In 2008, the financial crisis hit women and young girls living on the edge of poverty the hardest, so the men of the Women’s Foundation stepped in and launched the Dads for Daughters program to help. The goal? To honor not only their daughters, but those less fortunate than their own. Since then, the foundation has aimed to make headway by prioritizing the engagement of men.
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) is a community dedicated to the economic advancement of Colorado women; however, since men possess more accessibility to the majority of power and influence in our culture, they’ve become an asset to the foundation. “Everybody has a woman in their lives that they care about, and in order to move forward, we need men to join us in accomplishing our mission,” says Renee Ferrufino, Vice President of Development at WFCO. In 2017, the program relaunched as Dads for Daughters, Men for Women, with more focus on creating a space inclusive of all men, not just dads.
As not to inundate members and their busy schedules, the organization meets twice a year. The premise of these meetings are conversations around philanthropy and aid to the foundation. Men are asked to explore what type of world they wish to see for their daughters and the women around them; they then discuss changes that need to be made in order to align with this vision. “Dads for Daughters is about coming together as a community and investing in all our futures. We are about making our communities fair, and as a result, stronger. This is about empowering our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers to lead us—all of us—to a better future,” says Kenzo Kawanabe, a member of the program. Although men haven’t always been invited to the discussion, that’s changing. The program is intentional, and invites everyone into its space in order to begin moving forward.
Participation is always important, and learning how to understand and connect with the women around you is crucial—joining the conversation can help. In addition to its bi-annual meetings, Dads for Daughters, Men for Women also holds quarterly educational events. Check their website and social media channels @wfcolorado for updates.