The local nonprofit gives money to organizations serving women and girls.
Via: Dallas Morning News
By: Steven Lindsey
Across the state during Texas Women’s Foundation’s fiscal year (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021), $10.8 million was awarded via 416 grants to organizations serving women and girls. More than $9 million stayed right here in North Texas. An additional $2.1 million was given to programs where women and girls are full participants, bringing their total investment to $12.9 million. The TXWF is the world’s largest regional funder benefiting women.
“Our first response was to ensure that our grantee partners — nonprofit organizations serving low-income women and families — had the maximum ability to respond to the clear and present needs of women and families. We converted all program grants to general operating grants,” says Roslyn Dawson Thompson, president and CEO. “Then, as it quickly became obvious that low-income women of color and their families were disproportionately impacted, we made a swift decision to launch the Resilience Fund.”
Thompson says that the Resilience Fund raised money from the community to distribute in weekly and eventually monthly grants to the organizations serving on the front lines for women and girls. From April 2020 to the end of June 2021, the fund was able to raise and distribute more than $3.1 million to support and serve low-income women and families through 126 grants. Nearly half focused on economic security and offering stability to at-risk women and their families. Another 39% went to groups dedicated to improving women’s safety and healthcare access.
One of the organizations directly impacted by the work of the TXWF is Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic (LBU), which provides affordable access to comprehensive primary health care and support services to underserved, low-income North Texas residents. They also offered obstetrics at their West Dallas clinic, but that came to a halt in March 2020.
“It became apparent that there was an unmet need for safe, affordable obstetrics in Oak Cliff, particularly during a pandemic,” Thompson says. “The pandemic presented a pressing need to move forward quickly with organization-wide telehealth capacity.”
The grant supported this effort so that Los Barrios could continue to provide safe, quality prenatal and postpartum care at a time when their patients were living in the ZIP code with the highest COVID-19 rate.
“Last year, LBU served nearly 24,000 patients from its four state-of-the-art facilities in West Dallas and Oak Cliff,” says LBU’s CEO, Leonor Marquez, noting that 65% of patients are women and girls. “The grant from Texas Women’s Foundation supported an innovative approach to prenatal and postpartum care in the event of a pandemic. LBU’s lead obstetrician, along with UT Southwestern Medical Center and FIGO [International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics] developed a COVID-safe practice model and template of care that has gained attention in the industry.”
The model uses both telehealth and on-site visits with obstetrical staff to ensure healthy moms and children, while also reducing the number of on-site clinic visits, keeping patients and staff safer by reducing potential exposure to the virus. Marquez says the patient response has been positive and no-show rates have decreased as an added bonus.
Meals on Wheels Collin County also benefited from a TXWF grant, which they used to implement a paperless meal delivery system, ultimately saving time and money while allowing the nonprofit to serve more clients long-term and potentially save lives.
“The stress on women’s economic security is clear at all stages of life, and the senior women served by MOWCC receive less retirement income due to lower wages during their working years,” Thompson says.
Muslim Community Center for Human Services, Southern Dallas Link, and SER Jobs for Progress National were also grant recipients. Additionally, for the past two years, organizations led by women of color have become a top priority of TXWF.
“The phrase Valerie Billingham coined in 1998 — ‘Nothing about me without me’ — originated in the arena of public health, but it rapidly spread across the women’s funding movement as a mandate for participatory grant-making and greater inclusion, believing, as we do, that those closest to the problem are most able to craft a meaningful solution,” Thompson says. “Across the whole of traditional philanthropy, women of color are acutely underrepresented in leadership roles, or they are leading small, underfunded organizations.”
TXWF also supports the power of collective action by women of color through a number of giving circles including Orchid Giving Circle (Asian American Pacific Islander), The Village Giving Circle (African-American) and H100 Latina Giving Circle.
As a community-supported nonprofit, Texas Women’s Foundation relies upon the generosity of donors to fulfill its mission of advancing women’s economic security and leadership. Volunteer opportunities and various ways to give can be found at txwf.org.