Empowering Women to Discover Their Worth
Women and children of the Rochester region are disproportionately affected by poverty as documented in the findings of the study on the economic status of women by the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley. The minimum income a family needs for ordinary living costs (food, housing, transportation, health care, child care) is far higher than the federal poverty threshold and also significantly higher than what someone working full-time at the minimum wage can earn. Half of all households headed by women have incomes too small to meet basic needs. The burden of poverty falls disproportionately on women—especially African-American, Hispanic, and Native American women. The study also found that 62% of households in poverty were headed by women; of those, more than 93% had children under the age of 18 years. In addition, 34% of women who had dropped out of high school were living in poverty.
To promote economic self-sufficiency for women and girls through grant making, education, and advocacy.
The Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley will be recognized as one of the leading organizations in the greater Rochester area focused on women’s economic self-sufficiency, by:
Advocating for women and girls through fundraising, education, research and high-impact grant making
Partnering and collaborating with key institutions, agencies, foundations and corporations
Striving for excellence in all that we do
Delivering measurable results
Promoting greater social change and making a true difference in the lives of low income women
A strong woman…
is a woman who is in touch with her feelings. Strong women laugh. Strong women cry. Strong women dance in the rain. Strong women help each other get back up. Because even in our own struggle, we can help more women.
— Tokeya Graham, Voices of Experience Chair
The Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley was established in 1994 to manage a permanent endowment that would create lasting social change by investing in programs that benefit women and girls. Women in our community volunteer to raise, manage and distribute the funds. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $1.2M to programs that have proven successful in helping women and girls achieve economic self-sufficiency. In 2004, the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley published the first comprehensive study on the economic status of women in the Rochester region using data from to 2000 U.S. Census. This 2014 research has been updated using the 2010 U.S. Census data. In addition, the Self-Sufficiency Standard was used to explore income adequacy; that is, the level of income necessary for a given family to adequately meet basic needs. We found that women were disproportionately affected by poverty and income inadequacy.