With over 40 chapters and hundreds of individual members participating, our March 8th webcast was definitely the biggest DFW chapter meeting ever! Thank you to all who joined us and provided valuable feedback on our first attempt at live streaming. What a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day and to launch our growth strategy and 8,000 Ambassadors Campaign. Details
By Janine Baumgartner, DFW Member, NC, Asheville-1 chapter
Sue Fernbach and her sister loved to cook. Their passion led them to a series of cooking class fundraisers embracing the food of one country at a time. A friend noted a similarity to Dining for Women, and an idea was planted in Sue’s head. She phoned co-founder Marsha Wallace for information and decided to start a chapter. It would take six years to gestate. Family illness, hurricanes, and a move from classroom teaching in Florida to retirement in North Carolina got in the way. Details
By Betsy Dunklin, DFW Advocacy Committee Chair
When our board of directors adopted advocacy as one of DFW’s four programs, it put into place something that many members have been requesting for years. In fact, at DFW’s national conference in 2013, members called for a plan to add our voices to our dollars. They wanted DFW to have a larger role, through advocacy, in setting U.S. public policy related to poverty and inequality for women and girls in developing nations. Making advocacy part of DFW’s 2020 Vision is exciting because it means we can make an even bigger impact — by combining our collective donations, our collective knowledge, and our collective voices! Details
When DFW member Eileen Rogers celebrated a big birthday, she used it to impact the world.
In 2009, Eileen, along with friend and fellow activist Debbie Hill, launched “The Big Wish”, their fundraising initiative to build and outfit a school in Mali. The pair wanted to turn their “big birthdays” into something significant beyond themselves. They had the support of friends and colleagues who spread the word about the goal. The project was a resounding success, raising nearly $80,000, almost twice the original estimate. Details
For most charities, particularly small to medium-sized ones, donation revenue fluctuates dramatically from month to month, and year to year. Automatic monthly giving, however, offers a steady and predictable source of funding, and also allows us to benefit from other advantages: Details
By Mary Crawley, Member of Dining for Women’s Recognition Committee
When Chapter Leader Emilu Bailes and Co-Leader Laura Rose began the GA, Tucker-1 chapter in 2011, they probably did not realize how important it would be to rely on each other.
In May of 2013, Emilu endured surgery for a non-malignant brain tumor and suffered severe post-operative trauma. Despite Emilu’s temporary disability, the chapter continued to thrive because Laura assumed sole leadership. Details
By Corinne Blakemore, Central Regional Leader
I’ve been involved with Dining for Women for a little over 5 years and I, as well as many of you, have seen so many changes. We’ve grown, we’ve organized, we’ve partnered, and the excitement builds as we think about what’s next.
With many different organizations helping women and girls fight poverty while attaining gender equity, I often ask myself what it is about Dining for Women that makes us different? Where does our power and effectiveness come from?
We are thrilled to welcome two new Regional Leaders: Leslie Galup is joining Corinne Blakemore as Central Region Co-Leader, and Kathi Jaworski is joining Karen McCune as Northwest Region Co-Leader. Both of these ladies bring dedication, experience and exceptional skills to their positions. We are grateful for their commitment to helping women and girls around the world. Details
We extend our thanks to retiring Northeast Regional Co-Leader Leslye Heilig for her tireless efforts on behalf of DFW. She is retiring effective Jan. 31 and will take a well-deserved break before stepping back into service as a mentor later this year. Details
By Linda Dougall, West Regional Leader and member of CA, Oakland-2 chapter
DFW’s CA, Oakland-2 chapter celebrated its fifth anniversary in September 2016. It is led by three sisters, Mary, Rachel and Becca McQueen, and their mom, Chris McQueen. They have created a robust, multi-generational, collaborative chapter with the ongoing support of extended family members and long-time friends from church, the neighborhood, and all over the Oakland and Berkeley areas. Meetings are great fun – and loud, too – and members are always welcome whether or not they attend every month. It is this open-door policy that has helped this chapter be a resounding and abiding success. Details
DFW members are a creative and committed bunch! Thank you to the many chapters that held fundraisers in 2016 – together, you raised a record-breaking $46,000 for our 13th Month Annual Appeal. For everything you do throughout the year, we are grateful. Here are just some of the highlights. Our apologies if we missed your chapter’s fundraiser – we would love to hear about it! Details
By Susan Stall, DFW Treasurer
It is with great pleasure that Dining for Women releases its 2015 Annual Report. I would like to take this opportunity to walk through our financial performance in 2015 so that you will fully understand how our organization was funded and how we expended the funds that you so generously contributed. Details
Hola Amigas (y Amigos)!
