Learn how this local organization is making BIG changes for women in Alabama

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Women's Foundation of Alabama
WFA meets with Huntsville supporters at one of several statewide “GatHERings” – bright faces behind an important mission.. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

It’s been a momentum-building year for women in our state thanks to the Women’s Foundation of Alabama (WFA). A philanthropic foundation, WFA has spent the last 365 days expanding its footprint across the state to crush barriers for women and girls and advance gender equity. Here’s a look at how this powerful group is working hard to propel women in Alabama forward and how you can help fuel change for years to come.

About Women’s Foundation of Alabama

Women's Foundation of Alabama
Brilliant Black Girl Collective, a Fund of Women’s Foundation of Alabama and one of two WFA Giving Circles.
(Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

If you haven’t heard about WFA, get ready to fall in love with what this organization is about and the amazing feats it has accomplished.

WFA, established in 1996 and originally named the Women’s Foundation of Greater Birmingham, is a community-driven foundation focused on addressing the unique needs of Alabama’s women and girls. Through research, advocacy and grantmaking, WFA strives to accelerate economic opportunities and remove barriers for women at a systemic level.

Since its founding, WFA has funded more than $7.5 million in grants to support organizations that strive to make advancements for women and girls in communities across Alabama.

365 days of expansion

Women's Foundation of Alabama
2022 Changemakers and host of Unleashed: A Philanthroparty, raising vital resources to fund women’s change. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

In 2021, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Birmingham made a pivotal shift, formally becoming the Women’s Foundation of Alabama. Their goal—to expand its footprint to advance women’s economic power statewide.

How has the expansion done so far? We are thriilled to report that WFA has truly rocked the past 365 days! Read on to learn five ways this phenomenal organization has made positive strides in 2022 for Alabama’s women and girls.

1. Increased & expanded grantmaking 

Women's Foundation of Alabama
WFA grant to Jefferson State Southside Training Location with on-site childcare. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

One of the core ways WFA makes impact is providing grants to frontline organizations and programs that accelerate women’s economic opportunity and disrupt the cycle of generational poverty.

This year, WFA increased its grantfunding efforts, providing $700K to 21 Alabama counties. WFA also expanded its grantmaking infrastructure statewide with the launch of two community-led giving circles.

2. Produced Clearing the Path—Alabama’s first-ever Economic Impact Study on Women

Clearing the Path
2022 Clearing the Path. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

Ever wonder where Alabama’s women stand in regard to economic impact? To find out, WFA produced Clearing the Path, the state’s first-ever economic impact study on women. This landmark report identified the critical impact women have on Alabama’s economy and now serves as a roadmap for businesses, government and civic leaders.

For a closer look at Clearing The Path, check out WFA’s Clearing the Path Research Showcase held earlier this year.

3. Appointed to lead AL Legislature’s Workforce + Wage Gap Task Force

Women's Foundation of Alabama
The Workforce and Wage Gap Task Force, Chaired by WFA. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

There’s hope for closing the wage gap—WFA was appointed this year to lead Alabama Legislature’s Workforce and Wage Gap Task Force. The plan? To steer policy recommendations to help improve women’s labor force participation and wage disparities in the state.

Help WFA continue its work into 2023 by giving an end-of-year gift. Donate now.

4. Invested in women-led solutions through the Women’s Policy Institute

Women's Foundation of Alabama
WFA’s 3rd cohort of graduates from the Women’s Policy Institute. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

To spur advocacy and amplify women’s voices across Alabama, WFA invested in women-led solutions through the Women’s Policy Institute. The organization graduated its third cohort of grassroots leaders, who are now equipped with expert training to lead the way in public policy change.

5. Shaped women-focused policy, securing significant wins in Alabama’s legislature

Women's Foundation of Alabama
WFA at the Alabama State House for 2022 “Capitol Heels, Day of Advocacy”. (Women’s Foundation of Alabama)

This included measures to: 

  • Expand access to maternal healthcare 
  • Address the work + wage gap
  • Improve the dignity + safety of incarcerated women during pregnancy
  • Combat period poverty by funding feminine products for students in Title I schools 
  • Advance a historic multi-million-dollar investment in quality childcare

“The impact Women’s Foundation of Alabama has achieved since expanding last year has been catalytic, and it’s only the beginning. These strides are a byproduct of the mounting support, community dialogue, and evolving strategies made possible through our statewide presence. We look forward to breaking even more barriers for women in 2023.”

Melanie Bridgeforth, President & CEO, WFA

To see a full recap of WFA’s impact this year, check out this video.

Help WFA continue to crush barriers for women in Alabama

As you’ve discovered, WFA has made progress over the past year for Alabama’s women and girls through groundbreaking research findings, system level changes and transformational funding opportunities. But none of this is possible without support from YOU!

With your support, WFA will:

  • Disseminate more landmark research reports to identify needs and economic challenges that Alabama women face
  • Execute the most transformational women’s policy agenda the state has dared to imagine
  • Mobilize over $1M in resources to women- and girl-serving organizations across the state

Sounds amazing, right? To help sustain WFA’s transformational work, consider making an end-of-year gift. Donate now.

Learn more about Women’s Foundation of Alabama—visit their website, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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