In FY2017, Global Fund for Women granted more money than ever before—$10.2 million—to support movements advancing human rights for women, girls, and LBTQI people.
We made 89 multi-year grants, an increase of 40% compared to the previous year. Evidence shows that multi-year, flexible funds best support movement building because they give grantees the ability to respond to changing circumstances and make investments in their own capacity and leadership.
Our grants support local, grassroots organizations that have direct impact in their communities. We are committed to equity and inclusion, and keep the voices and experiences of those most affected by discrimination—including in-country advisors—at the heart of our grantmaking decisions. We strengthen even the smallest organizations because we know that they amplify the impact and voices of the most marginalized women. Almost 30% of our grantmaking dollars went to organizations with a budget of less than $50,000 a year.
Other highlights from our work supporting movements in FY2017 include:
- Opportunities for groups to share knowledge, devise new strategies, and participate in important women’s human rights conferences and events via travel grants. In FY2017 we made 57 travel or event grants, totaling more than $390,000.
- Piloting our Movement Capacity Assessment Tool, which helps movements assess their capacities and address challenges. For example, we supported the Ukrainian Women’s Fund to identify strengths, challenges, and priorities of the Ukrainian women’s movement.
- Continued our support for women’s funds, which are a vital part of bolstering women’s movements. In FY2017 we supported 28 women’s funds with more than $2,190,000 (including fiscal sponsorship) working in countries including Nepal, Bulgaria, and Brazil.
- “Convenings” co-created and hosted with our partners. These convenings included a meeting on peace-building strategies for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo; a convening for women land defenders in Latin America; and a gathering of 12 organizations in Bangkok, Thailand to support our multi-year anti-trafficking initiative.
We are committed to funding groups that work in some of the hardest-to-reach locations in the world, where governments and power structures are hostile to women’s human rights. Ninety-two percent of our grants went to organizations working in countries where civil society (meaning society and organizations outside the state or government’s control) is considered “obstructed, repressed, or closed” by CIVICUS, a civil society network and advocacy organization. While the specific level of repression differs by country, many of these groups work in situations of intense fear and violence where those in power routinely imprison, injure, or kill people who attempt to exercise or advocate for their rights.