Women’s Initiative

Women’s Initiative

  • Ignites positive change for girls through philanthropy and women’s leadership.
  • A volunteer-based women’s group whose vision is to be the premier women’s philanthropic and leadership group in Central Massachusetts funding programs that improve the lives of girls.
  • Part of a national trend of women engaging in philanthropy, organized to create a powerful force to effect change in society.
  • Works with volunteer committees of community leaders engaging more than 1,000 members and 2,000 donors.
  • Raises funds for its work through an annual campaign for programs that improve and empower the lives of girls through mentoring, educational opportunities, and financial literacy.


Strengthening Girls … Empowering Women

WI News

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Mentor for the Fall Dollar $cholar Conference

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Register here to be a mentor! 

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Once upon a time: Writing for agency success

Dollar $cholar

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A group of 18 United Way-funded agencies recently gathered at a workshop hosted by Women’s Initiative, to learn how improved writing skills can help to more effectively tell their organizations’ stories and share their successes.

Presenter Ryan Madan, professor and director of the Writing Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, offered the following advice:

  • Show more than tell, by letting story details do the talking.
  • Put the description of the agency’s programs and services in the mouths of clients/witnesses.
  • Write from different cinematic angles – zoom in and out, use slow motion then speed up.
  • Remember to paint a picture of the “before” and the “after,” that shows clear results and benefits.

An important question asked by one participant was, “What if the story is a work in progress, where the goals haven’t achieved the yet?”

Madan says that is fine; that not every story ends where you think it traditionally should. Showing progress of an individual, where they are taking on challenges and achieving results, can be just as powerful as the story where everything turns out perfect.  That’s life!

–Kerry Conaghan, VP Community Impact

15th Annual Stepping Up for Girls

Women’s Initiative has changed thousands of lives, guiding adolescent girls to safety and self-determination–empowering them to learn, lead, decide, and thrive. On its 15th anniversary, Program Director Anne Wettengel wrote this op-ed on the continuing need for gender-specific programs, and why Women’s Initiative is more important than ever.

Anne Wettengel, Program Director

Women's Initiative Partners

  • African Community Education
    • Express Yourself Program
  • Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
    • Girls Voice Program
  • Clark University
    • All Kinds of Girls
  • Family Health Center
    • Girls on the Run at Sullivan Middle
  • Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA
    • Be a Friend First (BFF)
  • Girls, Inc.
    • Dear World: Voices of Worcester Girls
  • Latino Education Institute
    • Latina Achievers in Search of Success
  • LUK Crisis Center
    • Project Shine
  • Seven Hills Family Services
    • Just Us Girls
  • YOU, Inc.
    • ASCEND
  • YWCA of Central MA and Girls Inc.
    • Girls Promoting Safety

Click here to view a list of our 2016-2017 funded programs.

Upcoming Events


 2017 Events Calendar

Tues Aug 29     New Member Orientation

Thurs Sept 14    Day of Caring

Tues Sept 19     WLC Fundraising Training

Tues Oct 17      WLC Strategic Planning Session

Wed Sept 27     Stepping Up for Girls Event

Wed Oct 11      Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 1)

Wed Oct 18      Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 2)

Fri Oct 20         WI Funded Program “Storytelling Workshop

Wed Oct 25      Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 3)

Wed Nov 1       Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 4)

Wed Nov 8       Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 5)

Wed Nov 15     Taste of Mindfulness Workshop (Session 6)

Nov 20 and 21       Dollar $cholar Conferences

Become a Member Today by Donating $100 or More!

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Investing in Girls Alliance:

WI is pleased to be a part of the Investing in Girls Alliance.

Investing In Girls Alliance – The Investing in Girls Alliance is an outcome of the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth at Risk in the City of Worcester. The group was brought together to address the recent rise in violence among adolescent girls in the local community. Learn more