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The past year’s tragedies and isolation — as well as its triumphs — left many people desperate for a place to connect, to dissect and discuss tumultuous events and feelings.
That has been one of the main goals of Women4Good.
Founder Zanoon Nissar has pivoted the San Francisco-based community organization’s reach and focus by hosting virtual meetings to reflect the conflict inherent in difficult times. From bringing women’s well-being into the spotlight to funding women entrepreneurs and supporting Black communities, the group’s mission is to provide a space where community and conversations empower women.
“Over the last year we saw the rise of racial justice movement after the murder of George Floyd. We also saw the pandemic being front and center and how it was impacting marginalized communities,” Nissar said.
What started as an occasional brunch with fewer than 10 women looking to help each other’s careers in nonprofit has blossomed into an organization with more than 1,500 members in the Bay Area alone. Along with helping women steer change in local communities, Women4Good raises funds for Bay Area nonprofits.
Seeing a rise in women looking to contribute in the nonprofit sector, the organization has launched its first Women4Good Ambassador Program with the purpose of deepening leadership skills for women. The idea is to match the expertise and passions of an ambassador with a nonprofit that needs extra support.
“Now our mission is supporting a community of women where all women can be change agents and ‘sheroes’ in their communities through giving, volunteering and activism,” said Nissar.
Kerry Rodgers is a global philanthropist who plans to apply for the Ambassador Program in hopes of being part of a group of volunteers who will bring their strengths to the table in order to have a significant impact on causes they care about. As a long-standing member of the organization, she recently led a session on implicit bias.
“It was a powerful experience to reflect deeply on unconscious biases we may carry and not even be aware of,” she said. “This is an example of the diversity of programming that Women4Good facilitates.”
Starting this spring, the program will connect select ambassadors from the organization with Bay Area nonprofits for a period of three months. The pro bono volunteering projects will be focused on women’s issues, COVID-19 and/or racial justice. The organization is accepting applications for the Ambassador Program until April 1, 2021.