Maria Willard Fonds

Maria Willard Fonds

Named fund at Mama Cash since 2003

The Maria Willard Fund, which supports initiatives to enhance the economic situation of refugee women, was established in 2003 by Marianne Rigter, owner of a women’s research company, Rigter Research. She named the fund after her maternal grandmother, who had devoted her life to helping women in difficult economic circumstances.

Marianne: ‘When my uncle, who was a real estate agent/project developer, died childless, he left his estate to my family. Annually, a considerable sum is released from this estate. I was not really happy with the money, rather overwhelmed. I was convinced that my uncle would have wanted the proceeds to go to a charity.’ Marianne’s notary suggested that she establish a specific fund within a larger grantmaking entity. She read that Mama Cash offered just such an option through ‘named funds’ and got in contact.

At the time, Marianne had just conducted a survey of refugee women in the northern provinces of The Netherlands. She was shocked by the extremely difficult circumstances they faced; hardly any of them could find a paid job. Marianne said, ‘That’s how I was inspired to start a named fund to enhance the economic situation of refugee women – in the spirit of my grandmother, uncle and mother.’ Every year, Mama Cash meets with Marianne to report about the groups that have received money from her fund. ‘The advantage of a named fund is that you can co-decide on its focus, and still leave the implementation up to professionals,’ shares Marianne.

Mama Cash is deeply grateful to Marianne and the Maria Willard Fund for supporting our grantees’ and Mama Cash’s work.

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