Women for Women

Working Wheels was awarded $45,000 over two years to increase its capacity to repair donated vehicles and expand its program to meet 100% of Helpmate’s need for 18 dependable cars. Photo courtesy of Working Wheels.

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 women and girls of Western North Carolina through grantmaking, advocacy, and advancing women’s philanthropy. Since 2006, WFW has invested more than $4.4 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 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.

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/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 projects that best align with the giving circle’s value statements listed above. [We also understand that certain types of programming (e.g., childcare support, violence prevention education, school-based programs, etc.) may include boys and/or men in the served population. Such inclusion is acceptable for WFW funding 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.

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 those which 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 date is Monday, October 18, 2021 by 5 p.m.
  • Semi-finalists selected to complete a full application will be notified in early December.
  • Full applications from semi-finalists submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2022.
  • Finalists chosen for site visits by mid-February.
  • Final funding decisions will be made in early May.
  • Funding will be available starting June 2022.


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.

Current or former WFW grantees must wait a minimum of one year from the end of the organization’s last grant before they may again apply for WFW funding.

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
  • endowment
  • sectarian purposes which require adherence to a particular religious doctrine or belief
  • veterans affairs
  • deficit funding
  • private schools and 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 would like to discuss your proposal or have questions regarding eligibility, you are welcome to email Lisa Sousa, Women for Women support staff, 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.

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