Chicago Women in Philanthropy: bringing women together towards a common goal

We have already written about many charities in the Chicago area. Some of them that aim at helping animals, giving shelter to people or handing out food for the homeless. Chicago is a striving city for charities due to the aid that people and the community give to these types of institutions and to the impact they have in their communities and the city.

Well, following that same line, we are going to talk about a charity in the Chicago area that groups women towards a common goal. It cannot be considered a charity itself, but it does unite women in Chicago who are helping others through charities, events, fundraisings and many other strategies to help people.

Their name is Chicago Women In Philanthropy and this is their story and how they are making women come together to share, learn and design strategies to benefit other women and girls.

Their story started 35 years ago in the year 1981 when Kris Krieg and Joy Beaton realized there was a need to gather women around the philanthropy topic. The idea was to give women a space in the community where they could get together and create and propose initiatives to help other women and girls. They went to name their meetings the Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP).

In a sense, the Chicago Women In Philanthropy community is a group of philanthropic, corporate-giving, and non-profit women that aim at helping other women and girls advance in society. Their goal is to motivate and support women philanthropy in the Chicago area and provide a space where the community can gather around the topic of philanthropy and women needs in order to create uncommon connections that can then have a positive impact in women and girls of all ages.

They have many other goals and objectives like supporting the gender lens which is a tool that makes it easier to allocate funds for women, girls, women based institutions, programs that help women and girls and organizations that aim at helping women; making funders, individuals, government and the companies aware of how to manage their fund allocation and if the real needs are being met; measuring and reading the results in order to reach more people and to correctly inform about funding activities.

They also support a networking association that connects funders and non-profits so they can reach and help as many people possible; the also connect professional women that are part of the non-profit community by inviting them to events, parties, reunions, meetings, lectures, panels, and fundraisers.

Apart from this, they are always on the look for new leaders in the community and how they can improve their knowledge and skills. They also aim at helping young, emerging, female leaders of the non-profit community so they can reach their full potential and impact the community as a whole.

For this purpose, they have the technical assistance program that also helps non-profits to do a better job and deliver better results. They also Advocate for better and accurate funding for women and girls’ programs and charities and they provide a warm, caring and open environment where all the members can share their ideas, learn about each other, mentor, exchange information and socialize with their peers.

Apart from providing a space for the philanthropic community in Chicago, they have some programs to reach out to women and help them out in their path of life:

  • CWIP’s Women’s Leadership Mentoring Program (WLMP). This program lasts for 1 years and the idea is to pair women who are studying with women leaders in the business and philanthropic sector in Chicago. The program has two components: emerging leaders and mid-career leaders. The emerging leader program aims at women when they are starting their career and the goal is to encourage individual professional development, do networking, and to motivate women to continue with their path in the non-profit sector. On the other hand, the mid-career leaders program aims at women who are in the middle of their careers and want to have guidance on topics such as job skills, the management hierarchy, and how to be a great influence for people on the job and in the community.
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Image courtesy of Intel Free Press at Flickr.com

  • Advocacy programs:  the CWIP works towards promoting programs and reach out to issues that women and girls face. They create a great deal of public awareness and dialogues through relationship building, education and research.
  • Networking Forums: the CWIP offers a wide variety of networking and professional development opportunities everybody. Apart from their very well-known Annual Membership Meeting and Annual Luncheon they host several more events during the year to connect non-profits and grant making professionals.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Be sure to also read this post on Chicago Cares, one of the most important non-profits in the Chicago area.

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