Park City Community Foundation has been creating an enduring philanthropic community for all the people of Park City for the past ten years and has built a $1.5 million Women’s Giving Fund endowment in the past four. We support this community and one of the most powerful ways to do that is by supporting women. In 2017, we actively sought new members to join who bring in new voices to fully represent our community.
Rebeca Gonzalez was one of the young women that we invited into our circle. We wanted to honor her for her work in helping first generation students get into and succeed in college through Bright Futures. She said, “I don’t want our students to see themselves as have-nots. I want them to see the opportunities before them.” Rebeca Gonzalez embodies the spirit of the Women’s Giving Fund and was awarded a gift of membership at the 2017 Women’s Giving Fund Grant Celebration.
Q: You received an honorary membership into the Women’s Giving Fund. How did that feel?
A: I’ve lived in Park City my whole life and I’ve always been involved in nonprofit programs. Now as an adult, it is really rewarding to be a part of a group that supports them. It’s like I’ve come full circle. Last year, Blayne Harper approached me and explained that the Women’s Giving Fund was trying to expand their diversity and have more perspectives at the table. I was really interested in joining but I wanted to make sure that I understood the time commitment. When I do something, I want to make sure that I can follow through. Last year, I was graduating from Leadership Park City class 23, entering my senior year of college plus running Bright Futures as a program manager on my own. I also have personal responsibilities to my friends and family. I wanted to make sure that I could bring the best side of my self to the group. In a few years when I make more money than I do now, I would like to give back and offer an honorary member the financial means to join as well.
Q: Tell us about your experience being a Women’s Giving Fund member.
A: I attended the Women’s Giving Fund Grant Celebration last July and it was so neat to see women that I already knew but didn’t know that they were members. The experience of being a member is so individualized. You get out of it what you put in. For me it is giving back to the community that has given so much to me and my family. Everyone has been so welcoming of me. It really meant a lot that I could join this group of women. I strongly believe in the work and the mission of helping women and children.
Q: Why do you serve on the Women’s Giving Fund Grants Committee?
A: Being on the grants committee has been an incredible experience for me. This was my first time to be a part of a grant-making process. All of the women were so respectful and supportive of each other. I never felt like my voice wasn’t being heard. Through the process, I made long-time friends and relationships that will last forever. Often, I would speak up and someone would say, “I’m really glad that you said that,” or, “Thank you for that perspective.” At the end of our time after we made our final decision, we toasted and all cheered. It was a really memorable moment.
Q: Can you share your experience from attending the site visits?
A: There were nine organizations that submitted an application to be considered. Through the process, I was able to visit many of those organizations. It was so neat to learn more about the organizations because most of them I had an awareness of through my childhood. Many of them had a significant impact on my life. It was wonderful to be part of the decision-making process and it happened so naturally. It was also really neat to see last year’s grantee, Peace House, and see the land prior to construction. I wanted to be very neutral in my review of the organizations. It is a long application and I wanted to make sure that I was able to not be biased. Being on the back side of grant-making, I’m not so intimidated to work on grants together with Park City Education Foundation for Bright Futures.
Q: What is it about Park City Community Foundation that you love?
A: Growing up around nonprofits, I strongly believe in the mission and values of Park City Community Foundation.
Here’s how you can help to expand the impact of Women’s Giving Fund:
- Join the membership for $1,000.
- Gift a membership to someone specific for $1,000.
- Pool your funds with a group to gift a membership to someone specific.
- Donate any amount to a pool toward a membership for a deserving leader in our community (we have a list of women deserving of support).
Whatever way you support, your donations will be put toward growing this fund so we have more funds to give out each year. This fund is created to address issues for women and children, forever.
If you are interested in becoming a Women’s Giving Fund member or helping us expand the impact, you can make a donation by clicking here or contacting Sam at email@example.com.