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The Women's Foundation of Colorado

The Women's Foundation of Colorado is a unique community foundation that creates more pathways to economic security for all Colorado women. We use our philanthropy, community, and impact to help all women thrive & Colorado rise.

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Women Achieving Greater Economic Security

Class

Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking 

Beneficiaries

Families
Females
Single Parents
Unemployed, Underemployed
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Community input from 1,300 women and men, a third of whom reported they don't make a livable wage, helped WFCO focus and align our research, advocacy, and grantmaking on Women Achieving Greater Economic Security (WAGES). We use research to inform our communities about opportunities and barriers to women's economic security. Our grantmaking work puts those insights into action. And public policy advocacy gives our grantmaking traction.

WAGES RESEARCH
Research identifies underlying causes of gender inequity that inform our grantmaking and advocacy work. In recent years, WFCO released or funded several research reports with our partners, including Gender Equity in Colorado's STEM Industries: The Case for Focused Workforce Investment, This Is What STEM Looks Like: How to Get and Keep Girls Engaged in STEM, and The Economic Status of Women in Colorado 2018, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Colorado, and The Impact of a $12 Minimum Wage of Women in Colorado.

WAGES ADVOCACY
Public policy is a direct route for WFCO to drive systemic change. Working with our partners, The Women's Foundation of Colorado uses our strategic research, collective voice, and statewide network to affect policy and create systemic change and create opportunities for women to earn livable wages. We engage annually in public policy by monitoring legislation, sharing research, meeting with legislators and policy partners, and taking positions on bills that have a direct effect on women reaching economic security. We are a trusted a voice at the State Capitol, with a reputation for providing nonpartisan, data driven facts to inform legislators.

WAGES GRANTMAKING COHORT
In 2018, we launched a learning community linking 23 direct service and public policy nonprofit organizations that WFCO will work with, learn from, and provide grants to over three years. Our grantees across the state implement programs that help women secure job training in high-growth careers - such as cybersecurity and construction - while providing resources that allow them to advance in their careers and provide for their families - including access to high-quality child care and transportation.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Our research and public policy advocacy helped move the needle for all 2.8 million Colorado women and girls. Working with many partners, The Women's Foundation of Colorado helped pass 16 bills during the 2019 legislative session - including the historic Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which creates an unprecedented opportunity for to be paid what they're worth, and is one of the most comprehensive equal pay protections in the country. Other measures that were signed into law will provide a tax credit to child care educators, regulate student education loan services, and expand the supply of affordable housing.

Following the first of three years of our WAGES grantee cohort's work together, 25 percent of the women achieved their educational goals, 24 percent made employment gains, and 7 percent reduced their reliance on public supports.

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