2016 Year-end Letter

Dear Supporter,

You and I both had high hopes for the Women’s Foundation’s groundbreaking Count Her In report, but I’ll be honest with you: I never expected it to be this big.

From newspaper front pages to gubernatorial debates to family dinner tables, Count Her In has sparked a statewide conversation on gender equity. In the past two weeks alone, Count Her In was cited as an urgent call to action for legislative change and deep cultural shifts by both Governor Brown and The Oregonian’s editorial board.

Our members made this fresh mandate for change possible. It’s as simple as that. This revitalized urgency on behalf of women and girls could not have come at a more critical time for Oregon and for the nation. In the face of deep uncertainty ahead, here is something you can count on: the Women’s Foundation will continue our relentless pursuit of an Oregon where every woman and girl can thrive.

The Fight for Gender Equity: More Important Than Ever

Thanks to our report, Oregon has robust data on the status of women and girls for the first time in two decades. It’s not a pretty picture. Here’s the bottom line: Oregon’s women and girls are giving more, but getting less than women and girls in most other states. When Oregon’s women and girls face steep challenges to success—like high rates of violence, an alarming wealth gap, and the most serious mental health challenges in the country—none of our communities can truly flourish. Armed with this knowledge, our call to action is clear: We can and must do things differently for future Oregonians.

The Year Ahead

Our 2016 Impact Summary shares some of the most important achievements that our 700+ members accomplished together over the past year. We couldn’t be more proud, but we’re even more excited about what’s ahead. Here are three of the key initiatives members will support in 2017:

  • $75,000 in member-chosen grants to exceptional organizations serving women and girls.
  • The “Eight That Can’t Wait” Discussion Series, which explores the root causes of and potential solutions to the set of startling inequities faced by Oregon’s women and girls.
  • The expanded rollout of Count Her In, including problem-solving efforts with state and local leaders, the identification of clear policy solutions, and the expansion of service provider efforts in response to the groundbreaking data in the report.

Together, We Can Make The Difference

Count Her In makes it clear that Oregon women are a force to be reckoned with. Our combined grit, ingenuity, and generosity of spirit are truly extraordinary. And yet, Count Her In also makes clear that we must make bigger and bolder collective investments in efforts that will drive statewide change. We must invest now to ensure that the next generation of Oregon women will see marked progress instead of sharp rollbacks in their rights, opportunities, and wellbeing.

Let’s Keep It Simple

Here are three things you can do today to improve the landscape for women and girls tomorrow:

  • Support the Women’s Foundation of Oregon. If you haven't already, become a member, make a year-end gift, or give a gift membership to an important woman or girl in your life. Together, we leverage more resources, make bolder investments, and tackle larger projects to improve the lives of women and girls in Oregon.
  • Read and share Count Her In. Use our research to continue to spread the word about the daily challenges faced by Oregon women and how our collective energy can drive change.
  • Take action on the “Eight That Can’t Wait.” Join us for our upcoming Discussion Series, watch and share our original videos on each topic, and learn what each of us can do every single day to disrupt the status quo.

No Time To Waste

If ever a moment called for each of us to take a stand on behalf Oregon’s women and girls, that moment is now.

Become a member of Women’s Foundation of Oregon or make a year-end gift today. As a member of the Foundation, you will have a say in which issues we take on and which grants we fund. You will join an extraordinary community of members united by their dedication to empower and support women and girls. Most importantly, every dollar of your membership contribution will spur progress for gender equity in Oregon. Memberships start at just $120/year or $10/month.

Won’t you join us?

With heartfelt gratitude and warm wishes for a joyful holiday season,
Emily Evans
Executive Director
Women’s Foundation of Oregon

P.S. Save the date for our Count Her In Celebration on March 2, 2017. Details coming soon—we can’t wait to see you there!

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