AQUA FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN

Rating: 4.62 stars   13 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, LGBTQ

Location: 4500 Biscayne Blvd Suite 340 Miami FL 33137 USA

Mission: To serve as the funding catalyst for the wellness and equality of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in South Florida, through scholarships, grants and initiatives.
Geographic areas served: South Florida

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

Reviewing the publicly available financials for Aqua shows that only 1/3 of money raised goes to grants and scholarships! The executive director takes home 20 cents on every dollar this foundation gets as her salary!! Another 40% goes back into the events themselves. The tax forms are readily available. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/200/200873622/200873622_201212_990.pdf

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

The Aqua Foundation for Women has been a beacon for promoting, serving, and assisting the growth of South Florida's LBT community. It's dedicated staff and board are composed of passionate individuals who are constantly looking for new ways to grow the organization. Through its grants program, a variety of service organizations have been able to establish, sustain, or grow their programming for the LBT Community and further enrich the quality of life of women in South Florida.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their support of LBT cinema. The Aqua Foundation recognizes the importance and value of fair representation of LBT women in the cinematic arts. Through their fiscal support of the Aqua She Screening Series, O Cinema is able to bring together a diverse group of women to be entertained and empowered through quality works of film and through the social components of coming together as a community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Let's help Aqua grow to new heights!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Aqua Foundation is an incredibly dynamic organization who has funded meaningful programming for the LBT community in south Florida. Each year, AFW gives out grants and scholarhsips, in addiiton to it successful mentoring program. The organization is a strong, much needed presence and is widely looked to as a main address for LBT support, funding, and programing!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been a mentor for over 4 years and have perosnal witnessed how beneficial this program is for women prusuing their education. As the board chair, I have seen the organization grow and flourish through the cultivation of new members, increased level of volunterism, increased grants/scholarships, etc.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage more people to dunate so that they could give larger grants and scholarships! Also, get more people invlolved!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The positive impact of the Aqua Foundation for Women is felt throughout South Florida. AFW has awarded $369,000 in grants and scholarships since 2004 to local non-profits working for LGBTQ equality like Safe Schools South Florida, YES Institute, and Pridelines Youth. The Aqua Foundation For Women is a catalyst for developing leaders in the LBTQ community awarding scholarships and partnering students with mentors. I know the combined scholarships and mentoring are helping to prepare young women for leadership positions in the community while creating an awareness of giving back.

AFW has funded the OUTlet Young Women's Conference which allows young LBTQ women in South Florida to experience a day of arts, music, performances, and workshops. The event is one of the largest conferences for young LBTQ women in South Florida and allows youth leadership from various GSAs to network and collaborate.

I support the mission of The Aqua Foundation For Women and see its positive impact throughout our community in the creation of leadership development in our youth, health initiatives, and community engagement.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was a participant for the 2010 OUTlet Young Women's Conference and I've attended various events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Work to expand membership and community engagement in Broward County.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned of the Aqua Foundation for Women through my participation at Aqua Girl 5 years ago. I started as a volunteer and was so impressed with the feeling of community and the rewards of giving back I offered to become more involved. I then became an Aqua Girl Steering Committee Member and worked with the team to plan, organize, and deliver Aqua Girl. Later I became a Board Member of the Foundation and today take pride in sharing the news of our accomplishments, including but not limited to our Scholarship and Mentor program.

If you live in South Florida and are a member of the LBT community, you can increase your positive impact but joining us. (Become a member, volunteer, or guest at our events) For more information visit aquafoundation.org today!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a Mentor, I have been able to directly monitor the donations of our members/sponsors to ensure a positive product back to our community. Above all, the AFW promotes community, family, and the mentality of giving back.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Our goal is to increase our membership base and continue to grow our impact on the community by granting more scholarships and Grants than the year(s) before.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am truly grateful for the Aqua Foundation and for what this organization represents. As a transgender woman, I was accepted with open arms as a member of the Board. And since my involvement, I have come to experience firsthand the impact that the Foundation has had in our local Community.

I have especially been proud of the very important work we are doing in supporting the Transgender population. In 2010, the Aqua Foundation took a very important step in creating awareness of this topic with the “TransCon”, and I am very excited to take part in this year's event also! I have also met several scholarship recipients and have been touched by their very compelling stories; additionally, I have also had the opportunity to witness and take part in many of the wonderful programs, made possible by the Foundation, to our many Grant recipients such as the Yes! Institute, Safe Schools S. FL and Pridelines, among others. Their work also reflects brightly the mission of the Aqua Foundation by providing great support to our LBT Women in South Florida!

