FAQs


The Basics

When was the Global Fund for Women founded and by whom?
What is your mission?
Why are you focused on women?

Where Does My Money Go?

Is my donation tax-deductible?
How much of your income goes to grants & programs?
Where does the rest of the money go?
Can I designate my donation to a specific organization?
Why doesn't all of your income just go to grants?
Is all that extra work worth it?
Isn't your overhead rather high?
Do you pay your Board of Directors?
Why should I give when you get money from big foundations?
I don't have money to give. What else can I do to help?

Grantmaking

How do groups find you?
How do you pick the groups you support?
How do you monitor the grants you give?
Why don't you give grants in the United States?


The Basics

When was the Global Fund for Women founded and by whom?
The Global Fund for Women was founded in Palo Alto, California in 1987 by Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling and Laura Lederer. They identified a lack of resources for women's human rights causes worldwide as a key barrier to the improvement in the status of women. They decided to establish a new foundation to raise money for women's human rights organizations around the world.

What is your mission?
We advance the rights of women and girls worldwide by increasing the resources for and investing in women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change.

Why are you focused on women?
Investing in women is the single most effective antidote to the world's pressing problems: war, poverty, disease. Women play a special role in society by contributing not only to family well-being, but to community well-being as a whole.

  • A World Bank study in Bangladesh showed that when women started small businesses to increase their income, they spent the money on improving the welfare of the family, including education for both girls and boys.
  • A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that increases in women's education make the greatest contribution to reducing the rate of child malnutrition.
  • The UNFPA has also found that women's empowerment and girls' education are the single most effective strategies for reducing population growth.
  • According to the United Nations, economies in the developing world grow by three percent for every 10 percent increase in the number of women who receive secondary schooling.

Where Does My Money Go?

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, when you make a donation to the Global Fund for Women without receiving goods or services in return, you can deduct it from your taxes. We will provide you with a letter showing the amount of your tax-exempt donation.

How much of your income goes to grants & programs?
75 percent of the money we raise each year goes to grants and program services. That includes funds that go directly to women’s groups. It also includes costs to translate proposals (to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly), travel to underserved regions to learn about emerging groups and the salaries of program staff who review more than 3,000 proposals per year, conduct thorough grant reviews and make recommendations. We invest in due diligence to ensure that your money is well spent.

Where does the rest of the money go?
Of the remaining 25 percent of our budget, 9 percent is costs for overall administration and 16 percent are costs for fundraising. We invest in fundraising so that we can raise more money and award more grants; which we have done every year since our founding.

Can I designate my donation to a specific organization?
According to US tax laws, you may not designate your donation to be given to a specific women's organization abroad. You can, however, restrict a donation of $1,000 or more for an interest area of your choice, such as women's economic independence or advancing girls' education.

Why doesn't all of your income just go to grants?
Giving grants takes a lot of effort. If we had $1 million and gave it all to one group, we would only work with one program, review one budget and write one check. At the Global Fund, $1 million will provide about 66 grants. (Our average grant size is $15,000). That means our staff will have reviewed about 350 proposals, contacted dozens of advisors, prepared 66 contracts, written checks or wires for 66 organizations and checked to see if the money arrived in 66 countries.

Is all that extra work worth it?
Grants to grassroots groups working for equality and justice prove to be one of the most effective uses of financial resources. They deliver support to the people who know how to solve problems at the community level. Small grants are given directly to local women leaders who know how to get things done.

Isn't your overhead rather high?
No. Our program expense to total expense ratio is 75 percent. Within the field of philanthropy, certain standards exist and we exceed the standards set by the American Institute of Philanthropy and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. These institutions recommend that the program expense to total expense ratio be between 60 and 65 percent.

Do you pay your Board of Directors?
No, they volunteer their time.

Why should I give when you get money from big foundations?
We couldn't do this work without individual contributions like yours. Donations from individuals account for nearly one third of our annual income, small donations add up. We believe that real philanthropy means each and every one of us can make a difference.

I don't have money to give. What else can I do to help?
You can get involved by educating your friends and family about the status of women's human rights and the work of the Global Fund for Women. Wherever you live, on any day of the year, you can host a house party or event - click here for more information.

If you live in San Francisco, and know a foreign language, you can translate proposals or correspondence from prospective grantees or do administrative tasks in our offices - learn more.


Grantgiving

How do groups find you?
Groups find us through word-of-mouth, the Internet and outreach travel by staff members.

How do you pick the groups you support?
We rely on a broad network of over 150 advisors located all over the world. They are scholars, activists, leaders and other professionals working to improve women's human rights. We have a distinctly international Board of Directors who lends their advice and expertise to our grant review process. We also listen to the recommendations of Global Fund grantees on the ground.

How do you monitor the grants you give?
Grantee organizations are required to send a final narrative and financial report at the end of a grant period that summarizes their successes and challenges. Program officers review the final reports. We also take advantage of opportunities to visit a region and see firsthand how groups are doing. In certain cases, we will raise money from a foundation to specifically evaluate a particular program, such as girls' education.

Why don't you give grants in the United States?
Financial resources are vastly limited across the developing world and, in comparison, far more available in the US. We prioritize requests from groups in the many parts of the world where small amounts of money go a long way.

 
 
 

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