A message from the ACLU of North Carolina. Rather than cleanly repeal House Bill 2 March 30th, the North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Roy Cooper signed a new law — HB 142 — that keeps in place many of the most harmful parts of HB 2. It is not a real repeal, and it doesn’t leave North Carolina the way it was before HB 2 was rushed into law last year.
Supporting rural Southern women as human rights leaders to end poverty
Women uniting for change ~ Women combating sexism, racism, classism ~ Women tackling inequality
The work is guided by the belief that to truly empower women and end poverty we must build a political culture in the U.S. that promotes and protects human rights. Visit Turn South: Southern Women for Change
Written by Jane Edwards
Yes, here’s the thing, the BIG THING. House Bill 2, called “the bathroom bill” deals with quite a few things that are utterly unrelated to bathroom privileges and which negatively impact citizens in our state more than public bathroom privileges.
Securing Your Legacy: Mind, Body – From Starks Financial – a series to promote financial literacy for women
Securing Your Legacy: Mind, Body and Self
January 17th, 2017:
MIND: This three part series will kick off with college planning. Laura Misner of the College Foundation of North Carolina will show you how to survive paying for your own, your children or your grandchildren’s college tuition and not go broke.
March 21st, 2017:
BODY: Come learn how to protect yourself and your finances at the March event. We believe in a holistic approach not only to financial planning, but life in general. That is why we have invited local experts to come teach self-defense techniques and we’ll end with tips on defending your finances.
September 26th, 2017:
SELF: In September, come learn the ins and outs of investing and feel confident in your ability to navigate this ever-changing financial landscape! Women now make up almost half of the entire U.S. workforce, and 40% of women are their family’s primary breadwinner. This is important because women are becoming and will continue to become more prevalent in the investment planning process given their position in the world today.
Why are we doing this? Well, as a firm that is predominately made up of women, we have a long track record of promoting financial literacy among women. We know how hard you work every day and now it’s our turn to give back!
To join Savvy Women, check us out at www.starksfinancial.com or call for more information: 828/285-8777. Or visit us at 440 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Laura Misner or the College Foundation of North Carolina.
Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC
During my time as a Financial Counselor at Ontrack Financial Education and Counseling, I worked with a very kind and intelligent older woman. I still think of her often. She was distraught and trying to piece her life back together when she came to see me. Several months before she had unwittingly fallen victim to a “Sweetheart Scam” and realized a little too late what had happened.
The mission of the WWBC is to provide capital, high quality technical assistance, and programs that reduce barriers and serve as a catalyst to the success of women entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina.
Mission: The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.
Vision: The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s vision is a vibrant 18-county region where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region’s many resources.
The Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1978 to build a permanent pool of charitable capital for the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. We work with individuals, families and corporations to create and manage charitable funds and make grants to nonprofits or public agencies in our region.
We manage $247 million (March 2016) in assets with a long-term investment strategythat permanently protects and grows these funds. In partnership with fundholders, the Foundation has awarded more than $180 million in scholarships to students and grants to nonprofit organizations and public institutions across our 18-county region and beyond.
What We Do
- Work with donors to create charitable funds according to their specific interests and needs
- Inform donors about critical issues and match them with giving opportunities
- Responsibly manage the charitable assets in our care
- Make grants and provide support to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and public agencies for improving communities in our region
- Encourage and participate in community initiatives and partnerships
- Build awareness of the importance of philanthropy
An Old Evil is Trying to Rear its Ugly Head in North Carolina Again! Payday loans, small loans marketed as a quick, easy way to tide borrowers over until the next payday, come with a very high cost: an annual percentage rate of over 400%.
– Women make over 85 percent of the consumer purchase decisions and influence over 95 percent of total goods and services purchased. Women’s consumer and business spending is fast approaching $8 trillion.
American Business Women’s Association
To bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership; education, networking support and national recognition. One of the biggest and best benefits of membership is getting together with friends at “regional” conferences where the atmosphere is more intimate and the schedule allows for a full day of ABWA Leadership Training along with professional development and networking opportunities. That won’t change. You’ll still be able to take advantage of all that and more. Website
Office of Women’s Business Ownership – SBA U.S. Small Business Administration
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to establish and oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) throughout the United States and its territories. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses. Website
The Asheville Branch of the American Association of University Women
The Asheville Branch of the AAUW traces its history from 1915 when sixteen local women college graduates organized what would locally become AAUW Asheville. Its work in Asheville has been ongoing and influential in the community, nation, and world, assisting women through such related projects as refugee relief and improvement of public schools. Its history is replete with names of local women who made significant inroads for women and girls. Website
WomanOwned.com – Business Networks for Women
WomanOwned was formed in 1998, and since then we have provided the information, tools, networking opportunities and advice that have helped hundreds of thousands of women. Women just like you – starting or growing their business. Website
Womencorp is an international company that provides high quality experiential learning programs and leadership development for women in business. We are made up of a team of corporate business leaders and entreprenenurs who have achieved success in the business world. We joined forces for the purpose of helping women in business succeed.Our mission is to help women executives and women business owners to successfully lead profitable businesses that offer valuable products and services that employ more people, positively impact communities and change the world for the better.
