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Atlanta Women's Foundation records

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Atlanta Women's Foundation records

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Atlanta Women's Foundation:

A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

July 2004

Profile Description

Creation: Created by William W. Hardesty, July 2004
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator: Atlanta Women's Foundation
Title: Atlanta Women's Foundation records
Dates: ca. 1980-2003
Quantity: 4 linear ft. in 10 boxes
Abstract:The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) raises, manages, and distributes funds to programs that serve women and girls in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Correspondence, minutes and agendas, printed material, writings and creative works, financial documents, legal documents, and photographs make up the records of the AWF.
Identification: W051

Organization of the Records

Organized into 3 series: Series I and III were created during processing. The Administrative staff files tended to be large, and were broken into smaller units during processing as indicated by subdivided titles. Titles were assigned to all Philipp's files. Davis had assembled some records predating her work into "AWF history" files. Records from those files were placed in series I-III.In order to protect privacy, some records related to the Face to Face program and some financial documents have been removed.Newspaper clippings and a limited number of manuscripts were photocopied or transcribed for preservation purposes.

Scope and Content of the Records

Correspondence, minutes and agendas, printed material, writings and creative works, financial documents, legal documents, and photographs make up the records of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF). The records are organized in three series. Series I: Board of Directors records, 1990-2001, includes minutes and agendas, a manual, lists of board members, and descriptions of the foundation and its mission. Series II: Executive staff records, ca. 1980-2003, consists of the office files created by Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation (MACF) Director Alicia Philipp (including those created by part-time Development Director Jennifer Echols) and AWF Executive Director Stephanie A. Davis. The files contain primarily correspondence, printed material, notes, and legal and financial documents. They document the organization of the AWF and its subsequent independence from the from MACF (by then known as The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta), projects undertaken, fundraising and publicity. Subject files contain collected material concerning women’s issues, philanthropy, and other foundations, including the organization Women & Philanthropy (formerly Women in Foundations/Corporate Philanthropy). Series III: Publications, ca. 1986-2003, includes originals and published versions of brochures, invitations, programs, reports, and newsletters issued by the AWF.

History of the Atlanta Women's Foundation

The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) raises, manages, and distributes funds to programs that serve women and girls in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The AWF originated in 1986, when the Women Business Owners of Atlanta donated $10,000 to create The Atlanta Women’s Fund within The Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation (MACF; subsequently renamed The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta). Since then, it has grown into an independent foundation and has donated millions of dollars to hundreds of organizations in service of its mission to be “a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls.”

Prior to 1993, the AWF, overseen by MACF Director Alicia Philipp and an Advisory Committee made up of philanthropists and prominent women, built its endowment but did not make grants. That year, Stephanie A. Davis, who had worked as consultant to the fund since 1992, became its first director. Working with the Advisory Board, then chaired by Atlanta City Councilwoman Barbara Asher, Davis expanded the AWF’s community activities and raised its profile with fundraising events. The organization adopted an innovative funding partner model, in which committees participate in raising funds, making grant recommendations, and monitoring outcomes. Professionals, community volunteers, and former grantees make up the funding partner committees. These groups channel grants to organizations that promote economic justice for women, work to end violence against women, promote women’s health and wellness, establish educational equity, and combat poverty and homelessness among women. The AWF also undertook initiatives such as Face to Face, which funded restorative plastic and dental surgery for formerly abused women and the Girls to Women Project, a collaboration with several African-American organizations to expand services to girls.

In 1998, the fund became independent of The Community Foundation and was renamed the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. Davis continued to serve as the foundation's Executive Director until she stepped down in 2003. Along with its funding partners -- Women in Law; Women in Finance, Media & Technology; Women in Medicine; and its community partner, Commercial Real Estate Women of Atlanta -- the organization continued to begin new initiatives and to support programs serving women. Projects undertaken after the AWF became independent include a report on the status of women and girls in the Atlanta area, Let Every Voice Be Heard; a program to combat child prostitution, including Angela’s Fund; and Women on Board, a project to train women for and place them on nonprofit boards and government commissions. Girls to Women has evolved into a technical assistance project to train and provide consultation to leaders of non-profit organizations. Major fundraising speeches and luncheons, often featuring prominent women from politics, business, and the arts, have continued to help the AWF and its funding partners both to increase the organization's endowment and to gain valuable publicity.

Sally Weaver became the AWF’s Chief Executive Officer in 2004.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Atlanta Women’s Foundation--Archives
Atlanta Women's Fund
Women & Philanthropy
Community foundations--Administration
Community foundations--Georgia--Atlanta
Women philanthropists
Women philanthropists--Georgia--Atlanta
Women’s health services


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], Atlanta Women's Foundation records, W051, Archives for Research on Women and Gender. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Stephanie A. Davis, June 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by William W. Hardesty, July 2004.

Related Material

Related materials in other repositories: An older, Atlanta-based charity for women: Student Aid Foundation records, 1908-1977 (Atlanta History Center). Other Atlanta-based women's advocacy organizations include: Atlanta Women's Network records, 1978-1989 (Atlanta History Center); Feminist Action Alliance records, 1974-1984 (Special Collections Department, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University); National Council of Jewish Women, Atlanta Section records, 1912-1985? (Ida Pearle and Joseph Cuba Community Archives, William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum).

Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory (Bloomington) has collected oral histories on philanthropy generally: Oral history interviews of the Philanthropy: History of Fund-raising Oral History Project, 1988; Oral history interviews of the Council on Foundations Oral History Project, 1991-1992; Oral history interviews of the American Foundations of Philanthropy in the 20th Century Oral History Project, 1989-1993.

Related materials in this repository: Personal papers of a former member of the AWF Board of Advisors: Beth S. Schapiro papers, ca. 1970-1995 (Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives, finding aid available on-line and in the reading room). In addition to providing context for the creation and growth of the AWF, the Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Collection, 1995- (Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives, finding aid available on-line and in the reading room) includes interviews of Schapiro and Polly Brooks Simpson (later Chair of the AWF Board of Directors).

Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, printed materials related to women's issues have been separated to the Women's Printed Collection: Pamphlets and filed by subject. ( Subject headings listed with the items below, pamphlet collection finding aid is available on-line and in the reading room.) See List of Separated Material following Detailed Description of the Collection.

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