WINcome

Women + Income = Women Thriving

  • Overview

    When Women of Every Background and Identity Thrive, We All Win.

    Yet even in 2021, too many women’s paths to prosperity remain obstructed by their gender, race, class, or zip code. Their paths are even more challenging to navigate when they experience multiple, intersecting barriers.

    As a result, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WCFO) is centering gender, racial, and economic equity in our 2021-2025 strategic framework. When women have resources and flexibility, they can decide how to best move their lives and their families forward.

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  • Where We've Been

    Where We've Been

    Through our Women Achieving Greater Economic Security (WAGES) work, which began in 2017, WFCO invested directly in systems changes to secure holistic supports for women & families. Holistic supports include assistance meeting basic needs (i.e., housing, food, utilities) & resources to prepare for, enter, & succeed in careers; access affordable, high-quality child care; address transportation needs; and many other resources that support health, safety, & well-being.

    In 2020, WAGES & our Women and Families of Colorado Relief Fund (WFCO Relief Fund) also provided immediate relief for women experiencing the sudden & severe economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marginalized communities were disproportionately impacted by the loss of jobs & other barriers the pandemic imposed. As a result, WFCO focused on providing relief to those most impacted, which included single moms, women of color, women in rural communities, women experiencing domestic abuse, women with disabilities, & more. We heard clearly from the women who received support through both programs that flexibility & trust are essential to their success.

  • Where We're Going

    Where We're Going

    Building on what we’ve learned through WAGES & the WFCO Relief Fund and insights from partners across the state, WFCO is excited to launch WINcome, a program designed to address the economic realities of women in Colorado. Through grant investments and partnerships, WFCO will demonstrate that individuals can advance economically when they are trusted to make their own decisions about what they & their families need. WINcome grants will support Colorado women who participate in programs offered by grantee partners by providing direct cash assistance to supplement, not replace, their income and other benefits they may receive through public and nonprofit programs. WINcome grants also advance systemic changes that support gender, racial, & economic equity for Colorado women and families.

    WINcome: Women + Income = Women Thriving

  • Quick Links & Information

    Quick Links & Information

    Applications for 2021 Cycle are CLOSED

    Grant Guidelines

Background

Across the country and around the world, there is renewed interest in direct cash assistance, a proven anti-poverty strategy with a long history rooted in communities of color, that means giving money to those who need it most and trusting individuals to spend it as they choose. Nonprofits and governments have seen remarkable outcomes among recipients of monthly cash assistance payments. WFCO has witnessed through our own work that cash assistance is a successful way to directly support economic security for individuals and communities.

WINcome Grants

WFCO serves women, including trans women, intersex women, and non-trans women, and nonbinary people who need us most. Through WINcome, WFCO and our grantee partners will demonstrate that individuals can advance economically when they are trusted to make their own decisions about what they and their families need. WFCO will fund organizations promoting gender, racial, and economic equity in one of or a combination of the following ways:

  • Providing direct cash assistance to women experiencing poverty or facing barriers to economic security, to supplement their incomes and complement the services received through partners’ programs. In alignment with WFCO’s priority to improve access to flexible and holistic resources, partners may offer support securing resources such as:
    • Jobs with pay and benefits that satisfy basic needs, close the gender and racial income gap, and support economic security;
    • Education and training, and ongoing opportunities to upskill and reskill;
    • Money and resources to start and grow businesses;
    • Child care and other caregiver support;
    • Support for basic human needs, such as food, housing, health care, and transportation.
  • Supporting public policy and systems changes to improve access to and increase public investment in flexible resources and holistic supports that foster economic opportunity, security, and equity.

 

View our Grant Guidelines

 

WINcome logo

WINcome honeycomb chart explaining how WINcome will work to advance gender, racial, and economic equity through flexible and holistic resources

 

WINcome Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I submit an application for WINcome?

After reviewing the grant guidelines, please use our online grantmaking portal CyberGrants to submit your organization’s application. Click here to access the application. If you have any questions, please contact Alison Friedman Phillips, director of programs, at alisonp@wfco.org

 Must organizations share WFCO’s commitment to gender, racial, and economic equity to be considered for funding?

Yes, WFCO will consider organizations’ commitment to gender, racial, and economic equity and how that commitment is demonstrated in their programs, board, staff, policy, and practices.

 Does an organization need to do direct service, provide cash assistance, and conduct policy/advocacy work to be a successful grantee?

Organizations engaged in either direct service, systems change, or a combination of either, will be considered.

