Dallas Women’s Foundation announced three major milestones: the most successful luncheon in its 33-year history, raising $1.5 million; the highly anticipated culmination of its $50 million fundraising campaign; and the resulting transformation of the organization into Texas Women’s Foundation.
The transformation to Texas Women’s Foundation honors the organization’s more than three decades as the trusted leader in advocating for and advancing social and economic change for women and girls in Texas, and better reflects its position as one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With more than $35 million in assets, the Foundation raises approximately $8 million a year from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources are used to underwrite groundbreaking statewide research on issues affecting women and girls, providing decision-makers and lawmakers critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Funds also sustain the Foundation’s $5 million in annual grants, mission-focused gendered asset investments, and support for innovative programs and solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive.
“As Texas Women’s Foundation, our goal is to Transform Texas for Women and Girls by advancing economic security for women, girls and families across the state, and by ensuring opportunities for them to lead in every sector – from the classroom, to the first job, the board room and the halls of government,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, president & CEO. “This matters to every Texan – women and men alike – because our economy and our futures are stronger when Texas women, girls and families thrive, and when our leadership fully reflects our population. We are focused on driving productive, non-political and affirming change – advancing opportunities for Texas women and girls to prosper for the benefit of all.”
Dawson Thompson concluded by saying: “We believe in the power of community and are asking for everyone’s help and support. Join the movement – sign up today to become a part of our army of advocates, our champions of Economic Security and our legion for Leadership. We have a bold mandate and an exciting and positive future. Together, we will Transform Texas for Women and Girls!”
News Unveiled During Record-Breaking 33rd Annual Luncheon
The transformation to Texas Women’s Foundation was announced in front of a sold-out, maximum- capacity audience of 1,570 influential business, community and philanthropic leaders during the organization’s signature fundraising event – the 33rd Annual Luncheon, presented by Toyota. Co-chaired by community leaders and philanthropists Lael Brodsky and Tricia Miller, with Honorary Co-chairs Matrice Ellis- Kirk and Ambassador Ron Kirk, the event featured an interview with Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay moderated by noted journalist Michele Norris. The luncheon was the most successful in the Foundation’s 33-year history, raising $1.5 million and netting more than $1.1 million.
The November 7 luncheon also marked the successful conclusion of the organization’s $50 million “Unlocking Leadership Campaign.” Launched in April 2013, the Campaign was co-chaired by a who’s who of business and community leaders, including Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Paula and Ron Parker, and Trea and Richard Yip. Based on the lead $5 million gift from the Harold Simmons Foundation and subsequent donations from nearly 5,300 individuals, corporations and foundations, and the record-breaking results of the 33rd Annual Luncheon, the Campaign reached its $50 million goal. According to Ashlee Kleinert, campaign co-chair, “The extraordinary generosity of the entire North Texas region – from major grants to small individual gifts – makes this campaign truly reflective of our entire community and its commitment to the Foundation’s values and impact. We are thrilled to have achieved the Campaign’s $50 million goal – something unprecedented among women’s foundations anywhere – and to have this success be the springboard to launch our future as Texas Women’s Foundation.”
Texas Women’s Foundation – Same Important Focus
The evolution of Dallas Women’s Foundation to Texas Women’s Foundation was the intended outcome of the Unlocking Leadership Campaign, moving the organization forward with its mission to advance economic and leadership opportunities for women, girls and families, and launching a movement across the state to Transform Texas for Women and Girls and build stronger, more equitable communities for all.
Women’s economic security matters to everyone in the state. The future workforce and economy in Texas depend on investing in solutions that get to the root causes of women’s economic insecurity and reverse them. Today, Texas women are disproportionately living in poverty. Statewide, only 29 percent of households are headed by women, yet more than half (54 percent) of all households in poverty are headed by women. The poverty rate for Texas women – who earn a median annual wage that is 79.6 cents on the dollar compared with men – could be reduced by 51 percent if women were paid comparably to men.
Since 2013, the Foundation has strengthened the economic security of more than 53,000 Texans, including changing the trajectory for almost 32,000 women and girls from diverse ethnic and socio-economic communities. While these results exceed the Foundation’s goal to improve the financial stability of 16,000 North Texas women and girls by 2022, far too many Texas women and girls remain financially insecure. Texas Women’s Foundation is committed to ensuring Texas women, girls and families have the knowledge, financial competence and capacity, as well as the work supports enabling them to move from surviving to thriving.
Similarly, women are more likely than men to be dramatically underrepresented in leadership positions. While women hold 52 percent of all professional jobs in Texas, they make up only 14.6 percent of executive positions in the state. Yet evidence abounds regarding the countless economic and social benefits of women leaders in business and the community, making neighborhoods, communities, cities and the state stronger and better for all. To make real progress for Texas and its communities, the pipeline of women leaders must be strengthened across every sector.
Texas Women’s Foundation is dedicated to building a culture in Texas where women and girls are full participants at every level. The Foundation’s Leadership Initiative is built around a $1 million annual commitment to develop and fund programs, policies and practices that empower women and girls to lead in their lives, their workplaces and their communities. The Foundation has provided leadership training and opportunities for 43,000 women and girls since 2013 and plans to lift up a total of 60,000 women and girls by 2022.
Measured Approach to Texas Women’s Foundation Expansion
As Texas Women’s Foundation, the expansion strategy will be measured and deliberate, beginning with the Foundation’s continued research, which for more than a decade has been focused on issues impacting women and girls statewide. The research will continue to provide lawmakers, community leaders, nonprofit partners and decision-makers with conclusive information to help shape policies and practices affecting women and girls.
Building on work that began during 2014, the Foundation will also continue expanding further into new cities and regions – convening partners, donors and friends to share the research, discuss issues and recruit allies and advocates across the state. In addition, it will invest in solutions proven in the North Texas region and portable to other communities, including signature Foundation programs such as:
• The Women’s Leadership Institute for executive women in corporations and business.
• The Young Women’s Initiative that empowers and affirms young women of color ages 17-24 and in the most under-resourced neighborhoods, to lead in their lives and in their communities.
• #BestSelf, a one-day intensive leadership development program for girls ages 11-16 that challenges stereotypes and helps them be confident in their pursuit of their dreams.
Ultimately, the Foundation will also mobilize capital for greater investment in Texas Women’s Foundation and the movement to Transform Texas for Women and Girls.
For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.