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
Review from Guidestar
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.
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!
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 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 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 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.
This is an excellent organization that provides much needed support to the LBT community through scholarships, grants and education, to name a few.
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.
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.
This organization provides me with a scholarship and a mentor in the field I hope to enter--they didn't just give me a scholarship check and said "here is your money and let's take a picture for our press release". The Aqua Foundation has served as a family to me and has allowed me to spend more time focusing on my studies and a little less time working at my 40+ hour week job and for that, I am forever grateful!
The Aqua Foundation for Women is true to their message of empowering, educating and fostering South Florida's lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women communities. With their support my organization, The Women's Theatre Project, has developed a strategic alliance with The Pride Center at Equality Park. Together, we are bringing a nationally recognized anti-bullying campaign to South Florida. The Women's Theatre Project is grateful to the Foundation and their donors for allowing us to leverage our relationships and funding to support this much-needed and unique programming.
I support this organization because I know 100% of the proceeds go back into the community. The Scholarship and mentoring program is well thought out. With each scholarship recipient getting a mentor from the community it gives them a much higher chance for success in their chosen field. It also promotes community awareness and activism for future generations. We all learn from life experience. Hopefully the scholarship recipients will turn around and become mentors in the future. We can promote awareness and education by setting a positive example. This Organization has everything accounted for. If you have a question the staff always makes the time to answer it. I have been in the office doing administrative work. While in the office I have met a few of the recipients. It is wonderful to know they are not just left on their own with the scholarship money. I have see class schedules and I know that success is really being encouraged. I personally know women that mentor and they really do take to time to check in with their mentee. Whether it be squeezing in a lunch or calling in the morning to check in. I remember Aqua Girl flying in film makers for the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I remember being in the audience for Q & A sessions. Many of these films were extremely educational and eye opening. Some films being about homeless gay youth in NY. These films raised awareness and definitely made me open my eyes. Speaking with the film makers educated me further. Overall, The Aqua Foundation for Women encourages awareness and community activism. It gives me a place where I can volunteer. A place where I know the services are going to the right place.