Pictures of women and girls to celebrate AFFW's 30th anniversary

2020 Grants in Response to COVID-19

A Fund for Women has taken immediate action to help women and girls faced with increasingly insecure access to shelter, food, and income due to COVID-19’s impact on Dane County.

To address the community’s urgent needs, AFFW made proactive emergency funds available to these organizations to further their work supporting women and people who identify as women through the pandemic.

Centro Hispano 

This $7,500 grant will help Centro Hispano provide support to the Latino community, which has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The stresses of the state’s shelter in place order have an especially high impact on those experiencing or at risk for domestic violence. The $20,000 grant will help DAIS meet the increased need for all of its programs, including providing outreach to victims who may be sheltering in place with their abusers to redeploying staff to the Kid’s Space to give extra support to families trying to manage kids and schoolwork at home, to providing additional services at their shelter to keep both staff and residents safe.

Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness

The unprecedented family and community destabilization caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have hit Black women particularly hard. The $20,000 grant from AFFW will help the Foundation provide emergency financial assistance to local women and families affected by the pandemic, and help for women trying to navigate to other critical life- and health-sustaining resources.

Latinx Consortium Emergency Relief Fund

Latino workers in Dane County often are not eligible for federal stimulus and relief programs because of their immigration status. Many also are uninsured and working in the service industry, making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. AFFW's $30,000 grant will help the fund, established by the Latinx Consortium Action – a collective of Latino-led organizations under the lead of Centro Hispano – provide support to families to help cover rent or pay other bills, and to small business owners struggling to meet payroll.

Madison Reading Project 

With the libraries and schools closed, many children have lost access to books while at home during the pandemic. This $500 grant will help provide books to students so they can continue to experience the benefits and joy of reading.

The Odyssey Project 

Many Odyssey Project students face challenges accessing the program's online educational classes because they lack WiFi minutes on their phones. This $5,000 grant will provide reliable internet access for 10 Odyssey students and their families.

YWCA Madison

Both the YWCA’s Single Women’s Housing program and Empower Home provide vital shelter and support to women and families who are homeless or are at high risk for homelessness. Many of the women have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, increasing their already significant stress. Others are escaping domestic violence, which has been exacerbated by the shelter at home orders. This $20,000 grant will allow YWCA to provide support to these women and take additional steps to keep them safe from COVID-19.

2019 Grants

Centro Hispano of Dane County received $25,000 to help support the Caminos Finance Career Pathway Program, which offers education and training to members of the Latino community, particularly women, to get them on the pathway to a career in the finance industry.

Latino Academy of Workforce Development (LAWD) received $12,500 for the Latina Workforce Advancement Project, which will provide training, education and support to help Latinas move into meaningful, sustainable careers that provide economic security for themselves and their families.

Madison Reading Project received $750 to help fund Empowering and Encouraging Girls to Explore Non-Traditional Careers Through Delightful Literacy Adventures. This program will provide books about nontraditional and nonstereotypical “girls” careers. The program also will engage children through storytelling and fun activities on the Big Red Reading Bus.

Omega School received $25,000 for its Dane County Young Mothers Outreach Project to provide holistic services, including transportation and childcare, to support the education and career development of Dane County women who are pregnant and parenting and want to pursue a GED or HSED.

UW Odyssey Project received $12,500 to support Onward Odyssey: Class of 2020. This program provides support to students who have completed the core Odyssey program, helping them develop an academic and career roadmap, pursue college enrollment, and provide job training and mentorship.

Women in YWeb Career Academy (YWebCA), a program of YWCA Madison, received $25,000 to help fund a training boot camp technology course designed for women and people of color who are underrepresented in the technology field. YWebCA graduates gain long-term earning potential and career growth opportunities from the program.

“They fostered that self-sufficiency. To know that you can be self-sufficient and know that you can handle things on your own, but to know that you have some backup so that if things don’t work out you’ve got somebody that’s going to be there, that’s going to be in your corner.”

– Chara Taylor, former Road Home of Dane County client

Read more about our grantmaking. Stories of Impact