I didn’t have to think too hard this month to decide which recipes that I wanted to share with you. Although I owned an Italian restaurant in Seattle for 25 years, my entire kitchen staff is from the state of Michoacán, Mexico, and the food of their country is the one that we have made over and over again for restaurant family meals and celebrations. As you may have guessed from the photo accompanying this post, what you are looking at is our end-of-the-shift family meal. These tried-and-true dishes are at the heart and soul of my repertoire. I hereby bring you “McElroy Family Favorites!” Details
2015 was a big year for Dining for Women! Significant changes took place that have strengthened the vision, management, and operations of our organization. In her first full year at the helm, our Executive Director, Beth Ellen Holimon, realigned the duties and reporting structure of staff, led the Board of Directors through an extensive visioning process, and successfully created and executed DFW’s first, formalized fund development plan.
By Lynn O’Connell, DFW Member
We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope is the title of the book released just last month from the George W. Bush Institute. I had an opportunity to attend an event announcing the book’s publication in Washington, DC, hosted by the United States Institute of Peace which featured a discussion by Laura Bush, former U.S. First Lady, and Mina Sherzoy, a Council member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. Details
We’re off to Tanzania this month. “Prawns in Coconut Sauce” and “Pilau Masala” are headlining the menu. These recipes have been graciously shared with us by Miriam Kinunda, the author of the blog “Taste of Tanzania.” I’ve tested both recipes and I give them the thumbs up. You’ll find many other recipes to choose from on her site, as well as some very good ones on our own Dining for Women recipe site.
By Peggy Smith, Mid-Atlantic Regional Leader and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
Ask any Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) about their experience and they will tell you, “It changed my life”. Yes, we come home after working as a volunteer in a Third World country to clean water, hot showers, comfortable beds, nice dwellings and clean sanitation, but with a passion that does not dissipate. We have to get involved, to do something, to continue to serve a need. So, we volunteer in soup kitchens, teach English to the newly-arrived from developing countries, work with the Junior League, help with outreach at our church — and for many, we join Dining for Women. Details
On March 8th – International Women’s Day – Dining for Women announced its first Strategic Partnership with a $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education. On that day, we were honored to participate in a special event with First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington DC to support the Let Girls Learn Initiative. (See White House Fact Sheet) Details
By Wendy Frattolin, Communications & Membership Director
As you know, Dining for Women’s goal is to grow to 20,000 members by the year 2020. Some people have asked how we plan to accommodate 20,000 new members into our nearly 400 existing chapters! Clearly, this is not possible. We know that, in order to meet our membership target, we will need to significantly increase our number of chapters. Promoting new chapters throughout the U.S. will be the main focus of our growth strategy over the next five years. Details
We are very excited to announce our latest steps toward achieving DFW’s 2020 Vision. We are launching a new Operational Committee structure which will allow our members to engage more in the decision-making processes of DFW and influence the directions we will take in the future. Details
By Leslye Heilig, Co-Leader, Northeast Region and Chapter Leader of MA, Great Barrington-1 and 2
For the past four years, I have been the Chapter Leader of a large, successful potluck dinner-based chapter, with approximately 25 to 50 members attending each month. This past spring, at the request of some members who did not feel comfortable driving in rural areas at night and who were looking for a more intimate and in-depth discussion, I started a daytime chapter. I continue to lead both chapters, and thoroughly enjoy each of them for their very different yet equally wonderful aspects. Details
Thanks to the generous support of our members and donors in 2015, DFW has awarded three reserve grants. These grants are awarded when excess funds are accumulated in our grant reserve fund. Reserve grantees are named alternates in previous grant cycles which means they were thoroughly vetted and met all of our rigorous criteria. These organizations were also required to submit updated information and budgets for evaluation prior to being awarded a reserve grant. The three reserve grantees for 2015 are:
Visions Global Empowerment (Ethiopia) — $46,728
Mercado Global (Guatemala) — $28,061.99
EDUCATE! (Uganda) — $15,000
