New Start Fund


What Is The New Start Fund?

In 1988, Womansong, under the leadership of founding director Linda Metzner, created the New Start Fund (NSF) to provide a hand up to women in Western North Carolina who are starting on a new path to self-sufficiency and a brighter future. The NSF is administered by Womansong volunteers committed to good stewardship.  All scholarship decisions and grant applications are carefully considered. Every dollar designated for the NSF goes directly to women in need! 

Grant Guidelines & Application

Grants & Scholarships

Applications for New Start Grants are completed by the case managers at government or private social service agencies on behalf of their clients. These grants are intended to fill in when other short-term funding options are not available. Applications are submitted to Womansong’s New Start committee for consideration.  This one-time grant per individual is available for the amount of need up to $600. 

Examples of grants that have been funded include:

  • Security deposits, rent, and utilities
  • Recovery housing
  • Purchase of Working Wheels vehicles if needed for work or school
  • Transportation expenses 
  • Tuition for classes that expand employment opportunities
  • Laptops for school and/or training classes related to employment 

The First New Start Scholarship was awarded in 2009 at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.  Since that time, we have extended our educational scholarships to include Blue Ridge Community College, Haywood Community College, and McDowell Tech Community College.

The New Start PIE (Parity in Education) Scholarship was initiated in 2020 to address inequities in education. These scholarships are reserved for African American and Latina women.

  • Criteria for scholarships focus on encouraging women in Western North Carolina to obtain educational training leading to employment and greater self-sufficiency.  
  • The number of scholarships awarded each year to area community colleges are based on the donations received the previous year.
  • For scholarship information regarding eligibility, please contact the financial aid office at the community college of interest and inquire about the Womansong Scholarships.

A Womansong GED Fund to cover testing fees is available at all four community colleges for women with financial need.  Inquire at the financial aid office.

Scholarship Recipients


  • April Wilson - AB Tech




Success Stories


Grant Recipients

  • “Thank you! There would never be the ideal words … This is a wonderful service to individuals that are working hard on their goals.”

  • “ . . . you have literally saved our lives as we are on the brink of and in the midst of a crisis too great for me alone. I can tell my son he doesn’t need to pack his room up and I can rest and know that things will get better.”

Case Managers

  • “Your generosity and willingness to help out means a great deal to us and even more to Helpmate’s clients. Sometimes there’s nowhere else to turn for help and financial assistance. It’s comforting to know you are there. Thanks.”

    – Helpmate Shelter Manager
  • “It is impossible to be self-sufficient without stable housing; Womansong New Start Grants have assisted our customers with paying back balances to public housing which were preventing a family from being eligible to rent and helped numerous homeless families to get into standard housing by paying security deposits or first month rent, so that they were not living in a car or literally out in the cold.”

    – Community Action Staff Member
  • “Thank you so much for your contribution towards a car insurance payment for our client. Having this car insurance paid enables her to transport her kids to school, and has allowed her to start a new job. Perhaps most importantly it allows her a safe way to leave her house if she is attacked. Thanks again for taking down another obstacle.”

    – Madison, Helpmate Staff Member

Scholarship Recipients

  • “Today, I walk a little taller. Today, I feel accomplished. Today, I graduated with my GED. It gives me a sense of pride. Now, unlike before, I am able to explore the idea of college,and I have the chance to be somebody . . . I would like to thank Womansong for funding the test and making it all possible.”

  • “I want to thank you for not only supporting me but believing in me. I was fortunate to leave my job and ​pursue my dream of graduating college, thanks to your generosity.”

Support The New Start Fund


  • Funding for the New Start Fund comes from grants, fundraisers, the Womansong Operating Fund, and from the generosity of folks like you!
  • 100% of the donations designated for the New Start Fund go directly to grants, scholarships, and GED exam fees for women in need.
  • ​​​Administrative expenses are covered by the Womansong Operating Fund.
  • New Start Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable under the 501(c)3 tax designation.
  • You may designate your donation in memory, in friendship, or in honor, of the person or entity you desire.
  • Legacy Giving:  Please consider remembering the New Start Fund in your estate plans.
  • Please designate that your contribution is for the “Womansong New Start Fund”.

    Make a Donation

    Contribute to the New Start Fund  online by clicking the donate button below

    Or by mailing a check to:

    Womansong New Start Fund
    P.O. Box 61
    Asheville, NC 28802

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    Asheville, NC 28802

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