On Tuesday, March 9, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) announced the launch of a new initiative called the West Side Giving Circle, which will support communities on the city’s West Side that have been disproportionately impacted by poverty, disinvestment, and the coronavirus pandemic. 

The CFW was founded in 1984, and its core mission is to invest in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. 

A giving circle is made up of like-minded folks who come together to decide where to donate money and other resources and volunteer their time. In this instance, the West Side Giving Circle members will make investments in organizations on the ground that support and uplift communities on the West Side of Chicago.

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The Bethany Community Health Fund provided initial funding for the new Giving Circle. Established in 2006, the Bethany Community Health Fund has donated approximately $1 million a year to local nonprofits located in communities such as Austin, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale.

“It’s exciting to see another Giving Circle come to fruition,” said Felicia Davis, president, and CEO of CFW, in a written statement. “As a founding member of the South Side Giving Circle, I am very familiar with the needs of community organizations and those looking to make a difference right in their backyard. Professionals and community leaders all have an opportunity to pool their resources, share their lived experiences, and provide much-needed support for their communities.”

CFW currently has six other existing location and cause-based Giving Councils and Circles: the North Shore Giving Circle, the South Side Giving Circle, the Western Suburbs Giving Circle, the LBTQ Giving Council, the Women of Color United Giving Council, and the Young Women’s Giving Council. Last January, those Giving Councils, and Circles surpassed $1 million in investments.

The West Side Giving Circle is expected to launch later this year when leadership is selected and work on the Circle’s charter, and guidelines are finalized.

is a multimedia producer for The TRiiBE.