Full Circle Blog

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  • 09/19/2022 11:48 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    AAWGT members and guests learned about 19 local nonprofits working with women, children and families at our annual Grants Showcase on September 13, 2022. Eleven of those local nonprofits are 2022 grant recipients. Eight of them received grants from AAWGT in 2021, and made presentations at the event.

    The theme of the evening was acknowledging the power of one, multiplied by many. By that, we mean that our members’ contributions to our Grants Fund and Endowment Fund, when added together, have an amazing impact on vulnerable members of our community. In fact, since its founding in 2006, AAWGT has awarded 121 grants to 47 nonprofits totaling close to $1.6M.

    “We look forward to the Grants Showcase throughout the year, not only because it gives us a chance to meet with all of you, our members and guests, but because we have an opportunity to hear first-hand from the 2021 AAWGT grantees about their inspiring accomplishments toward helping women and families in Anne Arundel County,” said Sarah Sweeny, chair of the Post Grants Evaluation Committee, which hosts the annual event.

    Sarah went on to summarize the impact that our giving circle had on those served by our grantees:

    • Annapolis Immigration Justice Network: provided legal and case management to 192 immigrants.
    • Anne Arundel County Court Appointed Special Advocates: advocated for abused and neglected children, helping to change the lives of 30 children.
    • Anne Arundel County Food Bank: expanded and stocked baby pantries serving 5,760 people.
    • Charting Careers: supported young people through mentoring, and college and career readiness, improving the lives of 100 young people.
    • Co-op Arundel: taught financial literacy, life and self-introspection skills to 30 women through the My Sistah’s Keeper program.
    • HOPE For All: provided furniture, new beds, linens and kitchen items to 863 households.
    • Marshall Hope Corporation: expanded newborn and toddler pantries serving over 3,000 people last year.
    • Rebuilding Together: provided urgent home repairs and furniture for 30 women homeowners.

    We are appreciative of the many hours our Post Grants Committee liaisons devote to keeping us up-to-date on the grantees’ work during the year.

    Members and guests went home that night inspired by all that our grantees accomplish. You can learn more at www.givingtogether.org/impact.

  • 09/11/2022 11:11 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Our final post about the upcoming Grants Showcase and the 2021 grantees that will present on September 13, is Rebuilding Together. They received a $20,000 grant for their Urgent Home and Critical Repairs program.  This program works to keep low-income homeowners, largely women, in their homes by providing home repairs, thereby preventing homelessness and foreclosures. The grant will help renovate 14 homes. Learn more about Rebuilding Together here: https://www.rebuildingtogetheraac.org/

    Learn about our annual Grants Showcase here.

  • 09/08/2022 5:20 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Hope for All’s Turning Houses into Homes program received a $20,000 grant from AAWGT in 2021. The grant went toward overhead expenses, including rent, utilities and staff salaries, allowing them to focus on their every-day work stabilizing the daily lives of people in Anne Arundel County. The program provides furniture, new beds, linens and kitchen items to families who are moving out of homelessness, or in need of these essential items. Last year, more than 1,000 people, comprising 863 households, welcome Hope For All’s delivery truck. 854 of those served were women and children.

    Learn more about Hope for All here: https://hopeforall.us/

    All our 2021 grantees will be giving short presentations about their work at our annual Grants Showcase. Learn more about the showcase here.

  • 09/06/2022 12:06 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Charting Careers received a $20,000 grant from AAWGT to provide long-term mentoring plus educational and family partnership support for over 50 young people and their families. Their goal is to break the cycle of poverty and inequity for Black and Latino youth in Annapolis with a mentor-focused approach that beings with tutoring in reading and continues in later years with college and career guidance. Learn more about Charting Careers here: https://chartingcareers.org/

    And, learn about all of our 2021 grantees and meet our 2022 grantees at this year’s Grants Showcase. This event is open to the public. Register here.

  • 09/04/2022 8:53 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Anne Arundel County Food Bank (AACFB) received a grant of $8,469 from AAWGT to help support the expansion of their baby pantry program, specifically through the purchase of diapers. Over the past year, their baby pantries expanded from five to 13 locations throughout the county, assisting over 1,500 families each month. The baby pantry program provides critical assistance for under-resourced families working to meet basic needs. By distributing diapers, wipes, formula and baby food each month, these specialized pantries are helping to keep babies and toddlers clean and healthy across our community.

    Learn more about AACFB here: https://aafoodbank.org/

    AACFB is just one of the grantees that will present at our annual Grants Showcase. Learn more about the showcase and register here. The event is open to the public.

