability while advocating to end homelessness for women.

Please reach out to Rhiannon Rossi at rhiannonr@womensfoundca.org if you are interested in joining a giving circle and having greater impact in your community.

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