WFWM Meets COVID Challenges with Bold Grant Opportunities

Spring 2021 Grant Opportunities

Multiple grants totaling up to $250,000 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; or freedom from violence, harassment, and abuse.

“Grant funds provided through these programs position WFWM as a leader for gender equity where people in our communities have the power to prosper economically, live safe and healthy lives, and thrive,” says Nicole M.Young, community investments manager. “Being able to make grant funding available at this time is very meaningful as we are in a unique position to support our communities in meeting these urgent unmet needs. Our board recognizes this and is committed to investing in the organizations serving women and girls who are equally as dedicated to addressing these disparities.”

General Operating or Programmatic Support

$70,000 will be made available through a general request for proposals process beginning with a letter of intent which will be due by Friday, March 5. These grants will be unrestricted and may be used towards general operating or programmatic support. Women- and girls-serving organizations based in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties whose work align with one of WFWM’s following strategic pillars of work may apply for consideration: economic security; parity in positions of power and leadership; or freedom from violence, harassment, and abuse are invited to apply. To access instructions on how to apply for consideration, please visit here.

The #MeToo Fund

We anticipate renewing last year’s grants made through the Fund for Me Too Movement and Allies (the #MeToo Fund), initially awarded in 2020. These grants totaled $50,000. To learn more about last year’s recipients, please visit here.

Young Women’s Initiative Grants

The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) seeks to distribute $15,000 in grants to Springfield-based organizations whose programs address safety and anti-violence; economic security and prosperity; or leadership and visibility. Participants from the current cohort and alumnae of YWI 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.

Emergency Funding

In response to the overwhelming needs of community organizations working to prevent homelessness and food insecurity, the WFWM will disperse emergency funding up to $125,000 to assist organizations in providing fast and direct economic aid. Potential recipients were vetted through an interview process with awards being determined based on immediate need. Award recipients will be announced this week with grant funds being disbursed immediately.

We anticipate announcing the comprehensive list of recipients by June. We are excited to offer organizations during crucial work and addressing immediate needs. Providing this level of support for those in the community allows us to further position ourselves as a national leader for gender equity where people in our communities have the power to prosper economically, live safe and healthy lives, and thrive.

Your voice, your vote, and your money matters. Advance gender equity with us.