Boston Women's Fund is a role model in participatory and trust-based philanthropy. From our inception in 1984, we have relied on a diverse, all-volunteer Allocations Committee to review and assess grant funding proposals and influence our giving priorities. BWF has always trusted in, listened to, and been inspired by the work of our grantees.
We believe achieving racial, economic, social, and gender justice through philanthropy involves the following approach to support grassroots organizations at different stages of their work:
Movement Building Grants designed for grassroots organizations led by women, girls and gender-expansive individuals that shift us towards community-driven solutions that promote systemic change. BWF is committed to investing in leaders, infrastructure, capacity building, and leadership development.
Community Impact Grants for organizations serving their communities through outstanding systems change work, leadership development and community organizing. These grants help organizations build their capacity and expand their networks, and offer beyond-the-grant support.
Multi-year Grants that expand our Community Impact grants with a five-year commitment of support.
Youth-Centered Movement Building and Activism Grant supporting organizations and coalitions led by women, girls and gender-expansive individuals that provide training, support and meaningful leadership opportunities for youth ages 24 and under to direct transformative social change.
Seed Funding to support emerging organizations and help new, budding ideas take shape.
Momentum Grants offering capacity building and beyond-the-grant support for those in the BWF family whose annual operating budgets have grown to exceed our commitment to serving organizations with a budget of $500,000 or less.
THE BOSTON WOMEN’S FUND INVESTS WHERE TRADITIONAL PHILANTHROPY DOES NOT.
GRANT MAKING STRATEGIES.
BWF grants amplify the voices of women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals who work tirelessly for racial, economic, social, and gender justice. Change begins in the community, frequently led by efforts of inspirational women, girls, and gender expansive people who know the solutions to their problems yet lack the resources to solve them.
BWF supports community-led grassroots movements that build collective power to advance racial, economic, social, and gender justice.
Movement building starts with a shared vision focused on systems change where a collective addresses concerns and creates opportunities that no person, organization, or institution can alone.
There is no application process for Movement Building Grant awards. The Boston Women's Fund uses nominations from the public to identify organizations creating solutions to issues impacting their communities. Our Allocations Committee, built of community members, then interviews organization leaders and community members to compile information about each organization. Together, the committee decides which organizations receive funding.
Community Impact Grants
The Boston Women’s Fund is currently experimenting with more equitable grantmaking practices. This year, for our Community Investment Grant awards we did not send out an RFP. Instead, we sent out a Request for Conversations (RFC). We understand that barriers exist when it comes to funding opportunities, and BWF is taking a stand against traditional funding applications.
Our 2023 Community Impact grants have been awarded. View all of our grantees here.
Youth-Centered Movement Building and Activism Grants
This grant supports organizations or coalitions led by women, girls and gender expansive individuals providing training, support and meaningful leadership opportunities for youth ages 24 and under to direct transformative social change! Our 2022 Youth in Transformative Philanthropy team accepted nominations from the public to determine which organizations in Greater Boston would be considered for this grant award. Details here.
Our 2022 Youth-Centered Movement Building and Activism Grant has been awarded. View all of our grantees here.
Multi-Year Grant Award
The Boston Women’s Fund is committed to providing multi-year funding to as many grantee partners as possible.
For more information on our grantmaking strategies, please email us.