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Grant Guide for Women Empowerment Projects - European Activism Incubator
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Grant Guide for Women's Empowerment Projects

Grant Guide for Women Empowerment Projects

Are you starting a project or an initiative that looks towards a feminist future and seeks gender equality to eliminate gender injustice and empower women? If you have an idea for a project or an initiative ready, you must be wondering how to fund it and make it a reality. Our guide will help you find the right funding!

 

We know how overwhelming this process can be, so we conducted some preliminary scouting for you to save you the hassle! Of course, donors’ funding priorities can change at any time, but below you will find a few short and long-term funding opportunities dedicated specifically to supporting non-profit organizations committed to women.

Mama Cash

Mama Cash is an international fund established in 1983 by five feminist activists. They support women’s, girls, queer, and intersex people’s campaigns worldwide. Mama Cash mobilizes resources from individuals and institutions, makes grants to self-led, feminist organizations, and helps to build the partnerships and networks necessary to successfully defend and advance women, girls, trans, and intersex people’s human rights globally.

GRANT SIZE | €5.000 – €50.000 per year. Their average grant size is between €20.000 and €30.000 per year.

 

GRANT DURATION | Single-year and multi-year grants. Each multi-year grant period can run up to three years.

 

ELIGIBILITY

 

Target groups | Women, girls, trans, and intersex rights groups.

Who can be funded?

  • Registered organizations as well as informal, unregistered groups of activists, networks, and coalitions of organizations.
  • Only organizations or initiatives that have previously benefited from the Mama Cash grant are eligible for multi-year grants. (As a first-time applicant at mama cash you cannot qualify for their multi-year grant).
  • The applicants should have an annual budget below €200,000 (larger organizations are not prioritized)

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

  • Working from a feminist and/or women’s rights perspective;
  • Self-led by the women, girls, trans people, and/or intersex people;
  • Promoting women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people’s rights as their primary mission, not just as a part of their programs;
  • Pushing for structural and fundamental change;
  • Focusing on issues that are under-addressed and/or contested.

Where should the project take place?

Anywhere in the world excluding Global-North-based groups, executing programs in or are leading partnerships with groups based in the Global South and East.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Letters of interest are received from first-time applicants during a grant-making window at the beginning of the year. For more information, head to Mama Cash website.

Oak Foundation

The Oak Foundation devotes its resources to global, social, and environmental issues, especially those that significantly impact the lives of the disadvantaged. It offers grants to organizations in around 40 countries around the world from offices in Europe, India, and North America.

GRANT SIZE | Approximately $25,000 – $7 million, with an average award of $600,000.

– Besides Zimbabwe, the Oak Foundation does not provide program grants under $25,000.

 

GRANT DURATION | The majority of awards are multi-year in duration.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Target groups

Women who have experienced physical, psychological, and sexual violence in the home (domestic violence); at work and immigration (trafficking and exploitation); or are in situations of crisis. Movements and organizations led for women.

 

Who can be funded?

Women’s movements that enable women’s agency, leadership and capacity, and organizations with long-term sustainability, such as co-funding.

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

  • Focusing on women’s rights and equality;
  • Targeting the root causes of problems;
  • Addressing violence against women;
  • Promoting systemic change by strengthening legal frameworks and holding governments and institutions to account;
  • Contributing to the broader women’s movement by complementing individual and community action with networking and joint advocacy initiatives.

Where should the project take place?

Worldwide

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Despite the invitation-only application process, where grantees are invited to apply based on fieldwork and research, and the majority of awards are made to long-standing partners, the Oak Foundation wants to hear about ideas and work that fit within their programme strategies. Therefore, if an organization believes that strong alignment exists with Oak Foundation’s funding priorities, the organization is encouraged to submit an unsolicited letter of inquiry.

ELLE Foundation

ELLE is a women’s magazine owned by the Lagardère group. The ELLE Foundation’s creation in 2004 was to promote women’s and girls’ education worldwide.

GRANT SIZE | €15,000 to €20,000 per project

ELIGIBILITY

 

Target groups | Direct beneficiaries of the project must be women or girls.

 

Who can be funded?

The organization must be European or presented by a European association. The main activities of the project must be education, training, and information.

 

Where should the project take place?

The ELLE Foundation supports projects in Europe and abroad

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

  • when the project highlights a problem that affects exclusively or mainly girls and women
  • when the main activities of the project focus on education, training, and information for girls and women
  • when the programs emphasize a global approach to primary, secondary, and higher education, as well as teacher training
  • when the programs aim at increasing the independence of mothers through informal education, vocational training, and social rehabilitation
  • when the initiatives enable mothers to send their daughters to school

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications are received throughout the year. After reading the guidelines, the project can be submitted via email.

