The Jane Steidley Shaw Fund

Est. 2009 by Jane A. Shaw.

Jane Shaw. Photo credit: Judy Sirota Rosenthal

Jane Shaw says she was immediately drawn to the mission of the Community Fund for Women & Girls and the passion and visionary leadership of the women supporting it.

"It was simple and powerful, helping women and girls in our community," Shaw says. "The Fund's connection to The Community Foundation gave it immediate credibility."

Shaw was one of the 92 original fund founders, who in 1995 pledged to pool their resources to establish the Fund. She says she has learned a lot since the beginning. About the Fund's membership, Shaw says, "their passion stems from many sources and has taught me so much about what it takes to bring about the changes we need to offer opportunities to all women and girls. The depth and breadth of work done by nonprofits in our area is powerful and critically needed."

A former Fund advisory board member, Shaw thought she would lead by example by starting her own fund, the Jane Steidley Shaw Fund, to support the Community Fund for Women & Girls' grantmaking activities.

"I hoped that I might encourage others to start a fund of their own, determining what is most important to them," Shaw says. "Philanthropy is not just for the one percent! It helped me focus my own giving priorities." There are over 25 funds like Shaw's. Support of the Fund, will continue after Shaw's life through a bequest.

"When thinking about a bequest, I wanted to feel confident that I was choosing something that would continue to be strong over many years," Shaw says. "I know I can depend on the Fund and The Foundation to continue as dynamic forces in our community. I love the way the Fund has grown, staying true to its mission while also responding to the changing needs of women and girls."

Shaw is proud of the strides the Community Fund for Women & Girls has made and acknowledges there is more to accomplish.

"The Fund is every bit as needed today as it was 25 years ago when it was founded. Women and girls are facing not only long-standing obstacles but also new ones from a rapidly changing, often hostile environment. While progress has been made, so much more remains to be done."