The Women’s Fund Annual Grant Program
Grant-making is at the heart of The Women’s Fund purpose. Each year, The Women’s Fund awards funding to local nonprofits and public entities who seek to address our overall mission to create a better future for women and their families in the Redding area. Participants in The Women’s Fund Giving Circle will vote to select recipients of annual grants from The Women’s Fund Endowment and their donations will be added to the annual grant to further increase impact.
Local nonprofits with a public, 501(c)(3) status and public entities are invited to apply for funding each summer. More detailed information about applications can be found on the Community Foundation of the North State website.
The grant money is a pooled fund comprised of annual contributions from each member of TWF and any additional donations designated for this purpose.
Each year, the Cabinet decides the total amount of grant funds to be awarded and may specify a dollar limit for individual proposals (e.g. $50,000 awarded in total and no more than $25,000 awarded to a single organization/entity). In recent years, TWF has awarded a total of $45,000-$50,000 in grants annually.
Funding decisions are made by The Women’s Fund members through a two-step process involving a review panel and a full membership vote.
During September, a panel of seven TWF members, known as the Grant Review Panel (GRP), meets for up to 10 hours to evaluate grant applications. The proposals are assessed for how well each fits with our mission, as well as the feasibility of the budget and plan for implementation. As part of the review process, the GRP meets with key project leaders to obtain more in-depth information about the project and the organization and to address any questions.
The panel then votes on the final slate of proposals to be placed on the ballot and presented to the full TWF membership for a vote. Members can be confident that the proposals and the organizations have been fully vetted by the Grant Review Panel and that the panel is confident that the finalists will indeed deliver on the goal of creating a better future for women and children in our community.
In October, members receive written summaries of the proposals in an email ballot format, along with a short video featuring a representative from the organization highlighting the key elements and expected impact of the proposal. Only current members are eligible to vote. Members are given 7-10 days to review the ballot and cast their vote. Members may vote for only one project proposal.
TWF members with at least two years of membership are eligible to serve on the Grant Review Panel. Five people are chosen from a pool of qualified interested members in a random drawing and serve for two years. Additionally, the Chair of the Grant Committee and one member of TWF Cabinet also join the panel, bringing the total to seven members serving on the panel. A program officer of the Community Foundation assists the Grant Review Panel in the vetting process to ensure adherence to best practices.
The number of proposals that can be funded in any given year depends on the amount of funds requested by each organization and what projects receive the most member votes. The top proposal with the most votes will be funded. Then the runner-up proposals will be funded to the extent that additional monies are available in the annual grant-making budget. At this time, it is our goal to fund at least two projects each year.
Generally, grant award winners are announced in October. The member voting results must be approved by TWF Cabinet and the CFNS Board of Directors.
If you have additional questions, please contact our Program Officer at the Community Foundation, Megan Conn, [email protected]. You can also reach out to our current Grant Chair, Theresa Flynn Gasman, [email protected] or send your question to our mailbox [email protected].