Women: The Magic Multiplier

How is it October already? This year has really flown AND creeped by in so many ways…let me explain.

At the start of 2018, I felt energized and motivated to launch LONA’s first local initiative. At the time, I thought we tell the world all about it within a few months. Seeing as I am writing this in October... it took a little longer than anticipated! However, everything we have learned over the past ten months has strengthened our organization and enabled us to reestablish our mission: to invest in women’s ability to create economic opportunity for themselves and others.

As we all know, women’s empowerment is the hot topic right now. Over the past year, LONA has been reflecting on our role in the movement and how we can make a sustainable, meaningful impact on women in our community. We know that when women earn an income, they typically reinvest 90% of it back into their families and communities. However, we also know that many female populations lack access to the resources they need to achieve financial success, including funding, assistance from subject-matter experts and connections to others that believe in their vision. LONA works to empower women with these vital resources, furthering their journey towards economic stability. Our foundation is built from the belief that when you empower one woman, you empower her entire community.

In June 2018, LONA launched its first initiative to support mission-driven women in Northern California who are seeking to advance economic opportunity for themselves and others.

Currently, we support two women in realizing their dreams through small grants, pro-bono services and access to social capital. I’ll post about their individual projects soon, but here is a quick introduction in the meantime:

  • Our first grantee is an Afghan refugee and aspiring entrepreneur who needed to learn English to move towards her goal of opening a daycare center. Affordable childcare is a major barrier to female refugees entering the workforce, and our grantee hopes to help fill this critical need for her local refugee community. LONA supports her efforts to become fluent in English, which will allow her to move forward with her plans.

  • Our second grantee is the founder of EasyTRO, a web application designed to streamline the restraining order process in Alameda county. A human trafficking survivor herself, she learned firsthand that the process is extremely convoluted, costly and inefficient, costing many women precious hours and funds that could be otherwise be spent rebuilding their lives. LONA provides funding to help her team move forward with design, development, testing and launching of the application.

As you can see, LONA’s benefactors have different goals and visions. We firmly believe that every woman should be able to determine her own path, so we do not operate on a one-size-fits-all basis for providing grants and services. Instead, we develop relationships to understand each woman’s hopes and dreams, then determine how to best support them.

We believe that all women - regardless of past or current circumstances - can secure economic success for themselves and others in their community.

We hope that you will join us in supporting these women and future benefactors through whatever means resonates with you: partnerships, attending events, volunteering or donating. After all, when we empower women with the resources and opportunities to achieve their goals, we all win.

What could be more compelling than that?

-Amy Gragnolati, LONA Co-founder

To learn more about our grantees, click here.

To donate, click here.