FUNDING GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS FOR CHANGE
We work to advance rights by getting money and support to organizations led by women, girls, and trans people who are fighting for justice in their own communities. We support organizations led by historically marginalized groups who are working to build strong, connected movements for gender equality, justice, and human rights. Read more.
Our grantmaking propels leaders, organizations, and movements. We use our network of over 2,000 advisors and partners across the world to help us find, fund, and strengthen groups who can make the most difference in their communities. We give general support funding that allows groups to choose how best to spend their grants. We offer multi-year support as often as possible, so that groups can plan long-term. We also help women’s groups connect to other local, national, or regional groups to share, learn, and organize together. Learn more about where we fund.
We believe in the power of movements to drive sustainable social change. That’s why we support our grantees with more than just money—we support peer learning and exchange through travel and event grants; we support our grantee partners in connecting in person via “convenings” and joint opportunities to strategize; we connect philanthropists and activists; and we provide tools and resources that help strengthen institutions.
We use the following strategies to support movements:
We give grants to organizations led by women, girls, and trans people. We also help strengthen organizations by providing resources beyond money, such as opportunities to learn from each other, training in the secure use of online technologies, and skill development in areas such as fundraising.
Building collective power
The power of learning, sharing, and teaching together is critical to strong movements for women’s rights. We fund and collaborate with partners to organize events and meetings that gather women’s groups in a particular region or country to learn, share strategies, and fuel action and change.
Women’s funds: Partners in equality
Sustainable, long-term power shifts can’t be created alone. We partner with women’s funds in a variety of ways including seeding and supporting local women’s funds—national and regional organizations that also make local grants to women’s rights groups. Women’s funds play a powerful role in strengthening movements by reaching smaller and emerging local groups; providing critical training and resources; and raising money from local donors. Supporting women’s funds and partnering with them to influence the field of philanthropy expands the resources available for women’s rights and strengthens connections across global and local partners. Read more about our work with women’s funds.
We gladly act as a fiscal sponsor to women’s funds. Read more about our fiscal sponsorship of women’s funds.
Supporting grantee partners in times of crisis
Mobilizing feminist funds is crucial under crisis. We offer support to grantee partners for rehabilitation and recovery in the aftermath of crises, including natural disasters, political violence, and health epidemics. We award both short-term grants to address immediate needs and longer-term grants to support rehabilitation and recovery.
Our approach to crisis funding is unique: We believe because of their long-term work and relationships with local communities, grassroots feminist groups are uniquely positioned to lead responses to crises and deliver solutions that will address the needs of their communities—including marginalized communities that are not served by typical disaster relief. Global Fund for Women grantee partners provide community support; offer resources for sexual and reproductive health rights and protection from gender-based violence; and organize economic empowerment and livelihoods support to crisis-impacted and displaced populations. For example, in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Global Fund for Women grantee partners provided women with safe spaces to heal from the trauma of crisis, as well as skills-training and connections to livelihood generation opportunities. Recently, we’ve supported grantee partners to respond to devastating earthquakes in Mexico in 2019, the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and Malawi.
While we have funded crisis response for decades, in 2014 we established a crisis fund to provide consistent, long-term, effective support for our grantee partners. In the last five years, we have awarded $2.7 million through 165 crisis grants to 105 organizations in 37 countries.
How we know we’re making a difference
We use a learning, evaluation, and impact framework to learn how our grantee partners are making a difference and understand their successes and challenges. We use the information to improve the way we work, and we share lessons learned with grantee partners, partner organizations, and donors. Learn more about our approach and our impact.
Explore our case studies to learn more about our history of partnership with women who are challenging the status quo to drive bigger gains for gender equality and justice.
Our priority issues
We fund women’s rights groups working on freedom from violence, economic justice, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and leadership. These are the most critical building blocks for women’s human rights. Learn more.
In-story photo by Bowerbird Photography.