Category Archives: Funds

We did it! By Kathleen Asay

Our 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant is complete! What had seemed nearly impossible in 2012 came about two years early. Now when we celebrate our anniversary in 2020, we may even have our first grant recipient(s) to celebrate with us. We can thank Marty McKnew for the idea of the grant as a way honor our great age. She and Donna Holmes, co-funds directors at the time, convinced a nervous board to go along. Papers were filed in November 2012, and the grant was established with $5,000 from branch reserves.

The rest of the $75,000 needed came through a campaign by Marty and Donna to educate the membership about funds. They also called upon their contacts in other branches, which led to at least $23,000 in donations from those branches. Many thanks to them all! Nancy Lawrence and Ruth Burgess took up the cause in 2015 and approached Sacramento Branch past presidents, asking them to lead the branch by pledging what they could as an annual donation for five years to make the 2020 completion goal. In the end, branch members rose generously to the call, and it only took three more years.

Can we do it again?

Now that the Anniversary Grant is complete, what’s next? We have one more unfinished fund, and that’s the Alicia Hetman R&P Grant. Can we complete two in one year?

For those who don’t know her, Alicia (my co-Funds Director) was AAUW-CA president 2012-14, and it is for this that she was awarded the R&P grant. She has an extensive and significant background in AAUW, from branch positions to state and national boards. Among other branch responsibilities, Alicia was twice president of the Marysville-Yuba City branch. She served AAUW-CA for 26 years, and served as public policy director and Educational Foundation VP before going on to be president. She also served many years at the national level as a member of various committees, as well as the Educational Foundation Board of Directors before it was melded into the national board, where Alicia was vice chair. Many of you know she was a candidate for President of AAUW last year. Health issues caused her to cut back her campaign and she failed to be elected.

Outside of AAUW, Alicia taught elementary school with specialist credentials in handicapped learning and training in gender equity, which was helpful for AAUW-CA’s programs, as well. Eventually, her work for AAUW-CA led to a job with the California Department of Education to implement the provisions of a bill on gender equity in education sponsored by AAUW. Since she joined in 1975, Alicia has contributed to AAUW with mind and heart. You’ll have a chance to support her grant when you renew your dues.

How It All Began for AAUW in Sacramento by Nancy Lawrence

On Feb. 25, 1920, 41 women met to form the Sacramento Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumni (to become AAUW in 1921) after two newcomers to Sacramento brought the idea of college graduate women uniting to support education in the local area. The majority of the women were graduates of Stanford or the University of California; smaller numbers were from Mills, Vassar, Radcliffe, College of the Pacific, etc. Many of the original members were high school teachers such as Belle Cooledge, Sacramento’s first woman mayor.

The original “sections” or interest groups the branch offered were drama, legislation and education. The decade saw the addition of a modern novel section, new discoveries in food, and international studies. Branch members joined in coalitions with other civic organizations to promote better education, health and housing. The branch fully supported the effort to create a junior college here in 1921 and opposed tariffs on books and scientific instruments.

One issue the new branch advocated for in the 1920s was to increase teachers’ annual retirement income from $500 to $750. Dues for the branch increased over the decade from $1 to $2. At the same time, the branch raised $3,000 to create a loan fund for women going to college. One of the problems, as you might imagine, was recovering the loans. In later years that program became the scholarship program that we continue today.

Branch meetings through the decade always hosted speakers (most of them men) on serious topics that sound familiar today: Do Colleges Educate?, The School as the Burden Bearer, Post-war Resettlement of Refugees, Tariffs. Somewhat quaintly today, the meetings always included a musical performance by members. One meeting, perhaps before Big Game, had members singing the Cal and Stanford fight songs!

Women had gotten the vote in California in 1911, nine years before the 19th amendment was passed in the year of our founding. Yet in 1925, the branch voted against supporting a version of the Equal Rights Amendment by a 19-18 vote. Perhaps we should explore what that version of the ERA actually called for.

A glimpse of our founding decade indicates that many things don’t change, but community activism has been part of Sacramento Branch’s mission since our founding.



Funds Update by Kathleen Asay, Funds Co-Director

As our Anniversary Fund nears completion, it’s natural — and fun — to think about the potential recipients of our namesake grants. So I asked branch member Sue Bordner what it’s been like for her. Sue was California AAUW president from 1994 to 1996, and, as has been the tradition with California presidents, a fund was created in her name when her term in office ended. In Sue’s case, it’s an American Fellowship, which is awarded annually to women engaged in full-time study to complete dissertations, conduct postdoctoral research or prepare research for publication. Begun in 1888, American Fellowships is the oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowships and grants programs.

