Learn about our new regional structure, read about our Program Director's travels in Southeast Asia, and welcome our new Regional Leader.

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The Dish
Volume 4, Issue 2 | February 2016
13th Month Results »
New Regional Structure »
Program Director's Visit
to Southeast Asia »
Co-Founder's Book Review »
Featured Program »
Sustained Program »
Proven Platter »
New NW Regional Leader »
New Recognition Plan »
Year End Giving
Statements »
YouTube Channel Updates »
Grantee Reports Posted »
Milestones »
Chapter Anniversaries »
Reserve Grantees
Three Reserve Grants Awarded
Thanks to the generous support of our members and donors in 2015, DFW has awarded three reserve grants. These grants are awarded when excess funds are accumulated in our grant reserve fund. Reserve grantees are named alternates in previous grant cycles which means they were thoroughly vetted and met all of our rigorous criteria. These organizations were also required to submit updated information and budgets for evaluation prior to being awarded a reserve grant. The three reserve grantees for 2015 are:

Visions Global Empowerment (Ethiopia) -- $46,728
Mercado Global (Guatemala) -- $28,061.99
EDUCATE (Uganda) -- $15,000

13th Month Goal Surpassed!
WE DID IT! Thanks to you, we not only met, but surpassed, our 2015 goal for the 13th Month Campaign. A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated, and to all our Regional Leaders, Mentors and Chapter Leaders who promoted the campaign and held fundraisers.

Total donations for our year-end annual appeal were $284,973, exceeding our goal of $280,000. Not only that – we raised over $100,000 more than we did last year! The additional funds are for investments in infrastructure and technology that will improve our customer service, raise the level of professionalism of our organization, ensure our sustainability, and allow us to grow in the future.

There were 2,011 individuals who contributed to the campaign this year, which is 670 more donors than last year.

In addition, we nearly doubled member participation in our Founders' Circle with 85 donors in 2015 compared to 43 in 2014. Founders' Circle donors are those individuals who make 13th Month gifts of $1,000 or more in the calendar year.

"It is so thrilling to see the success of the 13th Month and the Founders' Circle Campaign in 2015," says Beth Ellen Holimon, DFW Executive Director. "For the staff at the home office, the thousands of people who voted with their dollars were saying that you believe in the 2020 Vision of Dining for Women and are excited to be a part of a growing enterprise that democratizes philanthropy, seeks equity for women, advocates for women, and also creates an incredible sense of community. I want to thank everyone who supported the 13th Month Campaign and a special thanks to our staff who worked so hard to ensure the success of the campaign."

A complete list of 13th Month donors will be published in our 2015 Annual Report which will be released this spring. In the meantime, you can go online to see a list of our 2015 Founders' Circle donors.
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Visiting DFW Grantees in South Asia
By Dr. Veena Khandke | Program Director
During the fall of 2015, I traveled extensively in South Asia co-directing Furman University's India/Sri Lanka Study Away Program, which included 15 students and two faculty members. I made the most of being in South Asia by conducting site visits and interviews with five Dining for Women grantees: Emerge Global, The Unforgotten, Anchal, Matrichaya, and Vacha Charitable Trust, our featured grantee this month.

Being in South Asia is always exhilarating: the beautiful coconut trees and the breathtaking landscapes and forests, the heavy scent of tropical foliage, the crowded urban cities with people, people everywhere, and the delicious food.
Continue Reading »
Exective Director's Blog
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Laying the Foundations for Growth
By Beth Ellen Holiman | Executive Director
Last year, Dining for Women announced its 2020 Vision, with plans to grow our organization to 20,000 members by the year 2020. This is indeed a bold goal, and one that we believe is achievable over the five-year period. Our focus this year is on laying the foundations for our future growth, and we are off to a great start! I want to tell you about an important initiative that has recently been under way.

One of the hallmarks of DFW's model is that we rely heavily on volunteers, and the pinnacle of this volunteer tree is our Regional Leaders. Early on, DFW established a structure that divided the U.S. into eight regions, each managed by a volunteer Regional Leader. We know that we want to keep this regional structure in place.
Continue Reading »
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Our Featured Grantee for February:
Vacha Charitable Trust
Vacha Charitable Trust works with adolescent girls 10 to 18 years of age living in the slums of Mumbai, India and the surrounding areas. Vacha (which means speech, articulation and self-expression) envisions a world without exploitation, oppression, discrimination and injustice against women. Its mission is to empower girls and sensitize boys to become adults who value equality and become productive citizens.

