Ten Lycoming County women have committed a total of $250,000 to endow the Pearls with a Passion Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
"The word 'passion' is important to our donors because we talk about creating powerful communities through passionate giving," Jennifer Wilson, president and CEO of the foundation, said.
The fund is part of a wave of nationwide women-led intiatives to promote the betterment of their comunities.
"We were really thoughtful about what kind of fund we wanted to start given the type of region we serve," Wilson said.
Each year, the Pearls with a Passion Fund will generate at least $10,000 in grantmaking. The first grant will focus on youth. Application deadline and geographic restrictions will be announced later this summer.
"We have no preconceived number of grants in mind. It'll be an evolving process as the applications come in," Wilson said.
Initially, grants will be awarded to philanthropic projects in Lycoming County but the terms of the fund are flexible enough that other counties may become eligible depending on member representation. Any woman can become a member with an annual contribution of $250 more.
"Participating in this fund is a great way to meet like-minded women concerned about their neighborhoods and communities. We see this not only as a philathropic opporotunity but also an educational opporotunitiy to be exposed to different organizations," Wilson said.
The fund hopes to strengthen area nonprofit organizations and take on the critical issues needed to build vibrant local communities.
"Our goal is to grow membership and encourage women in the region to engage in philanthropy," Wilson said.
To donate to the Pearls with a Passion Fund, contact Dawn Linn, vice president of planned philanthropy, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, 866-901-2372.
"The more women we add to our circle, the bigger impact we will make over time," Wilson said.