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 $1.4 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
AAWGT MEMBER HIGHLIGHT
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 feature here one of our original members.
AAWGT Member Bronwyn Belling
“AAWGT has made me appreciate that everyone has a story and a skillset, and all can complement each other, proving that the collective whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
In the Beginning
Bronwyn attended her first membership meeting in 2006 as the organization was just being formed. “I knew a lot about the needs and issues of nonprofits nationwide, but very little about nonprofits in my community. I saw AAWGT as a good way to learn about the emerging and entrenched issues to be addressed through ‘paying it forward’ locally.”
Off and Running
With a background in grant seeking/making, Bronwyn joined the Grants Committee in 2006, helping to design the program and raise $38K for the first grants in 2007. She was Chair in 2007 and 2008 and then assumed the roles of AAWGT Vice President in 2009 and President in 2010.
In 2010, AAWGT received an anonymous gift of $25K to start an endowment fund and matched it with member donations. “It’s been exciting to watch the fund grow, thereby helping to ensure enduring support for our grantmaking mission.”
“Every year we try to improve on each aspect of the work we do. This is good, except that change sometimes is hard,” says Bronwyn. “For example, the quality of the grant proposals has improved over the years due to the training we provide nonprofits each and every year. Adopting new technology has enabled us to make the grant writing and review process more accessible and transparent.”
Bronwyn cites the Racial Equity Study Group as a critically important area of continuous improvement. “I am thrilled with the progress its 50-some members have made personally and organizationally to evolve to be more diverse and focused on the philanthropic inequities that have caused a lot of the problems our funding supports,” says Bronwyn. “It adds another dimension to our work which is important and timely.”
Growing the Organization and Its Resources
“AAWGT’s number one focus is growth. I believe there are still lots of women in our county who would benefit from becoming members of the Giving Circle. The more members we have, the more funds we can give. It’s a win/win situation,” says Bronwyn.
“Looking back, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we created a mechanism whereby members could become 'Lifetime Members’ and pay a lump sum, thereby building a safety net for the organization. In a year when we might have diminished resources, it is possible to request that a slightly larger distribution be made from our endowed funds into the grant fund,” describes Bronwyn.
Promoting a Larger Philanthropic Role in the Community
“Seeded by information provided by AAWGT about nonprofits in the community, many of us make contributions and have served on boards or as volunteers,” says Bronwyn. “AAWGT has lifted us up, educated us, and made us more aware and engaged. That’s something we can’t readily measure, but I think it’s another extraordinary benefit of the organization.”
“And, what I didn’t expect on joining AAWGT was that I would meet so many extraordinary women, who have become my sisters and lifelong friends, stepping up be a village of support in times of need.”
The United States has among the worst outcomes for maternal mortality among developed countries. Dr. Monica Jones, Luminis Health System Chair for Women's and Children's Services, will be our keynote speaker. Dr. Jones, along with others affected, will describe the shocking state of maternal mortality in the U.S. among African American women, the reasons behind it, and ways in which we can all help improve the situation.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Please register HERE. Follow the registration questions all the way to CONFIRM. Your confirmation should arrive within seconds. If you have any questions about registering, please contact events@givingtogether for assistance. The Zoom link to join the program will be sent the day before the event.
Additional Information about AAWGT grants and grantees can be found here.
DID YOU KNOW THAT AAWGT ...
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 SPONSORS