  • 09/01/2022 9:21 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Anne Arundel County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) received a $20,000 grant for abused and neglected children in foster care to support their transition from the court system to a safe and stable home. Learn more here: https://aacasa.org/

    CASA believes every child who has been abused, neglected or abandoned deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interests in court and in our community. They educate and empower diverse community volunteers who work to ensure each child’s needs remain a priority in an overburdened child welfare system. Their goal is to advocate until each child is living in a safe, permanent home.

    Funding from AAWGT helped CASA serve 117 children, representing 75% of the foster care population in our county. Additionally, 43 children received the appointment of a CASA volunteer. Of the 39 children whose cases were closed, 97% were living in a safe, permanent, loving home.

    CASA is just one of the 2021 grantees who will present at our annual Grants Showcase. Register for the showcase here.

  • 08/29/2022 8:40 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Annapolis Immigration Justice Network received a $20,000 grant to provide legal and case manager representation and related services to immigrant children as they face the challenging path to remain in this country. They connect unaccompanied and separated children and families fleeing violence and other indigent county residents to immigration legal counsel and related support services. www.aijnetwork.org

    Annapolis Immigration Justice Network is just one of the 2021 grantees who will present at our annual Grants Showcase. Register for the showcase here.

    Learn about all our grantees here.

  • 08/24/2022 9:37 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Today’s featured grantee is Marshall Hope Corporation. In 2021, they received the $10,000 Fundamental Needs Grant for the West Annapolis Pop-Up Food Pantry and the creation of a newborn and toddler pantry with diapers, wipes, bottles, formula and other necessities. Spanish-speaking volunteers provide other needed information to those who visit the pantry. Marshall Hope’s mission is to spread hope in the Annapolis community by providing essential resources and services to vulnerable and under-served families.

    The newly created Marshall Learning Center provides engaging lessons which support children’s education and well-being. It incorporates activities for the students’ parents and caretakers to build stronger families with sound support systems. Learn more about Marshall Hope here.

    Marshall Hope will present at our annual Grants Showcase on September 13. Learn more about all our grantees here, and register for the Showcase here. At the Showcase, all 8 grantees from 2021 will give short presentations about their vital work in our community.

  • 08/20/2022 12:13 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Starting today and until our annual Grants Showcase on September 13, this blog will feature the 8 nonprofits that received grants from AAWGT in 2021. Learn more about all our grantees here, and register for the Showcase here. At the Showcase, all 8 grantees will give short presentations about their vital work in our community.

    Our first featured grantee is Co-Op Arundel. They received $20,000 for My Sistah’s Keeper, which is an 8-week program that pairs 15 women with low incomes with mentors. The women meet on Saturdays and hear from facilitators who teach financial literacy, emotional health, conflict resolution, introspection and other topics. My Sistah’s Keeper was founded by community activist Toni Strong-Pratt. Learn more about My Sistah’s Keeper here and about Co-Op Arundel here.


  • 08/13/2022 11:14 AM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    How do you make bylaws interesting? You put forward a change that will revolutionize your giving circle’s contribution levels.

    AAWGT held a membership meeting on August 1 where we proposed that our Steering Committee be allowed to set our giving circle’s contribution levels. Our membership unanimously approved the change, and now the Steering Committee will institute these new levels starting on October 1:

    Lifetime: $12,000
    Sustainer: $1,075/year
    Ally: $575/year
    Catalyst: $375/year
    Friend: $175/year

    Why are the levels revolutionary? Women will be able to join or renew at any of the five levels. All member levels will be equal, with each member continuing to get one vote when choosing which nonprofits will be funded each year.

    We would like the demographics of our membership to match more closely those of our community. We hope that changing the contribution levels will move us toward that goal by making membership possible for a broader range of women. At our meeting, the discussion about this change sparked many ideas and comments. Most reiterated the need for us to diversity, and that we want to be sure to meet or exceed the amount of money given out in grants each year.

    I know that the adage “walk the walk” can be overused at times. In our case, however, this is really important because we aren’t going to just sit back and wait for women to come to us. We plan to do a lot of outreach to let our community know the value of collective giving and the impact that our giving circle has via our grants to local, small nonprofits that help under-served women and families.

    We’ll be keeping an eye on our Grants Fund and membership numbers over the next two years to see if we are achieving our goals. We anticipate that members will not reduce their contributions under this new system, and will perhaps even increase them. We look forward to welcoming many new women into our giving circle.


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AAWGT is a fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
AAWGT is a member of Philanos: Accelerating Philanthropy through Women’s Collective Giving


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