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2023 Impact Report. And a Black Woman Founder’s Dream!

well: 1) in a good or proper manner: justly, rightly;2) healthy or without illness;  3) in a prosperous or affluent manner.  source: Merriam-Webster

A Black Woman Founder’s Dream to be Well-funded and Well-rested.

Note: Please CLICK HERE to check out the 2023 Impact Report!

Can I share a secret with you?

I want to be well.

I’d go as far to say, I deserve to be well. But let’s take baby steps and just start with the desire to be well.

My maternal grandmother died at 56 years old.

My paternal grandmother died 72 years old, several years after having a severely crippling stroke where she lost autonomy of her limbs.

Both women were grossly overworked and underpaid while finding a way to raise many children, extended family, and community. These women deserved access to a life that supported and nurtured their wellness…too.

Not much has changed. I haven’t been well since well before the pandemic and then it only got worse because we live in a society that demands Black women to keep pushing through all of the inequities in the world…and preferably with a smile. And so I have pushed and pushed and pushed.

However, in this work, deep in the data, I am always asking myself, who gets to be well in this society? And who doesn’t?

Every socio-economic disparity is echoed in the nonprofit sector. From the alarming funding gap where Black women executive directors are funded significantly less than both White leaders (regardless of gender) and less than Black men leaders to the grants Black executive directors do receive have more restrictions than white led nonprofits doing similar work. A deeper dive can be found in the cited The Chronicle of Philanthropy source:

But I’d much rather contemplate solutions:

  • How do we directly connect Black women executives to more funding sources rather than simply more “training” opportunities? Hint: training is rarely the issue, funding is. If we had enough funds to hire, we wouldn’t have to do every single aspect of running a nonprofit well.

  • How can we cushion equity for new grantees from established nonprofits based on years of operation? This way we don’t have to apply to and manage 10x the grants to add up to the funding of 1.

  • How can we remove the expectation that since Black women are typically more closely connected to the communities we serve that we should work for free? How can we standardize funding personnel salaries?

In the meantime, I have vowed to take as best care of myself as possible in a society that’s not particularly interested in my wellbeing. And thus my decision, with the Board’s approval, to take a much-needed and overdue sabbatical. That’s right, I am resting..and looking forward to sleeping without guilt looming over what needs to be done next for my very survival!

Don’t worry, the programs are continuing as scheduled.

But I look forward to returning in early May rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of this year- from our 10 year anniversary celebration to our voter activations. There is a lot of work to do, but first, I will pause. The first half of my sabbatical will be focused on deep rest, healing, and restoration of my mind, body, and spirit. The second half will be devoted to deep study, meeting with mentors and industry leaders, and implementing better systems to sustain both me and the organization.

I want the organization to do well, and it will. But I also want to be well, and I will.

I hope you can find a way to join us in this effort.

With deep gratitude, service, & love,

Charlyn Anderson

Founder & CEO


The SWT Annual Impact Report 2023
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