In mid-2018, under the umbrella of the Suffolk Foundation, a small group of women began to explore how an organization filled with experienced, successful, and community-conscious female members could help to positively impact our neighbors and future leaders. The group developed a mission statement: further facilitate and develop philanthropy among women to address the needs of women and/or children in the City of Suffolk and Western Tidewater.

With this focus the initial group of women officially founded the Suffolk Foundation’s Women’s Impact Fund. Throughout 2018 several concepts were readily adopted: members pay an initial ($1,000) joining fee and a reduced annual ($500) contribution to offset the need for fundraising activities; monies collected are treated as an endowment fund where the annual interest is distributed within the community; and, the Women’s Impact Fund makes grants to established organizations rather than starting a grass-roots effort themselves.

Because most Members are active and generous in many ways, the Women’s Impact Fund holds no fundraising activities. We have a goal of at least 100 Members and have close to 40 Members at this time.

2022 Board Membership and Leadership

Lisa Cross, Secretary
Mary Haddad, Past Chair
Margaret Gartman
Susan Mann
Caroline Martin
Jackie Overton, Chair
Sharon Raghubar, Vice Chair
Julia Slattery
Kim Waller, Past Chair
Margaret Wiley, Past Chair

2019 Grantees

In 2019, the Members voted to support two areas of focus: Literacy and Leadership. The Literacy Committee and Leadership Committee Members selected the below list of 2019 Grantees:

  • Envision Lead Grow received $1,250 to support its entrepreneur mentoring program for middle school girls.
  • Suffolk Public Library received $377.50 for its Literacy Training Workshop and Stronger Together Stories.
  • Suffolk Public Schools received $377.50 in support of Readers for Tomorrow.
  • The College and Career Academy at The Pruden Center received $495 towards its
    CNA (nursing) Tuition Program.

2020 Grantees

In 2020, the Members voted to continue supporting two areas of focus: Leadership and Literacy. The Leadership Committee and Literacy Committee Members selected the below list of 2020 Grantees:

  • Envision Lead Grow received $1,900.00 to send middle school-aged girls to the leadership bootcamp that is held each year in Norfolk.
  • Suffolk Public Library received $530.00 for its Healing Kits program.
  • REACH, Inc. received $730.00 to fund The Genieve Shelter’s Moonbeams and Dreams program, as well as other literary programs.
  • The College and Career Academy at The Pruden Center received $640 towards its CNA (nursing) Tuition Program.

Women’s Impact Fund members are actively seeking philanthropic-minded women in Suffolk and the surrounding area to join our pledge to positively impact the quality of the lives of at- risk women and children in our community. WIF offers networking opportunities for women to connect with other female leaders while supporting the development of local resources for women and children to become stronger members of our community and leaders of the future.

Each WIF member determines the level of activity in the Women’s Impact Fund that best suits her availability – from financial support only, to active participant and/or leadership in support of our mission. The Board meets every other month, and Members meet twice annually at two casual and fun informational and networking celebrations.

Join Us

Becoming a member of the Women’s Impact Fund of the Suffolk Foundation provides networking opportunities with a dynamic group of women, while at the same time giving members the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the community as well as inspiring other women and young ladies. Not sure yet? Contact the Suffolk Foundation for additional information.

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