Women's Giving Alliance E-News: January 2015
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In this issue:
Spotlight on Grants: Starting Point
Survey Results Now Available
President’s Letter
New Quick Links
Calendar Reminders
Spotlight on Grants

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare is halfway through its two-year $110,000 WGA grant to help Nassau County women in crisis.

Q.  What’s special about this WGA grant?
The focus of this grant is mental health for women in crisis.  Because services are provided onsite at a multi-functional social service agency (Barnabas) and a local thrift shop (affiliated with the domestic violence center Micah’s Place), as well as at Starting Point, women are provided behavioral health services at a convenient anonymous location and as part of comprehensive crisis assistance services.  Clients from age 11-57 each have received an average of two to three months of weekly or bimonthly hour-long sessions. 
Q.  Tell us about a client helped by this grant.
A woman entered counseling wanting to get out of an abusive relationship with her pimp, as well as come clean from her cocaine habit.  After seeing a counselor and starting in a drug rehab program, she is now self sufficient and has a steady job.  Because she was financially dependent on her pimp, she did not otherwise have the resources to access mental health services.
Q.  What have been the biggest challenges?
The parenting classes at Micah’s Place have been modified to better suit the needs of women in crisis, including the development of a weekly support group.  By setting up a designated office with staffing three days a week, Barnabas is now able to provide mental health services conveniently on site as part of its comprehensive crisis and medical care.
Q.  What have been the biggest learnings that might help others?

  • The collaboration of the three agencies (Starting Point, Barnabas, and Micah’s Place) better serves women and girls who need help with mental health and/or substance abuse.
  • Wrap around services increase the likelihood of client success. 
  • In a poor county with an above average percentage of uninsured and no public transportation, location matters.
News of Note

Survey Results Now Available

Thanks to the 119 WGA Members who participated in the 
2014 survey! With a very
good response rate of 35.5%, WGA has data
that is statistically valid, plus hundreds of your comments.  

What did the survey confirm?
  • WGA has a broad geographic representation throughout Northeast Florida.
  • Helping women and girls is the overwhelming reason members join WGA – and stay.
  • WGA’s grants process is a source of great pride.
  • Overall satisfaction with WGA is extremely high.
 What were some surprises?
  • Increasing advocacy efforts is strongly supported (although some have concerns).
  • Flexibility to choose one’s level of involvement is extremely important
  • Members prefer a downloadable Member Directory (vs. print)
  • The number of creative and thoughtful comments was impressive.
See for yourself.  To access the 10-page Executive Summary, click here (pdf). To see summary data by topic as well as all member comments, you need to log in to members only page click here, and then you will see all the survey links. If you don't have a login and password, you will need to click on "new user registration" to gain access. Committee chairs and the Steering Committee have already used these findings to set their 2015 goals. Help us continue the dialogue!
President's Letter
I hope you had a great holiday with family and friends, and are as excited as I am to get started on what I know will be an outstanding year.  Whether you just write a check or are actively involved, I think you will be pleased with what we have underway to make us a stronger organization. 
  • The Education Committee has arranged a wonderfully varied and interesting calendar of events for 2015.  The survey confirms that these lectures and meetings are valued by you, and great for recruiting new members; remember you can always bring a guest.
  • Your Neighborhood Connectors are hard at work on setting up local events. 
  • The work of the Grants Team is well underway with a strong pipeline of proposals to review.
The Member Survey was enlightening – and I have asked all committee chairs to incorporate your thinking and comments into their goal setting for 2015.   There is more detail about the survey in this issue of the newsletter and on our website, but a few things I found particularly interesting were :
  • Broad satisfaction with most of what we do, well-deserved praise for the  2014 leadership team, but also great ideas about how to improve
  • Lots of agreement that word of mouth is the best recruiting tool, but a wish for less complicated print tools to help with recruiting
  • Multiple areas of interest for future grant-making when we decide to pivot from mental health
I’m excited about our new larger print piece that combines the Calendar with our “elevator speech” and basic information for each of us to use with prospects.  You should be receiving this in the mail during the next week or so; we also will have a downloadable version on the website.  In the meantime, please use the Calendar Reminder section below to aid with your planning.  Also, try out our new Quick Links at the bottom of this newsletter (another great idea from a member)!
In my next letter, I plan to update you on goals for the next two years. In the meantime, I welcome any input you might have. 

Paula Liang
(914) 673-9007,
Calendar Reminders
We’re happy to have you as a member, regardless of your level of involvement.  However, if you find any of the upcoming events of interest, please join us.  And remember, you are welcome to bring a guest.  All we ask is that you please register so we can plan accordingly.

“Nine in 15”

Wednesday, January 21
5:00 - 7:00 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art 
333 North Laura Street 32202

How can we get more women in elected and appointed positions in our region and beyond—and why does it matter?  Three prominent civic leaders (and WGA members) – Audrey Moran, Pam Paul and Carol Thompson – are leaders of Nine in 15, a nonpartisan grassroots initiative focused on increasing the number of women on the Jacksonville City Council in the 2015 election.  They will share their research and perspectives on the values of women in leadership.  Come hear their thoughts – and share yours.
Enjoy complimentary valet parking, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for this event. 
Optional: Come early to tour the museum before it closes at 5:00 pm. 
Space is limited and will fill up!  RSVP today!
Click here to register

Advocacy: Sex Trafficking -- Making a Difference

Tuesday, February 3
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Lower Level Conference Room
245 Riverside Avenue 32202

The Florida Safe Harbor Act, which provides help for sexually exploited children, became law in 2013.  Learn about implementation of this legislation, as well as the challenges that remain in helping victims of child abuse, rape, and sex trafficking.  Learn, too, how your advocacy can make a difference in the lives of the children the law is designed to protect. Our speakers will be LaWanda Ravoira, CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, and Crystal Freed, an attorney, community organizer and advocate whose work is focused on awareness of child exploitation and human trafficking as well as advocacy on behalf of victims.

(Brown bag lunch)
Click here to register

Member Forum

Wednesday, March 4
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
(Program will begin promptly at 11:30 am)
UNF Herbert University Center
12000 Alumni Drive 32224

This year’s Member Forum for members and their guests will highlight the current WGA grants focus – improving mental health for women and girls in NE Florida.  Experience a Mental Health First Aid module, which teaches people how to help individuals who may be developing a mental illness or who are experiencing a mental health crisis.  The presenter will be Katrina Robinson-Wheeler, LMHC, CAP, SAP and Clinical Director at Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare, a current WGA grant recipient.  The full training will be offered to members and grantee agencies this spring.  In addition, the inaugural class of 12 Delores Barr Weaver Fellows, all new members under 40, will be introduced —and highlights from the recent Member Survey will be shared.
$30 (includes lunch); $40 beginning February 23
Registration requested by Friday, February 20.  Late registration fees begin Monday, February 23.
Click here to register

Quick! Quick! Quick!

In response to the WGA Member Survey, we are happy to provide five quick links at the bottom of this and every newsletter going forward.   Each Quick Link will take you easily to exactly the right location on the WGA website. Try them out! And thanks for your suggestions. Keep them coming.
Members Directory
For questions or more information, please contact Teri Calinao, Donor Services Manager or (904) 356-4483.
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