GEM Fund

Established in 2002, the GEM Fund is the philanthropic arm of AAUW-Asheville; its purpose is to raise funds for scholarships for women in Western North Carolina whose college education was interrupted or postponed. As of June 2018, the GEM Fund has awarded $163,559 in scholarships, allowing 144 women to attend college who otherwise could not afford it.

For this 2019-20 academic year, the GEM Fund’s scholarships will total $26,000: $10,000 for students attending Asheville-Buncombe County Technical Community College (AB Tech) and $16,000 for students at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.

GEM is funded by an annual fundraiser, donations made in a person’s honor or memory, and donations of cash, stocks, or real property. Contributions may be designated for the endowment fund or for current scholarships. No AAUW branch dues are used for scholarships.

Estate planning is also an important means for donating to the GEM Fund. In 2010 we set up The Beatrice Rice Wells Legacy Society to receive such donations; it currently has 16 members who designated GEM as a beneficiary in their wills.

We are fortunate to be able to help women in our community achieve their education goals and, through other AAUW programs, to advance equity for women and girls in education, employment, and research.

GEM is an acronym for Gaining Educational Momentum.

Remember, diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend: an education is.

The GEM Fund: AAUW-Asheville Scholarship Endowment, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible.\

For more information, please contact Karen Mauro, Finance Chair at