Women Helping Women Fund (WHWF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and children to create healthy families and vibrant communities.

We believe that when women succeed, we all succeed.
As one of the few funding organizations in the Spokane community committed to raising and awarding funds to non-profit programs, we help make this possible. WHWF promotes and funds programs that remove the social, economic and educational barriers preventing women from reaching their full intellectual and vocational potential.
We believe in pooling money to create a bigger impact.
In the past 25 years, we have raised over $6 million and funded over 450 programs focused on the issues faced by women and children. We’ve achieved these results by consolidating resources, efforts and funds, and empowering the community to be change agents by supporting our women and children.
We believe in careful allocations and real results.
Our allocations process ensures that there are demonstrable results achieved by programs receiving funds. The board is deeply involved in research and site visits to the programs. We ensure that the money we’re granting is going to the best use, and we require data to ensure the success of the program.


1992: Founded in 1992 by six women who wanted to support women and children in need in Spokane—Mari Clack, Marcy Drummond, Vicki McNeill, Shirley Rector, Janet Skaden, and Vivian Winston.


2008: Jeanette Walls speaks at the luncheon. Twenty-seven programs are funded.


1993: First luncheon is attended by 700 people and raises more than $80,000. Alene Moris is the keynote speaker.


2012: The WHWF Luncheon raises a record $335,900! Elizabeth Smart is the keynote speaker.


1999: Gloria Steinem speaks at the luncheon.



2016: To date, the Women Helping Women Fund has raised $6 million, funded 450 programs, and assisted thousands of women and children throughout Spokane County.


2006: Lisa Ling speaks at the luncheon.

2016/17 Board of Directors

Megan Thilo - President

Diane Paxton - Past President
Ellingsen-Paxton Orthodontics

Traci McGlathery - President Elect

Kristi Gravelle - Treasurer
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Stacy Destito - Secretary
Itron, Inc.

Meredith Banka
Community Volunteer

Stephanie Baumann
American Income Life

Sarah Carlson
Fulcrum Financial Group

Melissa Cobb
Red Lion Hotels

Anne Cowles
Community Volunteer

Laureen Driscoll
Deaconess Hospital | MultiCare Health System

Tammy Erickson
Moss Adams LLP

Mary Heitkemper
Gonzaga University

Elisabeth Hooker
Downtown Spokane Partnership

Kathy Maurer
Providence Health Care Foundation

Tamara McGregor

Melanie Miller
Eastern Washington University

Jennifer O'Callaghan
Numerica Credit Union

Amy Parsons

Kristina Van Loben Sels
Arbor Crest Winery

Executive Director


Rachel HouglumRachel Houglum

Rachel joined Women Helping Women Fund as the Executive Director in January 2016. An alumnus of Gonzaga University, Rachel has a passion for service and community enrichment. She spent time in Uganda, Africa teaching math to secondary school students and has served with nonprofit organizations in Spokane while working in the business sector. Prior to joining Women Helping Women Fund, Rachel was traveling in Nepal evaluating grants that had been given in response to the major earthquakes of 2015. With a background in analytics, leadership and project management, Rachel is interested in asking critical questions and making strategic decisions to ensure funding is deeply impacting our community.


Photo by Diane Maehl Photography