The Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona uses research, grantmaking, advocacy, and innovation to eradicate inequities for women
Women’s equity and healthcare issues affect us all. Women throughout our community are impacted by gender bias in the workplace, equal wage struggles, and limited healthcare autonomy. One organization is taking these gender discrimination issues head-on by writing legislation, developing innovative pilot programming, and making moves to eradicate inequities for women and girls of all identities across Arizona.
The Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona (WFSA) has served women and girls since 1991. At its establishment, WFSA was sustained by passionate and dedicated volunteers, board members, and typically only one or two staff members. As the foundation grew, the organization evolved, with four key priorities guiding the vision of WFSA: research, grantmaking, advocacy, and innovative solutions.
As the team grew, so did the impact. Award-winning programs like the Unidas Youth Leadership cohorts grew over the years, and new innovative projects like the Pathways for Single Moms pilot program were created. WFSA grantmaking steadily increased with more than $20 million awarded to more than 600 organizations to date. WFSA’s research helped inform people across the state, and the growing focus on advocacy led to WFSA advising the Governor’s Executive Office and passing legislation that helps hundreds of thousands of Arizonans.
The organization began as the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. Its scope and reach slowly expanded to legislative action and research encompassing the entire state. In 2021, WFSA announced its name change to reflect this growth, becoming the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona.
WFSA’s first statewide grant, the Women & Girls of Color Fund, was launched that same year and was Arizona’s first grant fund specifically designed to support organizations led by and serving women of color.
While WFSA is proud of its Southern Arizona roots, it will continue to invest in the region as its team members build relationships with other communities throughout Arizona. Although the organization’s geography has expanded and its brand has evolved, the commitment to gender equity remains.
In support of this new statewide commitment, WFSA has launched a Listening Tour of Arizona, with the goal to connect with women and girls of all identities throughout the state and to learn about their personal experiences and struggles. WFSA staff members have been assigned to specific regions throughout Arizona and travel to all 15 counties to regularly meet with local community members and leaders.
WFSA’s Listening Tour is the first step in its vision to create an expansive network of women representatives from the state of Arizona. This network will then inform future research, grantmaking, advocacy, pilot programs, and legislative efforts.
To learn more about WFSA and its goal to meet with rural and urban Arizonans, please contact Hannah Terpening, WFSA Director of Marketing and Communications at [email protected] or visit www.womengiving.org