Partners of Prosperity Together, a collective effort of U.S. women’s foundations, including the Iowa Women’s Foundation, committed $29,170,427 in 2016 to help women in their communities acquire living-wage jobs, educational training and support, and affordable, high-quality childcare.

One year ago, Prosperity Together announced a $100 million commitment to women’s economic security over the course of five years. The first year totals are 46% higher than projected. The $29 million supported 996 unique organizations in 23 states and Washington, DC.

In Iowa, where 70% of female headed households are struggling economically, the Iowa Women’s Foundation (IWF) is committed to making a difference through targeted grantmaking. This year, IWF set a record for their organization, awarding more than $108,000 to 18 Iowa organizations and nonprofits committed to improving the economic wellbeing of Iowa’s women and girls.

Funded programs include mentorships to empower women to become farmers, assistance for refugee women to become registered in-home childcare providers, and life skills classes for young women who have dropped out of high school to put them on the path to earning their diplomas.

“The programs we fund are chosen based on the unique needs of the communities they serve.” Says IWF Executive Director, Dawn Oliver Wiand. “While grantmaking is at the heart of what we do, our research is critical to understanding what needs to be done in our state. We spend a lot of time visiting different communities and listening to what the women and girls there are telling us. This way our grantmaking efforts reflect the voice of the people we serve.”