Author Archives: Women's Giving Circle

Congratulations to our 2021 Grantees!

2021 Grantees Utah Women's Giving Circle Voting Party


Salt Lake City, Utah –– The Utah Women’s Giving Circle, a grassroots group formed in 2011 to change the statistics for women in Utah, awarded its eleventh round of grants, having invested more than $195,000 through a total of 56 high impact nonprofit projects.

Members voted on Wednesday evening to award their collective pool of $15,000 across four initiatives, targeting essential services and women returning to the workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:

$4,000 Grant: Your Community Connection Family Crisis Center
Flexible funding to support domestic violence victims in becoming self-sufficient, such as fees for birth certificates, drivers licenses, and bank accounts.

$4,000 Grant: Family Support Center
Supporting reduced-cost mental health services to women and families who are uninsured, as low as $10 per visit.

$4,000 Grant: Fight Against Domestic Violence
Providing immediate, one-time help for domestic violence victims facing financial emergencies, such as help paying off utility bills or attorney costs for divorce proceedings.

$3,000 Grant: Project Read
Supporting tutoring and small group instruction, helping women improve their ability to read, write, compute, and use technology to improve their opportunities.

Referencing recent news headlines announcing that Utah is the second worst state in the country for its gender wage gap, Safia Keller remarked, “It has been an honor to be the chair of this organization and to recognize the impactful work of the nonprofits who pitched tonight. It is always striking to me just how small an amount of money can make such an enormous difference in an individual’s life, especially as we see women’s statistics in Utah sliding backward. As more women join the Giving Circle, we will be able to fund more of these grassroots, community-based projects that are moving the needle.” According to the study, Utah women earn an average of 30.9% less than men.

Membership is open to Utah women of all ages and incomes and 100% of annual membership contributions are invested back into the community through these annual grant awards. “Witnessing the legacy of the Giving Circle across 11 years has been an important thread of meaning across four generations of women in my own family,” shared one of the founding members, Kim Paulding, Executive Director of the Utah Bar Foundation.

After pitching live to the membership and receiving one of the awards, Shauna Brown, Executive Director of Project Read, reflected, “We are so appreciative of the generosity of the Utah Women’s Giving Circle and the passion for lifting women and girls in the community.”

Women looking for a way to support their communities can join the Utah Women’s Giving Circle through a $250 annual donation or a $50 annual donation for women under 25. Women can become Lifetime Members through a one-time gift of $1,000. Public and corporate donations are welcome. For more information, visit or email

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle is fiscally sponsored by the Community Foundation of Utah, a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. More information can be found at

Congratulations to our 2019 Grantees!

We are honored to announce our 9th round of grants – funded entirely by annual membership donations!

The Salt Lake Tribune – $5,000 matched by their Report for America grant, funding a dedicated reporter on stories impacting Utah women

Journey of Hope – $5,000 for violence prevention through outreach, education and case management for girls aging out of JJS, DCFS, foster care, and homelessness

South Valley Services – $2,000 toward domestic violence prevention through community awareness materials and incentives to attend Healthy Relationships classes

Girls on the Run Utah – $2,000 in scholarships enabling underserved girls to participate in this life-changing program and culmination 5K (3x grantee!)

Yoga Forward – $1,000 to empower a female inmate serving a life sentence as an ongoing yoga teacher trainer, impacting potentially hundreds of women in the Utah State Prison Timpanogos Facility

Thank you to our members for your dedication to a legacy of changing the statistics for Utah’s women and girls!

And thank you to all of the incredible nonprofits who have responded to the call for projects that move the needle!

Ready to become an everyday philanthropist?

Join by the end of February and take advantage of the option to spread out your $250 donation – join for just $23/month!

Join online:

Spread it out: Call the Community Foundation of Utah at 801-559-3005 M-F during business hours

2017 Utah Women's Giving Circle Grantees

Congratulations to our 2017 Grantees!

On January 25th, 2018, our members gathered at Town Club with a record 13 nonprofit organizations on our ballot for our 7th round of grantmaking.

We are excited and honored to partner with eight (another record) grantees: 

$6,000 Grant: Utah Public Radio
Utah Women 2020 Series

$3,500 Grant: Women Tech Council
SheTech High School Student Outreach

$2,000 Grant: Southern Utah University
Middle School Female Computing Pipeline

$2,000 Grant: Better Days 2020
Women’s Suffrage History Curriculum

$2,000 Grant: People Helping People of Utah
Women’s Employment Program

$1,500 GrantIAP2 Intermountain Chapter
Girls Participation Summit

$1,500 Grant:  CATALYST Magazine
Women of Wisdom Series

$1,500 Grant:  YWCA Utah
Utah Women’s Policy Conference

Congratulations to these worthy partners and the creative and targeted projects they are pursuing to impact the lives of Utah’s women and girls!

