The 2015 San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF) Annual Grants Celebration held on June 4th was a very inspirational night for attendees.

More than 220 people attended the event, held at The Scripps Research Institute. The program kicked off with Leigh Hartman, SDWF President, introducing Linda Katz, founding President of the San Diego Women’s Foundation.

Katz underscored the founding vision of SDWF and how the positive impact has grown broader and deeper in the last 15 years than the founders initially anticipated. She explained that impact is a “two-way street.” The impact SDWF Members have in our community is significant, and the impact SDWF has on Members is significant as well. SDWF Members are engaged not only in the work of the San Diego Women’s Foundation, but are also very involved in the missions of SDWF’s Community Partners. “Philanthropy,” said Katz, “Sharing gifts of time, talent, and treasure — it adds up to magic.”

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Constance Carroll, Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District and SDWF alumna. Recognized as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in San Diego’s History,” Chancellor Carroll shared her own personal stories about becoming a leader and emphasized the importance of empowering leaders within their own communities to effect long-term change.

Constance Carroll

She applauded the San Diego Women’s Foundation members for their work in identifying and funding critical needs within San Diego.

The evening’s program also featured more than 20 past Community Partners who took to the stage to present a “living word cloud” emphasizing the impact their organizations are making on individuals and families in San Diego.

Like a performance of contemporary poetry, each organization expressed five words of their choosing to describe their organization. A myriad of voices filled the auditorium with words like Empathy, Literacy, Imagine, Education, Clean Water, Children, Resiliency, Dignity, and Transformation. The San Diego Opera closed the performance with the words, “With community, anything is possible,” an apt metaphor for the entire evening’s celebration of leadership, philanthropy and community.

Grant Recipients

In total, SDWF awarded $172,000 in grants to four new Community Partners in the area of Community Leadership Development. The newest Community Partners are:

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SDWF educates and inspires women to engage in collective philanthropy and invests in innovative solutions that benefit underserved communities in the San Diego region.

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About Mara Holiday

Mara Holiday, Program Specialist, supports the San Diego Women’s Foundation in efforts to educate and inspire women to engage in strategic philanthropy by providing program area and committee coordination, managing annual grantmaking processes, and providing operational and administrative support. She has worked in grants management and fundraising since 2009 and holds an MA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University.