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Upcoming Grant Opportunities Announced 

Multiple grants totaling up to $150,000 will be awarded by The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) to women-and girls-serving organizations based in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties. Projects funded during this cycle must focus on either economic security; parity in positions of power and leadership; leadership and visibility; safety and anti-violence; and, freedom from violence, harassment, and abuse, prioritizing women-led or Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) led local nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited to continue the work which was informed by our most recent Status of Women and Girls Report,” says Nicole Young-Martin, community investments manager. While the report represents data from before 2019, the work of our grantees demonstrates that the needs are greater than they have been prior especially due to the effects of COVID-19. We have seen a shift in the ways services are delivered including education, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, and economic viability. This is also a prime opportunity to secure relationships with grantees as we gather the research for our forthcoming 2023 Status of Women and Girls Report. We hope that the partnerships made in this upcoming grant cycle continue to represent our commitment to gender equity, socioeconomic mobility for women and their families, and racial justice within Western Massachusetts.”

During the 2021 – 2022 grant cycle, WFWM awarded grants to a variety of local organizations including in-school STEM programming for middle school-aged girls, supported efforts towards adapting anti-racist and inclusive practices in the workplace, transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, financial literacy and entrepreneurship for BIPOC women heads of households, and cultural humility training for healthcare and human service providers.

A portion of this grant funding is designated to renew eligible organizations that received funding from our General and MeToo grants in the previous grant cycle. These organizations will receive funding for an additional year. The remaining funds available will be for new grantees. Organizations that did not receive funding during the 2021 – 2022 grant cycle are invited to apply beginning with a brief, one-page letter of intent which will be due by Sunday, January 8, 2023. These grants will be unrestricted and may be used towards general operating or programmatic support. All new grantees will receive funding for two years. Women and girls serving organizations based in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties whose work aligns with one of WFWM’s following strategic pillars of work may apply for consideration: economic security; parity in positions of power and leadership; and, freedom from violence, harassment, and abuse are invited to apply. We anticipate announcing a list of grant recipients in early April of 2023.

The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) seeks to distribute $15,000 in grants to Chicopee, Holyoke, and Springfield serving organizations whose programs address safety and anti-violence; economic security and prosperity; or leadership and visibility. YWI alumnae make up this grants committee. They will nominate and select recipient organizations through participatory grantmaking, an approach that cedes decision-making power about grants to community members who will be directly impacted by funding decisions. Members of this committee will convene beginning in January of 2023. Organizations will be invited to apply in the spring and will be notified about funding decisions by May of 2023.  

This year’s grant application process has been streamlined to avoid cumbersome grant processes. Based on the letter of intent, a select number of organizations will then be invited for virtual interviews (conducted via Zoom) with members of WFWM’s community investments committee, which is made up of volunteers representing all four counties.

Letters of Interest Due from any interested applicants January 8
Select organizations invited to an interview February 6–10
WFWM committee review period mid February–early March
Successful applicants notified late March