Utah Women's Giving Circle 2018 Theme Sexual Harassment

Announcing Our 2018 Theme: How can we take a stand against sexual harassment?

On November 28th, 2017, Lifetime Members gathered for the Annual Direction Dinner to determine the focus of our awareness efforts and grantmaking in 2018.

It’s not surprising that we zeroed in on sexual harassment.

A very real movement has been gaining much needed momentum: women standing together to declare an end to tolerance of any form of sexual harassment and media that continues to perpetuate a rape culture.

Coming off of the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the country, and the pattern of comments and actions that have objectified the female body, many women from all political backgrounds have reached the end of their willingness to allow the continued trivialization of sexual abuse and harassment.

It was in that heated climate that the Harvey Weinstein accusations broke, leading to a cascade of women in Hollywood and other industries, as well as millions of everyday women and girls on social media, bravely stepping out from the dark to share their stories, illustrating the stark reality of an overwhelming culture of sexual harassment, abuse and assault.

The objectification culture that continues to place women in a subservient position to be looked at and used for sexual gratification is an issue for all women, regardless of political beliefs, and we believe we can and must take a stand together to eliminate sexual harassment tolerance for the girls who will inherit the future.

The Giving Circle wants to acknowledge the Me Too Movement, founded more than a decade ago by Tarana Burke, which provided the backbone #metoo – a thread that pulled all of the stories together across more than 85 countries with more than 2 Million tweets.

As Burke states so well in a recent PBS interview:

“…the reality is that those people operate within systems that allow them to flourish. When we look at patriarchy, when we look at capitalism, these are systems that are in place that allow men like Harvey Weinstein, or Bill Cosby, and even R. Kelly to exist, because people are more invested in those systems than they are in human dignity.”

Former grant recipient Beauty Redefined is an excellent source of positive messages and insightful support to help eliminate objectification, starting with our own personal beliefs when we look in the mirror.

Investing in Women & Girls

The Evidence Is In!

Investing in women and girls is the way forward for gender equality, economic growth, and a better world for all.

Lifetime Member Jacki Zehner has been on a mission to “make the case” for investing in women and girls.

This past International Women’s Day, that dream came true with the publication of Top Reports on Women and Girls: Supporting Gender Lens Giving and Investing.

This document lists the top reports on women and girls across 18 different categories:

  • Agriculture, Climate & Land Rights
  • Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media
  • Business Case for Women, Corporate Boards, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Economic Growth, Development, Employment & Equality
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Girls
  • Giving to Women and Girls & Gender Lens Philanthropy
  • Health & Reproductive Issues
  • Impact Investing
  • Impact Investing with a Gender Lens
  • Peace, Conflict, Refugees & Migration
  • Philanthropy
  • Political Representation
  • Science & Technology
  • Sports
  • Violence Against Women & Trafficking
  • Wealth & Economic Clout
  • Masculinity & Engaging Men in Gender Equality

Altogether, this publication brings together 400 reports, studies, and research on women and girls, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Check out the Top Reports on Women & Girls now and check out Jacki’s thoughts here.

Utah Women's Giving Circle 2016 Grantees

2016 Grant Awards Target Implicit Gender Bias

Utah Women’s Giving Circle members voted to award $20,000 in our sixth round of investments in Utah women and girls!

Following the Women’s March at the State Capitol, pitches from nonprofit projects targeted gender bias, the 2016 annual focus of the Giving Circle, and members voted to award $20,000 across a record seven nonprofit organizations:

$6,000 grant to Girls on the Run Utah, a transformational life skills program tackling gender stereotypes for 8 to 13-year-old girls, to fund 25-50 participation scholarships for low-income girls across the state.

  • $5,000 grant to KRCL Radio to fund a 12-part on-air series called Blindspot on RadioACTive, sharing stories that bring gender bias and efforts to change these social constructs into focus.
  • $3,000 grant to the Utah Women’s Coalition, the first grant ever awarded to this new nonprofit founded in 2015 that has already put seven bills in front of the state legislature, successfully passing four, resulting in Utah rising from an ‘F’ to a ‘C-’ grade in a progress report prepared by the National Partnership for Women and Families.
  • $2,500 grant to Spy Hop to support their multi-year Move the Dial initiative, a student-driven gender equity program facilitating youth-produced media to foster dialogue regarding gender inequality and identity.
  • $2,000 grant to Utah Valley University’s Women & Leadership Project to fund Utah Women Stats Snapshots, summarizing essential data around gender bias in our state to support awareness and action.
  • $1,000 grant to Salty Cricket Composers Collective to provide funding support for El Sistema@Salty Cricket, a free intensive afterschool music program hosted at Jackson Elementary empowering young women through music.
  • $500 grant to Women of Water, a local industry association for women, to fund a 3-part implicit bias and salary negotiation lecture series open to women from any field.

