The FIG Fund was created in 2012 by St. John’s resident and well-known community leader, Adele Poynter. With a $20,000 donation and a desire to make a difference to the lives of women in Newfoundland and Labrador, the seeds of The FIG Fund were planted. The donation was matched by Adele’s good friend Gretchen Bauta, a philanthropist and a major supporter of the FIG Fund concept from the beginning. Adele passed away in 2016, leaving the fund in the hands of her daughter, Kate and her trusted board of colleagues, family and friends.
The FIG Fund is named for three women who inspired Adele — her mother Florence, her mother-in-law Isabel and her friend, Gretchen. Adele not only felt these women helped shape her, but that they provided valuable support to people in their communities and helped shape the course of many lives. The FIG Fund board is made up of Adele’s friends, family and colleagues with whom she shared a bond and the same sense of community.
The purpose of the fund is to provide financial and non-financial support to women who are facing challenges moving forward in life or who must overcome significant obstacles to achieve their educational, career, or life goals. This support can implemented through programs that support women in our community. Through CFNL, the FIG Fund disburses an annual grant(s) up to $5,000. The Fund has provided many women from across our province with varying types of support. Some examples of the projects funded over the last seven years include a jewellery-making program for clients of The Gathering Place, services for sex workers in St. John’s through the Safe Harbour Outreach Project, a community garden for the Bay St. George Women’s Shelter, and helped the YWCA cultivate the province’s next generation of female leaders.