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Anne Arundel Women Giving Together is committed to learning about, and helping ameliorate, racial inequities in our community. Our Racial Equity Study Group (RESG), now in its third year, worked with our Grants Committee to establish a new 2021 grant category to address the causes, not just the effects, of racial discrimination. It has created a resource library for members and brought in a consultant on unconscious bias to work with grant reviewers and other members of our leadership. Members who would like to join RESG, please contact resg@givingtogether.org.

AAWGT is a women’s giving circle with 200+ members. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Since our founding in 2006, AAWGT has raised and invested over $1.2 million in local nonprofit organizations!

What is a Giving Circle?

Give to AAWGT

Our Impact: Invest, Inform, Inspire

We INVEST— pooling our annual contributions for “collective philanthropy,” thus multiplying the power of one by many. Grants focus on health and welfare, education and the prevention and treatment for violence and abuse.

We INFORM — holding in-depth education sessions highlighting issues in our county that require active attention and support.

We INSPIRE — encouraging our members to engage as leaders and philanthropists in our local community.



As we mark our 15th year of collective philanthropy, we are taking the opportunity to highlight a few of our members as they describe what AAWGT means to them. We feature Tara Clifford here and will include other members throughout the year.

AAWGT Founding Member Tara Balfe Clifford

“If we use our trusted, respected, and ethical philanthropic power, we can help shape the agenda and use our access and influence to affect priorities in Anne Arundel County.”
------- Tara Balfe Clifford, April 2021

Helping AAWGT Grow

With a deep commitment to, and a career focused on, community development and affordable housing, Tara was active in Baltimore’s Giving Circle. Then Tara joined AAWGT at its founding in 2005. She was part of the team that discussed and drafted guidelines for the first grants in 2007.

In 2007, Tara spearheaded a new committee—Post-Grants Evaluation—and served as its first Chair, with Barbara Hoffstein as Vice Chair. “We established a process to ensure AAWGT/grantee partnership and mutual understanding of the results and impacts to be achieved, with monitoring through regular communication and site visits,” says Tara.

Tara cites and salutes the many accomplishments in AAWGT’s early years, including the design and implementation of the website, and getting the infrastructure up and running for the organization’s operations, communications, membership/grantee database, electronic invoicing, and online applications.

In 2009, Tara received the Founders Award, presented annually to a member for exemplary efforts and results. Also in that year, with Bronwyn Belling, Tara helped establish the Lifetime Member option. She has served on the Leadership Development Committee and currently is in the Racial Equity Study Group.

AAWGT Founder Sharon Stewart notes Tara’s leading role in recruiting the next generation of AAWGT members. “It’s easy and we should all do it,” says Tara, who also mentions the importance of “intergenerational recruiting,” such as inviting one’s mother and daughter(s) to join the organization.

Hopes for the Future

Tara’s “hope list” is a long one, but her top aspiration is for AAWGT to live and embody the title of our March 2021 education offering, Women Fostering Change.

Other hopes include continued work with AAC public schools on financial literacy for all students; nurturing innovation by grantees in incubating new ideas and ways of solving problems; continuation of an intentional journey toward racial equity based on our shared values; and initiation of a conversation about planned giving. “Creating one’s legacy through planned charitable donations provides oxygen for not-for-profit organizations,” concludes Tara.


On March 10, AAWGT presented a fascinating panel discussion moderated by member Cardie Templeton. Speakers were three extraordinary women leaders: Linda Gooden, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Margaret Kibben, and Monica Brown Jones, M.D. Topics included the importance of opening doors, the role of leadership “grit,” gender stereotyping, the pandemic’s effect on women’s leadership, overcoming self-doubts, and leadership’s evolution in the next decade. Click HERE to read the highlights of this event.




Curious about AAWGT and how we achieve
community impact?
Thinking about joining the Giving Circle?

It's been 2 years since AAWGT has hosted an Open House for our members, for those new to the organization and for potential members. Please join us to hear from leadership about how AAWGT is responding to needs in the County and how you can be involved.

Small breakout rooms will allow everyone to socialize and weigh in on what's really important to our community.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
via Zoom

This event is free and open to the public

Please register HEREFollow the registration questions all the way to CONFIRM. Your confirmation should arrive within seconds. If you have any questions about registering, please contact events@givingtogether.org for assistance. The Zoom link to join the program will be sent one day prior to the event.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

These events are free and open to the public. Registration and information about accessing these programs will be posted when available.


Has awarded over $1,200,000 in grants since 2007: Read about our impact
Meets 8 times a year: View our events calendar
Has committees that need your help: See where you can get involved
Has an Endowment Fund: Learn how to donate to AAWGT
Sends out a bimonthly Newsletter: Read the latest issue


Grants In Action

$20,000 Grant

Court Appointed Special Advocates

36 new children assigned CASAs
100% of judges reported CASA input informed decision making process
22 new volunteers trained

$20,000 Grant

Laptop Lab and WiFi Bar at Brooklyn Park Library

10 laptops purchased and counter constructed
Staff can provide individual and group instruction
Computers used for video job interviews and writing resumes
Students use the computers for homework

$20,000 Grant

Arundel Child Care Connections: Mujeros Surgiendo - Women on the Rise

Provided partial salaries for supervisors and Spanish Speaking instructors
Purchased computerized training modules

$15,000 Grant

Associated Catholic Charities: Sarah’s House

Funds contributed to classes, certification programs and fees
Funds used to provide free on-site daycare
20 of the 22 clients using our funds are now earning a living wage

These 4 descriptions are a sample of our grants over the last 14 years — Read About All Our Grantees here.

Find us on Facebook:
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together  |  giving@givingtogether.org

AAWGT is a fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County

AAWGT is a member of Philanos: Accelerating Philanthropy through Women’s Collective Giving

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