Dining for Women relies heavily on our committed and passionate volunteers, especially the 600+ chapter leaders and co-leaders like you. We simply could not achieve all that we do without our volunteers, and we want every volunteer to know that their contributions are recognized, valued and appreciated. Details
The mission of Anchal – our sustained funding grantee for January — is to address the exploitation of women around the world by using design thinking to create employment opportunities, services and products that support empowerment. This mission statement truly comes to life when you hear the stories of Nita and Nasine:
Nita is a senior artisan and project assistant with Anchal Project. She was married at a young age and left her husband after years of abuse. Because of her limited education and lack of transferable skills, Nita joined the commercial sex trade. Nita has now been with Anchal Project for four years where she has excelled in design training and created beautiful, marketable pieces. She has taken advantage of Anchal’s workshops in financial planning and saved enough money to move out of the slum and purchase a home in a new neighborhood where she is no longer stigmatized for her previous life as a sex worker. Details
By Peggy Smith, Regional Leader for the Mid-Atlantic Region
Let’s hear it for our DFW Mentors. These are our foot soldiers, they walk the talk.
So what does it take to be a mentor? It takes a commitment to DFW and its mission, and an interest in sharing that passion to inspire and motivate others.
Mentors play an important role at the grassroots level of DFW by answering inquiries from people who want to join an existing chapter or start a chapter of their own. They have to know their territory well so they can match up potential new members with the most appropriate chapter within their geographic area. They also help launch new chapters, which includes educating potential Chapter Leaders about how to start and manage a DFW chapter, helping them organize their first meetings, attending the new chapter’s first meeting where possible, and answering any questions that arise.
During this time of year, we hear a lot about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Did you know that there is also Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving? Since its founding in 2012, Giving Tuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities. This year, Giving Tuesday takes place on December 1st.
Our culinary travel this month of December finds us in the Himalayas, specifically Nepal.
Originally, I had it in mind to come up with an interesting twist on the “momo”, a Nepalese steamed dumpling with a meat or vegetable filling, wildly popular and sold on the streets. What about a sweet dumpling filling and call it dessert? My first attempt at this idea was a complete failure, but I still liked the idea and decided I’d work on this for the next time we visit Nepal in April 2016. So I’ve got time to get this right!
By Beth Ellen Holimon, Executive Director
On September 25th, the United Nations made a historic and bold move by adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These new SDGs follow and expand on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were set in 2001 and are due to expire at the end of this year. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
The Millennium Development Goals were a good framework for governments and international aid that have resulted in many global improvements, but they were too narrow to create comprehensive change. For the past two years, thousands of stakeholders have been developing a new approach. The 17 SDGs, which include 169 individual targets, are collaborative and transformational; they are inextricably linked to each other and reliant on each other for total success.
By Marsha Wallace, Co-Founder
This month, Co-Founder Marsha Wallace discusses the importance of investing in Dining for Women through our 13th Month Campaign.
Imagine…. A world that works for women…..
Imagine every woman and girl worldwide having access to education, healthcare, economic opportunity, legal and political participation in their communities and nations, living lives free from discrimination, oppression, violence and poverty. Imagine hundreds of thousands of Dining for Women members united by a common goal – to ensure equity and opportunity for women and girls living in poverty globally. What an exciting and BOLD vision!
Donating online to Dining for Women is now easier than ever with our new Click & Pledge processing system. Members can conveniently make one-time, recurring or in memory/in honor donations all in one place – whether they are on their computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Click & Pledge is a simple, user-friendly, and highly secure system that is designed specifically for non-profits and is widely used throughout our industry.
This month, Merle Steiner, Co-Leader for the MD, Rockville-1 chapter shares what the 13th Month Campaign means to her chapter.
Our Rockville, MD Chapter is about to celebrate its 8th Anniversary. We are very proud to have been one of the early chapters joining the Dining for Women family. We have watched DFW grow from a group of creative, intelligent women working from their kitchen table to the amazing organization it has become.
