The Women’s FundGive to this fund
The Women’s Fund is dedicated to increasing support in Middle Tennessee for programs serving women and girls. The Women’s Fund was established within The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee in 1994 by a committee of community leaders who wanted to invest in long-term solutions for transforming the lives of women and girls, improving the well-being of our entire community.
The Women's Fund awards grant funding to programs addressing:
• Achievement of economic self-sufficiency for women
• Prevention of violence and crime against women and girls
• Promotion of health and physical well-being and talent for women and girls
Learn More About The Women's Fund:
A Permanent Endowment
The Women’s Fund is working to become Middle Tennessee’s leading resource for identifying and supporting the needs of women and girls. As the only endowed fund of this kind, by building our capital to $10 million we can effect powerful social change within our constituencies.
Through our endowment within The Community Foundation, the interest generated from the Fund is given annually to provide support to programs dedicated to helping women and girls in our community. As the principal grows, so does our ability to meet crucial needs and effect social change.
At $10 million, our ability to address current needs in our community will increase almost fivefold to $500,000 annually, enabling The Women’s Fund to not only address immediate needs, but also to address the root cause of the needs – to help craft solutions and effect social change. Growing the endowment enables us to shift from intervention to prevention, from temporary to permanent, and from short-term to transformative. Unmet needs will be met. Women’s lives will be transformed.
We are building on a solid foundation – more than 15 years of providing the vehicle for women-led change in the lives of women and girls and, as a result, their families and community. The Women’s Fund has been a catalyst, identifying challenges, marshaling resources and pursuing opportunities, and has granted more than $614,000 to over 70 area nonprofits in Middle Tennessee.
We have come so far, and yet we have only just begun to meet the tremendous challenges that lie ahead for women and girls in Middle Tennessee. To connect more individuals and families with resources that bring health, hope, education and enrichment, The Women’s Fund seeks to grow its endowment and grantmaking abilities.
We have the opportunity to focus on women-led solutions by providing leadership and stewardship in identifying the needs and supporting solutions. Together, we can unite money, ideas and actions to create lasting change for women and girls, their families and our community.
To learn about opportunities to contribute toward our endowment building goal, contact us at 615-321-4939.
The Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation is For Women … For Generations.
Women's Funds Alliance Addresses Human Sex Trafficking in Tennessee
March 7, 2013 news conference to announce resource to address the issue
With the rise of human sex trafficking crimes in Tennessee, which predominantly threaten the safety and well-being of women and girls, a newly formed partnership of Women’s Funds across Tennessee will launch a public campaign to increase awareness of the crime and a resource to help address it.
Working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), The Women's Funds Alliance will launch the public campaign during a statewide press conference Thursday, March 7, 2013. GET DETAILS.
The Women's Funds Alliance includes The Women's Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, The Women'ns Fund of Greater Chattanooga, and The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
Story of a Local Human Sex Trafficking Survivor
"I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t exploited for sex by the very ones I most should have been able to trust to protect me – my legal guardians. I was taken from town to town to be sold - they had connections throughout the USA. They threatened that they would kill anyone I told and said that no one would believe me anyway. That was probably true, since they were pillars of the community; school teachers and church leaders. My compassion was used against me too. If I didn’t perform as they demanded, they would harm other children involved. As an example of their depravity, I’d have to perform for ratings in front of an audience, wearing only a dog collar and leash. I want you to know that trafficking is happening all around you, hidden in plain sight. It was the love of God and the consistent long term love of people that finally set me free. Nothing else could have.
This is my story."
Story shared with permission by End Slavery Tennessee
The Women's Fund 2012 Forum Focuses on Human Sex Trafficking
The Women’s Fund Forum on November 7, 2012, was an educational event focused on human sex trafficking in the state of Tennessee. To date, sex trafficking of minors is the No. 2 crime in the U.S. and is projected to be No. 1 by 2013. According to a 2011 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) report, in Davidson County alone, there were more than 100 cases of sex trafficking of minors reported in a year. Shelby, Knox and Coffee counties all reported at least 100 cases of similar trafficking, and 85 percent of all Tennessee counties reported at least one case of the trafficking of minors.
