OVERVIEW: This Tucson-based funder supports organizations and programs that work towards social, political, and economic change for women and girls. Funding is focused on Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties.
FUNDING AREAS: Social, political, and economic change for women and girls
IP TAKE: Pitch a program to this funder that targets multiple generations of women at once or that gets young local women involved in the giving spirit of philanthropy and community service.
PROFILE: The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona (WFSA) has a mission to achieve social, political and economic change that empowers women and girls. This Tucson-based funder awards unrestricted grants for programs in Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.
One encouraging thing about this funder is its recent record of unrestricted grants in the range of $25,000 to $40,000. Areas of interest have included a two-generational approach to needs of low-income single mothers and their children, helping women increase their income and assets, and changing workplace policies to improve conditions for women. Current priorities are set by the community-based volunteer board of trustees.
Only groups in Southern Arizona are considered for funding, and target populations include the following: girls, women of color, older women, women and girls with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, low-income women and girls, women and girls outside Metropolitan Tucson, immigrant, undocumented, and refugee women and girls, and incarcerated women. Economic security and self-sufficiency are at the heart of WFSA giving. Causes it has cared about include access to child care, expansion of temporary aid, access to higher education, comprehensive sex education, efforts against domestic violence, and pay equity in the workforce.
Some past grantees include Arizona Youth Partnership, YWCA of Tucson, Literacy Connects, and Caregivers Training Institute. You can see a full list of past grantees on the funder’s grants page. There’s also the Unidas program—the word is the feminine form of the Spanish word for “united.” These grants give high school-age young women a chance at $5,000 per semester to give to a nonprofit of their choice to support a cause they care about. This opportunity is as much about hands-on community service and leadership experience as it is the grant money.
Funding is considered on a year-to-year basis, and grants have been awarded in the spring following a set of deadlines the previous fall season. You can often find announcements about open calls for proposals in the foundation’s news section, or subscribe to the foundation’s newsletter to stay up-to-date. WFSA’s annual report offers additional insights into the types of causes that the funder supports on a regular basis. General questions can be directed to the WFSA staff at 520-622-8886.
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