Dear Major Donors and Lucretia Mott Society Members, 

Over the last several weeks, we sent a survey to our major donors / LMS members and asked how we could improve our communications with you. For those who responded, thank you! Many of you expressed that you wanted to hear directly from me and learn more about the impact we are making in our region.  

In response to your input, we are launching the first quarterly newsletter dedicated to our major donors and LMS members. Each newsletter will include a letter from me, the impact of our programs, new learnings and key takeaways, and ways to get involved to support our efforts in advancing gender and racial equity. 

As we come to the end of our current fiscal year (September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021), this newsletter provides highlights of FY2021. Specifically, you will learn more about our key roles as a convener, grantmaker and educator/mobilizer and the impact we were able to make because of your generous support. Through strengthening our key roles, we helped build the capacity of our nonprofit partners to address the escalating needs of women and girls who were hit the hardest by COVID-19 by mobilizing funding, building learning collaboratives, fostering collaboration, and conducting training programs. 

While we celebrate the positive impact we have made in our region, there is still much work to be done. As our city and surrounding counties start to reopen, thousands of women and their families are still barely surviving. At a critical time of rebuilding in a rapidly approaching post-pandemic world, we must create a “new normal” where all women and girls thrive. Your support enables us to both provide immediate responses to the ongoing pandemic and build an equitable and inclusive economy that works for all women and girls. 

Thank you again for being a valuable member of the WOMEN’S WAY community. We are forever grateful.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Diane Cornman-Levy
Executive Director
Fiscal Year 2021 Highlights

As a convener and driver of the Women’s Economic Security Initiative (WESI), we completed the Financial Coaching in ECE Pilot Program, and launched two new initiatives: the Financial Coach Training Program and the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program.

  • Financial Coaching in ECE Pilot Program: We worked in partnership with 40 Early Child Education Centers to advance the economic security of 289 women. Within a two-year period, we achieved the following results:
Learn more about the Financial Coaching Pilot and it's impact here.
  • Financial Coaching Training Program: The positive results of the pilot program led to securing a three-year grant from BLBB Charitable to scale the financial coaching program through training organizations on how to integrate financial coaching into their programs. In January 2021, we launched the Training Program. 13 organizations serving domestic violence survivors, women seeking employment, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated women participated in the training program. 26 service providers were trained to be financial coaches and 13 supervisors were trained to support the coaches.

  • Change the Narrative: Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the Gates Foundation’s Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge, WESI designed and implemented the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program who seeks to change the predominant narrative by using a women-led, bottom-up, intersectional approach that focuses on the voices and stories of diverse women with lived experiences of economic insecurity. The fellowship has trained and empowered 8 women with the lived experience of economic insecurity (“fellows”) to share their personal stories through professional-level audio, visual, and print. The purpose of the program is to generate awareness of racial and gender inequities in economic opportunity and spur actions among our three target audiences: media, philanthropy and policymakers in the Greater Philadelphia region. Watch their videos here.
FY2022: Looking to the Future

The Gender Wealth Institute

In September of 2021, we will officially launch the Gender Wealth Institute (GWI), the next evolution of WESI. Its mission is to close the gender wealth gap in the Greater Philadelphia region by advancing research and practical solutions that build wealth for women who are economically insecure. GWI will oversee the Financial Coaching Training Program (FCTP) and the Narrative Fellowship Program. 

Financial Coach Training Program

In FY2022, the FCTP will train 30 organizations who will collectively improve the financial capability of 3000 women in the region. One of the cohorts will include organizations that serve the Latinx population and all training sessions and supporting materials will be translated in Spanish. Our goal is to improve the financial status of 15,000 women in the region by the end of 2023.

Narrative Fellowship Program

On October 7 and 21, 2021, GWI will conduct two fellowship convenings during which the fellows, policymakers, media and philanthropists will engage in honest and candid conversations that will deepen understanding of systemic causes of economic inequities at the intersection of gender and race; spark new insights about how to effectively address these causes; and build partnerships that will lead to effective action in how these stakeholders support strategies and policies that build assets and wealth for low-income/low-wealth women. Through panel discussions and other activities, the fellows will share their stories and discuss effective ways of promoting gender equity and improving economic security for women with lived experiences in the Greater Philadelphia region

In January 2022, GWI will conduct the Narrative Fellowship Program for the second cohort of 10 fellows. Ten new videos of their stories will be added to the online repository of fellows’ videos that GWI’s partners and representatives from the three targeted audiences can easily access and distribute. GWI will also distribute the videos through its social media channels.
Fiscal Year 2021 Highlights

Immediate Response Action Fund (IRAF)

We created the Immediate Response Action Fund (IRAF) to quickly distribute funds to organizations to address the needs of women and girls as they arise. Hear the impact of an IRAF grant from Orion Communities, a 2020 grantee:

This winter, a Mom came to Orion Communities and announced, “I’ve developed money
management muscle!” She was pleased as were we.

We have assisted this mom and her two children off and on for several years. Most recently she has participated in Orion’s GLAD (Gutsy Ladies Achieving their Destiny) and Financial Empowerment Program. She had recently received her tax refund and instead of spending it all on treats or buying needed new clothes, she put the money in the bank. This mom was so proud of herself because when her tire blew out, she did not panic or cry – she knew she had the funds to repair her car and still get to work the next day.

