The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio

Conduct an Advocacy / Awareness Campaign


Your opinion matters and we want to hear it. Participate in smart discussions and educational programs that impact women and girls by attending our programs and through social media. And, connect with others who also care about moving women and girls forward. Use the ‘contact’ tab on the menu to the left to connect with us and learn how to become a Virtual Ambassador for The Women’s Fund.

Who can help: Teens and Adults

Support an Event


Whether at our annual Keyholder event or with any of our programs throughout the year, we always strive to engage women and girls from the community. Share your voice and experience by volunteering with The Women’s Fund.

Who can help: Teens and Adults


Contact The Women’s Fund under the ‘Contact’ tab on the menu to your left to set up volunteer opportunities or service projects!

What is your organization’s mission statement?


The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s mission is to transform the lives of women and girls by mobilizing the collective power and passion of all women working together.

What population do you serve? 
At The Women’s Fund, we strive to engage all women and girls throughout central Ohio, through programs focused on social change in areas of Life Skills for Girls, Leadership for Women, and Economic Self Sufficiency for Women.  We also engage the community in our programs year round to raise awareness around issues affecting women and girls.  

How many do you serve in a year? 


Our programs are targeted to reach the 800,000 women and girls living in the Central Ohio area.

What region or area do you provide services in?


We serve women and girls in Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties. Our offices are located in Columbus, OH 43204.

How and when did the organization get started? 
On May 4, 2000, a small group of women activists gathered on the porch of Judy Garel’s home to discuss the idea of starting a women’s fund in central Ohio. Women’s funds had been formed around the country, and Emily Rutherford had suggested the idea to Judy Garel. After a series of conversations and a survey of 500 women leaders in the community, our founders realized there was great interest in the idea, as long as funds raised were used to bolster the programs of existing organizations and didn’t cut into dollars already being donated. 

How many employees do you have? 


We have 6 employees.

How many volunteers does your organization have?  (click the “Service Projects” tab to learn more about volunteer opportunities)


The Women’s Fund has 300+ volunteers.

How do your programs or services help the community?


We create gender equality and influence in the community by looking through a gender lens. Our work is guided by our research, which influences our partnerships, grant making, and advocacy efforts. We promote social change by growing women’s philanthropy, and raising awareness to educate central Ohio around issues that affect women and girls.

Program Descriptions 


Keyholder: Each year, Keyholder draws together a diverse audience to celebrate the women and girls who have made a difference in our lives. It’s a night to be inspired by all the potential of women and girls in our lives, share the stories of our grant partners, and come together as a community to create social change.


Grant Reading: The Women’s Fund is a unique funder, in that we fund social change programs that address the specific needs of women and girls in central Ohio. All Grant Readers attend training to learn about our grant-making process. After reading and scoring their applications at home, the readers reconvene in small discussion groups. The groups then use the Quaker Consensus Model to determine thoughtful, practical scores for each application. These scores are not averages, rather a number agreed upon through the wisdom of the group.  The Huntington Grant Reader Process is an opportunity for women and girls to connect in a meaningful way and engage in social change organically. 


Equal Pay Day: For the past two years, The Women’s Fund has partnered with Columbus Young Professionals to raise awareness around Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day is marked annually to signify the wage gap between women and men in our country; a woman must work 15 months to earn as much as a man over 12 months.  

Fall Film: This November we partnered with The Ohio State University to bring Anita Hill and filmmaker Freida Mock to Columbus for a screening of Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, a film that courageously sheds light on Anita Hill’s experiences that led her to testify in the Clarence Thomas hearings. The screening of the documentary was followed by a Q&A with Anita Hill and Freida Mock, moderated by Ohio State’s Wendy Smooth. 

Critial Conversations: Earlier this year, The Women’s Fund partnered with The Columbus Foundation to bring Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of TrueChild, to introduce Gender Norms to Columbus through a variety of venues with a wide audience. With her visit, Riki opened up a dialogue around what it means to use a gender lens and how gender impacts our community. Being aware of gender, or using a gender lens, is vital to understanding an issue. To address an issue at its core, gender norms must be understood, addressed and challenged. Traditional rigid gender norms influence the behavior of boys, men, girls and women and can impact social outcomes from education, to healthcare, and beyond.

Name: Sarah Pariser

Title: Director of Communication

Organization: The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio


Work: (614) 225-9926

2323 W Fifth Ave
Suite 230
Columbus, OH 43204