As the needs of communities change, so, too, must the organizations that support them. That is why the YWCA Aurora is transitioning into the YWCA Aurora Foundation. This decision will make better use of the YWCA’s valuable resources, accelerate programs already making an impact and ultimately advance the mission of the YWCA to enhance women’s economic empowerment and lead racial justice initiatives in our region.

With solid relationships in place and a desire to chart a strong future, the YWCA Board of Directors began to reevaluate its position in the community last year. This six-month effort included internal reviews, conversations with organizational leadership and community meetings with Aurora’s business and municipal leaders. We evaluated numerous models for the YWCA and examined each in terms of its potential to impact the lives of individuals in our region, make best use of the organization’s resources and align with the mission and values of the YWCA.

Our process resulted in a revelation. What our community needed was not another program provider, but rather an accelerator for successful programs already in place. With that, the Board made the decision to transition from the YWCA Aurora to the YWCA Aurora Foundation.

As the YWCA Aurora Foundation, we will have the opportunity to support the exceptional work of other nonprofit organizations with established, successful programs already serving our region. The YWCA Aurora Foundation’s $4 million endowment will serve as a funding source for grants to support development, scaling and growth of qualifying programs. We anticipate releasing grant guidelines and funding cycle details in late 2018.

The YWCA has consistently been at the forefront of social movements. Our shift to a foundation represents a willingness to respond to the changing landscape of our community. We look forward to our continued role advocating for social change and supporting initiatives that impact racial justice and women’s economic empowerment.

Amy Baudouin, YWCA Aurora Board Chair
Aurora, IL