WFCO Celebrates Pivotal Grant
The Colorado Health Foundation Awards WFCO $1 Million Grant
Grant Reinforces Importance of Advancing Women’s Economic Opportunities, Health Outcomes
We are thrilled to announce that the Colorado Health Foundation, one of the nation’s largest health foundations, has awarded WFCO a $1 million grant to support the remaining four years of our 2017-2021 strategic plan. We will use the funds to enhance operations to strengthen infrastructure and leverage philanthropy to broaden our statewide reach, deepen our impact, and affirm our role as an anchor institution for the economic advancement of Colorado women and their families.
More than 260,000 Colorado women live in poverty and hundreds of thousands more live on an economic edge. Although unemployment is historically low, wages are stagnant. According to WFCO grantee partner Bell Policy Center, when adjusted for inflation, average weekly wages have only risen $33 since 2000.
“Headlines suggest that Coloradans are flourishing financially, but as cost of living soars, many women struggle to grow their wages and face incredible stress trying to make ends meet for their families,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation. “Economic status is a leading determinant of physical, mental, and behavioral health. This extraordinary grant from the Colorado Health Foundation reinforces the importance of our mission in advancing economic opportunities, and health outcomes, for women and their families.”
In 2017, WFCO formed WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security), a programmatic body of work to advance equity through research, public policy, and direct-service grantmaking. Informed by the insights of nearly 1,300 Coloradans, WAGES helps women reach economic security by increasing access to education, job training, equal pay, paid family leave, and affordable high-quality child care.
Policies such as paid family leave are not only economic issues – they are health issues. – Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO, the Colorado Health Foundation
“Investing in WFCO’s strategic plan and bolstering its infrastructure for the future will bring health in reach for more Coloradans across the state. Policies such as paid family leave are not only economic issues – they are health issues,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation. “We hope our grant inspires individuals, foundations, and corporations to generously fund the ongoing, essential statewide work of WFCO.”
The Colorado Health Foundation’s $1 million grant is the second grant WFCO has received in two years from leading philanthropic organizations to support our statewide work. In 2017, Women’s Funding Network awarded WFCO $150,000 for up to three years to shape two-generation public policy in Colorado.
Additionally, WFCO’s communities of giving continue to grow as more Coloradans understand that boosting opportunities for women is a boost to children, families, communities, and the economy. In 2017, WFCO launched Dads for Daughters for all men who want to support women in Colorado, we more than tripled our number of donor-advised funds, and more than half of donations were from first-time supporters.