Thirty years ago, a small group of passionate community leaders created Women’s Funding Alliance to improve the lives of women and girls in Washington State. They were compelled by profound shifts in the status of women, along with a growing movement for all women. In Washington State and across the country, organizations were springing up and calling for change. Though the call for action was strong, philanthropic support for this work was scarce.
Our founders recognized the pressing need for sustainable funding for organizations dedicated to advancing opportunity for women and girls. Rooted in a keen sense of justice and equity, the seeds of Women’s Funding Alliance were planted.
These women strategized how to increase funding resources and strengthen a local movement for women and girls. They forged together to access a key funding source at that time, workplace charitable giving.
During its initial days Women’s Funding Alliance faced challenges and pushback, with many questioning the need for an organization focused solely on improving the strength of a local movement for women and girls. At the same time, some key partners and community leaders stepped up as fierce champions for Women’s Funding Alliance. Despite resistance, Women’s Funding Alliance succeeded in cracking open funding opportunities previously unavailable. For the first time in history, issues integral to women’s health, safety and economic well-being rose to the forefront of local philanthropy and the realm of workplace charitable giving.
“I think it’s beyond anything any of us in the beginning envisioned. It’s different and bigger with more potential than any of us anticipated.” – Founder Marie Fortune on Women’s Funding Alliance’s 30th anniversary