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What is the Focus of the 2023 Caring for Women Campaign?

This year, the 2023 WAWF Campaign is raising dollars to continue offering trauma informed care training grants and to support critical care operational needs for our partner organization, Safe Avenues. We are also reviewing how we can partner with another organization working hard in Kandiyohi County and look forward to sharing more with you all soon. The Women’s Fund continues to hear both the need and the great impact from our trauma informed care training grants. Additionally, when we met with partner organizations that play a key role in supporting women in Kandiyohi, we recognized that the nonprofit environment continues to be challenged with general operations as staff shortages and inflation has impacted our world. This led the Women’s Fund to look at general operating support for 2023.

What is General Operating Support and Why is it Important?

General Operating Support would provide grant dollars to partner organizations in the form of unrestricted funding. Unrestricted funding enables these organizations to address urgent and emerging issues related to housing, homelessness and risk factors for exploitation which align with the goals of the Women’s Fund. Executive Director of the Willmar Area Community Foundation, Sara Carlson, said, “We know that these partner organizations are doing important work in our community that supports the goals of the Women’s Fund. General operating support provides much needed stability and flexibility, allowing for our partners to plan for the future and ensure continuity for our community.”

Here are a couple of myths vs reality checks about providing general operating support.

Myth: “General operating support hurts sustainability.”

Reality: In our role as a funder, our chief concern should be to ensure that grantees have the support they need to make a difference for the communities they serve. General operating support can help build the fundraising, planning and other systems our partners need to strengthen their funding sources and sustain their organizations over time.

Myth: “Grants shouldn’t support general operating costs.”

Reality: Human capital is how the work happens in non-profits. Nonprofits need working capital to succeed, to keep the lights on, and to invest in staff salaries. Without working capital, they will drain their finances, put added stress on their capacity and end up less effectively serving their mission.

If you’d like to learn more about our 2023 Caring for Women Campaign, check out this article.

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