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Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts

 135 Union Street
 New Bedford, MA 02740
[P] (508) 717-0283
[F] (508) 996-8254
www.womensfundsema.org
dlee@womensfundsema.org
Darcy  Lee
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INCORPORATED: 1995
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3280353

LAST UPDATED: 03/21/2018
Organization DBA Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts is to advance the educational attainment and economic security of women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts.
 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts is to advance the educational attainment and economic security of women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts.
 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $161,920.00
Projected Expense $159,225.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Economic Blueprint for Women
  • Life Work Project

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts is to advance the educational attainment and economic security of women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts.
 

Background Statement

 


 

The Women’s Fund began in 2001 with a donation to the Community Foundation of Southeastern MA by Bettina Borders, who went on to become Judge Borders. Her vision was to create a resource for women and girls in our region so that they could overcome economic and social barriers to becoming educated and self-sufficient. A group of dedicated women volunteered for the early years to raise funds and hired the first part-time director in 2004, raising $100,000 and making the first grants in 2005. The Women’s Fund has since awarded more than $700,000 in grants to more than 50 non-profit organizations in our region, reaching more than 5,300 women and girls. In addition, the Women's Fund has leveraged close to $600,000 in women's philanthropy for initiatives supporting women and girls.



Today, the Women’s Fund maintains its own budget within the CFSEMA, which in year ending December 31, 2015 was approximately (year-end finances are not yet closed) $380,000 including operations and grant-making. The Women’s Fund is guided by a 12- person Leadership Council (soon to be 13 members), chaired by Lean Camara, and is led by Executive Director Valerie Bassett, who manages a part-time staff of two: a Development Director and an Administration and Marketing Officer.


The Women's Fund of Southeastern MA raises funds and takes collaborative action to build pathways to economic independence for all women. Our mission is to advance the educational attainment and economic security of women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts. Our goal is to increase the percentage of women in the region who earn a living wage. To accomplish this, the Women’s Fund convened the Task Force on Pathways for Women to a Living Wage, a cross-sector group of over 40 regional leaders that studied best practice programs and policies to improve women’s economic strength and identified 26 concrete recommendations for action in southeastern MA. These recommendations now serve as our Economic Blueprint for Women. One Blueprint action item is to sustain and expand cohort-based education and training support and empowerment programs for women to earn degrees, including the LifeWork Project. The Women's Fund has played a unique role to initiate and support programs and collaborations such as WISE, LifeWork, the Task Force on Pathways for Women to a Living Wage and Action for Women of Southeastern MA, a new advocacy coalition.

Impact Statement

The Women’s Fund began in 2001 with a donation to the Community Foundation of Southeastern MA. A group of  women volunteered for the early years to raise funds and hired a director in 2004, raising $100,000 and making the first grants in 2005. The Women’s Fund has since awarded more than $700,000 in grants to more than 50 non-profits in our region, reaching more than 5,300 women and girls. Today, the Women’s Fund maintains its own organizational budget within the CFSEMA of close to $400,000, is guided by an 11- person Leadership Council and is led by an Executive Director who manages a part-time staff of three: a Development Director, an Administration and Marketing Officer and a Project Coordinator.

The Women's Fund of Southeastern MA raises funds and takes collaborative action to build pathways to economic independence for all women. Our goal is to increase the percentage of women in the region who earn a living wage. To accomplish this, the Women’s Fund convened the Task Force on Pathways for Women to a Living Wage in 2015, a cross-sector group of over 40 regional leaders that studied best practice programs and policies to improve women’s economic strength and identified 26 concrete recommendation for action in southeastern MA. These recommendations now serve as our Economic Blueprint for Women, which will guide our fundraising, grant-making, and policy and advocacy action for the next 15 years.

The LifeWork Project (LWP) is an economic mobility program for low-income women based on the research and model developed by the Crittenton Women's Union: the Bridge to Self Sufficiency© (the Bridge) and Mobility Mentoring©. LWP was initiated by the Women's Fund and is supported by a community collaborative of service providers. Launched in 2013, LWP supports 30 participants, predominantly single mother heads of household who are enrolled in community college, to get on track to a career earning a self-sufficient wage and accumulate a savings account of up to $4000.  


Needs Statement

Over one-third of families in New Bedford are headed by a woman alone. Nearly half the children in the city grow up in a single female-headed household; 60% of those children grow up in poverty.  Education and training is key to employment and economic mobility, yet only 13.7% of New Bedford women have earned more than a high school diploma. In New Bedford, a single working mother of two must earn $25 an hour to independently cover basic family living expenses. For a single-parent household, this translates to an annual full-time wage of over $60,700 to be self-sufficient; yet the median annual salary for all New Bedford women is just under $30,400. Single mothers, working full-time, year round in New Bedford are not making enough to provide for the basic needs of their families.

The most pressing needs of the Women’s Fund and our community include: 

The LifeWork Project ($250,000 for 2016 - 2017) to expand this highly effective, successful pilot project from a 3 year to a 5 year pilot.

