The WOMEN'S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (WCF) was founded in Cleveland in 1984 as the Women's Community Fund, to support Cuyahoga County programs that optimize the potential of WOMEN and girls in the Greater Cleveland Community. It was the first local foundation to focus on women, and the WCF's goal is to be a leader in supporting solutions for contemporary women's issues. It provides grants to programs that encourage independence and self-reliance among women and girls, often funding initiatives that may lack access to traditional FOUNDATIONS.
The original $30,000 endowment for the Women's Community Foundation represented a portion of the proceeds from artist Judy Chicago's Cleveland exhibition of The Dinner Party. Individual donations and fundraising efforts have increased the amount dramatically. It began awarding grants in 1987, with a little less than one-fourth of the customary $1 million base. Early grants totaled less than $10,000 per year; 1980s grantees included TEMPLUM HOUSE, HARD-HATTED WOMEN, Divorce Equity, Inc., Working Women Education Fund (see 9TO5, NATIONAL ASSN. OF WORKING WOMEN), and Cleveland Welfare Rights Education.
In 2003 the WCF launched the everyWoman Campaign, a fundraiser aimed at working people with goal of having people of all income levels donate one hour of pay to the Foundation. The annual fundraiser will be held each March in recognition of Women's History Month.
In 2004 the organization granted nearly $50,000 to programs centered on mentoring girls and young women, and educating them on personal financial management. 2004 grantees included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland (for "Girl Flava!," a public education program for at-risk girls), Cleveland Public Theatre (to support two inner-city females interested in joining the Student Theatre Enrichment Program), and to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (for the "Girls Kick Butt!" empowerment and rape prevention program for girls ages 12-18).
Originally located in the Civic in CLEVELAND HTS., the Foundation moved to Fairhill Road, Cleveland, by 1994, and later to an office on Euclid Avenue at East 18th Street, before settling in 2002 on the tenth floor of the Hanna Building at 1422 Euclid Avenue. In 2004 Susan Lajoie Eagan was president of the board of trustees and Roberta Mancini served as executive director. WCF continued to publish a quarterly newsletter, The Women's Community Foundation Newsletter (formally called Focus and Femail).
See also FOUNDATIONS.