Allstate Foundation Expansion Grant


YWCA Lower Cape Fear Receives $50,000 Grant to Expand

Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse Programs

YWCA Lower Cape Fear has received a $50,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation to improve the personal financial literacy of domestic violence survivors. It will use the funds to implement the Purple Purse Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment curriculum developed by The Allstate Foundation that teaches participants how to identify financial abuse and how to build fundamental skills they need to become financially self-sufficient. The much-needed funds aim to expand financial empowerment services for approximately 200 survivors in the Lower Cape Fear area.

These much-needed funds will expand financial literacy education for survivors of domestic violence in the New Choices Economic Empowerment program and other survivors in the community who rely on the YWCA for support services.

“Domestic violence impacts 1 in 4 women in the US every year, but in North Carolina that figure changes to 1 in 3 women who experience abuse at the hands of their partner. In most cases, survivors report financial abuse as well, adding to the extreme difficulty they face in removing themselves from abusive relationships. Sixty percent of our New Choices program participants are survivors of domestic violence or financial abuse. Our goal is to educate and empower these survivors to get their lives back on track emotionally and financially,” said Charrise Hart, YWCA Lower Cape Fear CEO.

Financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. Abusers deny victims access to money, ruin their credit by stealing their identity, or harass them at work so they lose their jobs. Without resources of their own, victims are often unable to care for themselves and their families, to find employment and housing, or to save for the future. Most victims who participate in YWCA domestic violence programs have no money or any other financial resources when they arrive.

YWCA Lower Cape Fear was selected for the grant because of its ongoing commitment to ending financial abuse, domestic abuse and violence in all its forms. The Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment curriculum teaches participants how to recognize financial abuse, build and use or repair credit, create a budget, teach strategies for effectively managing personal finance, and prepare participants for opportunities for financial growth through microenterprise solutions.

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is the longest-running national campaign focused on ending domestic violence through a proven solution: financial empowerment services for survivors. The Allstate Foundation offers a free comprehensive financial literacy tool designed specifically for survivors, the Purple Purse Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, on

Nationally, YWCA is the largest network of domestic violence service providers and YWCA USA is proud to call The Allstate Foundation a partner. YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s New Choices program has worked to support women taking steps toward financial independence and self-sufficiency since 1985. The program aims to help women build a strong economic base through learned financial fundamentals, empower women to make informed financial decisions to create impactful change in their lives, open opportunities for microenterprise loan assistance, and provide guidance in the development of short-term and long-term financial planning skills.


Throughout the month of October, the YWCA Lower Cape Fear participated in the Purple Purse Challenge from the Allstate Foundation. We raised funds to support survivors of domestic and financial abuse in our New Choices Professional Development & Empowerment Program. New Choices provides financial counseling & literacy, tuition-based assistance, and many other services that support women and their families.

Our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and community partners helped us spread the word about the online fundraising tool for the Purple Purse Challenge. We placed "Change Purses" all over town in small businesses, asking for spare change donations to support the Challenge. We held the Potluck for Peace in October with the special topic of "Violence Against Women of Color," and engaged in an open dialogue about domestic and financial abuse. We awarded THE Purple Purse, designed by Serena Williams, to our top fundraiser at the end of the Challenge - Board Member Evelyn Bryant. 


Thanks to your support, we raised $3,150 for our New Choices program to date. The donations we received will help move these women from shelter to self-sufficiency. The impact of your generosity is felt not only in our organization, but in the homes of these women and their families.


If you are interested in more information about this campaign, please email us.