Washington Area Women’s Foundation

The Washington Area Women’s Foundation (WAWF) works to empower Washington area women and girls below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Stepping Stones, the foundation’s primary grant making project has contributed over $8 million to organizations that support local women since 2005.  Investments focus on promoting education, access to healthcare and early childhood services, and developing resources for women to find financial independence.

More recently, the foundation has turned its attention to middle school girls and their mothers in a two-generational strategy. While most similar approaches target young children and their mothers, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation focuses middle schoolers, as research shows the impressionable nature of this age.  Based on this scope, the WAWF has been invited to join the Ascend network, a national hub for two-generational thinking.

The Washington Area Women’s foundation is an original contributor to Raise DC. In the past, the foundation has worked with the Youth and Employment, Disconnected Youth, College and Credential, and Early Childhood networks to cultivate overlapping interests. Network meetings have helped to inform the WAWF of citywide conversation related to the foundation’s work, including strategies for supporting middle school girls. In the future, the WAWF looks engage with the Early Childhood Change Network, as the group moves toward increased data sharing.