Daily News

Women’s Fund to Award up to $250,000 Through Upcoming Grant Opportunities

SPRINGFIELD — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced upcoming grant opportunities, with up to $250,000 available for organizations that serve women and girls in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.

Funding awarded during the next five months will be made available from the following programs: the Fund for Me Too Movement and Allies, Emergency Grants, the Young Women’s Initiative, and a general, open call for proposals.

“Grant funds provided through these programs position WFWM as a leader for gender equity, where people in our communities have the power to prosper economically, live safe and healthy lives, and thrive,” said Nicole Young, Community Investments manager. “Being able to make grant funding available at this time is critical as we are in a unique position to support our communities in meeting these urgent, unmet needs. Our board is committed to investing in the organizations serving women and girls who are equally as dedicated to addressing these disparities.”

WFWM is considering a renewal of the agreements made with organizations that received funding through the Fund for Me Too Movement and Allies, initially awarded in 2020. These programs deliver services and support across the four counties for prevention and intervention of sexual-based violence. Last year’s recipients include the Elizabeth Freeman Center, Human in Common, Root Studio, Safe Passage, and the Salasin Project. Funding from the renewal grants will total $50,000.

In response to the overwhelming needs of community organizations working to prevent homelessness and food insecurity, WFWM will disperse at least $100,000 in emergency funding immediately to empower organizations providing fast and direct economic aid to women and families. Potential recipients were vetted through an interview process using an anti-racist lens, with awards being determined based on immediate need.

The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) of WFWM seeks to distribute $15,000 in grants to Springfield-based organizations whose programs address safety and anti-violence, economic security and prosperity, or leadership and visibility. Participants from the current cohort and alumnae of YWI make up this grants committee. They are given autonomy to select recipient organizations through participatory grantmaking, an approach that cedes decision-making power about grants to community members who will be directly impacted by funding decisions.

WFWM will also award grants totaling at least $70,000 through a general request for proposals. Women and girl-serving organizations based in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties whose work aligns with one of WFWM’s following strategic pillars of work may apply for consideration: economic security, parity in positions of power and leadership, and freedom from violence, harassment, and abuse. Grants will be unrestricted, and the application process will start with a letter of intent due by Monday, Feb. 28, with final decisions announced by June. More detailed information, including a grant timeline, letter-of-intent criteria, and submission guidelines are available at mywomensfund.org.