More than 90 percent of the Women’s Fund’s grant making dollars come from local donors who want to join forces to fuel systemic change for women in our communities. We ask applicants to articulate a bold goal, a striking vision for their communities, and target populations that could meaningfully engage with the program to ensure sustainable solutions.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts strives to create a climate of economic empowerment. In our society, gender powerfully affects experience and opportunity. We believe that investing in strategic collaborations on behalf of women is the most powerful way to build a sustainable movement for gender equity.

Core Focus

The Women’s Fund supports organizations and projects that help drive gender equity by fostering economic prosperity for women of all ages. All grant projects must center women’s leadership and must demonstrate meaningful relationships with multi-sector partners.

Strategic Grants

The Women’s Fund strategic grants are conditional commitments. Successful grantees are required to enter into a contract with the Fund each year of the 3 year grant cycle. Eligible proposals must impact women in the western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire. Applications are a two part process that open in winter. Applicants will be notified of status in the spring. All money must be distributed through registered 501(c)(3) entities.

Project proposals must demonstrate meaningful collaboration between at least two distinct organizations. We will also give priority to applicants that involve cross-sector coalitions (non-profit, corporate, government, school, etc.) Successful proposals should articulate a progressive three-year plan with one or more of the following outcomes:

 Public policy change

Advances in existing research

Redefining/reframing key narratives in order to influence individual and/or community behavior

Building critical mass of engagement

Demonstrating replicability of a model/innovation

Eligibility Information

Proposals must impact women in the western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire. Proposals with statewide or national impact will be considered only if they are led by an organization located in one of the above four counties. All money must be distributed through non-profit organizations federally determined as 501(c)(3) entities. Applicants without 501(c)(3) status may engage a fiscal agent to administer their grant funds.

Available Funds

There is no set award size. Project budgets should reflect the scope of the proposal and should not exceed $80,000 per year, for the 3-year grant period. Please note, maximum size of past awards was $20,000 per year for 3 years.

Current and Previous Grantees

Organizations funded in previous years may apply. Organizations currently funded as part of a multi-year project may also apply, however, they must differentiate their proposed activities from currently funded efforts and demonstrate a coordinated, and mutually reinforcing plan of action.

The Women’s Fund will not award grants to:

  • political campaigns or promotion of candidates for public office
  • programs that promote anti-reproductive activities and/or beliefs
  • programs that promote religious activities and/or beliefs
  • advancement of capital or endowment campaigns
  • scholarships that fund individual students
  • programs that do not provide a respectful atmosphere for lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, and transgendered people
  • co-educational programs that do not clearly communicate the specific and unique impacts for women and girls
  • event sponsorships

Application Process 

We utilize a two-step LOI submission process in order to make the application process more efficient. Applicants should summarize the project and expected results, have organizational partnerships indicated, know the total cost of the project, and how much they intend to request from the foundation when preparing a Letter of Intent.

Letters of Intent (LOI)

We are requesting a LOI for all grant applications. The LOI should outline what you intend to do, how it will be measured, and how much money you need to do the work. An LOI, submitted on the form provided below, is required to be considered for a grant. FY17 Grant Cycle is now closed

Our grant cycles are announced through our newsletter “The Lead.” Click to sign up for The Lead and be the first to hear about upcoming events, including grants information.

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Full Grant Applications

A select number of applicants will then be invited to submit a full grant application.

Survivors Recovery Fund

The Survivors Recovery Fund is a community-advised fund dedicated to promoting the recovery of survivors of partner abuse and sexual assault.

Current Grantees

Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions

Pioneer Valley Youth Leadership Initiative

Elizabeth Freeman Center

Money School

Greenfield Community College

GARDEN Project

MotherWoman

Firm Foundations - Policy Changes for Mothers

Neighbor to Neighbor

Voice Activated

Flying Cloud Institute

TurnUP! Young Women in Science Program

Past Grantees

Treehouse Foundation

Re-envisioning Foster Care Together

Prison Birth Project

Advocacy and Training

Face the Facts

Reduce Teen Pregnancy

Use of Funds

Funds are to be used to carry out the program effort or initiative as defined in the grant proposal. The Women’s Fund considers support for program/initiative operating cost and supports new as well as established programs.

Grant Info Sessions

Every grant cycle, the Women’s Fund will hold a grant information session in every county. Sessions will be identical, and are not mandatory to apply for a grant. They are intended to help project leaders understand the Women’s Fund’s updated grant process, goals, and objectives.  To register for an info session, or if you have any questions, please contact Christine Monska.

2.5+
Million Awarded