Women for Women

Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) was awarded $50,000 over two years to expand its Family Connects (FC) program, an evidence-based model developed by Duke University that provides medical and parenting support and referral resources to families of newborns in Transylvania County. Photo courtesy SSTC.

The mission of Women for Women (WFW) and the focus of our grant program is to improve the lives of women and girls in Western North Carolina through women’s collective giving. Our vision is that Women for Women inspires hope and possibility, empowers women to take action and strengthens Western North Carolina. WFW works to create opportunities for those who identify as women and girls in Western North Carolina through grantmaking, advocacy and advancing women’s philanthropy. Since 2006, WFW has invested more than $5 million in high-impact grants in WNC.

Women for Women uses an inclusive definition of women and girls. We seek to contribute to a region of shared prosperity and belonging where all who identify as women and girls - without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability - benefit from equitable opportunities and outcomes, and can access the resources they need to lead successful, independent lives.

To that end, Women for Women is committed to focusing our grantmaking on work that will reduce inequities in our region, address racial biases, and dismantle discriminatory systems that disadvantage marginalized members of our community.

Women for Women Value Statements

We will invest in programs that:

  • Help economically disadvantaged women become more self-sufficient
  • Promote access to quality health care and advance healthy lifestyles
  • Ensure women and girls live free from intimidation and abuse
  • Ensure educational opportunities that help women and girls reach their full potential
  • Eliminate discrimination against women and disparate treatment based on gender or gender identity
  • Promote access for women to legal services and equity within the justice system

While Women for Women recognizes that many strategies are important to improving the lives of women and girls, its membership wishes to focus on programs that best align with the giving circle’s value statements listed above. We understand that certain types of programming (e.g., childcare support, violence prevention education, school-based programs, etc.) may include boys and men in the served population. Such inclusion is acceptable as long as the intended outcomes support those same value statements.

Women for Women will make grants between $15,000 and $100,000, which may be used over one or two years. When selecting grantees, Women for Women considers the overall balance of its grantmaking across issue areas, populations served, and representation across the 18 counties western North Carolina region.

Women for Women will accept proposals for:

  • new projects
  • project expansion
  • operating expenses for existing projects (1 or 2 year grants; $50,000 limit total)
  • general operating expenses for organization (1 or 2 year grants; $50,000 limit total)
  • direct service or advocacy

WFW considers advocacy programs to be programs that promote social change for people who identify as women and girls at various levels of society - communities, institutions, systems, and policies; advocacy is NOT direct service to individual clients.

Deadlines and Dates

WFW’s grant cycle for 2023 is complete. Details about the 2024 cycle will be available in the fall of 2023.


Tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code and governmental entities are eligible to apply for these grants.

Organizations must be located in or serving one or more of these WNC counties: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania or Yancey.

Previous WFW grantees may apply for new funding as long as all previous grants have closed (final report submitted and approved) by the LOI submission date of October 7, 2022.

Faith-based applicants should clarify whether, and the extent to which, the organization's religious beliefs are integrated into the project.

What We Do Not Fund

Women for Women does not offer grants for:

  • capital support for new buildings, major facility expansion or renovations
  • individual scholarships
  • endowments
  • sectarian purposes which require adherence to a particular religious doctrine or belief
  • veterans affairs
  • deficit funding
  • private primary and secondary schools (except for projects or programs that are not directed toward the school's students or staff and that directly address community needs) and private clubs
  • partisan political purposes

Statewide or national programs will not be considered unless funding is sought for a portion of the program that directly benefits WNC and local people are involved. Organizations may not submit more than one Women for Women grant application at a time.

How to Apply

1. Access Staff Assistance

If you have questions about the WFW grant program, email Amanda Frick Keiser, Women for Women administrator, or call 828-367-9919.

2. Submit a Letter of Intent

Access the online application process to submit a Letter of Intent. For technical assistance with the online grant system, please contact Diane Crisp, Senior Grants Manager, or 828-367-9904. Applicants will be notified by email upon receipt of their submission.

3. Review Process

Applications are screened for completeness, clarity and compliance with eligibility requirements. The Women for Women Grants Committee, made up of volunteer WFW members, oversees the grant review process with support and oversight from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

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