WGA Leads in Times of Crisis  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

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April 2020
Now is the Time for Leadership

Mary Pietan

As I noted in my recent email to you, if there ever was a time for clear thinking and strategic philanthropy, this has to be it. Late last month, I was a part of a Zoom meeting with 48 leaders of women's collective giving organizations nationwide organized by Philanos (formerly Catalist).

Here are some of the takeaways from this virtual meeting:
  • Nationwide, the agencies we serve clearly are among those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The clients they serve also are among those most impacted.
  • As we rush to respond, it's necessary to balance both a short-term and long-term view. Recovery will take several years–not just when people return to work. Many collective giving groups are structuring their activities and grant-making in phases of immediate relief followed by grants for rebuilding.
  • It may be OK to keep some grant monies in reserve for the long haul.
  • In a climate of uncertainty, perhaps it is time to trust our grantees a bit more. Many collective giving organizations are not only streamlining their application and oversight processes, they are switching from highly focused program grants to multi-year unrestricted funding.
  • Some organizations are working with their grantees to rethink current grants.
  • The structure of a woman's giving circle and the spirit of collective decision making is important to maintain, but remembering to be responsive and nimble during changing times is valuable and impactful, too.
The strength of a giving circle is that we have each other to work with on making these decisions. I will continue meeting with my Leadership Team, the Grants Leadership Team, the Steering Committee, and The Community Foundation. Jan Healy, WGA's President-Elect, is closely involved in all these conversations to ensure a seamless transition in October. We already have reached out to many of current grantees and will listen to past grantees as well. We are trying to balance immediate support to front-line social service agencies with grants that will fund longer-term rebuilding.

Please stay in touch and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I am here!

Stay safe and stay healthy,

Mary
Mfpietan@gmail.com or (904) 234-4915

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Membership Deadline Approaches
Remember that April 30 is the deadline for your money to be in this year's grants pool. If possible, please make your donation now.
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Wenger Challenge: Accomplished
Barbara Wenger issued a challenge to fellow WGA members earlier this year: She would match up to $20,000 in new gifts to the Grants Pool for 2020. Results are in, and WGA was up to the challenge! Fifty donors made gifts totaling $46,650! With Barb's match of $20,000, WGA now has an additional $66,650 to grant in our efforts to Break the Cycle of Female Poverty.

"I am thrilled that so many WGA members chose to add to our 2020 Grants Pool," Barb said. "I only wish we could find another $73,000 so that we could fund all nine of the amazing grant proposals that made it to our site visit stage of the Decision Team process. Now, more than ever, if you are able, I would love to have you invite more women to become WGA members or add funds to our Grants Pool. So many women and girls need our help!"

WGA President Mary Pieran added, "We are so grateful to Barb as well as the many members who donated to the challenge, allowing us to do even more with our money. Little did we realize when Barb so generously offered the challenge that we would be in such 'challenging' times in our community, thus making all the gifts even more appreciated."

 
Participate in a Member Survey
Each of us has her own unique and personal connection to WGA. Whether it is WGA's strategic philanthropy, advocacy, or camaraderie, your reason for continuing to be a member helps us share the wonderful benefits of WGA with potential members. That is why we are asking you to participate in a short, five-minute survey about your experience and your 'why,' so that we may better communicate the impact WGA has on our members. To participate, please complete the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YDYPCYD

 
Member Forum Will be Virtual
The WGA Member Forum will be held on Monday, May 20 as planned, BUT... we will meet virtually rather than in person. The website will be updated soon with information about how to register and join the meeting, Plan to attend!

 
Members Attend Catalist Conference
WGA Members at Catalist Conference
WGA Members at Catalist Conference
On February 22, 19 members of WGA converged in Seattle, WA for the 2020 Catalist Conference. Little did we know at the time that much of what we learned would become more important than ever as we all work with the non-profit agencies in our communities to continue to provide vital services.

Learn More
 
Philanos logo
Philanos (formerly Catalist) is hosting bi-weekly webinars to discuss best practices among women's collective giving organizations and the ongoing changes and impact that COVID-19 is having in our respective communities. Stay tuned!

 
Pre-Social Distancing
Riverside Connector
Riverside Connector
WGA Members and Friends enjoyed the Riverside-Avondale-Ortega Connector event early last month. We look forward to the time when in-person Connecting can resume!

 
 
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