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September 20, 2018
President’s Letter
Ellen Wiss

Hello WGA friends!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer. We took the typical break from e-news during this time, but rest assured, there’s been no break for WGA’s impact!

Now, imagine the late Aretha Franklin singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T…

In August, we hosted the current WGA grantees for a wonderful listening session that produced impact from the invitation forward. One CEO exclaimed “Just by asking for our feedback sets you apart from other funders”! The goal was to listen and learn how WGA may be better partners to help further our common agenda of breaking the cycle of female poverty.

Loud and clear, we heard that WGA should help lead the community conversation to impact awareness, support, cross sector collaboration and policy change.

Good news is that WGA is already:

  1. Sharing a series of commissioned research reports from a top think tank in the U.S. on the status of women in our state by county
  2. Helping to lead #nopovertyjax, an all-sector collaboration toward poverty eradication in our region aligned with global, national, state and local efforts.
  3. Advocating in Tallahassee on policy recommendations from our commissioned research, with success in child marriage and human trafficking legislation
  4. Hosting a FL Legislature Qualified Candidate Forum where policy recommendations from the research will be raised (It’s not too late to register for free)

Keep reading through this newsletter for more! Yes, WGA listens to and respects our grantees.


Ellen Wiss, President
(720) 256-6143
 Grant Spotlight: Betty Griffin Center
Women make bracelets as part of the Hope in Recovery Project at Betty Griffin Center.

In October of 2016, Betty Griffin Center, partnering with Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare (SMA) was granted $100,000 from the Women’s Giving Alliance for their Hope in Recovery Project.

The grant provides survivors of domestic and sexual abuse with the safety, support and hope they seek in their path to recovery and violence-free living. Since March of 2017, more than 100 women have taken part in this comprehensive program. During a recent interim report visit, WGA evaluation team members commented that the enthusiasm of the group facilitators is evident and has led to an environment that provides a safe space for survivors to talk openly about substance abuse issues without fear of judgment.

This is just one of many examples of how your WGA dollars are making a difference in Northeast Florida!

Refer a Young Friend to 4Sight

On Monday, October 1, WGA will host the next social event for prospective Delores Barr Weaver 4Sight participants at Moxie Kitchen in St. Johns Town Center. Because of your referrals, 24 young women have joined WGA through the 4Sight initiative.

The DBW 4Sight initiative gives women 40 and under the opportunity to join WGA at a one-time first year investment of $750. 4Sight participants have full voting rights and are encouraged to attend educational and social events as well as serve on committees. During their introductory year they are offered an orientation to WGA, which will include a closer look at our community impact, our research and grantmaking model and their personal philanthropic interests.

If you are over 40, we need your help in meeting and greeting the younger prospective members who represent the future of WGA and the next generation of philanthropy in Northeast Florida. It would also be wonderful if you could bring a 40 and under prospective member yourself.

Join us for a fun evening and help us share about WGA and how we are impacting the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida.  Register here, preferably by September 24.

Register for Annual Meeting Now

UNF Herbert University Center
12000 Alumni Drive
Cost $35 including lunch if you register by Oct. 19, $45 thereafter.

Don’t miss the 2018 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, October 31. Join your WGA friends for heartwarming stories of impact toward breaking the cycle of female poverty by WGA grantees, recommendations for the next round of grants in our focus area with the largest WGA grant investments ever, and other treats! Better still, bring guests!

Register Now

WGA is hosting a product drive for the annual meeting. Help stock the shelves for women and girls!

Many of the women and girls that our grantees serve cannot afford feminine products such as tampons and pads, and sadly, there is no public assistance for these products.

While Florida recently became one of nine states to remove the sales tax on these products, our grantees still need our help. Please bring boxes of tampons and pads to the annual meeting. WGA will collect and distribute the products to all three pantries that serve women and girls in WGA’s five-county region. Thank YOU for stocking the shelves with dignity and respect!

Upcoming Events

Florida Legislator Qualified Candidates Forum
Sept. 24, 6-8:30 p.m.
UNF University Center Ballroom

Presented by the Women’s Giving Alliance, come meet the candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives! Qualified candidates from Duval, St. John’s, Nassau, Baker, and Clay will share how they would help support our focus on breaking the cycle of female poverty on the First Coast. This is a non-partisan forum that you won’t want to miss. Enjoy an evening of networking and becoming informed on the issues that matter the most to you. This presentation is free and open to the general public. Light refreshments will be provided. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. REGISTER.

Working Together to Change the Education Trajectory Toward Economic Success
Thursday Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Schultz Center, 4019 Boulevard Center Drive, Jacksonville

Hear a panel of educators discuss the effect of poverty on the learning process and how to change it. Bring lunch or order one when you REGISTER by Sept. 28.

