CLH: Women’s Fund of Portage County

Apr 12, 2023 | News & Events

Foundation CEO, Jenny Riggenbach, spoke with Women’s Fund Advisory Board Members Sue Shulfer and Mary Patoka, along with Fund Representative Kelly Caughlan. Their discussion explored the 25-year journey of the Women’s Fund of Portage County and what is next on the horizon. With a $1M endowment, the Women’s Fund has provided more than $700,000 in grants to Portage County organizations. Over the past year, the Women’s Fund Advisory Board has been planning their vision for impact. During this event, we learned more about their accomplishments and their plans for the future. Overall, the conversation was a lively and engaging exploration of how the Women’s Fund can make a meaningful difference in the lives of women in Portage County.

  • The fund has recently gone through a strategic planning process and is re-envisioning its grantmaking process. The fund’s board is considering new ways to support organizations beyond just giving grants, such as providing learning opportunities and educational sessions.
  • Women’s issues such as housing, childcare, mental health, and substance use are ongoing issues in Portage County. We can now access and use better data to help identify where women are struggling in the county.
  • Women’s funds that have grown successfully in other parts of the state have had a staff person dedicated to holding everything together and working with volunteers. We’re excited to share that Sarah Ross was recently hired as the Women’s Fund Director.

We invite you to keep the conversation going and take action with us:

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