Why the Women’s Foundation of Collier County?

Meeting the Needs of Women and Girls

Women’s funds appear in many settings—public charities, private foundations, and funds within community foundations like ours. Surveys revealed that funding for women and girls by the broader foundation community has grown at a faster rate than foundation giving on the whole.  But as a share of overall foundation giving, funding for women and girls has remained below 7.5 percent for more than 15 years. Our interpretation: funders understand the potential for change by investing in women, but the awareness that translates into giving must be intensified.

What makes these funds unique? Research has shown women’s funds have developed a unique approach to grant-making that sets them apart from the mainstream in terms of impact and effectiveness.

  • Focus on ‘systemic’ solutions – changes to the policies and systems that shape women’s opportunities in society
  • Invest in women who are poor and pushed to the margins – over 80% of women’s fund grants flow to women and girls with low-income or no income
  • Consist of start-up and venture investors, kick-starting many new community organizations and projects
  • Don’t just give money – they build the leadership, skills, and influence of their grantee partners
  • Believe everyone can be a philanthropist, engaging diverse audiences in giving, leadership, and decision-making
  • Share a common focus on critical issues including combating poverty and violence, and improving access to healthcare and education

Women’s Foundation of Collier County – Mission and Goals

Mission: To be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls in Collier County through grantmaking, advocacy, and education.



Meet current Critical Needs of Senior Women

  • provide funding for homeless programs that identify and assist housing senior women in need
  • address isolation issues

Empower Young Women & Girls to Meet their Full Potential

  • offer advanced scholarships
  • mentorship and career development through Junior Women of Initiative program

Raise Funds to Support our Priorities well into the Future

  • increase the WFCC Endowment Fund to $5,000,000


                         Board of Directors 2022-2023

Executive Committee

Brenda O’Connor – Chair

Althea Irving – Vice Chair

Lynda Waterhouse – Secretary/Treasurer

Donna Messer – Immediate Past Chair/Governance


Bette Aymar

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster – Advocacy & Policy Chair

Anne Fleming – Marketing Chair

Lori Fowler – Events Chair

Dena Rae Hancock

Trisha Hare – Development Chair

Stacey Herring

Michelle McLeod

Lisa Nakfoor

Francesca Passidomo

Dayana Philippi

Karen Ryan – Grants Chair

Jennifer Suden

Giselle Wagner – CCF Liaison