Group of Women sitting together

The Domestic Violence Endowment & Support Fund (DoVES)

When her husband passed away fifteen years ago, Jeanne Lawler was faced with a decision regarding which organizations to support from her family’s charitable foundation. She decided that in order to make a big impact, she was going to need to recruit others to join her.

When her husband passed away fifteen years ago, Jeanne Lawler was faced with a decision regarding which organizations to support from her family’s charitable foundation. She researched the area’s biggest needs, and one really resonated with her – domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is one of the central social issues of our time,” said Jeanne. “It is a scourge that attacks the family, the basic unit of our society. Without strong, stable families as the bedrock of society, it would seem that civilization as we know it will struggle to endure. For me, this was absolutely an essential issue.”

Jeanne decided that if there was something she could do to help, she was going to do it.  She also decided that in order to make a big impact, she was going to need to recruit others to join her.

“I started asking friends if they would be interested in joining a committee to support the issue of domestic violence in our community,” said Jeanne. “I asked everyone I knew, from meet-ups at social events to those I saw in the produce section at Wegmans.”

Jeanne’s efforts were successful. Soon those initial recruits were asking their friends to join and the group quickly grew.  It soon began hosting an Annual Tea, where members could see each other socially and hear from past grant recipients while making their annual contributions.

A few years ago, the committee established the Domestic Violence Endowment & Support (DoVES) Fund to help fortify the group’s community impact through a permanent charitable endowment. Each year at the DoVES’ gathering, our staff presents research to the committee members about the current needs of local domestic violence organizations. Members vote on which local programs to support each year. Jeanne says the DoVES Fund benefits from the community knowledge of our staff, the consistency of the returns in its large pool of invested assets, and its administrative support.

The DoVES Fund has now expanded to nearly 100 members and hopes to grow even further in the years to come. The group’s collective giving supports current grants, but also builds an endowment fund to ensure that local domestic violence programs are supported in perpetuity. Jeanne says members are motivated to be a part of the DoVES giving circle because they understand the seriousness of this issue and the tremendous effect their giving can have on a family.

“People go through these terrible experiences and become so horribly scarred that it can affect them for the rest of their lives,” she said. “This is something that is so important that we really have got to look at it in the eye, and try to do whatever we can to help in our small way.”

Related Stories

Pamela Monaco sitting with her dog
Stories November 21, 2022

Giving With Energy & Heart: Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco

It was an “a-ha” moment for Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco when she read another woman’s ...

Peter A. Dunn
Publications November 21, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Point of View

Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons standing outside
Publications November 21, 2022

Forging Pathways for the Future: Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Donor Story

Group of teens sitting at a table
Publications November 21, 2022

Adding New Flavor to Grantmaking with Participatory Budgeting

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Granting Matters

Blogs October 29, 2022

Reflections: Creating a Legacy of Equity

Jan Lane, senior philanthropic advisor, explains the ways that leaving a legacy can help you ...

new hires CNYCF
News Releases October 27, 2022

Community Foundation Announces New Hires

Over the past several months, the Community Foundation has added three new members to its ...

Stories October 11, 2022

Women’s Fund Founders Built Legacy for Community’s Daughters and Granddaughters

The Women’s Fund now has more than $1.2 million in total assets and has awarded ...

Pamela Monaco sitting with her dog
Stories November 21, 2022

Giving With Energy & Heart: Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco

It was an “a-ha” moment for Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco when she read another woman’s ...

Peter A. Dunn
Publications November 21, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Point of View

Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons standing outside
Publications November 21, 2022

Forging Pathways for the Future: Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Donor Story

Group of teens sitting at a table
Publications November 21, 2022

Adding New Flavor to Grantmaking with Participatory Budgeting

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Granting Matters

Blogs October 29, 2022

Reflections: Creating a Legacy of Equity

Jan Lane, senior philanthropic advisor, explains the ways that leaving a legacy can help you ...

new hires CNYCF
News Releases October 27, 2022

Community Foundation Announces New Hires

Over the past several months, the Community Foundation has added three new members to its ...

Stories October 11, 2022

Women’s Fund Founders Built Legacy for Community’s Daughters and Granddaughters

The Women’s Fund now has more than $1.2 million in total assets and has awarded ...

View More