Category Archives: Local

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.

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.

The Well-Being of Women in Utah

Recently released research out of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in collaboration with the YWCA, demonstrates some gains, as well as key areas for improvement so that all women in Utah can thrive.

Core recommendations:
– Access to affordable health care, especially mental health
– Violence prevention and intervention
– Supports for completing higher ed degrees
– Equal pay and promotion
– Work-family supports
– Leadership preparation

Read the full report here.

Huffington Post: Utah’s Other No. 1 Ranking: Gender Pay Gap

Local author, Donna McAleer, highlights how Utah women, especially those in Utah and Davis Counties, continue to face gender discrimination with the worst gender pay gaps in the nation.

“We Utahns are proud of our economic growth, and rightly so. Nationally we rank as the ‘Best State for Business and Careers’ by Forbes magazine, three years running; the Kaufman Foundation acknowledges Utah number one for ‘Economic Dynamism,’ Pollina Corporate lists Utah as the top pro-business state, and the U.S. Chamber of Enterprising States ranks Utah third in STEM job growth and business birth rate and 1st in high tech business economy. But, and here’s the embarrassing paradox, according to a recent 24/7 Wall Street article when it comes to equal pay in the state, women are paid an average of 70 percent of what men are paid. What’s most embarrassing is that Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield rank No. 1 and No. 2 respectively as the worst-paying cities for women.”

Read the full article here.

McGillis School hosts screening of Ready to Fly

ready to flyThe McGillis School, a private nonprofit located in downtown Salt Lake City, is hosting a screening of Ready to Fly, an inspirational look at three young women in their journey for the right to compete in the Winter Olympics.

“This documentary follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van and the Women’s Ski Jumping USA team as they fight to make their Olympic dreams come true. This powerful true story tells a tale of sacrifice and determination, of pluck and tragedy, as a very special group of unlikely heroes triumphs over massive obstacles to achieve a dream and change the world.
To prove that women deserve to compete at the highest level: in the Winter Olympics.”

The screening is free, suitable for ages 10 and up, and includes a Q&A with the Director, William A. Kerig.

Monday, February 3, 2014
6:30 P.M.
The McGillis School
668 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Contact The McGillis School at 801.583.0094

A big thanks to member Kerry Steward for sharing!

Utah Women’s Giving Circle Grants $20,000 to Empower Women and Girls in Utah

2013 Grantees PictureWe are excited to announce our third round of grants!

Formed in 2011 to empower women in Utah and grow possibilities for Utah girls, our members leverage small, individual donations into high impact grants, investing in Utah programs decided by member vote.

On Tuesday evening, our members voted to distribute $20,000 across five nonprofit organizations:

  • Volunteers of America’s Young Women’s Transition Program, a 7-bed home for homeless young women, ages 16-19, with a focus on self-sufficiency through school, employment, and housing.
  • Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake’s Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Programs, which provide free legal representation for victims seeking a protective order as well as expedited support with divorce and custody cases.
  • People Helping People, an organization that lifts children out of poverty by teaching low-income women how to earn a living wage through education and mentoring.
  • Women of the World, an organization that builds women-to-women networks for refugees living in Utah, teaching practical English, finance, health, and job skills.
  • Girls on the Run Utah, an organization building self-esteem and confidence among girls in the 3rd-8th grades through a creative running program with volunteer mentors.

“It is an amazing experience to witness women come together to collectively make a decision to positively impact other women” commented Stewart Ralphs, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake.

Kayleen Simmons, Giving Circle member and Executive Director of People Helping People, added, “Truly, when women come together, we can change the world.”

For Girls on the Run, the funding translates to 25 full scholarships for underserved girls at Title I schools. The program combines a new pair of running shoes with afterschool training leading up to a 5K in June, ultimately creating opportunities for personal growth, strong female role modeling, and enhanced self-esteem.

Kathy Bray, Executive Director of Volunteers of America, Utah, expressed how timely the grant award is for, “The program supports young homeless women whose lives have been very difficult and we are committed to continuing it, despite a recent $13,000 federal cut in funding.”

Similarly, the grant awarded to Women of the World will have an immediate impact, funding a computer workstation and services teaching refugee women how to translate their unique skills into a resume and conduct a job search, supporting one of the organization’s focuses of financial empowerment for 300+ women from all over the world.

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle has raised more than $70,000 in annual and endowed funds since its inception in January 2011, investing more than $50,000 back into the community through nonprofit organizations. Prior awards have been made to the American Association of University Women’s e-Smart STEM Camp for girls, Early Head Start at Horizonte, the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Camp CEO, Planned Parenthood’s Teen Success Program, the YWCA Choices for Women Program, and Global Artisans, a refugee self-sufficiency program.