The Women's Fund
We believe that when women are economically secure, safe, and healthy, then families and communities thrive.
The Women’s Fund at Austin Community Foundation was founded in 2004 to focus on the needs of women and children in Central Texas. At this time, there was a lack of philanthropic support targeting the specific needs of women and children and no comprehensive data set tracking their well-being in our community. Since then, Women’s Fund Investors have granted over $1.6 million to more than 60 local nonprofit programs.
During this time, there has been a growing awareness that gender matters. Investing in a woman has a proven ripple effect, benefitting not just her family but her greater community. The Women’s Fund is a key strategy in Austin Community Foundation’s effort to close the opportunity gap.
Why we need to take action
Women earn $9,140 less than men (median annual income).
Despite outpacing their male peers in degree completion, women consistently have a higher rate of poverty across each level of educational attainment.
The cost of childcare in Central Texas exceeds by at least $2,000/year what an average family can afford.
1 in 5 children live in poverty in the Austin Area
3 out of 4 Central Texas jobs do not pay a living wage for a single mom with 2 kids
How the Women’s Fund makes a difference
Our work is data-driven and community-led. To that end, the Women’s Fund makes nonprofit grants in the following areas to support the economic stability of women in Central Texas.
HOUSING is the anchor to economic security for women and children, who are the most vulnerable to housing instability and cost burdens. The Women’s Fund will focus our housing investments on increasing supportive services for women and children living in affordable housing. By investing in supportive housing programs that include job training, child care, educational programs and/or other social services, we can advance the economic security of women and children in Central Texas.
CHILD CARE is essential work support for women seeking to provide for their families and secure their futures, yet there is a lack of quality, affordable child care in Central Texas. The Women’s Fund will focus our child care investments on funding the expansion of proven programs/providers to increase access to child care for low-income families.
EDUCATION is a pathway out of poverty. With every step up the educational ladder, women see increases in salary and are therefore better able to provide for the basic needs of their families. The Women’s Fund will focus our educational investments on supporting a path to post-secondary success and participation in the workforce.
PREVENTING UNINTENDED PREGNANCY is vital in maintaining pathways to economic security. Unintended pregnancy leaves women less likely to finish their career and school goals and more likely to raise their children in poverty. The Women’s Fund will focus our unintended pregnancy prevention investments on increasing access to long acting reversible contraception (LARCs).
About Austin Community Foundation
Austin Community Foundation is the catalyst for generosity in Austin. We bring together philanthropists, dollars and ideas to shape Austin’s future. Celebrating our 40th anniversary, the Foundation has granted more than $300 million to nonprofits across Central Texas since 1977.