Women Giving Circle Grants $5,000 to YWCA Missoula
May 20, 2020, Missoula, Mont.- In the weeks before the world turned upside down, the Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County was making plans to hold their spring membership event. As the impact of the current crisis became evident, the Giving Circle Steering Committee decided to poll the membership to ask if they should pivot from their traditional grant process in order to support frontline organizations as quickly as possible.
Within days, the membership agreed and voted to award a $5,000 Urgency grant to the YWCA of Missoula to support emergency housing. Women’s voices in philanthropy are growing and offer a unique and generous perspective. In 2010, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University surveyed households, and with more than 800 responses, found that women are more likely to give than men and when they do, they give more.
The YWCA has been on the frontlines of meeting the additional challenges that are a direct result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. While the numbers are still telling a story, clearly the pandemic is disproportionately impacting women.
In a recent article by Fast Company, they said, “Statistically, this situation is affecting women more than men. Women are on the front lines of healthcare, making up 75% of healthcare practitioners according to the World Health Organization and 87% of healthcare support staff. They also make up a greater percentage of the workforce in service-related jobs that have been let go or furloughed as a result of businesses having to shut down to enforce social distancing.” (Dishman, L., Women are disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19. April 9, 2020. fastcompany.com/90488089/women-are-disproportionately-impacted-by-covid-19).
YWCA Missoula is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The YWCA opens doors to opportunity and self-sufﬁciency for women and families facing poverty, violence, and discrimination.
“Historically women – especially low income women– have always been more greatly impacted by crises or disasters,” said Julie Maturen, Development Director at the YWCA Missoula. “Up to 70% of the families we serve in our homeless programs are headed by single moms, and 90-95% of survivors we serve are women as well.”
The YWCA will use the funding for essential services, which are provided by their staff of 100% women. These services include emergency housing for homeless families, operation of their domestic violence shelter, and the 24/7-crisis line which has operated uninterrupted during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Giving Circle was launched in the summer of 2018 as a program of the Missoula Community Foundation and has granted over $27,000 to local causes with the collective giving of over 110 women. The YWCA grant is the latest in the grant program. To participate, all that is necessary is to sign up for membership, which starts at $120.00 (and can be paid via monthly installments). Membership is tiered to allow for different socioeconomic backgrounds. The Circle is currently mounting a membership drive to be able to give out another Urgency grant as critical needs evolve during this pandemic.
The Circle also offers educational opportunities for members to learn about needs in their community, and the latest information on philanthropy. The Circle will soon launch a summer webinar series: Local Impacts of a Global Pandemic- Social, Financial, and Medical impacts on the local community. To become a member or to find out more about the summer series, visit the website at missoulacommunityfoundation.org/give/womens-giving-circle/
“Our ability to have impact is based on our collective giving. Members’ fees at all levels are combined to allow us to achieve more than any member could do alone,” said Terri J. Goldich, Steering Committee Chair. “The YWCA grant is reflective of the values that the Women’s Giving Circle holds of community, equity, and opportunity.”