May 24, 2017
 
Women’s Fund of Western Mass. Names Director of Philanthropy

Liz Feeley
February 16, 2016 — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, based in Easthampton, which supports economic and social equality for women and girls in western Massachusetts, recently announced that Liz Feeley has been named to the newly created position of director of philanthropy.

Feeley, like a development director, will help raise funds for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM).

“We are honored to welcome someone with Liz’s experience and initiative to the organization,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, chief executive officer of WFWM. “We are confident in her leadership and deep understanding of impactful philanthropy. Her passion for positive community change can only add to the momentum the Fund has generated over the past year.”

In addition, Feeley will lead efforts to connect women in the local community with education and tools regarding impact giving and trends in philanthropy.

Feeley most recently served as director of development at Amherst Montessori School. Previously, as director of development and alumnae relations at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Feeley led a team that increased fundraising by 133% and alumnae participation in the annual fund by 50% in three years, and launched an initiative that increased the number of major gift donors by 35% in two years.

"I am delighted and honored to be part of the Women's Fund team," Feeley said. "The focus on empowering women and girls in western Massachusetts through leadership development to support social and economic justice speaks volumes to me. The Women's Fund is an outstanding model for how a public foundation, through local investment, can have a positive impact on the lives of women, girls, and their families."

Feeley previously spent 21 years coaching intercollegiate women’s basketball at academic institutions, including Smith College, Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, and Holy Cross College.

She’s earned a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from Lehigh University.

Since 1997, the WFWM has awarded, more than $2 million in grants to more than 150 programs in the four counties of western Massachusetts.

In its most recent report on the status of women in western Massachusetts, WFWM noted that women in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties:
  • Earn less than women do on average across the state, and they earn less than men.

  • The poverty rate for women in three of the counties is higher than the state average.

  • Women graduate high school at lower rates than the state average, graduate in larger numbers than men, and receive more GEDs than do women on average at the state level.

  • Female adolescents in three of the counties have considerably higher rates of births than the state average and a significant percentage of them smoke during pregnancy.

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