Individual Donors

Because of generous donors like you, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is empowering women and girls to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership.

On behalf of our grantees, program participants, our staff, board of directors and CEO, THANK YOU for donating to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Learn more about your impact across Canada and the stories of people whose lives you help to change.

Why do you support the Foundation?

“I want my grandchildren to live in a society where both men and women are treated with respect, and where they can all reach their full potential.” (Margaret Newall, Member of the Order of Canada.)

“We need organizations like the Canadian Women’s Foundation to support services that help women to leave difficult situations and start more independent, self-sufficient lives – one woman and family at a time.” (Christelle Soto-Suarez)

When Christelle Soto-Suarez became a donor in 2017, she wanted to empower women and advocates for gender equality. She’s worked in the construction industry for nearly 25 years and knows that progress won’t happen on its own. “I thought that I was living in a time where women had the same opportunities and access as men, and that my generation would continue to work toward a more gender-balanced industry,” she says. “However, I don’t believe this change is happening quickly enough, which led me to look into ways of supporting other women.” We’re deeply grateful Christelle decided to join our tireless community of donors!

Christine Gresham, Canadian Women's Foundation monthly donor As the gender inequalities of the pandemic became clear, Christine Gresham took action and became a monthly donor to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Like many of us, she’s concerned about women who are heavily burdened right now and the impacts that trauma and setbacks will have on them and the next generation of girls. She’s concerned for struggling women-owned businesses, women who have had to leave the workforce for child- and elder-care responsibilities, and what it means for women’s influence.

“I worry that old stereotypes will return,” she says. “I also worry that teenage girls and young women who have had their confidence rocked by the isolating effects of the pandemic won’t rise to their full potential …”

These gendered issues are so pressing right now, and they are huge. For some people, the sheer scope of it understandably overwhelms and immobilizes them and makes them feel stuck.

We are thankful for people like Christine who stay the course and focus on what they can do. “Organizations like Canadian Women’s Foundation are providing tangible solutions,” she says, “and by supporting them I feel as though, in some small way, I’m part of the solution. When things feel out of control (as they do at the moment!), it’s comforting to feel like your support and your choices matter.”

Margaret Newall Margaret Newall is a Member of the Order of Canada, and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Regina, Manitoba, and Calgary. She is a long-time supporter of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Margaret first learned about the devastating effects of domestic violence on young children when she worked as a school teacher. She later co-founded the Prairieaction Foundation, campaigning to broaden awareness and support for research and educational programs that prevent violence and abuse.

What motivates you to support the Canadian Women’s Foundation?

I became aware of domestic violence one day when my shadow fell across a boy in my class, and he threw up his arm to protect his head from an expected blow. That was a shock, since I had been lucky enough in my life never to encounter violence.

The Montreal Massacre on December 6, 1989, also had a huge effect on me. The attacker separated the men from the women and killed 14 young women before taking his own life.

When I learned about the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s work to help women escape domestic violence and gain financial independence, becoming a donor seemed like a natural way to build on the work that was already being done by the Prairieaction Foundation.

In your work on violence prevention, what have you learned about creating social change?

I learned how important it is for concerned citizens to work together to change policy and practice. Research also plays a key role. We need to know what works and what doesn’t if we hope to bring an end to domestic violence.

You have grandchildren. How do you hope the world changes for their generation?

I want them to live in a society where both men and women are treated with respect, and where they can all reach their full potential. I want them all to be able to live free from violence.

The lives you’ve impacted

Learn more about how the programs you support empower women, girls, and gender-diverse people, helping them to move out of violence, out of poverty and into confidence and leadership:

“I left the program with so much more confidence than when I started. That was a huge part of my healing journey as an Indigenous woman going into business.”

Vashti’s Story

“When I look at my life now, I am proud. I’m able to provide for my son … I’m happy, but I still want to do more to support women who have experienced abuse as they rebuild their lives.”

Sofia’s Story

“I carry myself much stronger as a woman than I did before. … I don’t know where I would be without the programs at the girls’ centre.”

Summer’s Story

“It’s so important to have these programs for newcomers, just to explore the possibilities and to make connections in a new country.”

Sylvie’s Story

“This program would not be what it is today without the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s support. Words cannot thank you enough!” (Paige Van Praet-Guthier, Program Coordinator, Girls’ Mentoring, Sarnia-Lambton Rebound)