WCF Foundation's Herstory
The first step toward achieving equal representation in government is ensuring that women have the skills and infrastructure they need to become effective political leaders. WCF Foundation provides that support to women by conducting action-oriented research and piloting targeted programs that prepare women to become more politically active, increase their engagement in key democratic processes, and ready them for public leadership roles.
WCF Foundation has a long history of working to equip women with knowledge about their vital role in politics. Our predecessor, the Women’s Campaign Research Fund (WCRF), was founded in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to conducting research and training programs that help women succeed in politics. The need for an organization like ours was clear: The year that WCRF was founded, only 4% of congressional seats and 13% of state legislative positions were held by women. WCRF and our sister organization, WCF (formerly the Women’s Campaign Fund), aimed to address that inequality and raise the numbers of women in elected office. Through its research and training programs, WCRF laid the groundwork for what WCF Foundation is today.
WCRF was a pioneer in the field of women’s political research and training. In the 1980s and 1990s, WCRF provided over 30 training sessions for nearly 2,000 women all over the country. From our 1989 nationally acclaimed Leadership 21st Century Program, an intensive three-day national conference designed to provide nonpartisan leadership training to women poised to run for federal or statewide office, to our 1994 Making It To The Top seminars, designed to provide strategic long-term career training, to our Communications Training Sessions, we’ve put thousands of women in a better position to seek elected office. Just ask Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH), or Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY) – all former WCRF training session participants.
In 2006 WCRF became the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation when the Women’s Campaign Fund re-organized to better meet the needs of women running for political office. This restructuring established three distinct branches of the organization—WCF Foundation (a 501(c)(3) organization), the Women’s Campaign Forum (a 501(c)(4) organization), and WCF PAC. With this unique organizational structure, WCF has accomplished a wide variety of specialized tasks to promote women in all aspects of the political arena. In order to demonstrate the need for equal representation in government, the WCF Foundation conducts action-oriented research and pilots targeted programs to advance women in politics. The Women’s Campaign Forum is focused on special programs, media outreach, and increasing the visibility of women both holding and seeking public office. WCF PAC is entirely devoted to promoting and supporting WCF-Endorsed candidates, providing critical assistance when it is needed most.
Today, WCF Foundation is a leader in innovative research and programs. Our groundbreaking Vote With Your Purse™ research project shed new light on the political giving potential of women. We’re currently working on a number of projects that focus on the role of women in politics:
• Name It. Change It.—Fighting sexism against women candidates in the media
• Who Needs More Women in Government? Everyone.—Disturbing the nation’s complacency about women’s dramatic underrepresentation in public office
• Appoint Her—Providing invaluable tips on how to get more women in appointed office
• White Gloves Off—Developing a political debate training program for women
At WCF Foundation, we not only identify barriers to women’s political equality—we find solutions. Our research and programs are key resources for women seeking to become effective public leaders. Help us prepare women for public office and support WCF Foundation's vital work.