Community-based grants ($100,000) to initiate new and special projects that advance the recommendations of the Economic Blueprint for Women. 

Operations ($275,000 annually) to employ 3 full-time staff members to adequately respond to the needs of our community.


CEO Statement

Nearly half of New Bedford households are headed by single mothers, who face not only financial and caretaking demands of parenting, but also a wage gap. Median wages for women in New Bedford and Fall River are about $10,000 less than what men earn.
 
The Women's Fund invests in initiatives that expand opportunity, so that all girls and women in this region can find a path to economic independence and an equal living wage. We work in partnership with many individuals and other organizations to address the barriers that women in our region face to economic independence.
 
The LifeWork Project and WISE are our major initiatives, supporting low-income women through higher education to self-sufficiency. These women who are, through education and work, building a better life for themselves and their children.  These amazing women have overcome great difficulty and shown perseverance and determination. They are progressing with great effort through higher education while parenting, often working, reliant on public transportation and not enough cash. Many face additional challenges, such as domestic violence.
 
Our Task Force on Pathways for Women to a Living Wage, met for 10 months and recently released recommendations for local and state changes to widen opportunities for women and girls. These recommendations will serve as a blueprint for Women's Fund future investments.
 
With your help, going forward, we will celebrate graduations from schools and trade apprenticeships, the hiring, fair wages and economic empowerment of tens of thousands more women. We will help to support successful women, families and communities. 

Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

Southeast Massachusetts Region

The Women's Fund maintains the same geographic focus of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts that serves 43 cities and towns in Southeastern Massachusetts and focuses its efforts in the cities of New Bedford and Fall River.

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Women's Rights
  2. Education - Funding Raising & Fund Distribution
  3. Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Economic Blueprint for Women

The Economic Blueprint for Women - a set of recommendations developed by over 40 area organizations and leaders focused on how to increase the percentage of women earning a living wage, is the guiding principle for both our grant-making and policy and advocacy action for the next 15 years. 
 
Since 2005, the Women’s Fund has provided nearly $700,000 in grants to more than 50 local organizations who are supporting women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts. These grants have provided non-profits with the income to initiate new and special projects that align with our mission to advance the educational attainment and economic security of women and girls in Southeastern Massachusetts and have created relationships with community based organizations serving women and girls.  
 
Funding for the Economic Blueprint for Women will provide resources to invest in new and strategic initiatives and policy and advocacy work to move forward the 26 recommendations. 
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking, General/Other
Population Served Females Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  Funded projects and programs will meet their stated goals and objectives that address the needs of women and girls in accordance with our mission.
Program Long-Term Success  Funded projects and programs will provide access for low-income women and girls to needed community-based programming that meets their needs. More women and girls will participate in advocacy, leadership development, and obtain careers with a living wage to support themselves and their families without reliance on public benefits or a partner to provide for their basic needs.
Program Success Monitored By 
All grantees are required to monitor the success of their grant through Making the Case. Making the Case is a planning and evaluation tool created and provided by the Women's Funding Network. It is used to provide a framework of understanding and measuring the social change impact resulting from our grant-making investments.
Making the Case provides us with a common understanding among grantees and the Women’s Fund about the goals of our joint projects, better communication about our projects to the wider community, and improved opportunity to achieve social change through our activities.
 
Examples of Program Success   "Food for Thought," an after-school program that provided low-income girls  with direct instruction, hands-on learning and mentoring, in response to their requests to spend more time in a kitchen and to learn how to cook. The goals of the project were to: learn to cook when home alone or when caring for younger children and learning to prepare healthy and economical meals for their families. Girls met with female professionals within the food industry and reported being "surprised" about the path taken, which resulted in a spirit of, "If she can do it, I can do it!"  Targeted behavior changed as evidenced by the following, a quote from a participating student: "I taught my mother how to make omelets and we've been having them a lot. She never thought about having them for supper. Now she's teaching my brother how to make them and he can't believe all the stuff you can put in them."

Life Work Project

The LifeWork Project (LWP), is an innovative program, currently in  its third year, initiated by the Women's Fund and supported by a community collaborative. The goal is to support participants to be on a track that will lead to a career earning a self-sufficient wage. LWP assists low-income women, predominantly single mother heads of household, to set and accomplish goals in: education that leads to sustainable employment; financial literacy, including establishing a savings account equal to $2,000, job skills and career, family stability and health and well-being.

Through intensive mentoring, focus on building executive function skills, and incentives to reward success, this initiative aims to bridge the gap between the challenges faced by women in poverty and success.


Budget  $252,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Females Other Economic Level At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short-term, results include the degree to which participation in LifeWork results in: completion of a post-secondary certificate or an Associate’s degree, completion of a continuing education plan, increased levels of employment in a career track, savings equal to or exceeding $2,000, improved outcomes for children/families, increased self-esteem/score on the well-being index, and increased ability to set goals and make and execute plans to achieve those goals. Success will be achieved through the pilot period not only by the percentage of women achieving the above stated goals, but also by seeing significant movement in this direction as compared to baseline for the women participating in the LifeWork project and compared to benchmarks for their peers.

