The mission of Women for Women (WFW) is to improve the lives of women and girls in Western North Carolina through women’s collective giving. Our vision is that WFW inspires hope and possibility, empowers women to take action and strengthens Western North Carolina. WFW works to create opportunities through grantmaking, advocacy and advancing women’s philanthropy. Since 2006, WFW has invested more than $5 million in grants in WNC.
WFW seeks to contribute to a region of shared prosperity and belonging where all who identify as women and girls benefit from equitable opportunities and outcomes. To that end, WFW is committed to focusing our grantmaking on work that will reduce inequities in our region, address racial and other biases, and dismantle discriminatory systems that disadvantage marginalized members of our community.
What We Will Fund
For the 2023-2024 grant cycle, WFW will invest in programs that help economically disadvantaged women become more self-sufficient. Proposals might include, but are not limited to: workforce training; mentorship programs; access to safe, affordable housing; access to reliable transportation; access to quality, affordable childcare; financial education and empowerment initiatives; services or supports to age in place.
In this grant cycle, WFW will make grant awards as follows:
• One grant of $125,000 to support a new or expanded project
• Two to six grants of $15,000-$60,000 to support a new or expanded project, to support the ongoing operation of an existing project, or to support general operations
Applicants can request that funds be distributed over one or two years.
WFW classifies staff expenses as project support if the staff position(s) are instrumental to the success of a project, including service delivery or project supervisory responsibilities. If you are not sure whether to classify your grant request as project or operating support, please contact Amanda Frick Keiser, WFW program administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WFW understands that certain types of programming (e.g., school-based programs, job training programs, etc.) may also benefit boys or men. Such inclusion is acceptable for WFW funding, though WFW will consider the number of women and girls who will benefit from a proposal, and WFW prioritizes funding opportunities designed specifically for women and girls.
WFW will support direct service or advocacy work. WFW defines advocacy as activities that promote social change for women and girls at various levels of society - communities, institutions, systems, and policies; it is NOT direct service to individual clients.
Deadlines and Dates
- Letter of Intent due Friday, October 6, 2023, by 5 p.m.
- Semi-finalists selected to complete a full application notified by late-November.
- Full application due from semi-finalists Thursday, January 11, 2024, by 5 p.m.
- Finalists selected for due diligence review by mid-February.
- Final funding decisions made in late April.
- Funding will be available by late May 2024.
Organizations are eligible to apply for Women for Women grants if they:
- have missions or programs focused on serving women and girls;
- are financially sustainable;
- are tax-exempt as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or governmental entities;
- are located in and serving one or more of these WNC counties or territories: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, The Qualla Boundary, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey;
- have successfully closed any previous WFW grants (final report submitted and approved) by the LOI submission date
What We Do Not Fund
Women for Women does not offer grants for:
- capital support for new buildings or major expansions
- recreational programs and equipment, including playgrounds
- 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
- festivals or one-time events such as exhibits, performances or fundraisers
- activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant decisions are made
- sectarian religious purposes
- partisan political purposes
- endowment, deficit funding or debt retirement
- state or national organizations, unless (1) funding is sought for a portion of the program or project that directly benefits WNC, and (2) local people assume leadership of the program or project
How to Apply
1. Access Assistance
If you would like to discuss your proposal or have questions regarding eligibility, you are welcome to email Amanda Frick Keiser, Women for Women program administrator. You can also leave a message at 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. Grants Committee members will review Letters of Intent using this rubric as a guide. Details about the review process for full applications will be shared with semi-finalists in late November.
CFWNC distributes grant payments by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Each grantee must have current banking information on file at CFWNC to receive payment.
View a list of Women for Women grant awards.