It is possible to look at to find Sue’s fellowship and the names and projects of the winning recipients. Sue even had the opportunity to meet three of them — Jan Goggans, Kimberly M. Parke and Kristina Smith — and has information on two. Goggans, 2001-2002, was at UC Davis for a Ph.D. in modern American literature/American nature writing, focusing on Dorothea Lange. Parke, 2002-2003, attended UC Berkeley, exploring the intersection of science and music. Other grantees have worked in business administration, law and social policy, robotics, women’s health policy, racial identity in Costa Rica, gender and the sense of belonging, personality consequences in wild vervet monkeys, and engineering for better water quality. What an education we might get if we could put these women in a room and listen to their conversation! How proud Sue must be to know that her name grant is forever linked to their accomplishments.

AAUW attempts to place grant recipients with a fund donor in the same geographical area, making it easier for the two to meet. We have much to anticipate!

Late Breaking News

Our 100th Anniversary R & P Grant is funded! Details next month.

Applause Please by Kathleen Asay, Funds Co-Director

Did you know that AAUW is one of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women? For the academic year 2017-18, more than $3.7 million in fellowships and grants was awarded to 250 women and nonprofit organizations. And thanks to the longstanding generosity of AAUW members, a broad community of women continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities.

The Sacramento branch’s 100th Anniversary Grant Fund, when completed, will join AAUW’s extended family of stipend-producing Research and Projects Funds. Since 1972, Research and Projects Funds have provided support to hundreds of individuals and communities around the nation to advance education and equality for women and girls through Community Action Grants. While early projects sought to help women balance family and education or supported the establishment of women’s resource centers on college campuses, that phrase “to advance education and equality for women and girls” is today’s focus. Special consideration is given to applicants’ projects centered on K-12 and community college girls’ and women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math. Grants are awarded to individuals, AAUW branches and state organizations, and to local community-based nonprofits for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equality for women and girls. Projects have become increasingly collaborative and girl-focused, bringing together AAUW branches and local community groups (for example, Tech Trek started with an R & P grant).

Sacramento AAUW has a proud 100-year history of working to improve the lives and education of women and girls in the Sacramento region and beyond. Our Anniversary Fund will continue that tradition for years to come.

We Want to Hear your AAUW Story! by Linda Whitney

At AAUW’s National Convention in Washington, D.C., last June, Gloria Yost and I attended a workshop on “Telling Your Story.” We heard about some amazing women who made positive differences in their communities. Some changed what was happening in our country and the world. For example, First Lady Lou Henry Hoover was an AAUW member and two-term National President of the Girl Scouts. During her tenure, the Girl Scouts began their first cookie sale.

We know some women in the Sacramento Branch have helped make positive changes in our branch, our city, and our state. Wouldn’t it be great if those women shared their stories with all of us?

The 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Sacramento Branch is in February 2020. A group of us are working to gather stories that help tell the story of interesting (and sometimes amazing) things Sacramento branch members have done over the past 100 years. Do you have a story relating to our branch that you could share? We are looking for all types of stories, from major contributions to special events, friendships, funny anecdotes and more. Click here for the form to share your story.

The Countdown to 2020 Has Begun! by Gloria Yost

1928 AAUW Sacramento Roster

With the kickoff at the December meeting, AAUW Sacramento has begun the run up to our 100th birthday in 2020. Over the next two years, stories about AAUW, its members, issues we’ve supported, and the impact our organization and its members made in our city, state and nation will be shared in Capitol Ideas. We start the sharing of information with five questions:

DID YOU KNOW…that when the Sacramento Branch began in February 1920, it was one of Northern California’s largest women’s organizations with 800 members?

DID YOU KNOW…that the Sacramento Branch was actually part of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae when it was organized?

DID YOU KNOW…that the purpose of the Sacramento Branch was to unite college women in our vicinity with the national organization in working on educational, civic, and social problems?

DID YOU KNOW…that in 1921 the national organization changed its name to the American Association of University Women; however, its purpose remained the same?

DID YOU KNOW…that Sacramento Branch Records are archived at the Center for Sacramento History?