Program Long-Term Success 

In the long-term, the primary outcome we are seeking is full-time employment earning a family-sustaining wage. In addition, our goal for participants would be financial and housing stability, no dependence on public benefits, good physical and mental health for the women and their children and families, children succeeding in school and on track to higher education and training.

Program Success Monitored By 

Each year, the LifeWork Director and Coordinator meets with each of the program participants to create individualized goals pertaining to the five pillars of the Bridge --family stability, well-being, education and training, financial management, and employment and career management. They create timelines and action steps toward goals and financial incentives are outlined for each goal.

Success will be achieved through the pilot period not only by the percentage of women achieving their individual and program goals and the amount of financial incentives awarded because of the intrinsic nature of the incentives with goal-setting, but also by seeing significant movement in a positive direction. Key data points include: increase of the number of credits earned, increase in hourly wage, hours works, benefits earned, employment in a career track, increase of savings, reduction of need for public benefits, reported increase in self-esteem, increased retention rate versus peer group, among others.
Examples of Program Success 

A total of nine of the 35 women currently enrolled have earned their associate's degree since program inception in September 2013. Most community colleges have a retention rate of 62% with only 17% making it to a graduation ceremony. It takes an average of 6-7 years to earn an associate’s degree. LifeWork participants take 2-3 years to complete their associate degree. Additionally, 4 women have accepted transfers to a four-year institution. 

76% of  participants are currently working; Of which 56% obtained employment after being enrolled in LifeWork. 

At the beginning of the pilot, only about half of the participants had any kind of bank account, now all participants have IDA accounts with savings recorded. Eighty-six percent of the women enrolled in LifeWork during year 2 earned a total of $30,500 of which more than $18,000 was directed to be deposited into their IDA accounts. Seventy-three percent of participants received the maximum amount of incentives available to them.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Valerie Bassett
CEO Term Start Mar 2014
CEO Email vbassett@womensfundsema.org
CEO Experience

The Women’s Fund is led by Valerie Bassett, new Executive Director since 2014. A former employee of a battered women’s sheltering organization, Valerie went on to lead Intergovernmental Relations for the Boston Public Health Commission, was Director of Policy and Research at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and served as executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, an education and advocacy organization.

 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 200
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Lean Camara
Board Chair Company Affiliation Consultant to Healthcare Organizations
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Dec 2017
Board Co-Chair Ms. Sherrie Nobre
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation New Bedford Housing Authority
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Elizabeth Ackerman Oxford Creamery Voting
Ms. Jan Baptist Bristol Community College Voting
Ms. Lean Camara Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Jean Fox Southcoast Rail Project Manager, State of Massachusetts Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Louise Anthony -- --
Ms. Christina Bascom Community Volunteer --
Ms. Bettina Borders Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Juvenile Court Judge --
Ms. Ilana Feinerman Northeast ENT --
Ms. Sarah Gonet United Way of Greater New Bedford --
Ms. Nancy Kurtz -- --
Ms. Nancy Kurtz -- --
Ms. Kalia Lydgate Marion Institute --
Ms. Jean MacCormack University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth --
Ms. Pamela MacLeod Lima The Women's Center --
Ms. Cecelia Porche -- --
Ms. Maureen Sylvia Armstrong Sylvia Insurance Company --
Ms. Stephanie Wick Global Learning Charter School --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 12
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 83%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Distributions / Grant Making
  • Marketing
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Revenue $387,842 $349,926 $318,985
Total Expenses $361,631 $247,620 $228,664

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$8,536 $7,730 --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $93,707 $89,918 $78,268
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,830 $4,820 $4,873
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-6 -- $79
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $43,854 $43,788 $25,280
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $239,921 $203,670 $210,485

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Program Expense $239,921 $125,910 $136,130
Administration Expense $83,806 $105,732 $78,298
Fundraising Expense $37,904 $15,978 $14,236
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.07 1.41 1.39
Program Expense/Total Expenses 66% 51% 60%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 26% 11% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Assets $406,790 $418,145 $335,840
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $406,790.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 4.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose The Educate a Woman, Strengthen a Community Campaign will raise $2 Million to substantially increase the educational and economic success of low-income women in our region. Campaign dollars raised over the next four years will enable the Women’s Fund to initiate the Life Work Project, a degree-based program for low-income women in partnership with Bristol Community College, maintain the WISE Women Program and sustain our annual small grants cycle. The Women’s Fund has set an ambitious goal, including a portion to be raised with Bristol Community College. An educated woman, who can work her way out of poverty, will become a productive member of the community and role model for her children. Low education levels hurt families. The Women's Fund aims to break this cycle.
Campaign Goal $2,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2012 - Dec 2015
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $41,145.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan nan nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts is a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Massachusetts.  As such, the Women's fund does not have it's own 990s or audits nor IRS letter.  The Women's Fund has provided their operating statements for review of their financials.  The Women's Fund has an endowment, but the other assets and liabilities data is not available separately from the Community Foundation.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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