Business Women’s Giving Circle Grants $45,000 to Support STEAM Education, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programs for Girls

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Provided by Community Foundation for Northern Virginia


The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Business Women’s Giving Circle (BWGC) announced the winners of its third annual grant cycle today.  A total of $45,000 has been awarded to five organizations providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), Leadership and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia, making total awards granted to date $125,000.  In addition, the BWGC added $1,000 to its endowment for future giving.  This giving circle is comprised of accomplished women who are community leaders drawn together by a passion to empower girls and young women through collective philanthropy.  The group will celebrate the 2016 grantees on January 31 at Refraction in Reston, VA, and community members interested in joining are welcome to attend.

The winners are:

SHINE For Girls: $15,000

Hillsboro Charter Academy: $5,000

Kashmir World Foundation: $5,000

STEAMd, Inc.: $10,000

Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO): $10,000

“Collaborating with the women of the BWGC to review and analyze such impressive programs as were presented in the 2016 grant applications has, once again, been awe-inspiring, humbling and so gratifying,” said Autumn McCullogh, Attorney at McCandlish & Lillard and co-chair of the Grants Committee.  “I am honored to have been a part of this process and am so excited to see the impact this year’s grantees will have in our community.”

The members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle reviewed twenty-one grant applications to select the winners.  “This year’s grantees came from a group of diverse, well qualified applicants and we are confident we selected top notch organizations to deliver high quality STEAM, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership programs to the young women of Northern Virginia,” said Mara Desmedt, Senior Regional Sales Director of PlanSource and co-chair of the Grants Committee.  “We couldn’t be more excited for our grantees and to see the impact the BWGC’s grant money will make on all of the lives touched by each of the programs.”

Members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle are looking forward to engaging with these winning organizations throughout the year as consultants and mentors.

“The BWGC offers our members the opportunity to work together to leverage knowledge, learning, and funding to create change in the lives of young girls and women,” said Faith Boettger, Community Volunteer and Consultant and Chair of the BWGC.  “Over the past three years, our grants have had a ripple effect on our community – directly impacting girls in our programs and indirectly the mentors, teachers, parents, classmates, and our own members.”

Annual membership in the Business Women’s Giving Circle is $1,100, and includes a vote in the annual competitive grant cycle.  All contributions are pooled for a greater collective impact.  To learn more about the group, please visit the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s website at, or contact Sari Raskin, Director of Grants and Community Leadership, at (703) 879-7641 or


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