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.
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
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.
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
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.
Full Grant Applications
A select number of applicants will then be invited to submit a full grant application.
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 Ellen Moorhouse.