Rufa and the girls in her group share a laugh

Our Grantmaking

Our vision is that every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions. We invest in women’s human rights by getting money and support to women-led organizations that are fighting for justice in their own communities. To help women’s groups build strong movements, Global Fund for Women provides grants for operating and program expenses, as well as small grants to organize and participate in events. We believe that investing in grassroots women’s rights is the single most effective way to create change because it gets to the root of the problem instead of just alleviating the symptoms.

If you are part of a women-led group based outside of the United States and you are interested in receiving funding from us, please carefully review our application process, criteria, and priorities below.

Learn more about our mission and history here.

Please click on the titles below to learn about our process.

Our grantmaking process is determined by our current priorities, the funds we have available, and our desire to operate in an efficient and transparent way.

As a public grantmaking organization, we raise money from donors in order to make grants to women’s rights organizations. Due to funding limitations, we are able to fund only a small proportion of eligible groups. In 2015, more than 3,000 groups representing a wide range of geographies and interests submitted profiles. Five percent of these groups have received grants to date and we continue to review their profiles as new funding opportunities arise.

Global Fund for Women is committed to providing support to women’s groups in a fair and just way. We award grants based on criteria and priorities that are developed in partnership with women’s rights activists who are working on the ground. We have application forms in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. When funding allows, we prefer to make multi-year grants to strengthen recipient organizations. We also prefer to provide flexible funding so that organizations can determine how best to use the funds in support of women’s rights.

The majority of our funding opportunities are for general support grants. This means that an organization decides how best to use the grant to advance women’s rights. General support grants can fund operating and program expenses, such as rent, salaries, communications and travel costs. Usually, the amount awarded for a general support grant is less than 40% of an organization’s revenue for the previous year.

Some funding opportunities are restricted to a specific issue area or activity in a particular country or region. Proposals for these grants often have special requirements that must be included in the proposal, budget, and reports. Information about these requirements will be included in the invitation or call for proposals.

Our two-step process

Step 1. Submit an Organizational Profile to register your group’s interest in funding

Organizational Profiles allow us to learn about your organization’s strategies, priorities, and programs in order to determine whether they align with current funding opportunities. To begin the process, interested organizations that meet our criteria should submit an Organizational Profile through our online application site. Please carefully review our criteria and priorities below before completing a profile. Our profile forms are open year-round in our online system and groups can submit a profile at any time. Once submitted, the profile will be valid for two years, at which time the group can update the information provided.

Please note that although submitting a profile is the first step in applying for funding, it does not guarantee an invitation to submit a grant proposal. Due to funding limitations, not all groups working in our priority areas will be invited to submit a grant proposal.

Important note: Your organization must create ONLY ONE login account using an organizational email address. This login will be used to submit your Organizational Profile and enable you to manage all future grantmaking interaction with Global Fund for Women. We strongly suggest using an organizational email address that can be accessed by several people.

Step 2. Submit a grant proposal

In order to submit a proposal, groups MUST first have an active Organizational Profile. Proposal forms vary depending on the grant type and funding opportunity. Instructions will be provided to applicants in the proposal form. Please note all proposals are submitted online, using the same account login as the profile.

General Support Grants

An organization can apply for a general support grant:

  • When invited directly by email;
  • In response to Current Funding Opportunities on our website (see Current Funding Opportunities section below for details).

Proposals for Travel and Event Grants

Please note that the Global Fund for Women is not currently accepting grant applications for travel and events. Global Fund for Women will re-open for travel and events applications in early January 2017. We cannot accept applications before that time. Please check our website in January for more information.

Our grant proposal review process

We acknowledge receipt of all online proposal submissions within 24 hours by email. Please allow at least three months for a decision on a general support grant proposal and at least three weeks on a travel and event proposal. Please note that to award a grant, we require positive endorsements from our advisors.

