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From WEF's president: Help us grow and support women and girls in our community

Sherry Neubert portrait
Sherry Neubert

You have seen this year's hashtag, #WeBelieveInAkronWomen. At its core, this hashtag supports our fundamental mission to uplift, empower and educate women and girls throughout Akron and all of Summit County.

Our fund is proud to award $180,000 in grants this year, however, more assistance is needed in our community. As a result, we've decided to execute a strategic plan to grow our endowment to $5 million by 2025, so we can increase our positive impact on local women and girls.

To meet this goal, our fund will need to raise $250,000 each year for the next six years. For support, we will look to our community, friends, small businesses, corporations, those who know us, and those who haven't yet met us.

We have three primary ways to generate these funds. First, through major gift development led by our advisory board treasurer, Pam Kiltau of Baird. Our development and major gifts committee is working closely with businesses and individuals to secure large contributions, like those we have received from The J.M. Smucker Company, Ann Brennan, Roger Read, and Mark & Katie Smucker.

Second, for those who have been with us for years and want to continue to support us in the future, we recently created an annual giving initiative called the Circle of Empowerment. Each member of this circle is required to pledge a minimum annual giving commitment of $1,000. I'm pleased to share that with only a soft launch last November, we have already secured 31 Circle of Empowerment members. Our goal is to grow this circle to 100 members by June.

Our third means of reaching our goal is through our annual "Who Is Your SHEro?" campaign. This campaign begins during our annual dinner in early March and runs through the end of April. This year, 36 local fundraisers, or SHEro ambassadors, have pledged to raise at least $1,000 each through their personal and professional networks. Last year, our ambassadors raised over $58,000 with individual contributions between $25 and $1,000. This year, we aim to reach $60,000 in funds raised through this campaign. For more information and to contribute to the "Who Is Your SHEro?" campaign, visit

We hope you can help us grow through our strategic plan. Whether you donate, advocate, or volunteer for our fund - we thank you for standing with us and believing in Akron Women.

Sherry Neubert
President, Women's Endowment Fund

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