Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Giving Circle Supports Local Women’s Philanthropy

SHINEForGirlsDCA grant to SHINE For Girls will support curriculum-based programming for disadvantaged middle school girls that combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM.The Business Women’s Giving Circle announced the winners of its second annual grant cycle today.  A total of $40,000 has been awarded to three organizations providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), leadership and entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia.  Since its launch in 2014, which launched in 2014, the giving circle has already awarded $80,000 to date to programs supporting STEM education for girls and women’s entrepreneurship.

This giving circle is comprised of women who are business owners, members of local chambers of commerce and community leaders serving on nonprofit boards of directors who are interested in joining with their peers to support programs and organizations in Northern Virginia that promote educational opportunities for women and girls in our region.

“The Business Women’s Giving Circle’s model of collaborative philanthropy is about building relationships among our diverse members and with our grantees,” said Faith Boettger, founding member of the Giving Circle and co-chair of the Grants Committee.   “Through networking, grant making and engagement, we are sharing a passion for giving and a compassion for our community to make a difference.”

The winning organizations include:

SHINE – SHINE for Girls: $20,000
To support innovative, curriculum-based programming for middle school girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM.

Girls Inspired and Ready to Lead (GIRL): $10,000GIRLSDCGirls Inspired and Ready to Lead
To provide leadership development to middle school girls while providing experiential learning in STEM and Entrepreneurship to prepare them for careers of the 21st Century and equip them with the essential skills of critical and creative thinking, communication, intercommunication, and collaboration.

Marymount University – Empowering Leaders in STEAM “ENLIST II”: $10,000
To support a twelve-week STEM/STEAM after school program for 3rd-6th grade girls through Marymount University’s partnership with Fort Belvoir Elementary School.  Activities will be staffed by 15 MU pre-service teachers and supervised by mentor teachers, and will include a visit to MU.

The members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle reviewed twenty-one grant applications to select the winners.  “Our grants process is the perfect demonstration of the power of many minds working together,” said Autumn McCullogh, Attorney at McCandlish & Lillard, founding member of the Giving Circle and co-chair of the Grants Committee.  “To sit around a table with sixteen women from all different walks of life and reach decisions about how best to impact our community and reach out a helping hand to true leaders in our region and the women and girls they assist is nothing short of awe-inspiring.”

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 Business Women’s Giving Circle’s support of SHINE for Girls will allow us to reach a majority of girls who, generally, do not believe they can succeed in STEM subjects to consider future careers in STEM fields,” said Tara Hally, Regional Director of SHINE for Girls DC.  “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to open our program to eight new locations at Title I schools in Northern Virginia in 2016.”

For more information about the Business Women's Giving Circle, contact Sari Raskin, Associate Director of Community Investment at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, at or (703) 879-7641.