By Laura Christman

Up next for The Women’s Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation: Reflection and setting direction – wine and appetizers included.

State of the Fund will be presented 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 26 at the McConnell Foundation’s Lema Ranch headquarters, 800 Shasta Drive in Redding. The annual event is a chance to connect with other members and learn the grant focus for 2016.

Earlier this month, members were asked to select a direction for putting the philanthropic power of The Women’s Fund into motion through grants. The two choices:

  • “Advancing Economic Opportunities,” which includes helping women with financial solvency, supporting entrepreneurship, career mentoring, training in nontraditional careers and creating professional networking opportunities.
  • “Fostering Self-sufficiency,” which encompasses bringing stability to women and families by helping with such things as basic job skills, transportation, child care, diploma completion, mental health, dental care, financial management and life skills.

“It’s a wonderful event for members and guests to hear where their membership dollars do the most work, and to reinforce the power of collective giving,”The winning focus area will be disclosed at next Thursday’s event. Nonprofit organizations and public entities can then submit applications to fund programs related to the targeted area. The Women’s Fund grant review panel will consider the proposals. Winning grants will be announced at The Women’s Fund member celebration in October.

In 2015, The Women’s Fund awarded four grants totaling $40,000 for programs aligned with “fostering economic opportunities.” Since 2010, The Women’s Fund has awarded $170,000 in grants in the greater Redding area to help women and their families.

Having members vote on the direction for grants gives them a buy-in to the organization’s efforts. Choices are narrowed by a focus group, which is comprised of members of The Women’s Fund. Input from past grant recipients is part of the detailed process of coming up with the targeted areas.

During State of the Fund, participants in a Terra Fuego Resource Foundation firefighting program for women will be interviewed. The program was created with a $12,000 grant from The Women’s Fund last year. Firefighting is a field where women are underrepresented. It can lead to careers in forestry and environmental management.

State of the Fund also will feature Record Searchlight Editor Silas Lyons, who will talk on the community impact of collaboration. The Record Searchlight partnered with The Women’s Fund on the February community forum on homelessness featuring Lloyd Pendleton from Utah and the forum on mental health in September with Leon Evans of San Antonio, Texas.

Denise Yergenson, chairwoman of The Women’s Fund, will talk about the organization and its accomplishments. Yergenson encourages members to come to event, noting it’s an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people in the community. Bring a guest, she suggests.

“It’s a wonderful event for members and guests to hear where their membership dollars do the most work, and to reinforce the power of collective giving,” Yergenson says.

Cost is $10. Click here to register.