Please note that your group MUST meet all the following criteria to be eligible for a grant:

  • Be based in a country outside the United States. We do not fund US-based organizations.
  • Have a primary focus on advancing women’s equality and human rights, with these goals clearly reflected in its activities. Please note that groups whose sole purpose is to generate income or to provide charity to individuals are not eligible.
  • Be a group of women working together. We do not accept requests from individuals and do not fund projects proposed by or for the benefit of individuals (including scholarships).
  • Be governed, directed, and led by women. Women must fill all or most of the leadership roles throughout the various decision-making levels of the group (including but not limited to the most senior decision-making levels).

Groups do not need to be registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to qualify for funding.

In addition, please note that Global Fund for Women does NOT fund the following:

  • Government entities
  • International organizations proposing projects with local partners
  • Political parties or election campaigns
  • Women’s branches/departments/projects of mixed gender organizations


Women-focused projects within mixed-gender organizations may occasionally receive support from Global Fund for Women if they work with particularly marginalized groups: for example, women within groups of people with disabilities or women within LGBTQI organizations.

Please see the Priorities below for more information about who we fund.

We focus on issues that are of vital importance to women and girls. In particular, we support women’s rights organizations working as part of movements to prevent violence, advance women’s political and economic empowerment, and further sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Our priorities respond to the current realities and aspirations of women and girls in different parts of the world. We concentrate our efforts on supporting women’s rights organizations that are working at the grassroots. We are advised by more than 100 women activists in 70 countries. We incorporate their knowledge and thinking into our analysis and strategies. We also receive input from our network of some 2000 informal advisors. Since our grantmaking responds to changing circumstances, please revisit this page to stay informed of our current priorities.

The issues outlined below represent our priorities for grantmaking until June 2017, based on our current funds and restrictions. However, please note that new opportunities often emerge, so you are still invited to submit a profile even if your organization works outside the current priorities and countries.

Learn more about key issues here.

Through June 2017, we will focus on the following key priorities in our issue areas:

Freedom from Violence

  • Addressing gender-based violence fueled by religious fundamentalisms (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, North Caucasus)
  • Peace and security in the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda)
  • Freedom from violence for girls in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, northern Nigeria)
  • Advocacy campaigns against gender-based violence (Eastern Europe, Central Asia)
  • Combatting girls’ early and forced marriage (Turkey, Jordan)
  • Work against harmful traditional practices, for example female genital mutilation/cutting, early child marriage etc. (West Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia)

Economic and Political Empowerment

  • Supporting the anti-trafficking movement (Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines)
  • Defending indigenous women’s land rights in Central America and the Amazon (Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru)
  • Strengthening the leadership of Syrian women refugees (Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan)
  • Supporting women farmers to win land, food, and water rights (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Uganda)
  • Advancing worker rights campaigns to confront gender based violence in the garment industry (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam)

Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights

  • Advancing reproductive and abortion rights (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil)
  • Raising awareness on sexual and reproductive health rights for young women (Sahel region – Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, northern Nigeria)

Note that Global Fund for Women is also a partner in the AmplifyChange consortium to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on grassroots groups in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Please visit the consortium website to view grant priorities and to apply for a grant.

Advocacy, Media and Technology

  • Advocacy, media, and technology activities that support our funding priorities
  • Innovative use of technology to create safe spaces for women and girls and to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights

Women’s Funds

We support selected national and regional women’s funds in the Global South. These funds make local grants to women’s rights groups. Their work expands the money and resources available for women’s rights and builds a rich ecosystem of local partners and collaborators.

How we measure progress

This short informational video explains how Global Fund for Women uses the change matrix created by Gender at Work, to better capture and learn from the outcomes achieved by our grantee partners.

The following opportunities are currently open:


Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence in the Garment Industry Deadline February 1, 2017

Global Fund for Women is partnering with Gender at Work and C&A Foundation to launch a learning collaborative that identifies, supports, and learns from organizations funded to address and prevent gender-based violence in the garment industry in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and Vietnam.

For more information about this initiative, including the Eligibility Criteria as well as instructions on how to apply, please click here.

Other resources

For information about other funders please see our Fundraising Resources page.


Contact us: