Established in 2000 with the vision of uplifting women and girls in the counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry, and the Dillsburg Area, The Fund for Women & Girls grants more than $50,000 each year to nonprofits supporting women and girls.
As a component of The Fund for Women & Girls, The Dream Team emerged in 2011 with a bold mission—to encourage individuals to contribute at least $1,000, collectively creating a permanent $1 million endowment. This endowment fuels annual grants that empower local nonprofit organizations dedicated to the well-being of women and girls in the region.
Since its inception, The Dream Team has grown to encompass a diverse network of philanthropists. Dream Team membership helps fund nonprofits that give hope and provides change for women and girls in our community. Membership pledges are customizable at various levels for up to 5 years.
This year, at the Power of the Purse event, the Dream Team welcomed 17 new members into its fold. Among them was Debra Ryan, a member since 2015 and an Inspire Member—the highest honor within the Dream Team.
Debra Ryan’s Dream Team Journey
Debra Ryan, a member of the Dream Team since 2015, joined the Dream Team driven by her deep desire to make a meaningful impact in her local community. Her motivation was strongly influenced by the principles instilled in her by her mother.
Born and raised in Harrisburg, Debra discovered The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) and learned about TFEC’s initiative, The Fund for Women & Girls. It was an immediate connection for Debra, resonating with the values of gender equality her mother had imparted to her.
“My mother’s influence was a driving force,” Debra shared. She recounted a story from her mother’s high school days, where despite scoring the highest on a scholarship qualifying test, the scholarship was awarded to a male counterpart. This injustice fueled Debra’s commitment to supporting women and girls.
While reaching the Inspire Level was not the goal Debra set out to achieve, she is humbled by the recognition. “I appreciate the recognition, but there are so many women doing the hands-on, good work,” said Debra. “An objective of life is for things to grow, and I think that way about giving. If you want something to grow, you must give your attention and intention.”
Debra enjoyed reuniting with Dream Team members at Power of the Purse. Each event leaves her in awe of the diverse array of organizations represented and the camaraderie among the remarkable individuals in attendance. “The more you go to the events and read about The Fund for Women & Girls, you see all the good that is being accomplished,” said Debra.
“TFEC and the Fund vet the grantees so you know exactly where your donation is going. Jimmy Carter said, ‘I am convinced that discrimination against women and girls is one of the world’s most serious, all-pervasive and largely ignored violations of basic human rights.”
Join The Dream Team
The Dream Team invites individuals to become part of a transformative journey at various levels:
- $1,000 Dream
- $2,500 Create
- $5,000 Sustain
- $10,000 Inspire
For those seeking a lasting legacy, the Legacy Society allows individuals to name the Fund for Women and Girls in their will or estate plans.
With grants exceeding $50,000 annually, the Fund for Women & Girls is dedicated to helping women and girls fulfill their dreams. Joining the Dream Team is an opportunity to connect with a network of advocates and make a lasting impact on the community.
Explore the levels of membership and learn more about the transformative work at www.tfec.org/fwg. Together, let’s envision and create a community where women and girls not only survive but thrive.