Global Fund for Women invests in women’s groups that advance the human rights of women and girls. We are honored to work in a supportive, trust-based partnership with women's rights organizations in nearly 200 countries. The extraordinary courage, perseverance and leadership of these groups advance the international women's movement and promote social justice worldwide.
To ensure that our vision of gender equality at the individual, local, and global level is achieved, Global Fund is committed to a grantmaking process that is clear, user friendly, and respectful of grantee’s time and resources. The grants we award reflect the diversity of engagement with our grantee partners. The majority of our grants are given in general support to organizations, which allows women to make decisions about how to allocate funds in ways that best address the needs of their communities. We trust and value local expertise and we are committed to grantmaking collaborations that advance women’s human rights.
The Global Fund organizes its grantmaking into five geographic regions and six themes:
The Process »
Global Fund is a uniquely positioned grantmaking foundation because of our accessibility, global expertise, commitment to providing flexible and sustainable funding, and investment in building social change philanthropy.
- We have application forms available in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish. We have capacity to process applications in other languages.
- Online applications are preferred.
- Global Fund’s board of directors, representing women leaders from around the world, approves all final grant decisions.
- Global Fund grantmaking process is informed by the expertise of an international advisory council of over 100 women and men, and an informal advisory network of thousands. These leaders also contribute a unique perspective on prospects for networking, knowledge-sharing, and advocacy engagements.
- Grants ranging in size allow groups to seize opportunities to organize, respond to crises, strengthen the capacity of their organizations, and collaborate with other networks and movements.
- Our investment in local women's funds, partnerships, and networking promotes social change philanthropy that leverages additional resources and opportunities for funding women’s rights work.
- Built into our grantmaking process is a set of monitoring, evaluation, and learning activities – including due diligence, site visits, and grantee reports – to ensure that the implementation of our overall goals is assessed against the anticipated impact.
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Our Theory of Change »
Global Fund believes it is women themselves who offer the most promising strategies for change.
- Women have creative and strategic solutions to the problems facing their communities and therefore, their voices must be included in critical decisions that affect our world.
- Open and democratic societies require active citizen participation in the form of social movements and networks that ensure a vibrant civil society.
- Social justice philanthropy acts as a catalyst by providing financial support that advances women’s participation and builds independent civil societies.
There are insufficient financial resources for women's rights. In the United States, only 7.3 percent of total private foundation dollars are given to programs that address the rights of women and girls. Committed donors help us challenge this trend by growing the resources available for women's rights worldwide.
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Building Bridges Across Movements »
The Global Fund has evolved into the world’s largest public foundation investing exclusively in women’s rights worldwide. By providing grants to local and regional women’s groups – in good times and bad – we have helped to generate and accelerate momentum, connecting and transforming them into a vibrant global movement for women’s full, universal human rights.
After 25 years, we’ve learned that women’s movements are strengthened by making connections to other human rights and social justice movements. With the increasing maturity and presence of the global women’s rights movement, women activists are building alliances across movements more than ever before.
We support these alliances because we know that mutual learning and shared effort will fortify the women’s movement. The Global Fund is especially committed to including the voices of girls, female adolescents, and young women, as we believe it is critical to prepare the next generation to be new leaders of social change.
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Why General Support? »
The Global Fund believes that the best way to support the work of women-led organizations and strengthen social justice movements overall is to provide strategic general support to a broad range of groups working at different levels of civil society. While we categorize our funding according to themes, the majority of our grants are given in general support to organizations, which allows women to make their own decisions about how to allocate funds in ways that best address the needs of women in their communities. We value local expertise and believe that women can best determine their needs and propose solutions for lasting change.
This flexible general support not only builds trust, it increases efficiency, allowing organizations to quickly allocate funds where they are most needed. In addition, our grants are more likely to bring about lasting change because they respond to the priorities groups identify themselves, rather than establishing guidelines that groups must alter their course to meet. This sense of partnership and ownership is rare in donor/grantee relationships and is a key element in the Global Fund’s success.
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