Let’s get Connected!
Neighborhood Connector Groups grew out of members’ interest in getting to know one another in small, close-to-home settings. Activities depend on the interests and ideas of the members in each area and include periodic gatherings. Although local in focus, any member is welcome and encouraged to attend any Neighborhood Connector event—and to bring a friend! So that hostesses can plan appropriately, please RSVP using the links below:
September 26: Avondale/Riverside/Ortega Fall Connector
October 4: San Marco Connector
October 9: Ponte Vedra/Marsh Landing Connector
October 10: North Beaches Connector
October 16: Mandarin/Deerwood/Orange Park Connector 
October 23: Nassau Fall Connector

Together, We Rise! 2017 WGA Annual Report

Happy 15th Anniversary, WGA!

We’ve come so far together. Once a “best kept secret,” WGA has grown into a thriving organization, admired in our community and beyond for our commitment to women and

To sum up 2017 in one word: impact! True to our founders’ way, we have remained loyal and steadfast in growing and evolving WGA.

The WGA 2017Annual Report is out and you should have received one in the mail.

Read the Annual Report
Update on #nopovertyjax Coalition Work

At a branding workshop session with Brunet-Garcia last month, leaders from all sectors represented came together for input on a brand platform for launching this effort broadly in our region. This includes input from all prior meetings and convenings since March 2017, where many of you have taken part. Everyone is invited and urged to engage. History shows that collectively, we can impact a big, social issue like poverty. With all sectors coalescing around this common agenda of poverty eradication in our region, WGA will have more impact in our focus area of breaking the cycle of female poverty.

What is #nopovertyjax?

Poverty impacts every facet of our lives: education, health, safety, the economy. Jacksonville’s families, businesses, and commerce will benefit from ending poverty, which will greatly enhance the city’s global reputation. #nopovertyjax can make significant and lasting social change through the collective impact of business, government, philanthropy, nonprofits, and citizens united by a common agenda. Organizations will see a solid return on investment when they commit to creating opportunities for women and men to obtain productive work with stable and sufficient family income to provide life’s basic necessities and foster economic independence.


  • Positive identity for city
  • Crime reduction
  • Economic growth
  • Increase tax base
  • Reduce social costs
  • Attract new people
  • Be part of a winning team
“Poverty is not natural. It is man-made. It can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” —Nelson Mandela
WGA Women in the Recent Spotlight! Did You Know?

The women who make up WGA contribute to their communities in a myriad of different ways, and a number of you have recently been publicly recognized by your peers and your community. You’ll want to congratulate each one when you read about the accolades recently bestowed on these deserving WGA members!

Shanna Monique Carter, CEO of Krumpin For Success, was selected by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida’s First Leadership Accelerator Program.

Agnes Danciger, Memorial Park preservation leader, is a 2018 EVE Award Finalist for her commitment to philanthropy, leadership and volunteering in our community. Read more.

Annie Erstling, VP Strategy at Forcura, was a Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence 2018 Nominee honored as mentor and role model for helping others find and use their voice.

Aidee Chavez Frescas, Social Media Strategist, was a featured presenter on July 19 for PB&J, a nonprofit that addresses systemic issues in our community. Aidee spoke about her lived experience as a Mexican immigrant and the painful discrimination she has experienced here locally by those who have challenged her cultural belonging and heritage.

Mary Marx, PACE Center for Girls, was a Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence 2018 Nominee honored as mentor and role model for helping others find and use their voice.

Donna Orender, Founder of Generation W and Generation WOW, was featured in the Florida Times-Union for the release of the book, “Wowsdom.” Read the story.

Sabeen Perwaiz, Executive Director of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, was a featured presenter on May 10 for PB&J, a nonprofit that addresses systemic issues in our community. Sabeen spoke about her lived experience as a mother and a professional and the inequities that still exist for women.

TriciaRae Stancato, Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, was a Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence 2018 Nominee honored as mentor and role model for helping others find and use their voice.

Linda Stein, Jacksonville Humane Society Capital Campaign Chair, is a 2018 EVE Award Winner for her huge commitment to our community as philanthropist, community leader and volunteer. Read the story.

Denise Wallace, BCM Services, was a Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence 2018 Nominee honored as mentor and role model for helping others find and use their voice.

Congratulations and thank you, ladies, for all you do to make our community better! YOU make WGA shine!

Welcome New Members—& Thanks to Those Who Referred Them!
Katherine Carithers
Stacy Derr
Annie Erstling
Maria Pelligrino-Yokitis
Janet Pfeffer
Kimberly Sadler
Connie Stophel
Stephanie Trefry
Referrals made by:
Barbara Drake
Nadine Gramling
Kimberly Jones
Tracye Polson
Kasey Wagner
Member Directory    •    Grants    •    Connectors
Copyright © 2018 The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, All rights reserved.

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