The “experiential training” for women managers is done through teleseminars, learning workshops, mentoring and coaching. We also offer CDs, books and DVDs as an additional resource. Website
Businesses and economies eager for growth may be overlooking the potential of women seeking an equal financial footing with men.
Sociologists and economists have long pondered ways to close the gender gap—the unequal representation of women in everything from financial markets to salaries to corporate leadership.
The #GrabYourWallet boycott on Twitter is one example of an anti-Trump protest that appears to have had significant results. Founded last fall by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio, Grab Your Wallet seeks to convince companies to stop selling Trump-branded products through organized boycotts.
IWPR’s new The Status of Women in the South is the first report to provide a comprehensive portrait of the status of women, particularly the status of women of color, in the southern states, grading each state on six different topic areas related to women’s economic, political, health, and social status.
WASHINGTON, DC – Jonathan Gold, Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the following statement on 2017 North Carolina health insurance rate changes.
“Consumers in North Carolina will continue to have affordable Marketplace options next year. Among Marketplace consumers, most will be able to select a plan for less than $75 per month. Headline rate changes do not reflect what these consumers actually pay because tax credits reduce the cost of coverage below the sticker price and shopping helps consumers find the best deal. Meanwhile, for people in North Carolina with employer coverage, premiums have grown at some of the slowest rates on record since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. All North Carolina consumers, no matter where they get their coverage, are benefiting from ACA protections like no more exclusions for preexisting conditions, no annual limits on coverage, and no cost sharing for preventive services.”
Since the Affordable Care Act became law, health care prices have risen at the lowest rate in 50 years. Premiums for the 150 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance have grown at some of theslowest rates on record. And, a recent analysis finds that 82% of Marketplace consumers in North Carolina would be able to purchase coverage for less than $75 per month, even if all rates went up double digits.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed for affordability. Two important features of the Marketplace protect North Carolina consumers from the impact of rate increases.
Tax credits go up along with premiums. Tax credits are designed to protect consumers from rate increases and keep coverage affordable, increasing by whatever amount the cost of the second-lowest-cost silver, or benchmark plan increases. So if all premiums in North Carolina go up by similar amounts, 91 percent of consumers will not necessarily have to pay more, since tax credits will increase in parallel. Last year, despite headlines projecting double-digit rate increases, the average premium increased just $4 per month for HealthCare.gov consumers with tax credits, and 7 out of 10 Marketplace consumers could purchase 2016 coverage for less than $75 per month. Even if premiums and tax credits rise, the overall cost of the ACA is still below CBO’s original projections. CBO’s recent projections estimate that for 2019 coverage, ACA coverage will cost $49 billion less than originally predicted.
Consumers can shop around to find the best plan. In 2016, consumers could choose among an average of 10 plans per issuer. Variations in provider network and drug formulary makeup from plan to plan can offer consumers meaningful choice. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, it was almost impossible to shop around for health insurance. Not only were many Americans barred from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, but those who did have insurance through the individual market were often trapped in a plan, since people with even small health problems could be denied coverage or charged an exorbitant price if they tried to switch plans. Today, any Marketplace consumer can purchase any plan during open enrollment, and Marketplaces let consumers compare prices, plan designs, and networks to find the best choice for them. Last year, 43 percent of returning North Carolina HealthCare.gov consumers switched plans. They saved an average of $48 per month.Current Marketplace rates are well below initial Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections.
- Independent researchers recently calculated that 2016 Marketplace rates are anywhere between12 percent and 20 percent below what CBO initially predicted.
- 2017 Marketplace rate increases are subject to a number of predictable upward pressures that will dissipate next year.
- The end of the ACA’s temporary reinsurance program in 2016 puts upward pressure on 2017 rate increases that won’t exist for 2018 and beyond.
- Evidence suggests that some issuers priced below cost for 2014, reflecting the uncertainties of a new market and a desire to offer strongly competitive initial rates. With two full years of experience, many issuers are making one-time adjustments this year to bring premiums in line with observed costs.
- CBO’s projections show that the law is working to cover the uninsured, while costing less than expected. Recent estimates find that the law’s coverage provisions will cost 28 percent less in 2019 than in CBO’s original projections.