Dining for Women's grant of $39,230 will be used over two years to equip marginalized girls with the skills they need to become active leaders in their communities and effect community change. Learn More »
Watch Our Conversation with Medhavinee Namjoshi, Executive Director of Vacha Charitable Trust
3 Things You Need to Know about our Featured Grantee
In India, 47 percent of girls under the age of 18 are married. Due to economic circumstances, other girls are sold into labor or the sex trade when they reach puberty. Nearly 13 million workers in India are under age 14, and 43 percent of India's sex workers are under age 16.
In addition to a structured curriculum that includes learning English, computers and leadership skills, Vacha focuses on grassroots empowerment and advocacy programs to enable girls to rise above their circumstances. Vacha helps the girls organize community events and social actions to engage the community and initiate change.
In the past four years, 98 percent of Vacha girls have delayed marriage until after age 19 or 20, and 96 percent of the girls have completed education until class 10. About 50 percent have enrolled for university degrees.
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Sustained Funding Grantee: Starfish One by One
Starfish One by One serves rural Mayan girls in Guatemala and was DFW's featured grantee in February 2012. Its mission is to empower young women through education and mentorship to become leaders in their community.

DFW's three-year, $60,000 sustained funding grant ($20,000 per year from February 2016-2018) will leverage Starfish's success and female leadership to create an all-girl flagship school to empower and educate a generation of female leaders in rural Guatemala. At the completion of this project, Guatemala will have its first all-girl middle school to prepare high-aptitude, first generation girls to be competitive at a local, national and international level.

The following is a quote from Starfish One by One regarding its 2012 featured grant from DFW:
"At the time that this donation was awarded, it was the largest institutional grant that Starfish had received. This grant proved to be a crucial stepping stone towards what is now a highly innovative organizational model. The BRIDGE Project further deepened Starfish's organizational faith in the unprecedented heights that these young women will reach. We greatly appreciate your trust in this vision and invite you to stay in touch with Starfish to accompany their journey."

Read the June 2013 Final Report from Starfish »
Learn More »
Proven Platter
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The Proven Platter
A Vegetarian Thali Platter
By Linda McElroy, DFW Recipe Curator and Chapter Leader of WA, Seattle-1
This month our culinary journey takes us to India, specifically the Maharashtra state in Western India. I got a little ambitious this month though, and rather than present you with one "Proven Platter" dish, I constructed an entire thali platter just for you! I had a lot of fun working on this project, and even more fun eating the leftovers for days!
View Recipe »
See All Recipes from India »
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Find Me Fascinated
By Marsha Wallace | DFW Co-Founder
The first time I talked with Jessica Posner, co-founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), was June 2011. Shining Hope for Communities was Dining for Women's featured grantee, and I had asked her to Skype with my chapter. It was about 2:00 a.m. in Kenya! We were riveted as she described the school and the vision that she and Kennedy, her life partner and SHOFCO co-founder, have for their organization. We were hooked by the vision but also by the story of Jessica and Kennedy, drawn together in life and in work.
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New Northwest Regional Leader
 Karen McCune Congratulations and welcome to Karen McCune, the new Co-Leader for our Northwest Region. She joins current Regional Leader Memory Blodgett and, together, they have exciting plans for growing DFW in the Northwest.

Karen is one of the co-founders and co-leaders of the OR, Portland-3 chapter, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last year. Recently, she has served as Mentor for the Portland Metro area. Karen brings many valuable skills to her role as Regional Leader.
Read Karen's bio »
Year-End Giving Statements
DFW will send out 2015 year-end giving statements by January 31st. These statements will be emailed to every donor provided we have a valid email address on file. Donors who made a single gift of $250 or more during 2015 will be sent a hard copy statement via postal mail.

2015 giving statements will include all donations (for both programs and the 13th Month Campaign) that were received or postmarked by December 31, 2015. Donations received or postmarked after December 31, 2015 will be included on your 2016 giving statement.

Online, credit card donations through Network for Good will NOT appear on DFW's year-end giving statements. Network for Good issues tax receipts at the time of donations. It does not automatically send out year-end statements, but will do so if requested by the donor. Donors who would like a year-end statement from Network for Good need to request it by sending an email to

If you do not see your statement by January 31st, please check your spam/junk folders. If you still cannot find it, please call DFW's home office at 864-335-8401.
Recognition Plan
Showing Our Appreciation: DFW's New Recognition Plan
Dining for Women relies heavily on hundreds of committed and passionate volunteers. We simply could not achieve all that we do without our volunteers, and we want every volunteer to know that their contributions are recognized, valued and appreciated.

As DFW raises the standards on all aspects of our organization, recognition of our most valuable assets, our volunteers, is an urgent priority. With our large and growing volunteer base, we need a more standardized approach to ensure that ALL volunteers are recognized in a manner that is consistent across our organization.

Last year, we put together a committee, chaired by Mary Liz Jones, a long-time member, Chapter Leader and former Regional Leader in the Mid-Atlantic region. The committee also includes members and volunteers from across our organization, including Debbie Britt (PA), Barbara Chatzkel (AZ), Mary Crawley (GA), Linda Dougall (CA), and Anne Henry (WA).

The Recognition Committee has worked very hard to develop a comprehensive plan: one that is based on DFW's core values — collaboration, education, inspiration and transformation – as well as nonprofit industry best practices.

The plan demonstrates DFW's appreciation for the time and effort that ALL volunteers put into Dining for Women, whether you are a Chapter Leader or Co-Leader, a meeting host or presenter, a Mentor, Regional Leader, Board or committee member. This comprehensive plan will now be implemented in phases over the next few years.

