By Carolyn Meade
Women’s Impact Fund is known for the power of our grants, the detailed approach we take to our initial evaluation of the grant applicants, and the tracking of their work and achievements as they use our funds. Did you know, however, that our dollars often not only fund the projects for which they were awarded, but also generate additional support for the organizations that receive them?
WIF awarded Care Ring’s Nurse-Family Partnership (“NFP”) $90,000 in 2015, which enabled NFP to hire Paulina Munoz, a bilingual nurse who formerly served Carolinas Medical Center’s NorthPark OB clinic and also worked as a labor and delivery nurse with Novant Health. Her goal: expand the NFP program into the Latina community. NFP provides at-home visits to women living in poverty and expecting their first child; the NFP nurses provide prenatal care and parenting training and continue to support each mother through her child’s second birthday.
Ms. Munoz’s success in the community has exceeded all expectations; the outreach program is in the top tier of services playing a meaningful role in socio-economic movement of the population. In response, the State of North Carolina sought out NFP and has awarded Care Ring a grant to continue to expand the NFP program. What started as a program fully-funded for one year is now fully-funded through 2017.
Doubling is good, but 2015 grantee Right Moves for Youth (“RMFY”) is celebrating even greater philanthropic recognition. RMFY is a school-based dropout prevention and support program that serves over 1,500 middle and high school students attending 29 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. RMFY collaborates with community partners including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office to help at-risk students improve school attendance, behavior and performance.
A multi-year $90,000 grant from the Women’s Impact Fund (WIF) has allowed RMFY to expand staff capacity, allowing the agency to serve 300 more students. The RMFY team reports that WIF’s “stamp of approval” has yielded big benefits. The exposure enabled them to tap into a segment of donors that would not otherwise have been possible. Recognizing that enthusiasm and the generosity of other individual donors, RMFY co-founder Frank Bragg has challenged the community to support the agency through a $150,000 multi-year challenge grant. The Bragg family’s goal is to leverage their investment by challenging others to match their gift so RMFY can expand services by nearly 50% and serve an additional 600 students.
Did you know that our Community Impact Committee provides ongoing evaluation of active WIF grants? During the 2015-2016 year, 17 women tracked nine grantees, consisting of four of our 2014 winners (all of which had two-year grants) and all five of our 2015 winners. This article is one of a series featuring those 2014 and 2015 grantees.