I would wholeheartedly endorse and encourage all to contribute and support this Organization, so that the Foundation can continue to be a catalyst in serving the LBT Community!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the various Committees I have particpated in. And by partaking in our many events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help expand this Organization beyond South Florida, and give more focus on LBT families.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have grown substantially with Aqua Foundation for Women. I was a volunteer for years and then recently joined the Board. The women in this organization are dedicated, hard-working, and brilliant. In being involved, I have gained skills in event planning, web design, and fundraising that I would not have otherwise gained. But none of this compares with the gratification of the work we are doing. We are changing lives with our grants and scholarships. I am privileged to be a part of Aqua Foundation for Women.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced the results of this organization by attending events put on by Aqua Foundation or put on by other organizations that have been directly granted by Aqua that have enriched the community and provided positive experiences. Further, I have met several scholarship recipients and had the pleasure of seeing them grow as they are fulfill their education thanks to Aqua Foundation's funding.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to Aqua Foundation, I would forge better name branding so everyone in the LBT community in South Florida would know what Aqua is and want to be a part of it. We need to do more to get the word out!

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is an excellent organization that provides much needed support to the LBT community through scholarships, grants and education, to name a few.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through mentorship.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand marketing.

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Rating: 5 stars  

It’s been about five years since I accidentally stumbled upon the Aqua Foundation’s scholarship ad. I remember casually flipping the pages and suddenly stopping myself to read about the scholarship for LBT women and girls going to college from the South Florida area. I looked at the application due date; it had passed. Yet, I felt inclined to call the office the following day and ask if there was anyway I could still apply, considering I was a lesbian-identified senior in high school, looking for any money I could add to my ever-too-small college fund. Needless to say, I applied to the scholarship, and three years later, the Aqua Foundation has funded nearly $16,000 of my college education at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Although the money has definitely been an incredible gift these past three years, the Aqua Foundation has given me much more than any check ever could: an outlet to find myself within the lesbian community, and a place to feel open and honest about who I am as a woman. I was 18 when I first applied, and now that I am 22, I can tell that my experiences growing up with the support of the Aqua Foundation have undeniably shaped who I am. I have become more confident and aware of myself as an LBT woman, and through the countless conversations, interactions, and experiences among the women of the foundation, I have really gained a sense of belonging in the South Florida lesbian community.

Quite frankly, the scholarship granted me the opportunity to meet and learn from the most incredible group of women and mentors in the LBT community, which has been an invaluable experience. And even though I spend much of my year in Chicago at school, I feel the most at home when I am in South Florida, and do everything I can to be a part of our community again; I spent two summers interning at the Aqua Foundation office, I attend events and parties, and t maintain the friendships I have made with women in the foundation. Without a doubt, I love the feeling of being around the thriving and supportive Aqua Foundation community in South Florida.

Five years after first applying for the Aqua Foundation Scholarship, I truly understand the importance of having a program where LBT women reach out to LBT youth. Not only have I benefitted from the program’s monetary support, but I have also gained an invaluable network of women mentors and friends. I know that I am lucky to have the Aqua Foundation to support me, and (as is already happening) I intend to share my own experiences with younger LBT youth, as they come to me looking for somebody to talk to about feeling comfortable with their own sexuality, support, and place within the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Aqua Foundation granted me over $16,000 in scholarship money, allowing me to attend college out-of-state. Also, their mentorship program has connected me with supportive and caring mentors who follow my growth in school, and ensure that I have a network of people available to me when I need advice or support.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Create event more outlets and support programs for LBT youth in the Miami community.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Through an ad in a local lesbian publication.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Aqua Foundation has helped me accept my sexuality, and encouraged me to be a leader within the LBT community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aqua Foundation for Women is an amazing organization for Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women in South Florida. They raise money for LBT women's health, wellness, education and scholarships. They have given back to the community almost $340,000.

As a recipient of several grants from Aqua, I am sincerely grateful for their efforts. With the grant money that was awarded to us we have been able to reach out to the LBT women's community and provide them with important health and education initiatives that have touched many lives within our community.

Aqua is a one-of-a-kind community funder in South Florida and we benefit every day through their efforts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the day-to-day assistance that I have been able to offer to LBT women at our center.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing. It works so perfectly now.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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