Medicaid expansion lowers Marketplace premiums by 7 percent.
- In addition to limiting access to coverage for millions of Americans, the decision not to expand Medicaid also has costs for Marketplace consumers, who pay significantly higher premiums than they would if the coverage provisions of the ACA were working together in their state as intended.
- Economic analysis finds that Medicaid expansion brings down Marketplace rates by 7 percent, even after controlling for differences across states in demographic characteristics, pre-ACA uninsured rates, health care costs, and state policy decisions.
Marketplace and non-Marketplace consumers are benefiting from slow health care cost growth since the enactment of the ACA.
- Since 2010, per-enrollee costs in both public and private health insurance have grown moreslowly than in previous decades – contributing to lower-than-expected costs in the Marketplace.
- Ten times as many people are covered by employers as purchase insurance in the Marketplace and the average premium for families with employer-sponsored health plans grew just 3.4 percent in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust survey, extending a period of unusually slow growth since 2010.
- The White House Council of Economic Advisers calculates that the average family premium in North Carolina was $2,400 lower in 2015 than if premiums had grown at the same rate as the pre-ACA decade.
- Part of the progress in slowing cost growth is the Administration’s work to develop new,innovative ways of paying for care that align payment with improved outcomes which can help sustain and build on the slowdown in health care costs
- This benefits Marketplace consumers as well. CBO has consistently predicted that Marketplace rates would grow faster than employer premiums for the first few years, but then grow at the same pace as employer coverage.
- That means Marketplace consumers will also benefit if slow health care cost growth can be sustained and the Marketplace advances in its stability and reaches a steady state.
The Marketplace is providing 545,354 North Carolina consumers with coverage they value, because it improves their access to care and financial security.
- Nearly 4 out of 5 Marketplace consumers are very or somewhat satisfied with their health insurance. Importantly, they are just as satisfied with their coverage as people with employer plans.
- Marketplace consumers are accessing primary, specialist, and other care they need at rates similar to people with employer coverage and far higher than the uninsured, thanks in part tomoderate cost sharing.
- The share of families struggling to pay medical bills fell for all income groups between 2013 and 2015, and fell the most for the moderate-income families most likely to have gained coverage through the Marketplace.
- ·Only 11.2 percent of people in North Carolina went uninsured in 2015, new Census data show, down from 16.8 percent in 2010. That dramatic drop means 552,000 more North Carolinians had coverage in 2015.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited final rule on raising the salary threshold under which working people can earn overtime pay. The final rule will double the current salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, directly benefiting 12.5 million workers, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. The rule is undoubtedly major progress for workers struggling to support their families at a decent standard of living, and especially for working women in the United States. Continue reading
If you’ve been paying attention to the political news in the past couple of years, you know that the U.S. stands virtually alone in not mandating paid leave of any type for its workers.
It’s hard to miss; the topic has become a top talking point for Democratic politicians. Hillary Clinton is advocating for stronger paid-leave policies on the campaign trail. In her Monday economic address, Clinton called for paid family leave as a way of helping women stay in the workforce. Sen. Bernie Sanders, her closest rival for the Democratic nomination, has advocated both paid vacation and paid maternity leave on the campaign trail. In addition, some cities and states have started instituting their own sick leave policies. Continue reading
I never thought of myself as a donor or a “woman in philanthropy,” as I gifted money to various nonprofits whose mission and values matched my own. My donations seemed small compared to those of donors that I read about in the news who were giving away thousands or millions of dollars to high-profile charity work. It turns out, however, that small donationscanadd up to make a big impact when enough people participate. I was surprised when a house party I hosted in rural Georgia raised $750 from small donations for a statewide equality organization. And more recently, I have seen organizations harness the power of working together to raise awareness and money on issues of affordable housing and homelessness. In October, a large crowd turned out to hear Womansong of Asheville sing a benefit concert for Homeward Bound. Half of ticket revenues went to helping women transition from homelessness to permanent housing. This is philanthropy in action—making change person by person, in small amounts that make a big difference.
Few realize that women give more money to charity than men, proportionate to income. There are still a lot of myths about women donors. Cultural stereotypes suggest that women do not understand or control money or do not want to discuss it. Myths that women will give only from their disposable income, and that women volunteer their time but not their money can deter women from philanthropy. In reality, many women take philanthropy seriously and personally. (Reinventing Fundraising, Shaw-Hardy and Taylor).
Despite stereotypes and myths, women are critical to philanthropy in the U.S.