We get to explore a new cuisine this month, Peruvian food! My sister-in-law, Maria Chisholm, grew up in Lima, Peru, and she was only too happy to share with me her food memories and the things she still likes to cook. I’m really excited to share them with you. Here’s what she had to say.
Equipping women in rural Mexico to farm a highly nutritious local grain crop; helping marginalized girls in Mumbai, India to complete their schooling; empowering Maasai women in Tanzania to protect their natural resources for themselves and future generations; and helping victims of human trafficking achieve justice and prosecute their traffickers. These are some of the objectives of the six featured programs that you – our DFW members – will support in the first half of 2016 through grants totaling more than $275,000. See the Program Flyer for a complete list of the newly-selected grantees.
One Heart World-Wide was Dining for Women’s featured program in July 2013. At that time, it was awarded a $50,000 grant to help expand the “Network of Safety” program that improves the lives of women and newborns during pregnancy and childbirth in two remote rural areas of Western Nepal. The Network of Safety includes health provider training, health facility improvements, and community outreach programs to ensure that pregnant women and their newborns have access to necessary care.
by Beth Ellen Holimon, DFW Executive Director
Philanthropic reports tell the story that Americans are among the most generous in the world. Private giving exceeded $358 billion in 2014 with individuals giving 72%, foundations giving 14%, bequests 8% and corporations at 5%. The only category of giving to decline in 2014 was international giving, making it the third year in a row that giving has dropped in this category.
A look at the work of our Program Selection Committee
By Janine Baumgartner and Susan Garrity
Members frequently ask how programs are selected for funding. We consider the selection of program grantees one of the most important decisions we make. As with every important decision, there is a designated person or body and there is a process.
A Special Message from DFW’s Board of Directors
Over the past year, our Board has been listening to and reflecting on many points of view from our members, our volunteer leaders, committee members, and our staff. From this, a dream has emerged for the future of our organization, and we want to share it with you.
As DFW members and supporters, we know that you share our passion for improving the lives of women and girls around the world through gender equity and empowerment. No matter how far apart we live, or what our life experiences are, we are all connected in deep and meaningful ways because of our shared vision for what we want DFW to accomplish, and what it brings to each of us in terms of heartfelt connection with each other and the broader world.
We are visiting Uganda this month and I have a fresh new take on a Cucumber and Mango Salad for you.
Persian traders introduced mangoes to Uganda way back in the 10th century! The spices in this dish are reflective of that cuisine as well. This would be a refreshing side dish to go along with any braised meat dish.
What happens after a program receives funds? How do we know how the program is using our funds and whether it is doing the work as promised?
We have three different kinds of reports, and the timing is based on whether the program is receiving a 1 year, 2 year or 3 year grant:
This month we travel to Guatemala. Oh how I love the food of Central America! While Guatemala does not seem to have a national dish, tamales are very popular. I hesitate to share a recipe with you because they’re pretty labor intensive. Instead, how about something simple, refreshing and different, like a Cabbage and Beet Tostada?
We spoke with Tricia Karpfen and Amy Hartenstine from the Muditar Foundation about how Dining For Women’s sponsorship will help provide maternal and infant care for the women in the Pa-O tribal villages in Southern Shan State, Myanmar. Muditar has worked hard to create a Maternal and Infant Health program that empowers women to make healthy reproductive choices reducing maternal and infant mortality and raise healthy children.
Dining for Women’s grantees are located around the world, but many work in Africa, specifically West Africa. For
the past year, the burdens of recovery from war – inadequate infrastructure and the struggle for education, health care and in many cases, survival – have been increased by the fight against Ebola.
In a three-part series, Dining for Women takes a closer look at this disease. In part one, we looked at the basics of the disease and the 2014 – 2015 outbreak. Our second feature looked at how a past Dining for Women grantee played a critical role in containing the outbreak. Finally, we look at the current state of this outbreak.
We spoke with Karen Yelick, CEO of Indego Africa, about the program’s history and plans for expansion. Indego Africa partners with cooperatives of female artisans to support them through economic empowerment and education. Listen with us as Karen shares success stories and displays the artisan’s beautifully handcrafted products.