Women’s Voices: Training the Next Gen of Women Leaders

Women's Voices Project Materials

Local League Application for Pass-thru Grant Funds

Thanks to a generous grant from the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, we are pleased to offer the “Women’s Voices: Training the Next Gen of Women Leaders" project. The Women's Voices Project aims to connect current women political leaders in our communities with high school girls to serve as role models and encourage youth civic engagement. The project includes an introductory assembly or event at the high school, ongoing mentoring, and tools for high school girls to become engaged voters.

LWVOEF has $3,500 in pass-thru funds available to share with local Leagues and At-Large Units electing to participate in the project. Leagues have the option to apply for one of three funding tiers: Tier 1 grants of $250 will be awarded for one-time events, and Tier 2 grants of $500 will be awarded for events with ongoing programming. We have developed a new special stand-alone Tier 3 grants of $1,500 for local Leagues and At-Large units in the central region. Tier 3 will require local Leagues create highly innovative and interactive supplementary learning materials to encourage high school girls to become more civically engaged. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted, so Leagues are encouraged to apply early. 

TIER 1: High School Assembly or Youth Townhall on Women in Politics

The Women’s Voices project seeks to hold events at a variety of sites around the state – urban, rural, suburban, or ex-urban. Tier 1 activities, which would also serve as the kick off for Tier 2, will feature a large panel discussion with several prominent women leaders speaking about their experiences as women in politics, challenges they faced, perceptions of women and stereotypes they encountered, why women’s voices play such a critical role in shaping public policy, and how young women today can get involved. There will be break-out sessions with smaller groups to allow for drilling down deeper into various topic areas, and students may move between tables so they are able to ask questions of all speakers.

The launch event will also include voter registration (or informal pre-registration for students not yet old enough to register). Once registered, students will be encouraged to sign “pledge to vote” cards, through which they can sign up for reminders about upcoming elections and receive information from their local League about what is on the ballot. Leagues are encouraged to invite students to participate in that League’s voter service activities, such as opportunities to volunteer to help with a candidate forum or voter registration drive.

Participating local Leagues will conduct a post-event evaluation, with a toolkit created and supplied by LWVO, to assess whether and how students’ understanding of issues facing women in politics have changed.

Partnership with other groups in the school or community is encouraged (e.g., the Girl Scouts or a high school student group). However, grant funds are only payable to a local League, and that League is responsible for fulfilling reporting requirements.

TIER 2: All Tier 1 Activities, Plus Ongoing Student Engagement & Mentoring

Additional pass-through funds are available to League project sites that commit to ongoing mentoring activities. Each site will be required to offer a minimum of three activities in addition to the youth townhall described above. LWVO encourages local Leagues and their partner organizations to choose or develop activities most meaningful to the girls and mentors involved in the project, so the girls are building leadership skills by making the program their own.

All Leagues electing to participate in Tier 2 will commit to the launch event described in Tier 1 and, in addition, will agree to ongoing biweekly or monthly activities conducted by adult mentors and smaller groups of girls and accomplishing at least three of the items listed below:

1.  Attend a government public meeting, such as a city council session, on which at least one woman serves.

2. Provide students a role in local League election year events, such as participating in a nonpartisan “meet the candidates” forum.

3. Shadow a woman mentor on the job to better experience politics in action.

4. College or career planning guidance from women leaders.

5. Share voting information in their community – e.g., assist the League in distributing print voters’ guides or voter information cards to community locales, create a series of social media posts to remind their peers and parents to vote, etc.

6. Encourage participating girls to develop their own activities for engaging peers in civic life, such as hosting a voter registration drive at their school.

Tier 3: Supplementary Innovations

Through, for example, videos and social media campaigns, League would produce women-centered media focused on getting out the vote and/or engaging in the political process. Leagues would need to report on promotional activities and hits/likes/shares wherever possible. 

Reporting Requirements:

• Events must take place during the 2018-2019 school year.

• We give Leagues a great deal of flexibility to make your local project your own and experiment with different types of ongoing mentoring options. However, to be eligible for funding, your event or project must include a component about women’s voices in politics, public policy, or civic engagement. To get ideas for how to incorporate a gender lens in your local project, please check out the sample project materials linked above.

• Regular communication with the LWVO office about planning the event, so that we can assist with materials and promotion.

• Track and report the number of students and adult mentors who attend project events, number of students and adults who participate in going activities, number of completed voter registration forms or pledge to vote cards, sign-ups for electronic updates, and completed evaluation forms that will be provided.

• Submit an interim report to LWVO on or before December 31, 2018, and a final report on or before May 31, 2019. A form will be provided to you for reporting. You should also plan to include photos, copies of materials, and evaluation results.

• Project materials must acknowledge funding support from the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.