AAWGT is a women’s giving circle with 200+ members. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Since our founding in 2006, AAWGT has raised and invested over $1.2 million in local nonprofit organizations!
We INVEST— pooling our annual contributions for “collective philanthropy,” thus multiplying the power of one by many. Grants focus on health and welfare, education and the prevention and treatment for violence and abuse.
We INFORM — holding in-depth education sessions highlighting issues in our county that require active attention and support.
We INSPIRE — encouraging our members to engage as leaders and philanthropists in our local community.
15th ANNIVERSARY YEAR
As we mark our 15th year of collective philanthropy, we are taking the opportunity to highlight a few of our members as they describe what AAWGT means to them. We begin with Sharon Stewart whose inspiration launched the organization in 2006. We will feature other members throughout the year, thanks to the interviewing and writing skills of member Nancy Haiman.
We cordially invite anyone who is not currently a member to join AAWGT, an amazing group of talented women looking ahead to the next fifteen years of making a deep and lasting difference in Anne Arundel County.
AAWGT Founder Sharon Stewart
“I want to congratulate members on the 15th anniversary of AAWGT. You have proven, once again, that when smart women get together, powerful things happen.”
When Sharon moved to Annapolis in late 2004, she was eager to establish a Giving Circle, having participated in one in the Baltimore area. By May of 2005, she received a hosting “go” from Les Salamon, Founder of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, and permission to work with the Foundation’s new Executive Director, Gail Sanders, on recruiting a small group of women who could get a Giving Circle off the ground.
Fifteen women (Founders) participated in a kick-off meeting in September 2005. “We had a specific game plan for what we wanted to accomplish during the first six months, including, among other things, determining organizational structure, focus of contributions, grant-giving criteria and process, educational activities, and impact evaluation,” says Sharon.
“We decided early on that we wanted our grants to support women and families, so we invited speakers from around the county to educate us about key needs of this population,” notes Sharon. The group identified six “big need buckets” and prioritized them via member voting by urgency of need. “Education, health and welfare needs, and violence and abuse emerged as the top issue areas where we thought we could actually do something to help.” 2007 was the first grant-giving year, with nearly $40,000 granted to four organizations.
Achieved primarily by word of mouth, AAWGT’s membership grew rapidly. By June 2006, there were 45 “Founding Members” and by year-end 2006, membership was 72. That doubled by 2008.
Hopes for the Future
“I’m really proud of what AAWGT has accomplished during the past 15 years and of all the amazing leaders who have stepped in and taken it to the next level. I’m especially proud of the group’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the fact that AAWGT set up the new Racial Equity Grant category,” comments Sharon.
“I hope AAWGT continues to be a thought leader in the community, taking on important issues. By continuing to partner with other organizations, AAWGT can be even more powerful, working with others to achieve positive change.” Sharon also notes that she hopes to see the AAWGT endowment grow, leaving “a continuing legacy for the community forever.”
February Education Program
ANNUAL WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP EVENT
WOMEN LEADERS FOSTERING CHANGE
Join us for a stimulating panel discussion with three extraordinary women. Doors opened for them and they are intent on holding open even bigger doors for future leaders. Bring your thoughts and questions for a lively discussion on making positive change and supporting rising female leaders.
Grants In Action
Court Appointed Special Advocates
36 new children assigned CASAs
100% of judges reported CASA input informed decision making process
22 new volunteers trained
Laptop Lab and WiFi Bar at Brooklyn Park Library
10 laptops purchased and counter constructed
Staff can provide individual and group instruction
Computers used for video job interviews and writing resumes
Students use the computers for homework
Arundel Child Care Connections: Mujeros Surgiendo - Women on the Rise
Provided partial salaries for supervisors and Spanish Speaking instructors
Purchased computerized training modules
Associated Catholic Charities: Sarah’s House
Funds contributed to classes, certification programs and fees
Funds used to provide free on-site daycare
20 of the 22 clients using our funds are now earning a living wage
DID YOU KNOW THAT AAWGT ...
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 SPONSORS