The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund provides funds for the AAUW Research Reports by Alicia Hetman

The AAUW Eleanor Roosevelt Fund was launched in 1988 and is the funding vehicle for AAUW’s groundbreaking research on issues related to gender equity in education and the workplace. Our work influences the national discussion on topics like the pay gap between women and men, sexual harassment in the schools and on college campuses, and the under-representation of women in science and engineering. AAUW research serves as a catalyst for action.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund programs have changed over the years, but the ideals remain the same. AAUW leaders recognize that we must continue our “ongoing support of greater participation by women and girls in actively shaping their future.” In addition to the research conducted, the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund also provides an annual Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award. The 2017 Award Recipient was SurvJustice, Inc., a national nonprofit that increases the prospect of justice for all survivors through effective legal assistance. I was given the great honor of presenting the Award to Laura L. Dunn, SurvJustice’s founder, during the AAUW 2017 Convention. We were all very impressed with the work of SurvJustice and inspired by Dunn’s life story that led her to start SurvJustice.

There is a critical need for AAUW members to annually contribute to The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. This Fund is not stipend-producing and relies on “new monies” each year to fund our phenomenal research. I encourage all AAUW Sacramento members to annually contribute to The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. If each member would make a commitment to give an annual gift specifically to this fund, just think about how those additional contributions will enhance our groundbreaking research. I give my additional gift to The ER Fund every Mother’s Day to honor a woman in my life. I hope you’ll join me by gifting what you can afford to further the work of The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund.

The leaders who created the fund and award were inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:

It is today that we must create the world of the future. Never have we needed as acutely as now – in a world of ferment, shifting and changing its course, often without direction – the full use of all the brain power we have. We need every single mind. We cannot afford to have any potential talent or ability dulled to apathy.

Funds Updates by Kathleen Asay

Kathy Asay

I am pleased to report that Alicia Hetman has agreed to serve as Funds co-director for this program year. Alicia, as many of you know, is a past president of California AAUW and has served on the national Funds board. She even has an unfinished grant fund in her name. I am sure we will all benefit from her expertise. Thank you, Alicia!

In other good news, because of your generosity and the contributions of other branches, we only need about $11,000 to complete the Sacramento Branch’s 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Fund. We are happy to take contributions at any time, but if you would like a write-off for 2017, please send in your donations now. Checks can be sent to me or to our finance director, May Ruth Lynch, or brought to the holiday luncheon on Dec. 9.

Alicia Hetman

Also, if you shop at Amazon, remember to use Amazon Smile. A percentage of your purchase goes directly to our branch. (Go to and choose American Association of University Women, Sacramento as your donation recipient.)



Then, while you’re busy shopping, cooking, wrapping gifts, and even donating, take a moment to gift yourself. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Jan. 27, and plan to attend the Sacramento area InterBranch Council luncheon, where you will again have the opportunity to hear from an AAUW Funds grant recipient. Happy New Year!

AAUW Funds-Causes Worthy of Our Support by Kathy Papst, Funds Committee Member

Joining AAUW allowed me to find like-minded friends when I moved to Sacramento. It also involved me in a community that supports women and girls in their efforts to advance their education and conduct critical research.

Our grant funds help make these activities possible. Find and support the ones that reflect your interest. For instance, if you wish to help with Title IX and women’s equity in academics and employment, you can donate to the Legal Advocacy Fund. You can also support the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund or Fund #9110, which our Association uses where needed.

I would also like to encourage donating to our branch’s 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant. We are well on our way to reaching our goal of $75,000 to fully fund this grant, but we need to keep in mind that we are not done until we reach that goal. When completed, our anniversary fund will provide one more resource for women from the United States and around the world to work to improve the lives of all women.

As we near the holiday season, it is time for us to get into the giving spirit. It would be a wonderful gift to contribute to these worthy grants and know that you are helping women and girls fulfill their dreams and advance research and knowledge around the world.


Funds Update by Funds Director Kathleen L. Asay

When we talk about AAUW Funds, we have much to celebrate. Since 1888, AAUW has provided support to 12,000 women and research and community projects, representing all 50 states and 140 countries. Many of those women and projects are here in California. This month, California AAUW will celebrate with three luncheons across the state where members can meet the women and discover the exciting work being done here with our support. Six to eight of our outstanding recent recipients will attend each luncheon, present an overview of their work, and give a personal account of what AAUW’s support has meant to them.


Two luncheons will be held in Northern California:

  • Oct. 28 in South San Francisco
  • Oct. 29 in Danville.

The cost is $45. To attend in South San Francisco, go to For the Danville luncheon, see The deadline for reservations is Oct. 16. If you decide to go, please email me at so I can arrange carpools. You may also want to take notes so you can report back what you learned!