The Women's Leadership Fund began when two women, meeting for the first time, realized they had the same vision: To create a foundation of support and community for women leaders in Central Minnesota.

Although women make up a sizable portion of business owners and organizational leaders in the region, few opportunities exist for these women to participate in a peer-to-peer development group to strengthen their leadership skills. This is especially true for women who live in rural communities outside of the St. Cloud metropolitan area, where, due to distance between communities, an under-representation of women in leadership roles, and lack of peer networks,  women are missing essential opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills and make deeper connections with supportive peers in surrounding areas.

This problem slows the progressive development of women’s personal and professional growth, as well as hinders the growth of her organization and the economy of the entire community.

Through WELead events and more, the Women's Leadership Fund enables sparks of ideas for women leaders and women in business. Through our peer-to-peer cohorts, women can explore and learn about new organizational strategies, approaches or solutions to business or community challenges. Addressing these challenges impacts the entire culture of an organization and the economic vitality of the region because of stronger leadership resources.

The Women's Leadership Fund was organized in 2018, so this is just the beginning! The members of the advisory board are committed to growing the Women's Leadership Fund and reaching women of all ages and careers, and supporting their transformation into leaders and change-makers. That's why your support is so important! 

A Partner Fund of the Initiative Foundation

The Women's Leadership Fund is a partner fund of the Initiative Foundation. Created in 1986, the Initiative Foundation is empowering the people of Central Minnesota to build and sustain thriving communities. The Foundation serves the 14 counties of Central Minnesota, providing nonprofit grants, business loans, leadership training and an array of donor services. The Foundation believes that local people have the greatest sum of initiative, knowledge and relationships to achieve a brighter future.

In partnership with Women’s Leadership Fund, the Initiative Foundation oversees and manages financial contributions for the fund. The Foundation also provides staff support to the advisory board and ensures compliance with legal and professional standards. These services allow volunteer leaders to focus on meeting community needs and enhancing the local quality of life. Because the Initiative Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to the fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

We Can't Do this Without You!

Be a part of something BIG! Make a lasting impact on the region by supporting the work of the Women's Leadership Fund!