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LSS Steps 2 Success awarded funding from Women's Giving Alliance to assist women in career development

Updated: May 30

The Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA), an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, announced $750,000 in grants to 18 Northeast Florida nonprofit organizations – the largest grant pool in the alliance’s 23-year history – and a new grantmaking focus at its annual Member Forum.

Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) received funding from the Women's Giving Alliance (WGA) on Thursday, May 23rd, during its Member Forum. LSS is one of 18 Northeast Florida nonprofits to receive a one-year grant as part of WGA's historic $750,000 grant pool, the largest in the alliance's 23-year history.

With this funding, LSS will be able to help 60 women with career coaching and also provide financial aid for those who want to earn certificates in vocational programs through the agency's Steps 2 Success program.

"We are very thankful to the Women's Giving Alliance for their support," said Bill Brim, the president & CEO of LSS. "This funding will help many women gain the skills and support they need for better careers and financial stability."

During the forum, WGA announced their focus on addressing violence against women and girls for the 2025-2026 grant year and beyond. This focus, selected after thorough research, includes various forms of violence. You can read the report [here].

How Steps 2 Success Makes An Impact

Since 2017, the Steps 2 Success program at LSS, Jacksonville's first financial opportunity center, provides career coaching and financial help to anyone wanting to advance their skills.

Marion Phillips

Last year, the Steps 2 Success program made a significant impact, raising its clients' average credit score by 75 points and increasing their average monthly net income by $1,200. The program is already making a difference, supporting and empowering women to achieve self-sufficiency. One inspiring example is Marion Philips, who started the program in June 2021 while in debt. She is now out of debt, employed full-time, and a homeowner.

"Gratitude is the art of recognizing the thoughtfulness of others," Steps 2 Success Director, Michelle Hughes, said. "We would like to thank the Women’s Giving Alliances for their generous contribution toward enhancing the lives of women. Their contribution and belief in our mission will have a significant impact and make a difference on the lives of the women we will serve."

For more details on the Women's Giving Alliance and their mission, please visit

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