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BWF Announces Over $400k in Grantmaking Centering Women, Girls & Gender-Expansive Grassroots Leaders

Updated: Aug 2, 2023


Through equitable, radical practices, BWF is scaling while reimagining philanthropy

BOSTON — June 29, 2023 — Boston Women’s Fund (BWF), an intermediary foundation dedicated to creating a world rooted in racial, economic, social and gender justice, today announced over $400,000 in grantmaking to grassroots organizations serving women, girls and gender-expansive individuals across Greater Boston this fiscal year. This marks a 44% increase since FY 2022 and a third consecutive year of growth for Boston’s only women’s fund centering Black and Brown women, girls and gender-expansive folks.


Women and girls of color receive just .5% of all philanthropic funding nationwide. Amid the largest decline in national giving in 14 years, BWF’s increase in funding for women and gender-expansive leaders of color demonstrates the strength of the fund committed to reimagining philanthropy to better serve communities that have been persistently excluded.


“Grassroots leaders in the communities we serve, especially Black and Brown leaders, have had to push against the burden of systemic barriers for centuries. We want to do our part to change that,” said Executive Director Natanja Craig Oquendo. “Our ability to grow our fundraising so markedly and increase our support for our grantee partners amid a tough financial year nationally is a testament to this team, our board, and our fire for creating a more equitable Boston for all women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals.”


BWF’s grantee partners serve BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, youth, elderly, immigrant, refugee, disabled, and low-income communities. Of the 22 grassroots organizations selected to receive funding, all are led by women or gender-expansive individuals, 95% of whom are people of color. Three organizations are focused on reproductive justice, two center youth, and two are recipients of seed-funding grants, an initiative that offers a rare pathway to funding for new ideas.

BWF uses a community-centered process designed to remove traditional barriers that have excluded Black and Brown leaders from philanthropy. All grantee partners were nominated by the public and evaluated by a diverse community-based committee through “Requests for Conversations” rather than lengthy grant applications, effectively lifting the application burden from grassroots leaders. The final grantee partners were then selected through a unanimous vote.


To date, BWF has granted approximately $7.6 million in over 385 grant awards.



The following organizations have been selected as BWF’s 2023 grantee partners:

Abilities Dance

Asian American Women's Political Initiative

Asian Women For Health

Association Of Haitian Women In Boston

Birth Equity & Justice MA

Blackyard

Cambridge HEART Program

Dominican Development Center

Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective

Essex County Community Organization

Grimes King Foundation For The Elderly

Justice For Housing

Love Your Magic

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers

Melanin Mass Moms

Neighborhood Birth Center

Propa City Community Outreach

Save Our Selves

Sisters Unchained

Small House

Women Encouraging Empowerment



About Boston Women’s Fund

Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) is an intermediary foundation investing in women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals leading grassroots organizations working toward racial, economic, social, and gender justice. BWF envisions a world where power, opportunity, and access exist for those persistently marginalized, regardless of gender identity or gender expression. Founded in 1984 by progressive women, BWF was the first women’s foundation in Massachusetts and is one of the oldest nonprofit women’s foundations in the nation. BWF predominantly supports Black and Brown leaders from communities persistently excluded from philanthropy. Change begins with women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals in their own communities — when they have the resources they deserve to fund their ideas, absolutely everyone benefits. Today, BWF has granted approximately $7.6 million in over 385 grant awards. To learn more, visit www.bostonwomensfund.org.



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Aisha Woodruff


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