Denise Cherenfant Memorial Equity Fund

In loving memory of National Fund for Workforce Solutions board member, Denise Cherenfant, whose unwavering dedication and spirit continue to inspire us, we proudly present the Denise Cherenfant Memorial Equity Fund.

Denise’s passion for equity and inclusion, cultivated through years of service as a member of the National Fund’s board, exemplified her commitment to empowering voices often unheard. Her wisdom and strength helped shape our organization’s mission, driving us to strive for a more just and equitable future.

We honor her legacy by helping to ensure that financial barriers do not stand in the way of those seeking to join us in our movement for change at SHIFT. It is our hope that Denise’s belief in the power of unity and collective action continues to enrich our shared journey toward equity.

This fund provides a $500 grant to help offset the costs associated with attending SHIFT. You may opt to receive $500 off of registration or you may choose a $500 gift card to offset the costs that are most burdensome to you.

Eligibility: If the cost of attending SHIFT is a barrier for you or your organization, we encourage you to apply. However, please note that funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of one grant per organization. Certain restrictions and exceptions may apply, ensuring a fair and impactful distribution of resources.

Limited Availability: While we wish to support as many changemakers as possible, fund availability is limited. Assistance is extended to both workshop presenters and attendees, emphasizing our commitment to inclusive dialogue and learning.

Application Process: Before applying for the SHIFT Equity Fund, please visit the FAQ section for more detailed information. Ready to take the next step? Complete the application today! You’ll hear back from us about next steps via email and then you can register for the convening. Please do not register until you’ve heard from us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to the Denise Cherenfant Memorial Equity Fund?
Workshop presenters or conference attendees from organizations, businesses, and community-based partners who need financial support to attend SHIFT are eligible to apply.

I work at a National Fund collaborative site. Can I apply?
Yes, a collaborative site that does not have a current grant with the National Fund and faces barriers to attending SHIFT is eligible to apply.
NOTE: Collaborative sites that have a current grant from the National Fund are not eligible to apply. Please connect with your program lead to explore if and how current grant funds may be used to support SHIFT attendance.

What do you mean by a workshop presenter?
A workshop presenter is someone selected to deliver content during a breakout session (Spotlight, Submersion, or Studio).

Does my organization need to be a nonprofit to apply?
No. Any business or organization facing financial barriers to support staff attendance at SHIFT is eligible to apply.

Do I need to have a specific social identity to apply?
No. Any individual facing financial barriers to attend SHIFT is eligible to apply.

My breakout session includes multiple presenters. Can all of them apply to the Equity Fund?
Yes, multiple presenters within a workshop can apply for the Equity Fund; however, only one person per organization may receive funds (some exceptions may apply).

How do I apply?
Complete this short application prior to registration.

Why are there two options for support?
The flexibility is intentional, and you should choose the option that best meets your needs. The $500 off at registration may help businesses or organizations with tight budgets; the $500 gift card is sent to the individual upfront to offset any costs related to attending the conference — including transportation, lodging, child or elder care, or additional needs related to having a disability.

If I select the gift card option, how will I receive it?
Gift cards will be mailed via FedEx to the address listed in your application. If you have any requirements or other requests, please contact Nita KC.

If I experience barriers on both the organizational and individual levels, may I apply for both?
No, given the limited funds available, you may only apply for one type of support.

Multiple people from my organization want to attend. Can we all get financial support?
No, given the limited funds available, only one person per organization can receive funds. However, exceptions may apply. Please contact Natalie Applegate for more information.

How will I know if my application was approved? How long does the process take?
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and funds distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. We aim to make decisions and notify applicants via email within one week of receiving the application.

Oh no! The funds ran out before I could apply. What now?
Applications received after all funds are distributed will be placed on a waitlist and notified should additional funds become available.

What if I receive financial support but then cannot attend the convening?
Applicants who received a gift card will be required to return the funds or gift card within 30 days of the convening. Applicants who receive $500 off registration will adhere to the event cancellation policy as detailed on our registration page. We request participants unable to attend inform us as soon as possible, so funds can be released back in the pool.