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Cynthia Primo Martin Honored with Fund for Women’s First Founder Award

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The Fund for Women (FFW), a component fund of the Delaware Community Foundation, last week presented its prestigious First Founder Award to Cynthia Primo Martin.FFW_tall

Martin is a dedicated community volunteer, philanthropist and change agent. She is an active supporter of the FFW, which was established in 1993 to support the special needs of girls and women in Delaware.

Founders, as members are called, pledge to give $1,000, either in a single gift or over five years, to the FFW. The FFW now has more than 1,700 founders (women and men) statewide who have created an endowment of more than $3 million. During the past 23 years, the FFW has distributed more than $2.3 million in grants to 130 nonprofit organizations benefiting girls and women in Delaware.

Martin became a founder many years ago as she realized the importance of collective philanthropy to address the challenges faced by many women and girls. She served on the grants committee and, through her nonprofit group, Trustees of Color, she has recruited women of color to FFW as founders, leaders and volunteers.

Martin was introduced by her husband, Joshua Martin III, counsel at Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP.

“To say she is a passionately-driven, focused, Type-A personality doesn’t do justice to the fervor she brings to any task that she gets involved in,” he said. “She gets things done. She believes and lives the vision of the Fund for Women, that ‘All women and girls in Delaware are empowered to achieve their potential.’”

In her remarks, Cynthia Martin noted that with the challenges we face in our communities, we need the best minds at the table finding solutions.

“To achieve this end, it means that one has to expand his/her networks. It means making an effort to seek out and recognize other points of view…. It means learning about others who are different and inviting them into your world.”

Despite the growth of the Fund for Women, the need remains strong, noted Chair Kay Keenan. The FFW is able to fund only about 15 percent of the grant applications submitted each year, she said.