Montclair Fund for Women will invest in programs that promote Social and Economic Justice, Educational Advancement and Achievement, and the Strategic Strengthening of Historic Black organizations to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Montclair Fund for Women, a private foundation, is the corporate successor of the former Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Montclair-North Essex. This YWCA was originally the Young Colored Women’s Christian Association, founded by black American women who came to Montclair seeking education and employment. Over the years, the black women carefully forged an alliance with white women who shared their values and goals, and the YWCA became one of Montclair’s prominent organizations, providing a broad range of innovative programs and resources to the community.
By 2001, after more than a decade of financial challenges, the YWCA members voted in favor of the Boards of Directors’ Transformation Plan, a transition to a leaner, more sustainable structure that would honor the legacy by changing to meet the future. In order to achieve this transition to Montclair Fund for Women, the YWCA Board of Trustees, voted to sell the aging property and use the net proceeds to form the grant making foundation.
In 2004, the State of NJ approved the amended incorporation to the Montclair Fund for Women, and the foundation began awarding grants. The Fund contracted our YWCA Archives, with copyrights, to the Montclair Public Library, and later awarded a grant to the Library to have the Archives professionally catalogued and preserved for use by the public and scholars.
During our first ten years, by 2014, the Montclair Fund for Women has awarded more than $591,225 in Memorial and Competitive Community grants to support programs for women and girls.