In her book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, Melinda Gates writes of the excitement she felt as a child when watching an Apollo launch or taking off in an airplane – a feeling that something important and wonderful was taking place. We chose this book to share with participants at our virtual grantmaking celebration on December 3 because it encapsulates the creative and innovative ways the Fund for Women and Girls has evolved to respond to the extraordinary needs presented by the global pandemic in 2020.

Thanks to your generosity and financial commitment, we’ve been able to grant more than $250,000 this year through a streamlined grantmaking process and collaboration with the Princeton Area Community Foundation’s COVID Relief and Recovery Fund. Most importantly, we have embraced the power of women coming together, finding our voice, and making an impact in the community. The challenges we’ve faced this year have been the final preparation for our own “moment of lift.” Through years of systemic planning and perseverance, the Fund has evolved from a group of people wanting to do good together for the community to a vibrant organization.

We have a clear purpose as articulated by our Mission to improve the lives of the most vulnerable women and children in our community through investment, education, and collaboration. We have created an infrastructure and the capacity to put the words of this mission into action. We have defined terms of membership and pathways to organizational leadership positions. We have clear governance guidelines and a robust committee structure to sustain and support our work – our Leadership Team is supported and complemented by the Grants, Membership & Communications, Finance and Nominating Committees.

We have a purposeful and predictable annual calendar that allows the Fund to raise funds and invest together for community impact; to educate our members/supporters in order to better understand the needs of our community and identify the nonprofit organizations that are most effectively meeting those needs; and, to collaborate with public and private organizations, including our past and present grantee partners, to do the most good in our community.

Yes, the Fund for Women and Girls has reached its moment of lift. It’s been an honor to lead the Fund for the past two years and we are pleased to announce that by a unanimous vote of our Leadership Team, two remarkable women — Isabel Zisk and Jenifer Morack — will become the Fund’s co-chairs in January 2021. We are proud to pass on the responsibilities of leadership to them.

Please join our dedicated group of philanthropists, giving together to provide sustainable mission-driven support to the most effective local nonprofits in our community. Think about a year-end gift so we can continue the great work of the Fund in 2021. Together we can do so much more than we can as individual philanthropists!

With sincere thanks,

Cathy and Karen