Women’s Fund

About The Fund

Our Mission

  • To provide a permanently endowed funding source to non-profit agencies serving the needs of women and girls in Rock County.
  • To provide hands-on grant-making and leadership experiences through volunteer opportunities for Fund donors.

The Women’s Fund seeks to reflect the population it serves in its make-up of donors and volunteers. Donors who wish to participate in activities will be encouraged to do so regardless of their political views, sexual orientation, race, age, economic status, political or religious views.

How does the Women’s Fund work?

The Women’s Fund is a component of the Community Foundation. The Advisory Board is comprised of community volunteers and Community Foundation staff. The Advisory Board raises money for the endowment as well as recommends grants from the Women’s Fund in support of priorities they set related to the current needs of women and girls in Rock County Wisconsin. Are you interested in serving on the Advisory Board? Call Deedra Williams, (608) 758-0883.

In 2007, a Task Force of the Women’s Fund developed the Status of Women in Rock County report to include basic demographics, employment and earnings, social and economic autonomy, health and wellbeing.

Why women and girls? Why not a fund for women and children? Or women and families?

Forty years of research shows that social investments in women reduce poverty, raise productivity and accelerate economic growth. Encouraging women to build on their strengths increases self-worth. In addition, a higher level of self-esteem is passed along to future generations.

Investing in girls yields even higher returns in terms of the effect on women’s wages, the decisions better educated women make about having children, and their capacity to raise healthy, educated children who go on to make good wages, choose smaller family size and invest in their own children.

Support for women and girls ultimately benefits men and boys, too. By strengthening and enabling women, we can break the cycle of poverty in our community.

About Our Awards


Seeking proposals from 501(c)(3) charitable Rock County organizations and municipalities offering projects or programs that serve the mental health needs of women and girls. Services and programs eligible for grant funding may include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, caregiver stress, addictions, work/family stress, isolation, and human trafficking.Both prevention and/or response programs are eligible. Training programs for targeted audiences, support groups, mentoring programs, resource identification, and other related programs are examples for possible grant support. Collaborations throughout Rock County are encouraged.Requests from individuals are not eligible. Grant applications are available here and must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM September 15. Proposals of $500 to $10,000 will be considered.

2021 Grants

  • The Women’s Fund, Healthnet of Rock County Inc. — Families Supporting Families Capital Campaign – Behavioral Health Program for Women with Addiction
  • The Women’s Fund-Friends of Judi Kneece Fund — Community Action, Inc. of Rock and Walworth Counties Youth Mentoring Programs

2021 Total Grants: $19,050

Since its start, the Women’s Fund has given back more than $135,000 in support of its goals.
Annual grant application deadline: September 15

Invest In Your Community

Donations to the Women’s Fund are welcome at any time of the year. All gifts are tax deductible. Mail a check to this address, or click the button to donate online.
The Women’s Fund
c/o The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin
121 N. Parker Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545

CFSW Contact

DeeDee Williams Headshot
Deedra Williams
Phone: (608) 758-0883

Advisory Board Members

The Fund is advised by a committee of community volunteers who initiate fundraising activities and determine grant awards:

Nancy Sonntag, Chair
Sue Conley
Maryam Enterline
Mary Frederick
Deb Kolste
Teresa Nguyen
Wendy Tupper
Camilla Owen
Olivia Peterson
Lori Stottler