FRIDA

FRIDA provides young women, girls, and trans youth with the resources they need to amplify their voices, bring attention to their work, support, flexibility, and network to keep their vision and influence alive.

GRANT SIZE | Up to $6,000

 

GRANT DURATION | Over a period of 12 months, with an opportunity for renewal

 

ELIGIBILITY

Target groups

Young feminist groups in the Global South, with the goal of improving lives of young women, trans and intersex youth at a local, national or international level.

 

Who can be funded?

  • Youth-led feminist groups
  • Groups in which 70% of the team are under 30. Leaders must be under 30 and be young women, trans or intersex persons
  • Organizations do not need to be legally registered
  • Priority is given to small, grassroots initiatives that have no access to funding from large organizations

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

Grants from FRIDA are awarded to organizations and individuals that are committed to improving the lives of young women/trans and intersex youth at local, national, regional, or international levels. Inclusive Organizing Collective action and feminist movement building are also covered.

 

Where should the project take place?

Any country excluding highly industrialized nations.

APPLICATION PROCESS

FRIDA receives ‘general grant’ applications online every year for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Their last call for proposals was in early 2020.

Global Fund for Women

Global Fund for Women, established in 1987, funds bold, ambitious, and expansive gender justice movements to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes.

GRANT SIZE | $950 – $96,000

ELIGIBILITY

 

Target groups | Women

 

Who can be funded?

Non-registered or registered NGOs who:

  • have a primary focus on advancing women’s equality and human rights, with these goals reflecting in its activities;
  • are a group of women, girls, or trans people working together or governed, directed, and led by women, girls, or trans people.

 

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

  • general support grants
  • travel and event organizing grants
  • crisis grants

Other thematic areas covered:

  • reproductive justice and sexual rights
  • fight for freedom from violence
  • initiatives supporting worker’s rights including domestic, factory, and farmworkers
  • movements supporting women’s engagement and leadership in agriculture with a particular focus on sustainable livelihoods and climate-resilient agricultural practices
  • innovative approaches to media and technology that are related to their funding priorities in the issue areas outlined above

 

Where should the project take place?

Worldwide, excluding the United States.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Profile forms are open all year in the online system, where organizations can register their interest. Profiles stay valid for 2 years. A proposal can only be submitted upon the Fund’s review and invitation.

Sigrid Rausing Trust

Sigrid Rausing Trust was established in 1995 by Sigrid Rausing, a Swedish philanthropist, to promote the values and principles of human rights, equality, and the rule of law, and to preserve nature from further degradation. It is run by a board of trustees and supported by donations. Accordingly, Sigrid Rausing Trust runs several grant programs, including women’s rights.

GRANT SIZE | There is no minimum or maximum level for a grant, however, the Trust will normally not support more than 25% of an organization’s budget or a project.

ELIGIBILITY

 

Target groups | Women

 

Who can be funded?

  • can only support activities that can be considered charitable according to the law of England and Wales (Charities Act 2006)
  • must be politically non-partisan
  • groups covering the core areas of this program’s goals

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

 

Projects for women’s rights and gender equality in three key areas:

  • gender-based violence
  • sexual and reproductive rights
  • women’s land and property rights.
  • other projects in line with the Trust’s programs.

 

Where should the project take place?

Worldwide

APPLICATION PROCESS

The Trust does not accept unsolicited funding applications. They identify organizations with projects that align with their funding goals and invite them to apply for a grant.

Feminist Review Trust

The Feminist Review Trust is a charity funded by the Feminist Review since 2001.


These grants represent the diversity of women’s lives globally and support the creativity which with women fight the inequalities they face.


GRANT SIZE | Maximum value: £15,000

 

ELIGIBILITY

Target groups

  • lesbians
  • transgender people
  • women and girls who experienced violence
  • disabled women and girls
  • refugee women and girls
  • women, girls, and environmental activism related to place and locality

 

 

Who can be funded?

Individuals or organizations, and particularly small activist groups in non-OECD countries.

What types of actions or activities can be funded?

  • feminist academic activity and research that cannot achieve funding through more conventional sources, and activities/projects that improve the lives of women
  • women-related projects with no obvious sources of funding
  • an activity, which, once started, will attract funding from other sources
  • interventionist projects that support feminist values
  • training and development projects in relevant areas
  • one-off events
  • production and distribution of relevant material for women
  • general operational costs for organizations in line with their mission e.g. staff costs, accommodation, etc.
  • projects that fall outside of the above-listed categories may still be offered funds if the initiative supports women

Where should the project take place?

The Trust particularly welcomes applications from non-ODEC countries, small activist groups, and projects with an intersectional and anti-racist perspective.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Feminist Review Trust funds run 3 rounds of applications every year. Apply here.

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