This is what Orion does. Help secure life’s basic essentials and build on that relationship to address other unmet needs for those who are living with poverty, illness or disability. The single moms that come to Orion have been particularly vocal about wanting more assistance than just financial. They want to build their skill base for parenting, networking, digital literacy, financial planning and more.

The first step is to be sure they are housed, fed and safe. Your grant did just that.

Learn more about IRAF and it's impact here.
Rapid Response General Operating Fund (RRGOF)

In response to COVID-19, WOMEN’S WAY launched the Rapid Response General Operating Fund (RRGOF) which provided up to $20,000/year for 2 years in unrestricted funding. RRGOF prioritized organizations led by women of color with budgets of less than $500,000. 10 of the 12 organizations that received funding were led by women of color.

Here about the impact of a RRGOF grant from Women’s Medical Fund, one of our grantees:
Candace* - a 24-year-old single mother of a young daughter. When her daughter's daycare was closed due to COVID-19, she was unable to secure childcare and lost her job. Due to the Hyde amendment, Candace was prevented from using her Medical Assistance to pay for an abortion. After taking what she could from her final paycheck, Candace called WMF. We were able to help with the remaining $256 she needed.

To learn more about RRGOF and it's impact, read it's full report here.

Beyond funding, WOMEN’S WAY also offered the grantees the opportunity to become part of a Learning Collaborative to build and enhance the sustainability and impact of their organizations. The goal was to create a learning environment, centering the priorities of the grantees. The core content of the Collaborative was: Leadership, Community Engagement and Programming, Finance and Administration, and Technology. 
FY2022: Looking to the Future

Our goal is to increase grants from the Immediate Response Action Fund by 25% and to launch a Learning Collaborative for the grantees. In response to feedback from the community and as part of our commitment to equitable grantmaking, we are launching a General Operating Fund in early 2022. The Fund will provide 2 year unrestricted funding to organizations serving women and girls in the Greater Philadelphia region. We will once again prioritize funding organizations led by women of color as these organizations receive less than 1% of all philanthropic dollars. We will also prioritize organizations with budgets of less than $500,000.
Fiscal Year 2021 Highlights

As an educator/mobilizer, we designed and implemented the Closing the Gender Wealth Gap Education Series (CGWG) whose purpose is to educate different stakeholders on both the key drivers of the gender wealth gap and accelerators that help close the gender wealth gap in our region. More than 1,000 individuals attended five sessions during which they learned about how to strengthen the childcare sector, support women-owned businesses, address gender and racial health inequities, improve access to affordable housing, and build financial capability among women and girls. And hundreds were mobilized to take action in the quest for gender and racial equity.

FY2022: Looking to the Future

GWI will continue the CGWG series and conduct six more sessions during fiscal year 2022. The next one is scheduled for September 23rd at 4 pm and will address equity and grantmaking.  See a list of upcoming sessions here.

In December 2021, GWI will launch the first Annual Gender Wealth Summit whose purpose is to convene stakeholders from different sectors who are working to advance the economic security of women and girls and discuss promising wealth-building practices and policies that will help close the gender and racial wealth gap.
Fiscal Year 2021 Highlights

WOMEN’S WAY is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, racial equity and justice, anti-racism, and dismantling white supremacy on the leadership, board, and staff level. We see diversity, equity and inclusion as connected to our mission of advancing gender equity and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the organizations we serve. 
In January 2021, we launched a year-long racial equity intervention to continue to establish WOMEN’S WAY as a leader in the community as an antiracist organization. Board members and staff will:
  1. Understand key concepts and develop a shared language around diversity, social justice and anti-racism.
  2. Explore their own experiences and biases and learn debiasing strategies.
  3. Develop skills in recognizing racism at the personal, institutional and cultural levels.
  4. Develop skills in addressing racism within their circle of influence.
  5. White participants will learn best practices for meaningful allyship.
  6. Develop a plan of action to continue the work beyond the sessions.

FY2022: Looking to the Future

We will build a section on our website dedicated to our racial equity work. This section will include our plan of action to be an antiracist organization, methods of measuring our progress, results of our efforts, and key learnings. In addition we will write white papers and other reports to inform members of the WOMEN’S WAY community (i.e. WESI partners, grantees, donors, volunteers, vendors) on how to do antiracist work and become an antiracist organization.
Volunteer Opportunities

Our Board of Directors is a committee of dynamic, influential advocates for gender and racial equity in the Greater Philadelphia area. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved in our Board, please contact us at

Are you passionate about WOMEN'S WAY? Consider hosting a virtual Meet and Greet! We are actively seeking volunteers to host fundraising events with their peers to learn more about our key roles as a convener, grantmaker and educator/mobilizer and the impact of our programming. Your guests will also have the opportunity to hear from Diane Cornman-Levy, our Executive Director and one of our recent grantees! If you're interested in hosting a session, please contact us at

Attend an Event

Join us September 23rd at 4PM for our next Closing the Gender Wealth Gap Forum: Equity in Grantmaking. Registration details to come soon.

The WOMEN'S WAY 13th Annual Book Prize is rapidly approaching! Keep an eye out for the event date coming this September!

Follow us on Social Media

Have you been keeping up with us on social media? See some of our recent posts below! Click on each image to see the corresponding post.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook! We are also now active on Youtube.

Every single dollar counts in the fight for gender and racial equity. As we take action to meet the increased need for services amidst the pandemic and to make systems level changes, we need your support. Please consider donating to WOMEN’S WAY and work with us to create equal opportunities for all, and a world where all women and girls thrive.