chrysalis GirlPower Peer Mentors

Nonprofit of the Month: Chrysalis

Chrysalis is on a mission to ensure the safety, security, education and economic empowerment of girls and women in Greater Des Moines–and has been since 1989. Here, Terry Hernandez, executive director, discusses the nonprofit’s greatest challenges and ways readers can give back to this remarkable organization in honor of its 35th anniversary.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? Chrysalis was created by our founder, Louise Rosenfield Noun, after she had spent several years trying to encourage the development of a foundation supporting only girls and women. She believed that most charitable dollars were directed to programs and agencies serving boys and men, or serving broader populations, leaving girls’ and women’s needs unmet. In addition, nonprofits at that time seemed unequipped to appropriately address the unique needs of girls and women.

What is the greatest reward in being involved with Chrysalis? Seeing how the community comes together to support girls and women – particularly in supporting increased equity and opportunity for girls and women. Chrysalis serves all women and girls in the Greater Des Moines area through support to local nonprofits, the Chrysalis After-School program for girls in fifth to eighth grades, and through providing our supporters with an opportunity to make their funds go further and have greater community impact.

chrysalis Grantees
Chrysalis grantees

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? Many people have asked whether there is a need for a women’s organization in the year 2024. Some believe that gender-related issues are a thing of the past: but that is not true. The systems that we work in are fraught with bias and gaps that keep women and girls from fully thriving. The other challenge is convincing people that many of the issues – poverty, hunger, homelessness, violence – occur in their own neighborhoods and communities. That is why Chrysalis provides community education in addition to support to nonprofit partners and the Chrysalis After-School program.

What are your goals for the remainder of the year? Chrysalis is proud to be celebrating our 35th Anniversary in 2024. As part of the celebration and looking back on what we have accomplished, we are taking a look forward and creating a vision for what the next 35 years will bring. We will continue to refine our goals and look for innovations on how to meet and exceed them.

How can readers help? Consider becoming a supporter of the Chrysalis Foundation and our work. Chrysalis founder, Rosenfield Noun, generously provided Chrysalis with an endowment that covers operating costs, so 100 percent of the funds donated to Chrysalis goes directly to supporting initiatives in partnership with agencies and services delivering essential support to women in Greater Des Moines. Also, I encourage readers to look at how they are and can continue to support the girls and women in their lives through recognizing that they have unique challenges and opportunities to be successful and thriving members of our community.

chrysalis Terry at Inspired
Terry Hernandez at INSPIRED

Does the nonprofit have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? Chrysalis hosts its annual INSPIRED Event to bring the community together to hear from an accomplished speaker with wisdom and expertise that informs and inspires. This year’s luncheon event is planned for Monday, Sept. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Des Moines Sheraton, and will feature author, documentarian, and former White House advisor, Alejandra Campoverdi. The event is open to the public, and tickets are now on sale. 

In honor of our 35th anniversary, we are also encouraging gifts of $35 to support our work. Every dollar contributed to Chrysalis is invested in community organizations and programs, Because our endowment supports the foundation operations, 100 percent of all donations are reinvested in this community.

Featured at top of page: Chrysalis GirlPower peer mentors

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *