<h1>Blog & News</h1>
May 31, 2012

Women. Girls. Central Indiana. - May 2012

by Jennifer Pope Baker

Do you remember your Sweet Sixteen? I think it was one of my most anticipated birthdays; each day closer brought a new sense of freedom and excitement. Women's Fund just celebrated this landmark anniversary: sixteen years! On May 3rd, we gathered with about half of the 96 past and present Advisory Board members, several of whom are actively engaged on committees and support us in many thoughtful and strategic ways. I was also delighted to discover these 96 individuals have collectively contributed nearly $3 million of our $12.6 million endowment. This leadership and generosity is truly symbolic of the incredible commitment these Board members have made to improving conditions for women and girls in our community, and to what we have achieved together over the last sixteen years.

Women by nature are philanthropists. They give freely of their time, talent, and treasure to change lives, make an impact in our community and support causes that matter most to them. One of my favorite meetings with OPTIONS is the discussion we facilitate about personal philanthropy, which took place earlier this month. What I enjoy the most is helping these women understand their individual ability to make a significant difference and to see them transform their relationship and understanding of the resources they have to help women and girls in our community through thoughtful giving. Read one class member's insight on the experience.

Our Grants Committee met in May to talk about and plan for this year's round of funding. Each spring the committee discusses trends, statistics, and information we know about women and girls, considers the status of women and girl serving organizations, and discusses the parameters for our next funding round. We also provide on-going training for the committee members to help them be able to appropriately review and analyze funding applications and proposals from potential grantees. Women's Fund is proud of our grants and funding process and we have a significant commitment to making thoughtful, smart decisions to support the most effective women and girl serving organizations in central Indiana.

I joined a small group of Women's Fund friends on a site visit to Dove Recovery House last week to learn about the work they are doing to help women find and maintain sobriety. Executive Director Maggie Lewis spent an hour showing us the home, introducing us to their guests and talking about their work with and for the women they serve. The organization is able to serve just over 20 women at a time and they work carefully to create a recovery plan tailored specifically for each woman and her journey to success. Dove Recovery House is an old home, in an impoverished neighborhood, but it is full of new, rich lives thanks to the commitment Maggie and her team join their women in making to recovery. Many thanks to them for their outstanding work!

Women's Fund said goodbye to our wonderful friend, Chris Franson, on May 15th. Chris passed away after a short but valiant battle with cancer. She served on our Advisory Board for six years, chaired our Grants Committee, chaired our Nominating Committee, participated on Executive Committee, helped review scholarship applications for our OPTIONS Scholarship Fund, helped plan and organize our annual trips to Florida to meet with Board members and friends, and brought a smile and fervent desire to make positive change to everything she did with Women's Fund. In addition to being a thoughtful participant in our activities, Chris was beloved by everyone who had the opportunity to work with her. Chris made everyone feel better about themselves, their contributions, and their ideas. We were all better for having known Chris and we already miss her dearly. Women's Fund appreciates that Chris and her family asked for donations in her memory to be made to Women's Fund and we are not surprised by the incredible gifts we have received in her honor and memory.

In appreciation to you for your contributions to Women's Fund,

Jennifer Pope Baker
Executive Director
Women's Fund of Central Indiana
Central Indiana Community Foundation

PS: To continue your support of Women's Fund, you can either donate now or contact me directly 317-634-2423 or jenniferp@cicf.org.

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