The Women's Fund

In 2006, 12 visionary women who were concerned about the growing poverty status of women and children in Stark County each donated $10,000 to create The Women's Fund through Stark Community Foundation to advance the status of women and children in perpetuity.

What started out as an initial investment of $120,000 in 2006 has grown to more than $800,000, thanks to the generosity of many individuals, families and businesses in our community. To date, The Women's Fund has awarded almost $240,000 to 50 local nonprofits in support of programs or projects meeting the needs of women and children in Stark County.

The mission of The Women's Fund is to benefit future generations; increase vital funding for programs that advance the economic, educational, physical, emotional, social, artistic and personal growth of women; and educate and inspire women to become leaders in philanthropy. The interest area of this fund includes nonprofit agencies and their programs or projects that meet the needs of women and children in Stark County.

The Women's Fund strategic goals include:

  • Building a Financially Strong and Sustainable Fund: Build a permanent endowment that will continue to grow yearly, enabling The Women’s Fund to improve the lives of women and children.
  • Granting Funds: Provide grant funding to Stark County nonprofit organizations that address the Fund's three focus areas for underserved women and children of all ages, cultures, ethnicity, races and abilities.
  • Inspiring Philanthropy: Educate and engage women of all means and backgrounds about philanthropy and promote the collective power of giving back to the Stark County community.

The Fund's Women's Forum helps define grantmaking focus areas, which currently include economic stability and advancement, mental and emotional health support and neighborhood-based programming.

View our recent newsletter


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants must be a tax-exempt private agency, 501(c)(3) organization (that is recognized as a public charity) or government entity serving Stark County women and children.

Projects must impact women and children in at least one of the following grantmaking focus areas:

  • Economic Stability and Advancement: sample projects include providing job training, career planning, parenting, financial and digital literacy; removing barriers to obtaining/maintaining employment
  • Mental and Emotional Health Support: sample projects include enhancing or expanding mental health services to women living at or below federal poverty guidelines
  • Neighborhood-Based Programming: sample projects include providing services in neighborhoods with high-risk populations working in collaboration with service providers, churches, businesses and the residents who live there

Grant Amount

Up to $5,000

Important Dates

Application Deadline: October 13, 2023
Award Date: January 2024

Grant applicants will be notified by mail of the Committee's decision.

Application Instructions

Only online applications will be accepted. Apply online through Stark Community Foundation’s Grant Portal.

The Women's Fund Grants Advisory Committee will review all grant requests and may require a site visit or in-person applicant interview prior to finalizing its decision.

Evaluation Report

Organizations receiving grant funding from The Women's Fund are required to complete an evaluative report at the end of the grant period, which includes a written narrative on the impact of the grant and financial details of how the grant funds were spent. Failure to submit a final report will impact the organization's ability to secure future funding from The Women's Fund.

Recent Grants

2024 Grants
2023 Grants
2022 Grants


Contact Advisory Committee Chair Melissa Coultas at


You can be assured your gift is more than a donation; it’s strengthening women and children today and for generations to come. Make a difference now with an online charitable contribution of any size to The Women's Fund, or learn about the other ways you can give.

Levels of Giving

Golden Chain: $25,000 and above
Founder: $10,000 - $24,999
Magnolia: $5,000 - $9,999
Tulip: $2,500 - $4,999
Cherry Blossom: $1,000 - $2,499
Buckeye: $500 - $999
Dogwood: $101 - $499
Lilac: $100 and below

You can make an annual gift or a one-time gift.

Advisory Committee

Melissa Coultas, Chair
Nancy Bond-Bundy
Shelly Boss
Debbie Carpenter
Jennifer Frey
Teresa Golden-McClelland
Laura Grabowsky
Maria Heege
Wendy Lichtenwalter
Amy Mast
Linda Sirak
Suzie Thomas

Get Involved

We invite all women in our community to participate in The Women’s Fund. Put your talents to work for the lives of Stark County's women and children, build your resume, network with like-minded people and hone your skills! The Women's Fund is always in need of talented individuals to help fulfill our mission.

Ad Hoc Committees

  • Annual Gathering
  • Community Outreach
  • Fund and Membership Development
  • Grants Advisory
  • Public Relations
  • Advisory (only open to members who have reached the lifetime Cherry Blossom level of giving or higher)

Interested in serving on a committee? Contact Advisory Committee Chair Melissa Coultas at


Annual Gathering

This special event celebrates philanthropy and The Women's Fund. Current grant recipients share how our grants have made an impact on their organization and in the community. It's a great way to connect with other members and to hear about the impact The Women's Fund grant dollars are making.

The Women's Forum

Every three years, The Women's Fund convenes community members and nonprofits serving women and children in order to help set focus areas for future funding. As a member, you're invited to participate in this important forum.

Share This Page