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Women's Fund

The Women's Fund is a key strategy in the Austin Community Foundation’s effort to close the opportunity gap.

The Women’s Fund at the Austin Community Foundation engages men and women in improving the lives of women and children in our community. Funded with membership contributions, members vote annually to award grants to Central Texas nonprofits. To date, more than $1.6 million has been granted by the Women’s Fund to organizations assisting women and children in Central Texas. Learn more about past Women’s Fund projects and impact.

Now in its 15th grant cycle, the Women’s Fund invited area nonprofits to submit letters of inquiry for the work they are doing to address these critical needs. The Women’s Fund focuses our investments in the following grant opportunities and Focus Areas.

  • Housing
  • Child Care
  • Education
  • Unintended Pregnancy Prevention
  • NEW! Innovation Grant

New this year! In addition, the Women’s Fund will also be opening a new grant category, the Innovation Grant, which will be awarded to a nonprofit organization that is taking a creative and innovative approach addressing one or more of the Women’s Fund impact areas above (Housing, Child Care, Education, and Unintended Pregnancy Prevention).

To learn more about these impact areas, please read Women’s Issues are Community Issues: A Status Report on Women and Children in Central Texas. This research is the basis for our data-informed grantmaking approach. We also recently took a more in-depth look at child care in Central Texas in our most recent research publication Child Care: An Essential Work Support for Women.

In 2019, the Women’s Fund will be awarding $250,000 total, which includes a $50,000 Innovation Grant and a $50,000 grant in each of our four Focus Areas. Nonprofits may choose one Focus Area (Housing, Child Care, Education, Unintended Pregnancy Prevention, or Innovation) for consideration.

Application Process

The online portal opens on December 13, 2018 and closes at 12 noon on January 14, 2019.

The Women’s Fund grant opportunity is a two-step process.

  • Step 1: Submit an online Letter of Inquiry (LOI).
  • Step 2: Applicants moving forward to “Stage 2” will be notified via email and invited to submit a full proposal online and schedule a site visit with Women’s Fund membership.
The Women's Fund Grants Committee will recommend programs by Focus Area to full membership for a final vote.
 

Guidelines for Step 1: The online letter of inquiry (LOI) can be submitted through the online portal. Make sure you are submitting the LOI using the Women’s Fund grant portal. This is a different portal from our Community Grants or Hispanic Impact Fund program portals.

Guidelines for Step 2: Those invited to move forward to “Stage 2” will be notified by email and provided an online link to our full application portal and contacted by Women’s Fund membership to schedule a site visit.

The Women’s Fund Project Budget must be used in all Stage 2 submissions.

Timeline

  • Letters of Inquiry due: January 14, 2019 at noon
  • Stage 2 email invitations for full proposal sent mid-February 2019
  • Full proposals due: March 12, 2019 at noon
  • Site visits conducted March 25 - April 5, 2019
  • Award decisions announced early May 2019
  • Grant Award Breakfast in May 2019

Who is eligible?

  • Nonproift organizations working in the 6 county Central Texas region, which include: Travis, Burnet, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson.
  • Organizations must be tax-exempt under Sections 501(c)(3) or 170(b)(1)(a)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code and/or be a unit of government.

Restrictions

In general, the Foundation does not grant funds for:

  • unrestricted general operating expenses
  • endowment funds
  • scholarships
  • religious organizations for religious purposes
  • fundraising activities or events
  • umbrella funding organizations that intend to distribute funds at their own discretion
  • political lobbying or legislative activities
  • individuals

Please review our Commonly Asked Question for more information.

Questions?

Contact Kim Theodore Sidey, ksidey@austincf.org or (512) 220-1441 and check our news for the latest information or sign up for our eNews to stay informed.