What We Do - Mary's Pence

What We Do

Women working together in their local communities have the power to create effective and lasting change. Mary’s Pence supports grassroots women’s organizations in the Americas in two ways.

Mary's Pence Grants

Mary’s Pence funds women’s organizations in the U.S. that are working with their local community to create long-term systemic change. The organizations we fund are all small, with budgets under $250,000. Yet they collaborate with diverse populations, advocate to change unjust policies, and educate to build skills and increase capacity. Our grants act as seed money for organizations that are newly created, and as support for organizations that have been working on the grassroots level for years. In addition to providing financial support, Mary’s Pence connects our grantees with other like-minded organizations and helpful resources.


ESPERA Community Lending

ESPERA is a unique take on a micro-lending program. Mary’s Pence has partnered with seven grassroots women’s organizations across Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador to start community lending pools. The funds are collectively-owned by the women and they are the decision-makers. This increases their empowerment and commitment to the work. Mary’s Pence staff from the region support the women as they manage the lending process and invest in agricultural initiatives, corner shops, food stands and other small businesses. The loans are repaid with interest into the local pool, creating a growing and lasting resource for the community.

Mary’s Pence staff also provide coaching on business skills, encourage participation and relationships, work to increase our partner organizations’ capacity, and strengthen connections among individual participants as well as our organizational partners.


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