Our 25th Year Begins

2019 - What a banner year to celebrate the 25 th anniversary of the Vermont Women’s Fund! For a quarter of a century, we have worked to be an enduring resource for helping women and girls in every corner of our state rise and thrive.

It is because of you that the Vermont Women’s Fund has achieved our measure of success. The Fund was built, dollar by dollar, from women (and a few good men) who believed that a philanthropic resource devoted to serving the specific needs of women and girls was necessary. Whatever your role, as a founding member or a current supporter, the energy and spirit of the Fund’s creation and the nurturing along the way has yielded tremendous results.

In financial terms, this dedication translates to more than $2 million dollars in grants distributed since we began. These programs ranged from funding legal services for victims of domestic abuse living in remote areas, to teaching job skills in non-traditional fields like the construction trades. What these programs all have in common is improving the lives of women and girls, and in more recent years, a targeted focus on women’s economic well-being and security.

The dedicated staff of these programs deserve our thanks. They work every day to support women of all ages to build stable and independent lives, whether that means being properly prepared for the workforce, training to learn new skills, or providing a roof over their heads. I have the privilege of seeing many of these programs in action and meeting the women and girls that they serve. I always come away with a deep sense of gratitude for all they do.

And, on a macro level, the Women’s Fund works with the Vermont Commission on Women and Vermont Works for Women to support Change The Story , the statewide initiative dedicated to fast-tracking women’s economic security. More about Change The Story below.

So onto an exciting and celebratory year! Thank you for all you do to help women and girls in Vermont!
Meg Smith, Director 
25th Anniversary Sponsors
This year, the Vermont Women’s Fund has the support of two major Anniversary Sponsors:  Dealer.com and Gravel & Shea . Dealer.com is a technology company founded in Vermont that serves the automotive industry, and is now part of Cox Automotive. Gravel & Shea is a full-service law firm in Burlington with over a decade of championing the Women’s Fund.

These two firms have stepped up to help us celebrate our 25 th anniversary by pledging a year-long gift of financial support above and beyond our usual level of sponsorship. You will hear more about them throughout the year but for now, let me just shout a hearty “Thank you” to them and all of their staff. We are most grateful for their significant backing.

If you would like to learn more about how to become a 25 th Anniversary Sponsor of the Vermont Women’s Fund, please contact me .
Breakfast of Champions: Men Moving Vermont Forward
On February 5, 2019, the Women’s Fund and Change The Story invite men to the table at a special breakfast to hear speaker Ted Bunch talk about gender, respectful workplace culture, and how we raise the next generation of men. We are supported and assisted by a Host Committee (we call them our Champions for Change) who signed up to make this happen AND to invite their colleagues and friends to fill the UVM Davis Center with an audience of at least 65% men. We are pleased to announce that Governor Phil Scott will be attending along with members of his staff as well as Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, and Attorney General, T.J. Donovan.

Ted Bunch is co-founder of A CALL TO MEN , an organization that is devoted to creating “a world where all men and boys are loving and respectful and all women and girls are valued and safe.” Ted was on CBS This Morning l ast week in response to the recently released Gillette ad called, The Best That Men Can Be . I have heard Ted speak at two different occasions and can personally attest to the power and effectiveness of his message.

We want to thank our Champions for Change host committee along with our fabulous sponsors, all of whom are standing up for the work of the Vermont Women’s Fund and  Change The Story  . They include Dealer.com , Gravel & Shea , Green Mountain Power , Vermont Gas , VSECU , Kria Botanicals , Sugarbush , E4H Environments for Health Architecture , Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence , Downs Rachlin Martin , Vermont Works , Vermont Innovation Commons , and Logic Supply . Special thanks to Hotel Vermont for hosting Ted and a special meeting of our committee. We are most proud of all of our sponsors for being proactive in this groundbreaking work to achieve gender equity. Please thank them in whatever ways you can!

Tickets are $35 per person and $10 for students. We are asking women to invite husbands, sons, and male colleagues to this groundbreaking event.
February 5, 2019  7:30 – 9 am
UVM Davis Center, Burlington
Upcoming Special Events
Stephanie Land with Jennifer Oldham
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

January 26 at 6 pm
Northshire Bookstore in Manchester

Northshire Bookstore and Vermont Works for Women bring Stephanie Land, the author of  Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive  to Manchester where she will be interviewed live by Jennifer Oldham, executive director of Vermont Works for Women. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter's head. In Maid , she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society. 

This event is free and open to the public! 
Documentary Film & Reception
March 7, 2019
Main Street Landing Film House, Burlington

A group of women in the Vermont restaurant/food industry recently saw " A Fine Line: A Women's Place is in the Kitchen and were inspired to bring the film to our community. This powerful new documentary addresses the issues of gender imbalance in the food business — a problem that impacts our families, our neighborhoods, all of us.

This screening presents an opportunity to celebrate the progress being made locally around gender equity while addressing the work yet to be done. We expect an audience of 200-plus, including industry leaders, chefs, restaurant owners, workers and engaged diners. Following the film, we will host a panel discussion with: Cara Chigazola-Tobin, Chef/Owner of Honey Road Restaurant; Gwen Pokalo, Director of Center for Women & Enterprise Vermont; Joanna James, Producer & Editor of the film “A Fine Line.”

More details will follow in February.
Inside Philanthropy Profile of the Women's Fund
Inside Philanthropy dove into the Women’s Fund to learn about our work and share it with the world. Their January profile explains our recent work and upcoming Breakfast of Champions.