Chicago Foundation for Women

aka CFW   |   Chicago, IL   |  http://www.cfw.org

Mission

Chicago Foundation for Women invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all.

Ruling year info

1985

President and CEO

Ms. Felicia Davis Blakley

Main address

140 S. Dearborn St. Ste 400

Chicago, IL 60603 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3348160

NTEE code info

Public Foundations (T30)

Women's Rights (R24)

Women's Rights (R24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) is a community foundation working to advance gender equity, which is inherently interconnected with racial justice, economic and health equity. CFW invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW supports organizations and individual leaders working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and access to healthcare and information. CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources and develop solutions. CFW envisions a world in which all women, girls, trans and gender non-binary people have the opportunity to thrive in safe, just and healthy communities. CFW values the strength and wisdom that comes from all voices and embraces the complexities of the communities we serve.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Grantmaking

Since its inception in 1985, CFW has been a leading voice in the effort to achieve basic rights and equal opportunities for women and girls. Today - 35 years later - CFW has grown significantly to be a critical partner in the global women’s funding movement. CFW recognizes that few community problems can be resolved without programs and strategies that intentionally address the needs of women and girls. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 4,000 grants to hundreds of organizations totaling nearly $39 million. Last year, working with nearly 3,000 donors and local partners on the front lines, we funded more than 160 projects serving over 70,000 women, girls, transgender, and gender non-binary people across the Chicago region.

In addition, CFW’s investments in coalitions and advocacy, as well as our own work building the leadership of advocates have helped to support the passage of 31 pieces of pro-women-and-girls legislation over the past four years. This has included the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois, the No Salary History law that strengthens the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act and a statewide sexual harassment law. Thanks to the past, sustained support of these movements and their infrastructure, even in times of more intense political opposition, CFW and our partners have been able to harness the opportunity of the current political climate to drive progressive change. As a result, Illinois is increasingly becoming a bastion for women’s rights in a nationally polarizing and oppressive sociopolitical context.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

The Women’s Leadership Development Initiative (WLDI) at CFW includes five programs that help build a stronger, more effective and resilient nonprofit sector serving low-to-moderate income women and girls. The WLDI is available at no cost to any agency that has received grant support from CFW within the last three years. The goals of the WLDI are to develop diverse and strong nonprofit leaders who can also work together collectively to produce social change. By building women leaders, CFW believes they can then advocate for racial, gender and economic equity. Now in its eighth year, the WLDI has impacted approximately 1,500 emerging women leaders from hundreds of small to medium sized nonprofit organizations.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

In all of its work, the Foundation emphasizes the value and necessity of analyzing economic and social issues through a "gender lens." The Foundation convenes and listens to a wide spectrum of community stakeholders and partners--including grantees, activists, academics, donors, business leaders and policymakers--to inform its stances and participate as a prominent voice for women around major issues confronting the Chicago region.

As a backbone organization, CFW convenes and coordinates the efforts of diverse groups and organizations working to better the lives of women and girls. Women's perspectives and views must be included when developing the policies, systems, and programs that most deeply affect them. At the same time, systemic change requires big picture thinking, coordinated effort, and leadership.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

In addition to grants, CFW provides numerous educational opportunities designed to meet grantees' specific organizational training needs at no cost to participants, thus enabling small organizations with limited budgets to learn from some of the leading trainers in the region to help strengthen the leadership and organizational sustainability of our grantee partners. Our Core Concepts Coaching program provides individualized instruction on topics such as financial management, board development, communications, and fundraising.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

About
The Response, Recovery, and Resilience (R3) Fund at Chicago Foundation for Women will invest in women and their families as they emerge from the immediate COVID-19 crisis and serve as a key resource for the Chicago nonprofit sector serving women and girls as they take stock, recalibrate and rebuild. The Fund seeks to provide $2,600,000 in grants over the next year.

Focus
CFW understands that once the immediate crisis subsides, there will be long-term and far-reaching ripples felt, particularly by women. CFW is committed to being here for Chicago’s women and families as they recover, both physically and economically. As such, CFW will provide the capital, programming and additional support needed for a three-phase response:

Phase 1: RESPONSE
GOAL: Provide emergency relief for the most urgent needs, such as food and housing, and provide organizations targeted technical assistance. Harness this unprecedented opportunity for advocacy and systemic change to bring to light the most critical issues impacting women and girls, particularly those not rising into the limelight.

Phase 2: RECOVERY
GOAL: Provide capital, capacity building and additional support to organizations to help them recover from the physical and economic toll of the Covid-19 pandemic and sustain their services in the immediate aftermath.

Phase 3: RESILIENCE
GOAL: Work with organizations serving the needs of Chicago-area women and girls, provide them multi-year support and closely partner with them over a period of time so they have the increased capacity to sustain themselves, for the long-term. With CFW’s close partnership, these organizations will rebuild upon an even-stronger foundation, one that centers gender equity and racial justice in everything they do.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Bisexuals, Intersex people, Lesbians, Transgender people

Related Program

Grantmaking

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Bisexuals, Intersex people, Lesbians, Transgender people

Related Program

Grantmaking

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Dollars donated to support advocacy efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Bisexuals, Intersex people, Lesbians, Transgender people

Related Program

Grantmaking

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Bisexuals, Intersex people, Lesbians, Transgender people

Related Program

Grantmaking

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Bisexuals, Intersex people, Lesbians, Transgender people

