The mission of the WGA is to inspire women to be strategic philanthropists and to improve the lives of women and children in South Lake County through collective giving, and they are guided by the following principles:
- Reach out and welcome all women who wish to join.
- Build relationships among women united in their desire to improve the lives of women and children.
- Develop a membership of educated philanthropists who understand community needs and become informed, pioneering grantmakers.
- Collaborate with funding partners and community organizations to empower women and children.
- Conduct our grantmaking with integrity, fiscal responsibility and respect for our grant recipients.
- Each member of the Women’s Giving Alliance contributes $1,000 annually. This investment allows members to participate in two forms of philanthropy—collective grantmaking and endowment building. The annual membership fee allows for 70% to be granted directly into the community, 20% for the endowment, and 10% to cover the day to day operations and overhead costs of the WGA.
At our 2021 Grant Awards Dinner, hosted at Esplanade, the WGA awarded two grants to Early Learning Coalition ($20,174) and to the Children’s Home Society of Florida ($1890). The first grant to Early Learning Coalition is to provide the LENA Program to help boost school readiness and improve child outcomes through early talk. The second grant was for operational support and to provide safety items in the home.
A Message from our President
Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve a second term as your Women’s Giving Alliance President. I was so pleased with all of the wonderful things that happened last year that I thought it would be incredible to keep the momentum going as one of the officers of our wonderful organization. Let’s continue to spread the word about WGA! There are so many amazing women in our community that we can lock arms with to make an even bigger impact in our community for years to come. We encourage any ideas you have about educational sessions and socials for this year. Please let us know about any non-profit you hear about or are involved with so we can potentially donate our money to them as this year’s grant recipient. One of my goals for this year is to bring in 10 new members. I am confident that together we can make that happen. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our board members with any ideas, questions, or concerns that you might have. We are here to make 2022-2023 the best year the WGA has ever seen!
President WGA 2022-2023
Our 2022 Officers
Regina Cruz-Morales, President
Juanita Benedict, Vice-President
Linda Smith, Secretary
Alison Nykamp, Treasurer
If you would like to be more involved in the WGA, we have committees needing YOUR expertise! Consider serving on one of the following committees:
Membership & Marketing
You Hold the Key
When you invest in women and children, you lift the whole community. Learn how the Women’s Giving Alliance of South Lake uses data-informed grantmaking, impact investing, educational programming and leadership development to do just that.
The Women’s Giving Alliance is a giving circle, where members contribute individually and make grants collectively. Each member represents a link in an ever-growing chain that makes it possible for the Women’s Giving Alliance to achieve far more together than its members could accomplish on their own.
A Timeline of the WGA
Since April 2014, the Women’s Giving Alliance has grown to over 50 members strong. We are proud to announce that ten Legacy Members have now committed to a $25,000 donation that will ensure a lifetime membership, along with providing support for the WGA’s work in perpetuity by supporting the endowment fund of the WGA.
During our inaugural grant cycle, through a generous member’s anonymous donation of $10,000, we were able to make a difference in the lives of women through a program provided by LifeStream Behavioral Center. “Women Opting for Wellness” allowed 20 women to receive mental health services, who would otherwise not be able to access this care.
In 2015, we provided $40,000 to four organizations assisting women and children:
- Anointed Community Services,
- Find, Feed, & Restore,
- Milestone Counseling,
- and New Beginnings.
In November of 2017, the Women’s Giving Alliance hosted their annual grants award dinner at Bella Collina and celebrated our third cycle of grant awards. The WGA was able to grant our single largest grant of $25,000 to “Find, Feed & Restore.”
At Find, Feed, & Restore, Brian Broadway addresses the issue of homelessness by providing travel trailers to families who live in cars or tents, and places them into a stable environment. The program is a holistic approach that provides individual and family counseling, financial budgeting, child care assistance, resume preparation, and computer training courses.
2018 – 2019
In 2018, the WGA awarded two grants for a total of $47,249, to address youth risky behaviors. Grantees were Be Free Lake and E3 Family Solutions. Be Free Lake provided a nationally recognized Suicide Awareness program to high school students at Lake Minneola High School in 2018.
In 2019, WGA saw it important to expand to the other two south Lake high schools, East Ridge and South Lake High and made the 2019 annual grant to Be Free Lake.
2020 brought significant challenges to everyone through the impact of Covid-19. The WGA continued its philanthropic work and awarded their annual grant in the amount of $27,982 to Find, Feed & Restore. We celebrated the fine work this organization has continued in eradicating homelessness for families with children through housing and education to bring economic and emotional stability, accompanied by self-sufficiency.
In 2021 the membership voted to bring a nationally recognized program to South Lake County, the LENA program and granted $20,174 to the Early Learning Coalition. This program supports stakeholders at every level, helping teachers gain the skills to measurably improve classroom quality by boosting interactions. One-hundred preschoolers participated in the program to improve school readiness and child outcomes through early talk. Additionally, the WGA provided a second grant of $1890, to the Children’s Home Society for their Healthy Families program. This is a community based program that prevents child abuse and neglect by promoting positive parent-child interaction.
Since its inception, WGA has granted over $204,000 into the south Lake community, addressing issues that affect women and children. This group of women has made significant impact through their philanthropic collective giving.
You Are Invited to Join Us!
As a member of the WGA, you join a group of women who have a heart to make a difference in the lives of women and children in our community. It is our hope that as we grow our membership, we will grow the impact we have on the community through our grants process.