Did you know that women:
Contribute to twice as many organizations as men do, but make smaller donations to each;
Tend not to base philanthropy on business connections or a desire for public recognition but a desire to make a difference;
Are more likely to be involved with organizations to which they contribute money, while men cherish recognition and status; and
Ask more questions than male donors.
(Reinventing Fundraising, Shaw-Hardy and Taylor).
Women’s approach to giving creates great philanthropic potential and promises a new, emerging donor landscape. If more women give to causes that reflect their beliefs and values, we will transform charitable giving. And if more women give to organizations benefiting women, some basic gender inequities can be addressed (The Giving Forum: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. http://www.givingforum.org/ ).
So how can women donors transform philanthropy? Women can contribute to political organizations that influence policy and politics and we can contribute to nonprofit organizations with monthly or annual donations.
One way to make philanthropic giving more personal and to feel the collective impact of smaller donations is through a Giving Circle. “A giving circle is a group of individuals each or whom contributes to a pooled fund. Members decide together how to distribute these funds to nonprofit and charitable organizations. Giving circles increase impact and allow members to learn about philanthropy and causes in a collaborative and non-threatening way. Members often commit to participate for a specific timeframe at an established dollar level. The pooled funds may be held at a public foundation in the form of a donor-advised fund, at a local bank, or by some other nonprofit or commercial entity.” Or a giving circle can be more informal, with members gathering around a potluck dinner each month to discuss how they will make donations as a group for the year (The Giving Forum: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. http://www.givingforum.org/).
Once you have raised funds, there are numerous organizations that can use them to improve the lives of women and girls in our community, nationally, and around the world. Below are just a few examples of political and nonprofit organizations that focus on women’s issues:
Giving Locally in North Carolina
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina: http://www.cfwnc.org/
A charitable gift of any amount to the Women’s Fund helps meet the unmet needs of women and girls of the region. In addition, The Community Foundation’s Women for Women Giving Circle allows donors to commit $1,100 per year for three years with all proceeds going to improve the lives of women and girls in the region. Collectively this fund has distributed more than 2 million dollars to regional programs helping women and girls.
Hispanics in Philanthropy: www.hiponline.org
Working transnationally since 1983, HIP has a strong presence in North Carolina with a regional office based in Asheville. Program manager, Althea Gonzalez, focuses on increasing the capacity of Latina/o led nonprofits and strengthening the Latina/o leadership pipeline in the state.
Giving at the National and International Level
L-PAC is the lesbian political action committee, formed in 2012, and seeks “to positively influence the current political and social landscape” by improving policies that affect women.
Emily’s List:http://emilyslist.org/ Emily’s List helps to elect progressive female candidates to political office and is focused on building the female political leadership pipeline in the U.S.
Global Fund for Women: http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/
Women for Women International: http://www.womenforwomen.org/
Women’s Funding Network: http://womensfundingnetwork.org/about/partners
Sondra C. Shaw-Hardy and Martha A. Taylor, Reinventing Fundraising– Realizing the Potential of Women’s Philanthropy, 1995(Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995).
The Giving Forum: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. http://www.givingforum.org/
Taking Wall Street banks to trial is necessary for real accountability. As Elizabeth Warren says, trials allow the public to learn the truth and allow regulators to better do their job of protecting the public. We call on you to end your practice of ‘too big for trial.’ Click here for the video
What are keywords, and why do you need to bother?
Keywords can be practically any word that you put up on your website except the grammatical articles and other connector words. The reason that you care is that keywords determine how people can find things on the web.
When you google something, what do you do? Suppose you live in Hendersonville, and you need a plumber. On your search screen, you type “Hendersonville plumbers.” Those are keywords. Hopefully, you then get a list of plumbers, and you then take the search wherever you need to next. But how did those businesses end up on the Google search in the first place?
When a webpage is designed and published, almost any word on that site can be catalogued by a search engine. The problem is, there may be one million websites that have the word “plumber” on them. These days, a single keyword is not enough. When people are searching for businesses, they almost always do what I described above: they type in the name of the type of business and the location where they want the service. Thus, your website needs to have both of these words prominent in text. A graphic only doesn’t do you any good at all.
A few years ago, I was doing optiimizing for a site here where they had a really nice graphic which included a logo, the address and the phone number. The problem was, the name “Asheville” wasn’t featured at all on the page. When I simply changed every page to include a tag line about proudly serving Asheville and Western North Carolina and making no other change, the Google listing went from page 29 to page 6. That’s how important the city/region keyword can be.
The more you repeat the primary keywords, the more search engines “get it” that this is your primary business.
If you haven’t already heard of net neutrality, you must get up to speed. What ultimately happens with the fight for free speech on the Internet will have a direct impact on female representation in our media–and in our culture. Click here for this important article
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