Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How one local non-profit negotiates a tough economy, and succeeds in spite of it


The Women and Girl's Fund is a relatively young local charity devoted to providing a helping hand to needy young women in our community. It was the brain child of Judi McCarthy, and she has single-handedly taken it from nowhere to a fund with assets of more than $300,000. To understand Judi you have to understand she is the daughter of a Marine and has the drive and discipline to show for it. So how is the fund faring during this tumultuous time? Judi tells me the fund reached a high of $385,000 briefly and then - like everything else - took a huge hit in the market collapse. She explained the year it has been:

"We approached our founders (donors of $1,000 or more) with the prospect of reduced grant making in 2009, and they donated enough to the grant making pot to keep our grant impact even ($20,000).... In addition they added to the endowment."

Judi laid the success of the fund at the feet of her "great supporters," but no doubt it is also a testament to her own drive. Judi has moved on to become chairman of the Board at the Kern Community Foundation (where the WGF funds reside) and Mary Bynum is now running the WGF. New grants will be annnounced at an April 29 luncheon and in the meantime, the group will honor three artists at a March 19 event at Ice House Framing and Gallery.

1 comment:

Judi McCarthy said...

Richard, thank you for highlighting the Women's & Girls' Fund and for your compliments. I should clarify that $40,000 was removed from our endowment for grantmaking. The current economic challenge did its damage, certainly, but we're delighted when we "lose" $40,000 for the benefit of Kern's women and girls.