Apply For A GrantThe Boston Women’s Fund will award a total of $50,000 in grants in Spring 2019.
The Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) provides seed money and program support to community-based organizations led by women, girls and women-identified individuals in the greater Boston. Our commitment to diversity is a key component of our grantmaking model, which ensures that those most affected by injustice take the lead and work together to create solutions. Our unique approach enables emerging social change groups to expand, and effective organizations that are neglected by mainstream funding sources to continue to contribute to the integral base for social justice.
The Boston Women’s Fund believes that change begins at the grassroots level. Our grantmaking program supports start-up and on-going grassroots efforts led by women, girls or anyone who identifies as such, to organize their communities for racial, social, political and economic equity. To this end, BWF is committed to three overarching goals:
- Promote intersectional grant-making to democratize philanthropy and strengthen organizations led by women and girls;
- Creating spaces to harness and amplify the power and voices of women and girls to achieve social, racial, political and economic equity; and
- Developing and supporting intersectional leadership that delivers transformative change, especially among the constituency being most directly affected.
The Boston Women’s Fund prioritizes funding to women at the grassroots with the least access to resources. Our grantees work with women of color, low-income women, immigrants and refugees, LBTQIA+ community, women with disabilities, elder women, and girls who are often excluded from full participation in our society.
These projects typically help to redefine and reframe social issues, cause shifts in individual and/or community behavior, fosters community among women, builds leadership from the constituency most directly affected, changes institutional policies and practices, or maintains earlier progress in the face of opposition. BWF is interested in ensuring the sustainability of an organization and will support general operational expenses as well as specific projects.
Between 1985 and 2018, the Boston Women’s Fund has awarded more than $6.4 million to over 338 organizations. In 2018, BWF awarded $50,000 to five organizations in greater Boston. These critical funds have provided seed money, program support, and operational funding for women-led grassroots community efforts.
Through BWF’s inclusive grantmaking process, emerging organizations are able to grow, and effective social change organizations that are often neglected by mainstream funding continue to contribute to the integral base for social justice reform. BWF is deeply grateful for the work being done in our communities by our grantees.
The Dominican Development Center (DDC) provides grassroots organizing and leadership development for social and policy change to low-income immigrant women residing in Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Hyde Park, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. DDC is a founding member organization of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Coalition.
DDC will use funding for general operating support.
The Chica Project works to close the opportunity gap for Latina and other women of color by empowering them with the skills, confidence, and the networks necessary to thrive personally and professionally. The Chica Project provides a safe community for participants to develop cultural pride and a confident personal identity; build self-esteem and self-love; decrease high school absenteeism and to increase college enrollment and graduation rates; improve the employment rate and quality of jobs for people of color; and to reduce the rates of teenage and unwanted pregnancy.
The Chica Project will use funding to support its Community-Based and Empowerment Institute which serves young women of color in grades 9 through 12. many of whom are from immigrant families.
I Have a Future builds the power of youth across the state through leadership development, direct public action, and policy change. IHAF’s leadership and constituents are both reflective of those most affected by the issues of youth unemployment and youth criminalization, and young women of color from Boston.
I Have a Future will use funding to become an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Founded homeless individuals and run by staff with experiences of poverty and/or homelessness, Solutions at Work is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness by providing individuals and families with resources and opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence and to achieve self-sufficiency.
Solutions at Work will use funding to launch Caring about People, a new bilingual program to support and empower women impacted by poverty and/or homelessness and provide training to develop an advocacy project on an issue identified by the women.
Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc. (WEE) works to educate, advocate, protect and advance the rights of immigrants, refugees, and low-income women and their families through organizing, leadership development, and service delivery.
WEE will use funding to strengthen its capacity to serve more women and families through two part-time women community organizers (Arabic and Spanish-speaking), English conversational classes, a mothers’ circle, and workshops on topics relevant to women’s lives.
The Organizing Institute
The Organizing Institute was co-founded by the Boston Women’s Fund and our grantee partners with the purpose of creating a stronger coalition of women and girls through resource development, movement building and networking. BWF provides technical assistance to social change organizations through free or low cost workshops and conferences. Grantees have requested assistance in strengthening fundraising practices, selecting and developing collaborative non profit Boards, partnering with similar organizations, best practices in financial management and building sustainable organizations.
BWF will also periodically sponsor a themed “brown bag” luncheon series to allow an opportunity for dialogue between grantees, constituents and the broader community. Through the OI, BWF has sponsored workshops on a variety of topical subjects including the impact of immigration policies on communities of color, negotiating fair salaries for women, supporting and understanding the experience of grass roots women activists and engaging “suburban” women in a discussion about race.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Organizing Institute, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girls Leadership Initiative
In summer 2017, the Boston Women’s Fund and the Boston Girls Empowerment Network piloted Owning My Voice, Speaking My Truth with the purpose of empowering girls’ through the exploration of self-advocacy, community advocacy and nonpartisan legislative. The pilot was a 6 session workshop series for girls aged 12 – 16 held at 3 community partner sites. Based on the success of the summer pilot, a school year program for high school aged girls is being added to complement summer sessions.
An annual Girls Day on the Hill provides an opportunity for girls, from the program and the larger community, to speak with legislators about issues of importance to their lives and enables girls and young women to understand the power of their voices to advocate for themselves and their communities. The inaugural Girls Day on the Hill was held in May 2018.
To learn more about the Girls Leadership Initiative, contact email@example.com.
Boston Girls Empowerment Network
The Boston Girls’ Empowerment Network (BGEN) is a citywide network established to increase collaboration opportunities for women and girl serving organizations (WSOs & GSOs) in the Boston area. BGEN promotes gender-responsive programming, advocates for the development of public policy that supports girls development, builds connections between women and girl serving non-profits, public and government organizations, builds the capacity of member organizations to enhance services to women and girls and shares research that informs policy and programming decisions.
BWF works in partnership with BGEN’s program director to provide legislative advocacy training, create collaboration, growth and networking opportunities and offer a forum to share research that informs discussions about gender specific issues among women’s and girls’ service providers in Boston.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Boston Girls Empowerment Network, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Women Ambassadors
The Boston Women’s Fund’s Young Women Ambassadors program seeks to build a diverse and inclusive network of young professional women in the greater Boston area actively developing and participating in projects that further the mission and operation of the Boston Women’s Fund and its grantee partners.
The program will provide a space for young women to strengthen their understanding of racial, economic, and social justice issues, elevate conversation and collaboration between social justice movements, and advance the rights of all women and girls through networking and professional development opportunities in the areas of philanthropy, community organizing, and collective advocacy.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Young Women Ambassadors program, contact email@example.com.