WFN’s peer communities of practice

The Women’s Funding Network’s peer communities of practice provide intimate virtual spaces that enable members to tap into one another’s expertise and knowledge for collective organizing and mutual support. Members engage with peer communities to share experiences, expertise, challenges, solutions, and resources that collectively moved us forward.

There are currently five Peer Communities that each meet monthly. Continue reading to learn more about these peer groups and their co-chairs, leaders from within the WFN community.

Contact WFN Community Engagement Coordinator Sam Hopper to register for a peer community or with any questions.

Become a Peer Leader

Peer Community groups are co-chaired by WFN members with interest or professional expertise in the relevant subject matter. WFN is seeking industry leaders to co-chair available peer communities on a continual rolling basis. If you’d like to nominate yourself or others to lead a peer community, please contact WFN Community Engagement Coordinator Sam Hopper.

Advocacy & Public Policy Peer Community

Meets every third Wednesday of the month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

This peer community focuses on policy priorities and advocacy tactics, and has the opportunity to organize to move regional, state, and national policy priorities forward.

This community is currently chaired by Gauri Gladish, Director of Research and Advocacy at Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona.

Communications Peer Community

Meets every fourth Thursday of the month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

This community welcomes all staff working on communications strategies to join this group. Together, peers share ideas and work through challenges as well as refining messaging where groups can find alignment and opportunities for amplification.

Amber Anthony, Development Manager at the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, is leading this community as current Chair.

Communications Chair

Amber Anthony is the Development Manager at the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation in Greater Hartford, CT. Amber has extensive experience in donor development, fundraising, and events management. She is a compassionate and empathetic communicator, with extensive board and trustee leadership experience for well-established nonprofits. Founder of a running store voted one of the 50 Best Running Stores in America. Enjoys the great outdoors, hiking, and kayaking. Best title she has ever received is “mom” to twin sons who are now men.

Development Peer Community

Meets every first Wednesday of the month from 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

This peer community welcomes all staff serving in development positions to connect monthly and explore topics, opportunities, and challenges relevant to this important work. As a community-guided space, this peer community will source topics top of mind from the members and engage outside expertise and learning around particular areas of interest.   

Ashley Harris, Vice President Development at Texas Women’s Foundation, and Macy Vintson, Director of Development at Women’s Foundation of Alabama, are leading this community as Co-Chairs. 

DEVELOPMENT CO-CHAIR

A passionate advocate for social justice and life-long learner, Ashley brings twenty years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, consulting and management and litigation to bear. With a roll up her sleeves approach to work and clarity of thought and purpose, Ashley excels at moving nonprofits to financial and institutional success. As a nonprofit staff member, Ashley has led multi-million dollar annual fund campaigns for two of Dallas’ premier human services agencies, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and The Bridge where she served as Chief Development Officer. Her development and consulting experience with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations continue to provide qualified insight into today’s fundraising environment as the Vice President of Development at Texas Women’s Foundation where she leads a team of four and serves on the senior management team.     

Executive Leaders Peer Community

Meets every second Thursday of the month from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET.

This peer community is just for executive leaders and a chance to connect with other executive directors, CEOs, presidents, board leadership, and individual practitioners to share best practices with a network of women’s philanthropy peers. Senior leaders enjoy exclusive access to our CEO/executive directors’ discussion group, connecting our network’s leaders to create a collaborative environment of shared expertise, professional development and peer learning. Membership of this peer community is automatic for executive leader members.

Join over 100 women’s foundation CEOs and executive directors in this essential knowledge-sharing tool, in addition to exploring the Women’s Funding Network’s learning labs, research cohorts and other opportunities for learning and collaboration. 

From Margin to Center Community

Meets on the first Thursday of every month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

This new community group evolved in response to member requests and feedback. The purpose is to provide a forum for connection and learning among members who self-identify as PGM (People of the Global Majority), BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), or who are from a marginalized racial/ethnic group in their region. This peer community is a place of learning for people with a shared lived experience, while honoring that there is a variety of PGM and BIPOC experiences within a larger shared experience.   

This community is currently co-chaired by Felicia Davis Blakley, President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women, and Mary Valadez, Associate Vice President – Grants of Texas Women’s Foundation.

From Margin to Center Co-Chair

Felicia Davis Blakley is a life-long Chicagoan, self-described “girl from the South Side,” deeply committed to community through inclusive service to others. She believes in the power to transform lives, families, and communities through collective efforts and that advancing equity is worth fighting for. Her career in the public sector demonstrates a record of accomplishments in public policy, higher education administration, and public service. As President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women, she leads the strategic efforts to invest in women and girls as catalysts, fight for gender equity, and build stronger communities for all.

Research & Data Community

Meets every second Wednesday of the month from 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET.

This community shares strategies for research design, data collection and database platform integration. In addition, they discuss how to use these tools to make the case for funding and public policy initiatives that support women and girls. In 2022, this group will be a critical connection to WFN’s partnership with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).

Viviana Alvarado Pacheco, Senior Research Associate and Operations Manager at The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, leads this community as Chair, supporting the design and focus of our sessions and shared community work and learning.

Research & Data Chair

Viviana Alvarado Pacheco is the Research and Program Associate at The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development from the American University of Paris and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Virginia Tech. Throughout her professional career, she has focused on gender studies, international law and sustainable development working for international organizations such as UNESCO and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. Having lived in different countries, Viviana has experience working in various international environments and is fluent in in English, Spanish, and French. She is a fierce advocate for women’s rights and climate change action, promoting a better world for our future generations.