Five knowledgeable individuals were invited by The Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation to lead the forum in a panel discussion, to help create greater awareness among Middle Tennesseans, and to foster conversation about proactively tackling this problem.
The Women’s Fund Forum was an initial step to figure out together how our community can improve the lives of girls and women across our state, and help stop human sex trafficking.
Want to watch The Women’s Fund Forum now? Here’s video courtesy of NPT’s YouTube page.
Watch the 10-minute clip of "Half the Sky," the documentary aired at the Forum by Nashville Public Television --- at the link listed above, on the left side of the page, choose the "Sex Trafficking in Cambodia" link under the video.
Bios of The Women's Fund 2012 Forum panelists and the moderator are listed below, on this page.
Resources on Human Trafficking
Tennessee Human Trafficking Resource Hotline: 1-855-558-6484
End Slavery Tennessee’s initiative to create a slave-free Tennessee:
Magdalene and Thistle Farms statement on human sex trafficking:
Comprehensive fact sheets from the Office of Refugee Resettlement:
Polaris Project, and its National Human Trafficking Resource Center, works exclusively on the issue of human trafficking:
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) report, "Tennessee Human Sex Trafficking and Its Impact on Children and Youth (2011)"
For more statitiscs and information about this issue in Tennessee, click here to read an article recently published by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Partners with The Women's Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
Women's funds across Tennessee, in Chattanooga, East Tennessee and Memphis, and here in Middle Tennessee, are working with the TBI to raise awareness of and promote a Tennessee Human Trafficking Resource Hotline. This resource provides a confidential way for victims and/or witnesses to report trafficking or suspicious behavior.
The hotline number is 1-855-558-6484.
Women's Fund Forum Speakers
Blanche B. Cook
Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee
Cook specializes in large-scale criminal organization prosecutions, specifically sex trafficking and drug distribution. She just has just completed the first of seven trials involving thirty defendants from Somalia, all charged with sex trafficking. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, she clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith, of United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also spent several years practicing Labor and Employment Law.
Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Fogarty has served with the FBI for 14 years, working in the fields of terrorism, violent crime and civil rights matters. Before joining the FBI, he was a police officer and detective in Georgia for nine years.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Quin, who has worked for the TBI for over 14 years, oversees the AMBER Alert and Missing Children’s Clearinghouse, along with the Gang Intelligence Unit. Quin was named the 2000 TBI Agent of the Year for the TBI Drug Investigation Division and received the 1999 and 2001 FBI Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions in Drug Enforcement. In 2009, the Department of Justice named Quin the AMBER Alert Coordinator of the Year for the United States.
Executive Director, Magdalene
Prior to being named Magdalene’s executive director, a nonprofit serving women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction, Rayson served 10 years on the Magdalene Board of Directors, including work as a clinical supervisor. After working for eight years with adolescents and families in community mental health and private practice, she helped found Renewal House. She has been honored for her work with Magdalene as a Center for Non-Profit Management “Board Member of the Year” award recipient.
Founder and Executive Director, End Slavery TN
At End Slavery TN, Smith provides human trafficking victims and their advocates a single point of contact for in-house services and service providers that restore survivors to wholeness. Previously, Derri launched an anti-human trafficking initiative among 1,200 workers for a worldwide organization and worked with populations especially vulnerable to human trafficking, including inner-city Nashville youth. She is a recipient of the 2011 regional Soroptimist International Ruby Award for Women Helping Women, and the 2012 Trafficking in America NGO Service Award.
