On November 19, 2004, a “coffee and conversation” with Tracy Gary, a well-known philanthropist, encouraged the Women’s Fund to make great things happen in our community through inspired philanthropy. The true visionaries behind this idea were Chandler Moenius, former President and CEO of the Topeka Community Foundation, and Marsha Pope, the current President of the Topeka Community Foundation. The other members of the steering committee were Alicia Salisbury, Shelle McCoy, Margaret La Rue, Gay Bauersfeld and Madge Schmank.
Over the next two years informal coffees were given to introduce women in the Topeka community to the Women’s Fund and the concept of “collective giving.”
In 2006, the Women’s Fund was launched with 52 members and $168,000 in gifts and pledges. Twelve years later our membership has reached over 350 members and has assets of over $400,000.
All women interested in becoming philanthropists through the power of collective giving are welcome. Informal coffees and speaking engagements continue in order to create an awareness of the Women’s Fund and the power of collective giving.