Women’s Fund

Join us! The Women’s Fund endowment supports projects that strengthen families and communities by empowering women and girls.

As women grow in influence and financial strength, so does their ability to give back. You can change the lives of women and children in central Illinois by contributing to the Women’s Fund endowment.

Why? Because when women prosper, communities thrive; and when communities thrive, the world becomes a better place for everyone.

A Million Dollar Goal

The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois was founded in 1993 from an idea shared by Pat Barton, a CFCI Board Member at the time.  Pat worked with Donna Haerr, then executive director, Deb Ritschel and Jay Goldberg to create the fund as a way to inspire female philanthropy.  “Power does come from money, and women do control much of the money in this country,” Haerr told the Journal Star when the establishment of the Women’s Fund was announced.

Our goal for the Women’s Fund is to find 1,000 women who will donate $1,000 in order to create a million-dollar endowment. Our fund is half way there! For the first time in the history of the Women’s Fund, our endowment is over $500,000, and we are committed to reaching our million-dollar goal in the next ten years with your help!

This level of giving to the Women’s Fund creates a legacy that will live on beyond all of us. With a million-dollar endowment, the Women’s Fund would be able to provide $40,000 a year to deserving programs.

Today, we are inviting you to a new level of giving – to elevate women and girls to the top of your philanthropic list and to invest in them with even greater commitment.


Women to Women Leader Luncheon

This year, more than 430 women gathered in celebration of the Women to Women Leader Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.  The Luncheon was started by the YWCA of Peoria over 39 years ago to recognize local women who best exemplify excellence in their chosen profession and commitment to the success of other women.  The Women’s Fund assumed ownership of the Leader Luncheon in 2013 and has remained committed to its growth, success and excellence over the years.

The 2018 Women to Women Leader Luncheon took place on May 23rd at the Par-A-Dice Hotel and funds raised from the event benefit the Women’s Fund Endowment and annual Success Grant initiatives.

For information on 2019 sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kim James at or call (309) 674-8730.

Women’s Fund Success Grant Application

Applications due by September 5, 2018 by midnight.

Please note, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted the next business day by midnight.

To Apply – Click Here.

Women’s Fund Success Grant Evaluation

Click here to complete an evaluation form

Click Here to View the 2017 Women’s Fund Success Grants Recipients

Women’s Leadership & Networking Panel

The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois invites you to join us for the second annual Networking With a Purpose event on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in the Edge third floor Executive Lounge from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

This is a wonderful networking opportunity that includes a professional women’s panel sharing ideas on how to successfully build your personal “board of directors” and create a positive professional brand.

The panel is moderated by Katie Kim of The Kim Group and includes riveting discussion with the following guest:

Michelle Hubble – Partner – Internal Audit Center of Excellence at PwC

Dr. Sarah de Ramirez –  Vice President / Chief Medical Officer of Clinical Innovation with OSF Healthcare and 2018 Leader Luncheon – Health Care / Wellness Award recipient

Rebecca Mathis – Adolescent Health Coordinator for the Hult Center for Healthy Living and 2018 Leader Luncheon Award Nominee

Lea Anne Miller – Women’s Fund Advisory Board Chair and Operations Manager for State Farm Life Insurance Company

Tickets for the event are $20 and include appetizers and a discounted cash bar.  Space is limited.  Purchase your ticket and RSVP no later than September 20th.

Click here to purchase your ticket today!