OVERVIEW: The Global Fund for Women was founded by women for women. The fund makes grants almost exclusively to woman-run, majority-women NGOs working to expand women's reproductive economic, and political freedoms in lower-income countries.
IP TAKE: This funder is accessible, and accepts applications twice a year.
PROFILE: The Global Fund for Women was founded by four veteran foundation and NGO female executives who pooled limited resources to fill an unmet philanthropic need. Over the course of their careers, Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling, Nita Barrow and Laura Lederer observed a gender gap in philanthropy, and as a result, established the fund in 1987 in Palo Alto, California. They created the fund in order to empower populations excluded from international development programming and the global economy — generally, women in lower-income countries facing deprivation and abuse. Key funding issues include sexual and reproductive health and rights, freedom from violence and economic justice.
Given the intersection between women's reproductive freedoms and their relative levels of economic and political empowerment, the Global Fund emphasizes both propelling women forward in the public sphere and supporting health care issues. In this area, the foundation believes that "[a]ll women and girls are able to make their own reproductive and sexual choices."
The Global Fund for Women considers funding projects or organizations where staffing genders are mixed, provided that, in addition to women's rights, the grantee is focused on another underserved population like LGBTQ communities or people with disabilities.
The Global Fund's allocation trends reveal a preference for initiatives located in Africa and Asia, but the fund considers projects in some 170 countries (not including the United States). While the fund technically places geographic restrictions on its grantmaking, the practice is implemented broadly as long as the organization is international.
The fund sets two grant application deadlines a year. Grant seekers whose work aligns with the fund's grantmaking priorities are eligible to apply via the foundation's online proposal system.
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