About the WHF Foundation

WHF Foundation 20th Anniversary: Celebrating 2017
The Year of Service and Volunteerism
The Women in Housing & Finance Foundation celebrated 20 years of supporting women and families through financial literacy, transition housing assistance, economic empowerment and academic scholarships throughout 2017. All year long, the Foundation held a series of special events, recognizing the nonprofits supported by its Partnership Grants Programs as well as its partner associations -- Operation HOPE and Trinity Washington University. 

"We wanted to showcase our partners and grant recipients during this year of celebration," said Mary Martha Fortney, WHF Foundation President. "It is their programs that really make a difference in the lives of low-income or other at-risk women and families," she added. 

The WHF Foundation is comprised of members of Women in Housing & Finance, Inc., an organization of professionals in the fields of housing and finance, who dedicate their resources to help disadvantaged women and their families in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.  In September 1997, WHF created the WHF Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to:

  • Develop personal finance counseling programs to enhance the financial empowerment of low-income women or other at-risk individuals;
  • Provide partnership grants to organizations that provide services to women and their families in the Washington, DC, area; and
  • Create a scholarship program for women students interested in the fields of housing and finance.

The Foundation dedicates itself to helping its target groups by providing charitable services, educational activities, and partnership grants to promote financial empowerment. 

Since its inception, the WHF Foundation has contributed nearly $600,000 to local organizations through more than 125 grants, conducted more than 250 financial empowerment sessions, and provided $18,000 in student scholarships.  In 2016, the Foundation created a unique eight-session curriculum called Changepurse, designed to empower women of all ages and income levels to manage their money and  their financial lives for stability, good health, and contentment.  WHF volunteers use the curriculum at Calvary Women's Services and with others in need.

The Foundation's current partners include the following:

  • Bridges to Independence (Va.) --provides transitional housing and support services to homeless families and women in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria https://bridges2.org/
  • Calvary Women's Services (DC) --provides comprehensive support services and housing for homeless women in Washington, DC https://www.calvaryservices.org/
  • Doorways for Women and Families (Va.) --one of Doorways' programs is its Financial Independence Track, which provides one-on-one financial literacy education to 70-90 people per year https://www.doorwaysva.org/
  • Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services (Va.) --programs include financial literacy for homeless and formerly homeless families in Alexandria, Va. http://www.goodhousing.org/
  • Interfaith Works (Md.) --provides a broad array of social services and advocacy programs, such as the Job Readiness Course, which includes financial literacy, computer instruction, and GED workshops for homeless adults http://www.iworksmc.org/
  • Open Arms Housing (DC) --helps homeless women with mental illness obtain secure, permanent housing tailored to their needs http://www.openarmshousing.org/
  • Trinity Washington University (DC) --as the only women's college in Washington, DC, Trinity believes in empowering women; it believes in shattering glass ceilings http://www.trinitydc.edu/
  • Operation HOPE (DC) --  the leading global provider of financial dignity educaiton and economic empowerment programs for low-income or moderate-income youth, individuals, and families in underserved communities https://www.operationhope.org/

The Foundation’s principal activities include the following:

  • Provide opportunities for WHF members to engage in charitable and educational service activities benefiting the community;
  • Foster educational opportunities for low-income students, particularly women, in the field of housing and finance;
  • Produce and disseminate personal finance information to enhance the education of low-income consumer;
  • Provide information and technical assistance to enhance the economic opportunities for low-income and underprivileged individuals; and
  • Support the charitable and educational efforts of community nonprofits, including those targeted to career development and housing for the homeless and underprivileged.
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