A key focus this year will be on recognizing chapter milestones. As we have done in the past, we will continue to send cards and share chapter anniversaries in The Dish. We will also recognize five and 10 year anniversaries with a chapter gift, phone call and/or visit. We understand the dedication and effort it takes – by Chapter Leaders, Co-Leaders, and members – to keep a chapter active and vibrant, and we want to celebrate these key milestones with you!

THANK YOU to all our volunteers for being an integral part of Dining for Women. We appreciate you!
Happy anniversary to the SC, Columbia-2 chapter which celebrated its 7th anniversary in December. Chapter Leaders are Susan Hendricks and Janie Kerzan.
Congratulations to the WA, Vancouver-1 chapter on its 5th anniversary. Chapter members celebrated with a group photo and cake. Chapter Leader Katlin Smith said "onward to the next 5 years!"
Please send photos of your chapter milestones, meetings or special events to:

IN Follow DFW on Instagram for program info, recipes, chapter news, and more.
Alia Whitney-Johnson, founder of Emerge Global in Sri Lanka, spoke at a reception hosted by the Asheville, NC chapters in December. Emerge Global was a DFW featured grantee in July 2011 and is also receiving a three-year, $60,000 sustained funding grant. Emerge Global helps abused teens develop healthy, self-sufficient lives by teaching business skills and jewelry design. About 50 people were inspired by Alia's presentation, including Marsha Wallace, DFW Co-Founder.
Photo by: Barbara Sherf
The three Weavers Way, PA chapters (all located in the same neighborhood) held its 4th Beloved White Elephant Auction, raising over $2,100 for DFW's December featured grantee and the 13th Month Campaign. Thanks to all who work so hard on this event, especially Co-Chairs Judith Tindall and Cara Herold. These three chapters have contributed more than $82,700 to DFW since their inception!
New YouTube Channel
DFW YouTube Channel
We've consolidated all of our videos onto one YouTube Channel. Future conversations with our featured grantees will be posted to this channel each month. Be sure to subscribe to our channel by visiting our page and clicking the red subscribe button in the banner.
Program Reports
Grantee Reports
Posted Online
2015 Final Report »

HOPE Foundation
2014 Interim Report »

Chapter Anniversaries This Month
1 Year
INT, Germany giving circle
led by Katarzyna Michaels
CA, Simi Valley - 1
led by Colleen Kill
WI, Suamico - 1
led by Laura Staloch
OR, Bend - 2
led by Karyn Anderson
CA, San Ramon - 1
led by Stephanie LaCount
MA, Paxton - 1
led by Jan Lucier
OK, Tulsa - 3
led by Ashlee Crouch & Lauren Monnet
OR, Portland - 14
led by Judith McGavin
2 Years
NV, Reno - 1
led by Laci Crow
CA, Santa Barbara - 4
led by Danyel Dean & Lynda Rae
OH, Toledo - 6
led by Shelley Kotz
NM, Sante Fe - 1
led by Amanda Burkybile Wiltenburg
WA, Pullman - 1
led by Libby Walker
SC, Isle of Palms - 2
led by Christel Cothran
3 Years
AZ, Prescott - 1
led by Joan Enoch
MI, Troy - 1
led by Mary Masson & Gail Cowger
KY, Lexington - 2
led by Anita Courtney & Delia Rose Gibbs
IL, Chicago - 5
led by Liz Tracy & Jaclyn Tracy
SC, Charleston - 6
led by Catherine Rogers & Susan Dunn
MI, Port Huron - 1
led by Doreen MacDonald
CA, Mountain View - 2
led by Robyn Reiss
4 Years
CA, Monte Sereno - 1
led by Mona Roussey
MN, St Paul - 2
led by Mary Amdahl
CA, Agoura - 2
led by Julie Kassan
MN, St Paul - 1
led by Debra Manderfeld & Mary Fleming
MN, Minneapolis - 2
led by Lauren McCarthy
MA, Great Barrington - 1
led by Leslye Heilig & Barbara Watkins
5 Years
OR, Portland - 6
led by Lisa Maas & Lynn McClenahan
MA, Amherst - 1
led by Devorah Jacobson & Margaret Mastrangelo
SC, Columbia - 5
led by Linnea Westerkam
WI, Milwaukee - 4
led by Frances Findley
IN, South Bend - 1
led by Corinne Blakemore
WA, Seattle - 2
led by Alissa Johnson
INT, MB, Haywood giving circle
led by Rachel Massinon & Diane Poiron-Toupin
6 Years
CA, San Anselmo - 1
led by Cynthia Sawtell
FL, Venice - 1
led by Deirdre Christman & Linda Underwood
INT, Mexico giving circle
led by Nancy Benardete
OH, Cincinnati - 4
led by Rachel Kemper
9 Years
MO, Saint Louis - 1
led by Cathy Edmond
10 Years
OH, Massillon - 1
led by Dawn Hansard
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