girlsBEST group photo
Opportunity

girlsBEST

Building the Economic Power of Girls

In 2002, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota launched girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together), a grantmaking and public awareness program to build the economic power of girls, ages 12-18. In 2006, the Foundation became the first women’s foundation to permanently endow a fund for girls.
  • girlsBEST Today

    girlsBEST Today

    Since launching girlsBEST, the Foundation has funded four cohorts of grantee partners with multi-year funding across the state.
    359 Planning and implementation grants provided
    $3.7 Million Granted to 122 girl-led and girl-driven programs statewide
    40,000 Number of young women impacted across Minnesota

    Our girlsBEST grantees knock down roadblocks to girls’ future economic success, like low wages and job discrimination, sexist academic and career tracking by schools, poor body image and self-esteem, teen pregnancy, lack of leadership and athletic opportunities, and violence against girls. girlsBEST has shown time and again that when girls define their priorities and create change in their own lives, they expect more from themselves now, and later, as adults.

  • Grantmaking & Grantee-Partners

    Grantmaking & Grantee-Partners

    Grants go to girl-driven programs that have the support and involvement of women, mentors, community organizations, schools, and other organizations serving women and girls. Priority is given to underrepresented and underserved girls and communities across the state, including low-income girls, girls of color, and girls from greater Minnesota.

    girlsBEST grantees demonstrate a strong focus on girls’ economic development and girls are involved in all aspects of the program, including planning, implementation and evaluation.

    girlsBEST girls represent hope for tomorrow. And at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, we know it will be the next generation of social changemakers — like the girlsBEST girls — that will ultimately make sexism, racism, and poverty in Minnesota history.

    Meet our statewide grantee-partners:
    2017 Multi-Year Grants ›
    2016 Planning Grants ›
    2015 Multi-Year Grants ›
    2014 Multi-Year Grants ›
    2013 Implementation Grants ›

  • Evaluation & Statistics

    Evaluation & Statistics

    After 14 years of girlsBEST grantmaking, we know girlsBEST model programming is effective. Take these three key findings from independent program evaluations:

     

    Cumulative Statistics (2002-2015)
    1. High School Graduation: girlsBEST participants have a 94% high school graduation rate.
    2. Post-Secondary Enrollment: girlsBEST participants have a 90% post-secondary education enrollment rate.
    3. Teen Pregnancy: girlsBEST participants have a teen pregnancy rate of 4 per 1,000 in Minnesota overall.
    2016 Statistics:
    1. High School Graduation: girlsBEST participants have a 93% high school graduation rate, compared to 50-83% in Minnesota overall, depending on ethnicity.
    2. Post-Secondary Enrollment: girlsBEST participants have a 90% post-secondary education enrollment, compared to 44-72% in Minnesota overall, depending on ethnicity.
    3. Teen Pregnancy: girlsBEST participants have a teen pregnancy rate of less than 1 per 1,000 in Minnesota overall, compared to 18-48 per 1,000 in Minnesota overall, depending on ethnicity.
    Strong Futures:

    girlsBEST girls represent hope for tomorrow. And at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, we know it will be the next generation of social changemakers — like the girlsBEST girls — that will ultimately make sexism, racism, and poverty in Minnesota history.

    Read the evaluation reports of our girlsBEST Fund:
    2016 Report ›
    2015 Report ›
    2014 Report ›

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