WFCO Announces 19 WINcome Grantees
WINcome grantee partners will help women meet basic needs, pursue economic opportunity, and increase their incomes
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) selected 19 grantee partners through our new community-informed grantmaking strategy, WINcome. The grantee partners are a mix of direct-service and public policy advocacy organizations throughout Colorado that will learn and work together in pursuit of gender, racial, and economic equity. In total, The Women’s Foundation granted more than $900,000 through WINcome.
The Women’s Foundation introduced WINcome (short for Women + Income = Women Thriving) with our updated strategic framework in 2021. Learning from grantee partners that we funded through other grantmaking strategies, such as Women Achieving Greater Economic Security (WAGES), flexible and holistic resources for women and their families will be a cornerstone of WINcome. This includes providing direct cash assistance to women experiencing poverty or facing barriers to economic security. In addition, grantee partners will offer support securing resources such as:
- Jobs with pay and benefits that satisfy basic needs, close the gender and racial income gap, and support economic security;
- Education and training, and ongoing opportunities to upskill and reskill;
- Money and resources to start and grow businesses;
- Child care and other caregiver support;
- Support for basic human needs, such as food, housing, health care, and transportation.
WINcome grants, which range from $30,000 – $60,000, provide dollars for general operating and direct cash assistance and will be renewable for up to three years.
“The goals of WINcome are to help women meet basic needs, pursue economic opportunity, and increase their incomes. We learned from dozens of grantee and community partners that when women have flexible and holistic resources such as cash assistance it can prevent them from sliding backwards because of an unexpected car repair or loss of benefits when they start a new job,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation. “Through cash assistance provided by WINcome, they will have more flexibility to do what’s best for their families and their futures.”
Across the country and around the world, there is expanding interest in direct cash assistance, a proven anti-poverty strategy that can trace its origins to communities of color using mutual aid models to support their fellow community members when systemic aid was not available to them. Additionally, research from California to Canada to Colorado shows that providing cash assistance to individuals who earn low-incomes is an effective economic mobility tactic.
2021 WINcome direct-service grantee partners
Twelve organizations will use diverse frameworks to help women and their families in 34 counties advance economically. In addition to offering direct cash assistance, WINcome grants support their existing programs that offer housing assistance, entrepreneurship opportunities, crisis intervention, immigrant and refugee services, holistic employment services, behavioral health resources, workforce development, family goal planning and resource connection, and more.
- Action is Safer/Western Colorado Alliance, serving Mesa and 22 surrounding counties
- Alianza NORCO, serving Larimer and Weld counties
- Center for Community Wealth Building, serving Adams, Arapahoe, and Denver counties
- Centro de la Familia, serving El Paso and Teller counties
- Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE), serving Arapahoe and Denver counties
- Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC), serving Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties
- Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities (The Initiative), serving Denver County
- Full Circle of Lake County, serving Lake County
- OneMorgan County, serving Morgan County
- Posada, serving Pueblo County
- The Gathering Place, serving Denver County
- The Senior Hub, serving Adams and Arapahoe counties
2021 WINcome public policy grantee partners
WINcome grantee partners focus on research, policy, and advocacy, which impact all 2.85 million women and girls living in Colorado’s 64 counties. WINcome policy and advocacy grants support five grantees’ existing work to advance women’s equitable economic opportunities and improve policies to increase women’s incomes.
- 9to5 Colorado
- Bell Policy Center
- Colorado Center on Law and Policy
- Colorado Children’s Campaign
- Colorado Fiscal Institute
Two grantee organizations offer both direct-service support and public policy advocacy.
- Collaborative Healing Initiative Within Communities (CHIC), serving Denver and Arapahoe counties
- Clayton Early Learning, serving Alamosa, Denver, Eagle, and Summit counties
About the WINcome community
WINcome grants were designed to advance systemic changes that support gender, racial, and economic equity for Colorado women and families. As part of this strategy, The Foundation sought to fund nonprofit organizations throughout the state with diverse leadership and populations served. Eleven of the nineteen organizations receiving funding are led by women of color and three organizations are led by individuals who represent the nonbinary and LGBTQ+ communities. Additionally, The Foundation prioritized funding organizations that serve women in rural communities and offer cash assistance programs.
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado incorporates community insights into its grantmaking. Through our direct-service grantmaking and public policy committees, more than 40 individuals of diverse backgrounds and identities contributed to the selection of the grantee partners.
“We believe that all women have promise and should have the opportunity to fulfill it,” said Casteel. “WINcome grants invest in systems change as well as in the inherent leadership and talents of women through flexible and holistic resources. We are excited to see meaningful outcomes in women’s lives and their families’ lives through this important work.”
Grantmaking at The Foundation
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado invests directly in the economic security of Colorado women in several ways. In addition to WINcome (and previously WAGES) grantmaking, The Foundation made 33 grants in 2021 through its Women & Girls of Color Fund, totaling $447,000. In 2020, the Women and Families of Colorado Relief Fund (WFCO Relief Fund) provided 108 grants, totaling $782,500. Additionally, hundreds of WFCO donors annually fund diverse organizations directly through giving circles and donor-advised funds. We seek input from all grantee organizations to help us build grantmaking strategies that effectively meet the needs of the communities we serve.