AAUW’s Strategic Plan for 2018 sets out a bold vision for the future that is reflected in three new categories of focus on equity for women and girls, broadening our historic emphasis on education to provide for workplace equity, leadership opportunities and economic security throughout life. The new funds are Education and Training, Economic Security, and Leadership, along with the AAUW Greatest Needs Fund and the Governance and Sustainability Fund. One thing to note is that the new organization provides for flexibility in program planning and spending by creating fewer larger pools instead of many smaller ones.
For the next two months, we will try to familiarize you with these five funds. We’ll start with the Education and Training Fund (4450) which, like most of the new funds, incorporates what used to be individual funds or programs under a larger umbrella of support for similar activities. Officially, 4450 “addresses the barriers and implicit biases that hinder the advancement of women by championing equal access to education and ensuring that education at every level is free from sex discrimination.” Special focus currently is on STEM education, the enforcement of Title IX, and Pathways to Jobs. Programs include Fellowships Alumnae Initiatives, Fellowships and Grants, Public Policy, and Research.
The Economic Security Fund (4449) “ensures livelihoods for women through achieving pay equity for women, providing training in salary negotiation, and deepening women’s retirement security and quality of life.” The focus is on pay equity, Title VII, and retirement security. Programs include Start Smart, Work Smart, Work Smart Online, and the Legal Advocacy Fund.
The Leadership Fund (4452) “supports the effort to close the gender gap in leadership opportunities by bolstering the participation of and increasing the number of girls and women in leadership roles, particularly in education and nonprofit organizations.” Focus areas are career, workplace and training as expressed in campus action projects, Empower and NCCWSL, providing leadership training for women college students.
Together, these funds will enable AAUW to not only support the programs that have been successful in improving equity for women and girls but to move into new programs as needs and opportunities arise in a rapidly changing world. Finally, if you are wondering about all the previous grant funds, like our 100th Anniversary Fund, they will continue to operate under the rules by which they were established.