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.


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“The Women’s Fund is a gem in Peoria. It is focused on supporting and shining a light on the great work that is done in this community to strengthen families by supporting women and girls. Strong families build strong communities and the Women’s Fund Advisory Board is energized by the tangible effects we see as a result of our grant money at work in this community.”

– Courtney Dean, Past Advisory Board President

November 10, 2018

Women’s fund Advisory board

Lea Anne Miller – Chair
Kristal Roop – Vice Chair / Marketing Committee Chair
Lori Nevells – Success Grants Committee Chair
Leslie Babcock
Kristen Berchtold – Leader Luncheon Committee Chair
Betsy Bladel
Myra Peitzmeier
Michelle Sanders
Kathy Schaeffer
Pam Schubach – Treasurer
Eileen Ruby-Setti – Development Committee Chair

Women to Women Leader Luncheon

Last 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 2019 Women to Women Leader Luncheon will take place on May 14th at the Par-A-Dice Hotel.  Funds raised from the event benefit the Women’s Fund Endowment and annual Success Grants initiative.  For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sarah Fletcher at sarah@communityfoundationci.org or call (309) 674-8730.