Page 1


We promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life .

March 8, 2013 Ms. Janet Ferraiolo Grants Manager May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust 2320 Marinship Way, Suite 150 Sausalito, CA 94965 Dear Ms. Ferraiolo: San Diego County has the second highest domestic violence rate in California, and for the women who have taken the courageous first step to flee their abusers, many will require a network of support on their difficult path to independence. Domestic violence victims often are financially dependent on their partners, and studies show that women who report abuse tend to have lower personal incomes, are significantly more likely to receive public assistance, and are more likely to experience unemployment. Dress for Success San Diego breaks the cycle of poverty and dependence by providing a lifeline of services at a critical juncture to vulnerable women on their quest for economic and social self-sufficiency. We respectfully request that the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust consider a grant of $35,000 to hire a full-time program manager to oversee and expand programs and direct client services. Since 1999, Dress for Success San Diego has provided nearly 10,000 economically disadvantaged women with professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to thrive in work and in life. Working in partnership with domestic violence and job readiness agencies in San Diego County is key to our success in ensuring our clients have a network of support. Dress for Success San Diego strives to maximize community resources by providing non-duplicating delivery of services designed to elevate the lives of low-income women and their families. Our clients are referred via partnerships with over 60 health and human service agencies and job readiness programs across San Diego County. In fact, our office is located in the San Diego Family Justice Center, a comprehensive collaboration of 25 agencies providing consolidated and coordinated legal, social and health services for victims of family violence. Disadvantaged women face a difficult dilemma when trying to enter the workforce: when they finally get a job interview many realize that they do not have interview appropriate attire, which is just one more discouraging reminder of their difficult situation. Dress for Success San Diego addresses this problem by providing each client with a free interview appropriate suit and accessories, personally selected for her in our warmly decorated boutique in consultation with a highly-trained volunteer personal shopper. We see the transformation as they look at themselves in the mirror wearing their new business suit: their confidence is immediately boosted and they begin to believe that they deserve the job. Every woman who comes to Dress for Success San Diego is treated with dignity and respect and can walk through our doors feeling confident and 1122 Broadway, Suite 200 | San Diego, CA 92101 | Phone: 619.533.6014 | FAX: 619.533.6007 Email: | | Tax ID#: 33-0818343


Janet Ferraiolo May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust March 8, 2013

Page 2

welcome. We focus on helping each woman prepare for the journey ahead of her; our concern is where our clients are going, not where they have been. Once a client successfully gains employment, she may return to select a week’s worth of attire to ease her transition back into the workforce. However, finding work is only one step in her journey toward economic independence; remaining employed, building a rewarding career, and having access to a supportive network are also essential to leading a self-sufficient life. Striving to make a long-term, sustainable difference in the lives of the women we serve, Dress for Success San Diego also provides the following programs: 

Professional Women's Group (PWG) Employed clients are invited to join the PWG, a monthly forum for networking, sharing of new experiences and challenges, and education. Guest speakers address subjects such as financial literacy, stress management, workplace etiquette, debt counseling, childcare and affordable housing.

Career Center The Career Center promotes confidence and professionalism by providing Dress for Success clients with career guidance, technology skills and support in their job searches, including: an Internet-accessible computer lab with cutting-edge job placement software; job search assistance; resume and cover-letter-writing lessons; interview preparation; and mock interviews.

Going Places Network by Walmart (GPN) GPN helps unemployed and under-employed Dress for Success San Diego clients gain professional skills, accelerate their job search and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one coaching and networking in a supportive environment.

One-on-One Mentoring Clients are teamed with successful businesswomen in the community for guidance, support and personal consultation on employment-related issues and career building.

Dress for Success San Diego’s portfolio of programs ensures that disadvantaged women have access to support and services for every phase of their professional lives, from the job search to sustained employment and self-sufficiency. Last year, Dress for Success San Diego received over 560 client referrals from workforce development and domestic violence agency partners in San Diego County, and assisted over 700 economically disadvantaged women through all of its programs. Nearly 480 women received professional business attire and consultation, building confidence and self-esteem as they return to the workforce. Gaining employment in this volatile job market can be challenging for even the most seasoned professional, however Dress for Success San Diego’s model of providing a network of support, professional attire, and career development tools is beating the odds for disadvantaged women: 40% of GPN graduates and 20% of regular clients have gained employment, and 15% have returned to school to increase their marketable skills.


Janet Ferraiolo May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust March 8, 2013

Page 3

While these statistics are promising, Dress for Success San Diego could be doing much more. The San Diego Family Justice Center, which provides 25% of our client referrals, has an average of 1,200 women per month seeking assistance. The CalWORKs program in San Diego County, designed to transition people from welfare to work, currently has over 76,000 recipients. The economic downturn, slow recovery and lingering high unemployment rates make the need for Dress for Success San Diego’s programs even more important. The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust’s investment of $35,000 would allow us to hire a full-time program manager to oversee and expand current programs and direct services to disadvantaged women on their path to economic independence. Specifically, the expected outcomes at the end of the funding period would be to:     

Increase the number of clients served and engaged in PWG, GPN, and Career Center programs by 25% Increase number of clients receiving business attire to 700 Strengthen relations with referring agencies, which not only increases number of clients served but also results in increased earned income for our organization Conduct case management of clients’ external needs, providing connections to resources such as housing, childcare, etc. Provide much-needed support to our Executive Director, enabling her to delegate some of the day-to-day operational needs and instead focus on resource development and development of strategic alliances that would enable us to serve more women

We admire the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust’s funding efforts to permanently break the cycle of poverty among economically disadvantaged adults and families. We are submitting this Letter of Inquiry to request an invitation to submit a full grant proposal to expand our capacity to provide these critical career and life skills programs. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions on this proposal or our agency’s important work to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women in San Diego County. I can be reached at (619) 533-6014, or email at We appreciate your consideration of this proposal and hope you will join us in transforming the lives of disadvantaged women seeking economic self-sufficiency in San Diego County. Sincerely,

Lisa Schalon President, Board of Directors Dress for Success San Diego Enclosed:

IRS 501(c)3 Letter

Sample Grant LOI (Letter of Intent)  

Sample grant LOI to the Smith Charitable Trust developed for Dress for Success San Diego.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you