We do philanthropy differently
At The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, our trust-based, capacity-building grants go beyond providing funding. We form deep, collaborative partnerships with grantees and connect them with other capacity-building opportunities. We also strive to make our process as streamlined as possible so that grant partners can spend more time on their mission and less time on administrative hoops.
Our Grantmaking Priorities
Women deserve equal political access, and their voices are crucial to moving society forward. We fund organizations that give women and girls the tools to influence policy and advocate for change, including programs that support women running for office.
Access to comprehensive, medically accurate healthcare is at the foundation of a woman’s ability to be economically secure. We fund organizations that expand access to contraception, provide medically accurate sex education, and deliver programming and services that help women understand and maintain autonomy over their own bodies.
Women and girls already have what they need to become leaders. We fund organizations that help women and girls embrace their leadership potential and show up authentically as themselves. We also fund organizations that provide mentorship and community for women and girls, especially women and girls of color.
Research shows that access to childcare, paid leave, and other social safety net benefits significantly impact a woman’s ability to build wealth. We invest in organizations that are working on long-term solutions to these pressing issues so that women can lead economically secure lives.
A woman’s career and income are two of the biggest factors that contribute to her ability to build wealth. We fund organizations that offer unique solutions to closing the gender pay gap and help women succeed in their careers.
Our Grantmaking Process
The Women’s Fund uses trust-based and participatory frameworks to guide our grantmaking process.
Here’s what you can expect when you apply for a grant from us.
After you submit an application, our staff will review it for eligibility. If you aren’t eligible to receive a grant from us, we will let you know as soon as possible.
Community Grant Review
All eligible applications are reviewed by our Grant Readers on Community Grant Review Day. We bring together hundreds of trained Grant Readers that are split into diverse groups. This ensures that every group has a variety of perspectives and backgrounds and leads to better decision making.
Our staff compiles the scores from our Grant Readers. Applications that score above a certain threshold are sent to our Grants Committee for review.
Grants Committee Review
Our Grants Committee is a group of past Grant Readers and Board Members. After Community Grant Review Day, they meet to discuss the top scoring applications and reach consensus regarding a slate of grants. The agreed upon slate is then recommended to the Board for funding.
Board Vote and Public Announcement
The Board of Directors reviews the slate recommended by the Grants Committee and votes on the grants to be funded. As soon as the slate is approved, we will let you know about the status of your application. We then make a public announcement and mail grant checks.
2023 Grantmaking Cycle
Grant Application Opens - Click here to start an application!
Grant Application Due
Community Grant Review Day
Grant Partners Announced
In order to receive a grant from The Women’s Fund, an organization must:
- Be a 501(c)(3) organization or have a fiscal agent
- Serve women and girls in one or more Central Ohio counties (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union)
- Align with our grantmaking priorities
- Address at least one of the five shifts of social change
- Apply a gender lens and disrupt gender norms
Funds cannot be used for:
- Organizations that are not welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQIA+ individuals
- Organizations that restrict reproductive rights
- Programs that promote religious beliefs and activities
- Political campaigns or promotion of candidates for public office
- Advancement of capital or endowment campaigns
- Event sponsorship
- Scholarships for individuals
- Co-educational programs that do not specifically focus on women and girls
Participate in community grant review
Grant Captains and Grant Readers play an important role in the decision-making process. They ensure that we are investing equitably and effectively. Learn more about applying to be a Captain or Reader.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the eligibility requirements above.
If you are not a 501(c)(3) organization, you must have a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3) in order to apply.
A fiscal agent is another organization that has 501(c)(3) status that takes on the financial risk and responsibility for your program or organization. If you are applying with a fiscal agent, you will need to upload a signed letter on the fiscal agent’s letterhead confirming their agreement to serve as a fiscal agent for your program when you apply.
No. Currently, The Women’s Fund is not able to provide funds to for-profit businesses.
No. The Women’s Fund is not able to provide funds to individuals.
The maximum you can apply for is $20,000.
Yes. You can apply for two different programs at the same organization by submitting two separate applications. The applications will be reviewed and scored completely independent of each other.
If your program changes in name or concept after applying, please contact The Women’s Fund team as soon as possible.
The Women’s Fund team hosts a grant application workshop to answer questions about our process and priorities every year. We cannot provide assistance with drafting your application, but we can answer questions about the application itself and provide tips to help you best represent your program and impact.
In order to remain impartial, The Women’s Fund does not provide grant writing services. However, we encourage applicants to connect with the Association of Grant Writing Professionals if they are interested in hiring external help.
Applicants can apply every year regardless of their funding status in the previous year. The Women’s Fund supports established and new programs. If you are submitting an application for the first time and would like to schedule an introductory conversation prior to applying, please feel free to contact us.