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In 1999, the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo each recognized that the needs of women in our region were not being met through the requested grants sought from their respective organizations. Both were already deeply committed to the issues of women and girls but felt there was an opportunity for more to be done.
Together with a group of women community leaders they created the WNY Women's Fund. The women set out to deepen their understanding of issues affecting women and girls. They defined a shared vision and goals by establishing an endowment fund to ensure support for programs to reach these goals.
The same leaders and supporters worked tirelessly to grow the WNY Women's Fund into a self-sustaining, independent organization. Over a decade later - as the WNY Women's Foundation - we are a separate 501(c)3, non-profit.
We continue to raise money and make impact grants to local
community programs that result in systemic change and help women and girls develop
self-reliance and become economically self-sufficient. The first 10 years as the WNY Women's Fund
has proven that we are a necessary piece in the puzzle to helping Western New
York families thrive. The next 10 years
- and beyond - will be an exciting time for growth and opportunity.