Setting Our Course for 2020

A Special Message from DFW’s Board of Directors

Over the past year, our Board has been listening to and reflecting on many points of view from our members, our volunteer leaders, committee members, and our staff.   From this, a dream has emerged for the future of our organization, and we want to share it with you.

As DFW members and supporters, we know that you share our passion for improving the lives of women and girls around the world through gender equity and empowerment. No matter how far apart we live, or what our life experiences are, we are all connected in deep and meaningful ways because of our shared vision for what we want DFW to accomplish, and what it brings to each of us in terms of heartfelt connection with each other and the broader world.

Through our shared passion, we have accomplished a great deal over the past 12 years.  We have made 231 grants to 153 organizations that have impacted tens of thousands of women and girls. Thanks to our members and supporters, we have proven that we have a successful model and that we excel at collective action. We are investing more than ever to empower and transform the lives of women and girls in developing countries.  We have a professional, well-respected grant making process, more than 430 chapters world-wide with more than 8,000 members, and a highly-qualified staff.  We are ready and poised to magnify our impact on women and girls and truly change the world!

To deepen and broaden our impact, we will grow DFW in a very intentional and deliberate way. Our goal is bold – we want to have 20,000 members by 2020, which will allow us to expand our reach to even more women and girls in the developing world. Why is this important? Even though the world has made some important and significant strides, women and girls are still struggling and suffering. For example, 62 million girls around the world are not in school, and barriers to adolescent girls completing school are particularly significant. Yet, we know that investments in women and girls have a positive impact that goes beyond the individual, benefiting her family, her community and her world.

We believe that reaching 20,000 members over the next five years is achievable. As we grow, we will stay true to the key values of DFW – inspiration, collaboration, education, and transformation. We will thrive as we focus our efforts on creating more diversity throughout the organization – from membership to staff and board.

Our chapters are the heartbeat of our organization, and we are committed to preserving their independent, unique qualities. While the number of chapters will grow, your own personal experience at your chapter meetings will stay the same.  The core of DFW – our chapter structure and our featured program funding – will continue to be the vital center of our organization and we count on you, our members, to be guardians of your individual chapter culture and to foster the DFW community.

We strongly believe in retaining the monthly featured program and the grant making process that is widely respected.  In addition, as we grow and raise more money, we need to find creative and scalable ways to make a measurable impact in the world. We plan to accomplish this by proactively identifying and funding new collaborations and partnerships that help us “move the needle” on the root causes of poverty and gender inequality. Establishing collaborations and partnerships will leverage mission impact and raise the level of our place within the industry.

The unity that we feel through our shared passion also provides us with an opportunity to raise our collective voices and advocate, in a grassroots manner, on behalf of women and girls.  Through grassroots efforts, such as letter writing campaigns, petitions, phone calls, and speaking opportunities, members will have the opportunity to influence American policy and legislation so that it benefits women and girls in the developing world. This will give you – our members and supporters – another avenue for deeper education and engagement in the issues facing women and girls.

We know that this new direction may raise questions, and we are committed to communicating with you and addressing your questions or issues.  Please use the link below to access a one-page summary of our new direction as well as responses to some frequently asked questions (FAQs). Board and staff members as well as volunteer leaders will also be available to participate in your chapter meetings and share further information.

Please know that this is where DFW is heading over the next five years. This will not happen overnight. Our next steps are to develop action plans for how we will accomplish these goals over the five-year period by strengthening our infrastructure to support the work of our vast volunteer network.  We are committed to being a collaborative organization and are working with volunteer committees to ensure all voices are represented.

Your generous support has allowed us to get to the point where we are ready to take this important next step. Thank you for your passion and commitment to Dining for Women, to women and girls, and to changing the world!

See and share our one-page flyer
Check out our FAQ’s


Your Dining for Women Board of Directors,

Anne Capestrain Barbara Collins  Susan Garrity
Colleen Murphy Susan Stall Barbara Wagner
Marsha Wallace Sandy Ward