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Women's Fund Endowment

In December, 2000, the Board of Directors of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation approved the creation of the Women’s Fund Endowment, the first endowed fund created by the Foundation as a donor. The Women's Fund Endowment supports programs and projects for women and children in Cass County, ND and Clay County, MN. Through the support of nearly 600 donors, the Chambers Family Fund, and the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Women's Fund Endowment has grown to over $1 million!

In 2011, the North Dakota Legislature expanded the 40% Charitable Income Tax Credit to businesses to include individual contributions of $5,000 or more to a qualified endowment fund. The Women's Fund Endowment is a qualified endowment fund.

We are asking your help in supporting women and their families in Cass and Clay counties.

  • Every dollar you contribute will remain in the Women's Fund Endowment forever.
  • Every dollar you contribute will forever generate income that will support the women and children of this area.

Contribute today to support women and children forever. Contributions can be mailed to the Foundation office, or made online. 


Grantmaking from the Women's Fund Endowment

The Women's Fund Endowment has an annual grant round in the Spring. Grants are awarded by a Women's Fund Grant Committee. Grants are typically awarded for projects or programs that fall within the three focus areas of need that were determined by research and affirmed in 2011. 

  • Children in Need of Care
  • Economic Well-Being of Women and Their Families
  • Women in Leadership

2016 Grant Guidelines:

Develop leadership qualities and potential in women and girLS

The Women’s Fund of the FM Area Foundation invites grant applications that fund programs, projects, or efforts which develop leadership qualities and potential in women and girls in Cass and Clay counties.

The Women’s Fund is particularly interested in funding programs that bring about self-discovery, empowerment and personal transformation; helping women or girls find their strength and voice to actively pursue leadership opportunities that impact businesses, nonprofits, faith-based, community, neighborhood, civic, government, and our community.

Grants may be awarded that provide funding for operations, enhancements to current operations and/or existing programs for new leadership initiatives and grassroots organizations. The Women’s Fund will accept grant requests from $500 to $15,000.

Concepts may include:

· Activate: Inspiring, mentoring and educating women and girls to be leading innovators and change makers.

· Educate/Learn: Building knowledge and skills and challenging perceptions about leadership and the values that shape it, to grow opportunities for women and girls in leadership roles.

· Link: Women and girls with resources and networks that encourage and inspire leadership.

· Enable Multiplier Effects: Collaborations that will multiply the impacts for activating and growing leadership for women and girls.

· Broad-based: Activation and growth in leadership is a broad-based need; we encourage a host of urgent leadership needs to be considered whether it is small to large businesses, education, health, climate, renewable energy, etc.

· Foster Prosperity: The economic well-being of women and their families is positively impacted by having more women in leadership across all spectrums of society.

· Nurture Engagement: The ability to reach out and engage women from under-served groups and those who may not otherwise have access to leadership training and professional development opportunities resulting in significant social and economic returns.

Preference will be given to organizations that show an innovative, effective, and direct approach to activating leadership among women and/or girls; form partnerships with other community organizations for deeper impact; demonstrate the long-term sustainability and viability of the initiative; show a clear need for the funds and a plan for their use; demonstrate a long-term commitment to this work; and are located in Cass County, N.D., or Clay County, Minn. For those without tax-exempt status, a fiscal sponsorship is required.

Contact Lexi Oestreich with questions:

Groups and organizations without a 501(c)(3) must have a fiscal sponsor. 

The Women's Fund grant round will remain open Jan. 20, 2016 to April 15, 2016. 

Apply for the 2016 Women's Fund Grant Round. 


Grants made in 2016:

  • Inspire Innovation Lab "Inspire Girls"
  • The Jeremiah Program "Building a Network of Empowered Women Leaders"
  • Latter Rain Ministries "P's & Q's Etiquette and Leadership"
  • REACH-Rural Enrichment and Counseling Headquarters "Dress for Success"
  • Women & Technology DBA Center for Technology and Business "Greater FM Area Women's Leadership Program"
  • Tri-College University "NEW Leadership Development Institute"
  • YWCA Cass Clay "Education and Employment Program"
  • New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment "Women's Social Empowerment Project"

Grants made in 2015:

  • FM Opera "Conductor Training Initiative for Young Women"
  • Immigrant Development Center "Entreprenurial Training"
  • Latter Rain Ministries "P's & Q's Etiquette and Leadership"
  • North Dakota Women's Network "Stepping Forward-Ready to Run"
  • Plains Art Museum "Mothers of Invention-Catherine Mulligan"
  • Tri-College University "NEW Leadership Development Institute"

Grants made in 2014:

  • Inspire Innovation Lab "Breaking the Mold: Tidbits magazine for area teen girls"
  • Jeremiah Program "Personal Empowerment Training"
  • The Chamber "Women Connect"
  • Tri-College University "NEW Leadership Development Institute"
  • United Way of Cass Clay "35 Under 35 Women's Leadership: Mentor Connect Pilot Program"
  • YWCA Cass Clay "Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) Initiative"

Grants made in 2013:

  • CHARISM "Habits of the Heart"                                                                   
  • Legal Services of NW MN "Empowerful Program"                                          
  • Tri College University "Scholarships for NEW Program"     

Conversations That Matter

In January, nearly 200 people came together at the Microsoft Fargo campus to discuss the topic of mentorship. To find out what attendees took away from their table discussions and what they look for in a mentor, click the links below. 

Key Takeaways

What You Look for In A Mentor


Cass/Clay Women's Status

Key Findings