CF Insights asks a very simple but important question: "What if each community foundation could know what all community foundations collectively know?" This collection features research produced and funded by community foundations, and other resources relevant to the field. Contact us at and visit us at

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Essential Equity: Women, Covid-19 and Rebuilding CT

January 1, 2021

Covid-19 has revealed the inequities and injustice that perpetuate the systems in our state and in our larger society. As advocates for women and girls, we knew that systems of sexism and racism already disadvantaged women and girls and we braced ourselves for how the economic and health crisis would further harm them. This report documents the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women and girls, and particularly on women and girls of color. We intend this vital information to inform decisions in the future that can direct resources to women and girls. We urge policymakers, government officials, philanthropists, nonprofit service providers, corporations and our fellow community members to use this information to create equity through relief and recovery efforts.

The Evolution, Expansion and Evaluation of the Family Economic Security Program

October 1, 2016

In 2008, the Fund for Women & Girls of Fairfield County's Community Foundation created the Family Economic Security Program (FESP). The goal of the program is to assist low- and moderate-income working students – particularly women who are single parents – in securing postsecondary educational degrees that can lead to careers offering family-sustaining wages and benefits.This paper reviews the research that prompted the original design of FESP; examines the results of the initial pilot demonstration at one community college; and highlights current efforts to test an expanded, enhanced version of the FESP initiative at a second community college in Fairfield County. The paper also discusses the broader local and national context within which these efforts have been occurring.

Shaping the Future: The Status of Women and Girls in Central New Jersey, Executive Summary

August 22, 2016

This research on the status of women and girls in Mercer County was conducted by Dr. Sandy Gibson from the Counselor Education Department at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), in collaboration with graduate student Ms. Lisa Camposano. The researchers examined census data, data from county and federal governments and individual programs within Mercer County, and program specific annual reports. To confirm observations from this review and to examine perceptions of needs in relevant service populations, Dr. Gibson interviewed 10 executive directors of key service agencies in the county. Focus group discussions among service providers, high school girls, and young women between the ages of 18 and 24 provided additional observations. An undergraduate student and member of the Women in Leadership and Learning program at TCNJ, Ms. Chaya Himelfarb, assisted in creating a comprehensive directory of services for all programs in Mercer County. Using the directory, the researchers connected identified needs of women and girls with relevant services, if available. This abridged report was prepared by Phyllis Frakt, a member of the Fund for Women and Girls and the former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rider University (retired).

Survey Results: The Operation of Women’s Funds at Community Foundations

May 25, 2016

After a request by a CF Insights member seeking information about the operation of Women's Funds at community foundation, a survey was created and administered to a subset of potential respondents. This short, eight-question survey collected some high-level information about fees pricing, revenue sources, and the proportion of related responsibilities owned by volunteers and community foundation staff.

Breast Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Initiative: Community Report

October 7, 2015

The Breast Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Initiative (BCSRI) conducted an assessment of breast cancer survivorship services in the Greater Birmingham area, including Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties, over the course of four (4) months. Project staff disseminated surveys and conducted one-on-one interviews with self-identifying respondents. Following the conclusion of both the surveys and interviews, discussion groups were held. An Ad Hoc Committee was then formed from a group of community leaders and experts in the field of cancer survivorship to review the data and provide feedback. The BCSRI also conducted interviews with the directors of 12 cancer survivorship programs throughout the country. The aggregated data was presented in monthly meetings to a leadership team consisting of executive level hospital administrators in the Greater Birmingham area.This report will summarize the data and serve as a resource to develop programs throughout the community to provide breast cancer survivorship care and patient advocacy. Next steps include developing the infrastructure needed to build a survivorship program that will meet the needs of breast cancer survivors in the Greater Birmingham area, and potentially become a model that can be replicated for other cancer types and diseases or for breast cancer survivors in other communities.

The Full Circle of Women and Girls in Fairfield County

January 1, 2013

Fairfield County is home to four of the state's largest cities and 19 towns in between. The people who live within its borders are equally diverse. Fairfield County women live in various types of households and families, go to school downtown and in the country, work in sales, finance and health care and give back to their communities in many and various ways. This report aims to document the experiences of the women and girls of Fairfield County so that everyone - from community members to policy analysts - can better understand women and girl's lives and act to improve conditions for everyone from the baby to the octogenarian.

Stepping Up for Women's Economic Security Report

June 1, 2012

This report gives data-driven context to the critical issue of women's economic security in our community. Economic security is a complex issue and the data gathered here provides a solid baseline to foster an understanding of the stark realities and to promote investments in policies and programs that will change them.

Lives of Women & Girls Report in Monterey County

June 10, 2011

The Lives of Women & Girls in Monterey County is the next step in a process that began in 2004. At that time, the Women's Fund of Monterey County and Tellus/ Díganos Center for Community Research published First Glance: Quality of Life of Women and Girls report on the status of local women and girls. In 2011, local researchers refreshed the data, convened focus groups and conducted key interviews as the basis for this updated report. Input from dozens of local girls, adult and elder women, representatives of service agencies and public officials helped to provide focus and context for the findings. The full report is not intended to be a comprehensive assessment of the quality of life of women and girls, but a snapshot of the critical issues that currently impact the women of our community and a call to action to address trends of concern.

The Lives of Women and Girls in Monterey County Status Report

May 12, 2011

Based on census, health, and other data and focus groups, examines the needs and community conditions of young, adult, and elder women, including priorities such as education, leadership, economic self-sufficiency, health, and safety. Lists resources.

Enhancing the Benefits of Girls' Livelihood Initiatives. Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood

February 1, 2011

This docuent shares case studies from the Council's work (with NGOs such as CARE) on adolescent girl livelihoods during the past decade and summarizes valuable lessons to guide current and future programs.

Girls' Health in Girls' Hands Action Plan

October 1, 2009

Girl-led action research project established to: Identify the health information, support, and service needs of girls ages 11-18; Communicate research findings with public policy makers.

The Power of Investing in Girls

January 1, 2009

The Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls began its grantmaking in support of girls in 2003 with these questions and others. Since then, we've distributed more than $780,000 to 22 organizations for programs that addressed a diverse set of needs among girls. Cumulatively, these programs reached over 1,200 girls living in Fairfield County. The Fund's grantmaking experience over five years has resulted in key lessons learned about the qualities of the most effective programs for improving the lives of girls, and about the role of funders in supporting effective programming. These lessons helped shape the Fund's emerging grantmaking strategy and formed the basis of a new strategic investor framework that was implemented in 2008. This white paper summarizes these lessons