“The Giving Circle is an invitation to be a changemaker; to take action to improve your community, regardless of politics. Our model of collective giving makes philanthropy accessible and tangible,” noted Safia Keller, Chair of the Utah Women’s Giving Circle.

Stephanie Pitcher, founder of the Utah Women’s Coalition, started her advocacy efforts after personally experiencing the lack of protections for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. “This is the first grant that our organization has received, and I’m honored that it came from this grassroots women’s group. It’s a natural partnership.”

Members of the Utah Women’s Giving Circle have collectively invested more than $113,000 in high impact nonprofit projects empowering Utah women and girls since its inception in January 2011.

Membership is inclusive for women of all ages and incomes through a $250 annual donation or a $50 annual donation for girls under 18. Women can become Lifetime Members through a one-time gift of $1,000 to the endowment fund. Public and corporate donations are welcome. For more information, visit or email wgc @

Utah Women's Giving Circle 2017 Theme

In 2017, the Giving Circle asks, “Who Will the Utah Woman be in 2020?”

Our lifetime members came together in the Fall of 2016 and one major theme kept underscoring the dialogue: we are at a pivotal time in history.

A time to step up as changemakers, to target our efforts and our funds in ways that can make a truly significant impact on the future for women and girls in Utah.

In 2017, the Giving Circle will utilize this theme to learn and generate awareness about what current trends are projecting for the state of Utah women by 2020.

Armed with this data, as a group we will identify and invest in opportunities with the potential to change those trendlines and create a brighter future for the Utah woman in 2020.

Join us.

2015 Grant Awards – Objectified. More Than a Body

2015 Grant Awardees

2015 Grant Awardees

On January 27th, members of the Utah Women’s Giving Circle voted to distribute $20,000 across all six nonprofit organizations on the ballot, an unprecedented decision reflecting the important projects presented by each organization:

Utah Public Radio was awarded a $7,000 grant to curate a year-long series entitled, Objectified. More Than a Body, building off of the Giving Circle’s 2015 focus. Segments will address issues of health, well-being, and education specific to Utah women and girls.

Holding Out HELP, an organization that has been helping women and girls successfully transition out of polygamy for eight years, received a $5,000 grant to implement critical support groups targeting body image, internalized self-worth, and confidence.

Beauty Redefined was awarded a $3,500 grant toward deploying their research-proven online body image course to female students at a Utah high school, paired with their nationally recognized school-wide presentation.

Art Access received a $2,500 award to support their 2016 Body Image Project, which will incorporate a gallery exhibition with diverse opportunities to deepen the conversation on the impact of body image on Utah women and girls.

Utah State University’s Aggie Care Smart Girl Camp was awarded $1,500 to support scholarships for low-income junior high girls in Northern Utah who would otherwise be unable to participate in this self worth centered curriculum.

Dixie State University’s Women’s Resource Center was awarded $500 toward their Body Image Literacy Project, continuing an important campus-wide dialogue.

The Giving Circle leverages small donations from everyday philanthropists into powerful grants that create genuine impact in the community, empowering Utah women and girls.

With this round of grants, the Giving Circle has invested more than $93,000 back into the Utah community.  

In 2016, the Giving Circle asks, How can we open our eyes to our Implicit Bias?

Each year, the Lifetime Members of the Utah Women’s Giving Circle come together to provide guidance and direction to the Circle.

In November, the Lifetime Members addressed our mission, identifying the need to clearly communicate our role as an advocate for Utah women and girls – both through key events that open dialogues and minds AND through our unique grant making process.

WGC Raise the Question Raise the Funds-01

In 2016, the Utah Women’s Giving Circle asks: 

WGC 2016 Question-01

Join us for our Spring and Fall events to delve into this key focus, become aware of your own biases, and discover how you can challenge these hidden beliefs to empower yourself and the women and girls in your life.

Announcing our 2015 Focus

Objectified Graphic

The Giving Circle’s lifetime members came together in the Fall to set the course for an even bigger impact.

In 2015, the Giving Circle will be focusing in on a pervasive barrier to women’s empowerment: the objectification of women and girls and the many ways that the inherent value of a woman is undermined.

Our vision is a sustained conversation within our community, leading to action, targeted grants, and an enduring impact.

Our 2015 events will shed light on this focused topic, spur dialogue, and create momentum around actions that we can all take to support a foundational view of women and girls as uniquely powerful individuals with limitless potential at school, at work, and as leaders in their homes and communities.

Dorsey & Whitney has aligned with our 2015 focus as the leading sponsor. We invite your company to join them in recognizing the true value of Utah’s women and girls.

Contact us for more information at for more information or download the pledge form here.

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