Women & Girls Development Fund: Turning Fires into Beacons of Light

Why We Support the Women & Girls Development Fund

Former Governor Ann Richards famously said, “I’ve been tested by fire and the fire lost.”

In my prior job, I served as a speaker and sponsor for a professional network that supported women in their career development. The program focused on enhancing leadership skills and creating mentor relationships for women from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

As the women progressed through the program, two things struck me. Each person had been or were being “tested by fire” in their professional career or personal life. Secondly, the tools they were acquiring through the program and the support of other women leaders was helping them transform their challenges into inspiring stories of success.

When I joined the San Antonio Area Foundation, I was excited to learn about the Women & Girls Development Fund, a charitable fund hosted by the foundation. Since 2009, the Women & Girls Development Fund has served as the only grantmaker in San Antonio exclusively focused on supporting the leadership development of women and girls. They are led by a dynamic group of women from the nonprofit and private sector committed to creating positive change through philanthropy.

The Women & Girls Development Fund has distributed over $200,000 to nonprofit organizations inspiring confidence and building capacity on a range of issues: afterschool programs, transitional housing, workforce development, domestic violence intervention, health screenings and referrals, and athletics, poetry and singing.  They have invested in programs that mentor teens and adults, increase community engagement, and foster respect and self-worth.

How can you participate in the incredible work of the Women & Girls Development Fund?

Let’s turn the fires that test us into beacons of light, creating a stronger and more vibrant San Antonio.

Marjie M. French
Chief Executive Officer
San Antonio Area Foundation