The memorable woman who started our Fund ran the first sexual assault crisis center in the US.

Our History

Our origin story is memorable. In 2000, Judge Bettina Borders, made a donation to the Community Foundation in Southeastern MA. Her goal — to ensure that any regional women’s program launched could thrive with the necessary dollar support. This visionary action founded the Women’s Fund SouthCoast.

Judge Borders is the ideal person to have founded an organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls. She has been a keen activist for gender equity her whole life and ran the first sexual assault crisis center in the country. She also knows the struggles young women encounter when raising children on their own, as she was a single mom.

When Bettina became Judge Borders, she left the Fund in the hands of a group of visionary women we now call the Founding Mothers. Bettina, now retired, has returned to the Fund as President of the Board of Directors and is committed to charting the course for the next 20 years.

Our Founding Mothers

These ten women were forward-thinking, early leaders of the Women’s Fund SouthCoast, and shaped the organization’s philanthropic vision. Still involved today, they share what has sustained their commitments.

Chrissie Bascom

We need to drive change as a funding movement to empower women at all economic levels.

Bettina Borders

The Women's Fund SouthCoast was born with the goal of granting needed funds for systemic change. We promote equity for all women and girls. I delight in working with talented women and men to push this change agenda forward.

Nancy Braitmayer

The LifeWork project was such a positive, life-changing experience for many of those who participated. Collaborating with Bristol Community College to sustain that successful program for more women is a win-win which delights me.

Priscilla Ditchfield

The Women's Fund SouthCoast was my introduction to New Bedford — a way to learn about this community and to help address some of its more pressing needs — all through the lens of women of all ages.

Kate Fentress

We established an organization that quickly became recognized for its focus on collaboration, on uniting women’s voices for change, and on supporting and encouraging women in their various journeys out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency.

Nan Johnson

The Women’s Fund has never lost sight of its mission over 20 years: to uplift women and girls through as many vehicles and partnerships that we could develop throughout the region.

Rachael Kolb

After 20 years, I continue to believe in the power of women to support each other, to solve problems, and to enrich and improve our community.

Nancy Kurtz

I have long believed in fairness and justice for all, especially women, and I have found at last a fitting home for my values.

Anna Whitcomb

Opening up your wallets to give is easy when first you open up your heart.

Marcy Wintrub

Inequity is so deeply embedded in our culture that many of us don’t even see it for what it is. The Women’s Fund is here to raise awareness about the reality and raise funds to invest in change.

What Drives Us

We imagine a world in which women and girls are valued and their voices heard.

Local Impact

The success of women and girls ripples through the community to make a more just place for all.

Why Give

Local women helping local women. We advocate, we advance. Our collective voice initiates change.

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