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Welcome to our new logo. We are excited to be part of the new branding of TTN to Women’s Connection. The Giving Circle, as is Women’s Connection, is about fostering connections; connections between fellow donors through collective giving as well as connections between our Giving Circle and the nonprofits we fund. As a giving community, we gather with the goal of raising money to support nonprofits which are doing good work for women and children in underserved communities in Philadelphia. So, we have a new look and feel, but our focus and commitment remain true to our mission and . . . the power of collective giving.



Our Giving Circle is the philanthropic arm of Women's Connection Philadelphia. We are a dedicated group of individuals who pool our giving dollars to support our mission to improve the lives of women and children in Philadelphia. 

We are proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 12 years, how much we’ve grown, and the positive impact we’ve made and continue to make in the city of Philadelphia.


We look forward to sharing our growth and successes with you, so bookmark this page and come here often for updates on events, activities and our annual grants cycle.

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Joyful Readers (Budget $1.9m)

Joyful Readers is a Philadelphia based nonprofit started in 2021 with the mission “to ensure that Philadelphia students gain foundational reading skills they need to succeed.” It has seen rapid and very successful growth in its 2 years of operation, first serving 9 schools and 543 students, then expanding to 15 schools serving 1,000 students in 2023-2024.

All Joyful Readers’ students are in grades K-3 and identified by the schools as struggling with literacy skills. Led by a full-time executive director and 7 full-time staff, the organization also employs 44 full-time AmeriCorps tutors, 2-4 per school. The tutors receive a month of training in the best practices of science of reading techniques (Wilson Method). The Joyful Readers model involves “high-dosage tutoring,” meaning a tutor meets with 2 students at a time, for 1 hour each day, 5 days a week as part of the students’ regular school day. This is not an afterschool program. Each Joyful Readers tutor works with 22-25 students and meets weekly with the Joyful Readers’ Literacy Coach for advice and support. The target population parallels the Giving Circle’s diversity goals. The same is true for the Joyful Readers staff and AmeriCorps tutors. To evaluate its effectiveness Joyful Readers employed a highly qualified third-party evaluator, Research for Action.

The results showed that students meeting with Joyful Readers’ tutors achieved reading growth outpacing that expected in a typical school year. Students not only improved in reading, but also made meaningful progress towards closing the gap between their assessment scores and the national median for students in the same grade. Joyful Readers earned a 3-year Wm Penn Foundation grant that will end next year. There is no guarantee that the foundation will renew the grant, so Joyful Readers is seeking funding from other sources (corporate and private charities) to ensure that its important work will continue. Joyful Readers employs a fulltime development director as evidence of its commitment to the future.

Achieve Now (Budget $621,000)

Achieve Now provides early literacy instruction for K-2 students in underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, addressing the city’s literacy crisis with two strands of programming. For the 2023-2024 school year, Achieve Now will serve 350 students, all of whom live in Philadelphia at or below 150% of the poverty line.

In two charter schools, one in North Philadelphia and one in Southwest, Achieve Now has introduced a new pilot program that provides K-2 students intensive, small-group literacy instruction with Achieve Now reading specialists. Achieve Now believes the science-based and data-driven program, now partially supported by a grant from William Penn Foundation, can be scaled to reach hundreds more schoolchildren and dramatically improve early literacy education in Philadelphia.

Achieve Now has experience with tutoring programs: From 2015-2019, most Achieve Now students were served via small-group instruction, with school staff delivering the program, guided by Achieve Now reading specialists. That model was temporarily shelved due to the pandemic. The new pilot features direct instruction from Achieve Now reading specialists, designed to increase consistency and quality of instruction — and result in greater student gains.

Achieve Now’s second strand of programming dates to its founding, in 2011, and provides one- on-one literacy sessions with a student and a trained volunteer coach. In seven public schools, Achieve Now provides 45-minute student/coach sessions weekly; the coaching program pivoted after the pandemic and is now remote, using 70 scripted lessons developed by Achieve Now educators.

In the six years Achieve Now has used CORE assessments, they report 55-65% gains in their students’ ability to decode text, three times the national norm. In the last two school years, their students realized 201% and 133% gains, respectively

Historic Fair Hill (Budget $488,000)

Historic Fair Hill (HFH) is an educational support and neighborhood renewal organization that formed around the restoration of the 5-acre historic Quaker burial ground located in the Fairhill section of Philadelphia. In addition to preserving the historic Quaker burial ground, Historic Fairhill acts as a collaborative partner in the revitalization of Fairhill through school partnerships for literacy, greening and community engagement events. HFH has an endowment that funds the majority of the maintenance of the burial ground.

HFH operates two literacy programs designed to address the structural deficiencies in educational opportunities for Fairhill’s children.

(1) The School Literacy Partnership Program which reopened school libraries in the four public elementary schools that serve Fairhill’s children; employs six trained school parents who serve as literacy-focused classroom assistants in K-2 classrooms, providing extra support to teachers and Spanish language interpretation to facilitate parent involvement in school life; recruits, trains, and deploys 30 community volunteers who serve as one-on-one and small group reading coaches; and, conducts workshops for parents/caregivers at their partner schools, with topics designed to support family literacy goals.

(2) The Family Literacy Program collects new and gently used books and distributes them to individual students, to families at school and community events, and through Little Free Libraries installed in the neighborhood. 

In addition, HFH organizes an annual community Reading Promise Festival at the burial ground that includes a variety of literacy resources and activities and they incorporate literacy activities into weekly Family Fun Days held on the HFH grounds from April-November.

Feedback from HFH’s partnering classroom teachers reported that the literacy assistants had been extremely helpful, that they have seen improvements in the reading skills of the children who work with the assistants, and that the assistants had been very helpful with family engagement support. As a result, HFH is looking to expand the program to include classrooms at all four of our partner schools, as funds become available. For this fiscal year, HFH served 1,050 children, ages 3-9, circulated 40,000 library books, collected/gifted 3,000 books, conducted workshops serving 50 parents and welcomed 400 in total attendance at Reading Festival & Family Fun Days.



The Giving Circle of Women's Connection Philadelphia was founded more than 12 years ago when a few passionate TTN members met in a Philadelphia living room to talk about how collective giving could make a difference in their community. Since that time we have continued to grow as the philanthropic arm of the Women's Connection (formerly TTN) Philadelphia chapter, and as a donor advised fund of The Philadelphia Foundation our mission remains the same. . . to improve the lives of women and children in Philadelphia. 


Over the years we have made awards to over 18 nonprofits covering a broad spectrum of services, ranging from providing legal assistance to grandparents raising grandchildren, addressing food insecurity, helping women exiting prison transition to their new lives, and supporting early learning literacy.

Kensington Soccer 2003 Grant Recipient

Passionate about making a difference, we also conduct educational programs and other initiatives to raise awareness of the challenges facing Philadelphia’s women and children.


Including our 2024 grants (awarded in May 2024), we will have awarded more than $460,000 to Philadelphia nonprofits since our first grant in 2013. This is the POWER OF COLLECTIVE GIVING. For more information About Us. . . Click here


Seen our brochure? If not . . . click here.


We are celebrating 12 years of collective giving to assist women and children in need in Philadelphia

Join Us! . . . . Join Us! . . . . Join Us! . . . . Join us and give below. Thank you!

For a list of our past grant recipients, click here.