Women's Fund Forum Moderator
Reporter and Producer, Nashville Public Television
Turner specializes in education issues as part of the Southern Education Desk and NPT’s “American Graduate” project. LaTonya has also contributed to NPT’s Next Door Neighbors and Children’s Health Crisis. She has more than 20 years experience in broadcast news, first in her home state of Louisiana then in Nashville for WSMV-TV as a reporter and anchor.
The Women’s Fund Advisory Board is comprised of community leaders who believe deeply in ensuring that the needs of women and girls in Middle Tennessee are met both today and tomorrow. Our Advisory Board members are a diverse group of women with a common passion for our community and the desire to improve the lives of all of its women and children.
Our 2013-2014 Board Members
Patricia Carswell – Advisory Board Chair
Andrea Wait Carlton
Susan Short Jones
Laura Smith Tidwell
Judy Liff Barker
Colleen Conway Welch
Ruth Ann Harnisch
Carolyn Cavalier Rosenberg
3-15-2013 WOMEN'S FUND GRANTEE NEWS: A new documentary by Nashville Public Television (NPT), “NPT Reports: Domestic Violence: Living in Fear,” - supported through a Women's Fund grant - airing Friday, March 29, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. The film sheds light on the fact that Tennessee ranks third in the nation for the number of women killed by men, profiling about survivors and perpetrators to these criminal acts of violence.
Thanks to its generous supporters and volunteers, The Women's Fund has made grants of more than $769,000 to nonprofit organizations providing a range of services to support women and girls throughout Middle Tennessee.
The Women’s Fund is committed to continue growing our endowment and grantmaking capability for the benefit of countless women and girls throughout Middle Tennessee.
2012 The Women’s Fund Grant Recipients
Bridges of Williamson County – To provide support to individuals who are seeking legal protection from domestic violence through the judicial system.
Community Homeless Outreach & Support/The Brooks House – Provide preventive and corrective physical/dental/vision care and necessary medications for 40 homeless women returning to the work force.
Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation – To provide screening mammograms, diagnostic breast services and education on breast cancer to uninsured and underinsured women.
Domestic Violence Program, Inc. – To enhance emergency services, court advocacy/ counseling to elder abuse victims including rural and disabled, and limited English speaking seniors.
Faith Family Medical Clinic – To provide medical exams for 50 uninsured, low-income women.
Families in Crisis, Inc. – To provide emergency shelter and comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence.
Friends in General – To provide free mammograms to uninsured or indigent women with no access to breast health services.
Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee – To provide financial assistance to girls who would like to attend spring or summer camp.
Girls on the Run Nashville – To provide 70 girls the opportunity to participate in a life changing character development program.
Haven of Hope – To provide case management, licensed counseling and housing assistance services for shelter and outreach clients.
Mary Parrish Center – To help defray costs of health care, transportation, food and essential needs for residents.
Maury County Center Against Domestic Violence/Hope House – To provide compassionate and holistic therapeutic counseling services to assist in the journey to personal healing.
Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation – To provide wigs, camisoles, mammograms, lymphadema garments and gas cards for cancer patients who cannot afford these items.
Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee – To provide transition preparation for multicultural girls entering high school and support groups for Hispanic victims of abuse.
Morning Star Sanctuary – To provide emergency funding for bus passes, child care, perscription drugs, school supplies, glasses, and more for shelter residents.
Nashville Peacemakers – To develop and implement a mothers' grief support group to transform grief into action aimed at reducing gang violence.
Nashville Public Television Council – To produce a documentary on domestic violence in Tennessee, exploring its causes and the impact on victims. LEARN MORE.
Renewal House – To provide intensive outpatient addiction treatment for 60 women, including a specialized pregnancy and postpartum program expansion.
Sexual Assault Center – To provide therapy to a minimum of 30 low-income females who have been victims of sexual assault.
Tennessee Alliance for Progress – To provide resources for and empowerment of women who want to start green businesses.
United Neighborhood Health Services – To create an incentive program to assure that teen mothers and their infants are in regular care.