Related Program

Leadership Development and Organizational Capacity Building

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CFW’s current strategic plan, Developing Leaders, Leading Change, is a road map for expanded impact via growth in CFW’s leadership development efforts and catalyzing the work of others in support of our mission. Now entering the fifth year of the plan, CFW continues to maintain its focus on supporting economic security, access to health care, and freedom from violence for women and girls, while undertaking a significant initiative to build and lead a growing Equity Network to move our region toward CFW’s vision to achieve gender equity for Chicago’s women and girls within a generation. It is an ambitious goal, but one we believe is possible through smart, targeted investments and collective buy-in. The specific goals outlined in the strategic plan are: 1) CFW leverages our impact by developing women leaders and expanding the capacity of organizations that directly advance our mission; 2) CFW leads, connects and supports individuals and institutions working to achieve gender equity in the Chicago region by 2030; and 3) CFW expands our capacity for impact through sustained and substantial growth of our asset base. Through collective impact, CFW seeks to achieve large-scale system change.

CFW takes a three-pronged approach to achieve its mission: 1) advocating for underserved women and girls; 2) providing grant support to both emerging and established organizations; and 3) offering an innovative array of leadership development and capacity building programming. Serving as a backbone organization, CFW convenes and coordinates the efforts of diverse groups and organizations working to better the lives of women and girls. Through collective impact, CFW seeks to achieve large-scale system change.

With deep roots in the community, CFW remains at the forefront of identifying the next challenges for women and girls. In 2019, working with nearly 3,000 donors and local partners on the front lines, CFW provided 166 grants that went toward advancing the health, economic security and safety of Chicago-area women and girls. Fiscal Year 2019 marked CFW’s highest annual grantmaking with $2,842,050 granted. CFW supports organizations serving the needs of women and girls throughout the Chicago region (Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, McHenry and Kane counties). Your support will enable CFW to continue to build the effectiveness and sustainability of those community groups which hold the greatest promise to positively impact women and girls.

CFW aims to create a Chicago in which all women have access to comprehensive health services; where women and girls thrive from violence; where all women receive equal pay for equal work, and where women have the resources to invest in their futures, their families and their communities. To address these key issues, CFW uses an integrated approach serving as a convener, grantmaker and developer of diverse leaders.

Since its inception in 1985, CFW has been a leading voice in the effort to achieve basic rights and equal opportunities for women and girls. Today - 35 years later - CFW has grown significantly to be a critical partner in the global women’s funding movement. CFW recognizes that few community problems can be resolved without programs and strategies that intentionally address the needs of women and girls. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 4,000 grants to hundreds of organizations totaling nearly $39 million. In addition, CFW’s investments in coalitions and advocacy, as well as our own work building the leadership of advocates have helped to support the passage of 31 pieces of pro-women-and-girls legislation over the past four years. This has included the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois, the No Salary History law that strengthens the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act and a statewide sexual harassment law. Thanks to the past, sustained support of these movements and their infrastructure, even in times of more intense political opposition, CFW and our partners have been able to harness the opportunity of the current political climate to drive progressive change. As a result, Illinois is increasingly becoming a bastion for women’s rights in a nationally polarizing and oppressive sociopolitical context.

However, a great deal of work still needs to be done to address continuing gender inequalities. COVID-19 has made plain the preexisting, structural gender inequities facing our region and our country. For 35 years, CFW has been at the frontlines alongside our grantee partners, fighting against this inequity that is now top of mind for our society. As this virus rages on, women are disproportionately represented on the front lines of this fight and in industries crippled by the economic fallout – leaving them, many of whom are the primary breadwinner for their families, with reduced or no income and oftentimes, no health, sick leave or childcare benefits at all. It is the unfortunate reality that women, particularly Women of Color, are quite literally carrying the burden of this pandemic on their backs. Women are also losing their jobs at a higher rate than men. A recent report released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research highlights just how deep these disparities run. Since February, 701,000 jobs have been lost across the U.S., the majority—nearly 60 percent—by women. These numbers are likely outdated as more people are losing their jobs daily.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Chicago Foundation for Women
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Chicago Foundation for Women

Board of directors
as of 07/14/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Kelly Smith-Haley

Fox Swibel

Term: 2019 - 2021

Kelly Smith-Haley

Fox, Swibel, Levin & Carroll, LLP

Adela Cepeda

A. C. Advisory, Inc.

Allison Clark

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Valerie Colletti

ComEd

Sarah Hurwitt Gomel

Activist, Philanthropist

Tina Manikas

FCB RED

Munira Patel

Bolingbrook Healthcare Associates

Silvia Rivera

Cololo 91.1 Chicago Public Media

Carmen Adwazi

Magnolia Custom Homes

Joan Truehart Bacon

Community Activist

Regina Cross

Goldman Sachs

Georgina Heard

Community Activist

Keri Holleb Hotaling

Jenner & Block

Susie Kurowski

Deloitte

Kathleen McDonald

Northwestern Mutual

Michael Narciso

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Marie Osadjan

Ret. BP America

Gretchen Wolf

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom, LLP

Ann Marie Wright

BMO Harris Bank

Deborah Cole

Partner, Hoogendoorn and Talbot LLP

Jessyca Dudley

Associate Director, Arabella Associates; Director, Chicago African-Americans in Philanthropy

Erica Duncan

Regional Banking Director, PNC

Toi Hutchinson

Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer

LaSaia Wade

Co-Founder, BraveSpace Alliance

Ann Marie Wright

BMO Harris Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data