Direct service providers will be expected to also distribute direct cash assistance of up to $5,000 per year to a small number of participants in their program(s). Direct service programs must align with WFCO’s priorities of improving access to flexible and holistic resources such as jobs that allow one to earn wages that meet their basic needs and save for future needs; education and training, and ongoing opportunities to upskill and reskill; money and resources to start and grow businesses; child care and other caregiver support; and/or support for basic human needs, such as food, housing, health care, and transportation.

Organizations promoting systems change in alignment with WFCO’s goal of advancing gender, racial, and economic equity are not expected to also distribute direct cash assistance to individuals.

 Can an organization apply for funding if they currently receive funding from WFCO or received funding from WFCO in the past?

Yes.

 Can an organization apply for WINcome funding if they are also applying for a grant from WFCO’s Women and Girls of Color Fund or have received funding from the Women and Girls of Color Fund?

Yes.

 What type of organizations are eligible to apply?

WFCO will make grants to tax-exempt organizations, institutions, or programs fiscally sponsored by tax-exempt entities. Their work must improve women’s economic security through direct service programs, community organizing, advocacy, and research for policy and systems change at the local, county, and/or state level, or a combination of these strategies.

 Does an organization have to be based in Colorado?

WINcome grants will be made to organizations based in Colorado to serve and improve opportunities for women and communities in Colorado.

 Who can receive cash assistance?

WFCO serves and partners with organizations that serve women, including trans women, intersex women, and non-trans women, and nonbinary people who need us most, including those:

  • experiencing poverty,
  • facing barriers to economic opportunity and security,
  • experiencing historic and systemic marginalization on the basis of their gender and additional elements of identity, including race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, religion, or ability, or
  • who are survivors of domestic violence or intimate partner abuse.

 Are there restrictions on how cash assistance can be utilized?

WFCO believes that individuals experiencing barriers to economic security are best suited to determine what they need to thrive. With this trust, there will not be restrictions on how cash assistance can be utilized. WFCO will ask those who receive cash assistance through WINcome to participate in learning and evaluation activities such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. to share their experiences.

 How does receiving cash assistance impact eligibility for other benefits or resources?

WFCO intends to supplement, not replace, other sources of income and resources for women. WFCO and WINcome grantee partners will work to minimize impacts to eligibility for other benefits (the cliff effect or benefits cliff) in a number of ways, which may include seeking waivers from benefit program administrators or structuring the payment(s) to exclude cash assistance from income eligibility determinations.

Some organizations providing cash assistance may select participants to receive cash assistance who are not eligible for other assistance programs, yet still need support. Examples may include, but are not limited to, women with incomes just above the eligibility limit for benefits, or women who are ineligible for public benefits on the basis of their immigration status.

 What are the tax implications of cash assistance?

Whether or not cash assistance is considered taxable income depends on a number of factors.

In many cases, cash assistance to individuals may be considered a gift, which would not be considered taxable income. However, cash assistance may be considered in income eligibility determinations for some public benefit programs. WFCO encourages organizations providing cash assistance to individuals and individuals receiving cash assistance to consult with a tax professional and benefits expert to understand the potential tax and benefits eligibility impacts of receiving cash assistance. Several organizations in Colorado provide free tax services for individuals with low incomes. WFCO does not provide tax or legal advice.

 Is this a multi-year grant?

WINcome grants are made on an annual basis and may be renewed for up to 3 years of funding.

 Will WINcome grantees participate in a similar cohort to WAGES?

While WINcome grantee partners will not be expected to participate in regular cohort convenings, grantee partners will participate in evaluation and learning efforts with WFCO and may be connected with other grantees for informal collaboration, shared learning, or other opportunities. Evaluation and learning opportunities will be designed with grantee input and coordinated by WFCO.

 What is the anticipated amount of WINcome grants?

Grants will vary based on organization or program but will generally be in the range of $30,000 - $60,000 per year and may be renewed for up to three years of funding.

For grants that include direct cash assistance to individuals, a portion of the grant may support operations and at least 50% of the grant will be dedicated to providing direct cash assistance of up to $5,000 per individual per year.

 How many grantees will be funded?

WFCO is actively fundraising to secure additional resources to invest in WINcome and may be able to award more grants. We expect at least 10 -15 grants will be awarded, including direct service organizations, policy organizations, and organizations engaged in both direct service and advocacy.

 Will organizations of all budget sizes be considered for funding? Will new and more established organizations be considered for funding? Can an organization use a fiscal sponsor?

Yes, organizations of all sizes, as well as new organizations and those that have operated for many years will be considered. An organization can use a fiscal sponsor.

 What are the selection criteria for WINcome grants?

WFCO values the opportunity to partner and learn with organizations advancing gender, racial, and economic equity in a range of ways and serving diverse women in communities across Colorado. We strive to include grantee partners that serve women facing different barriers to economic security, are geographically diverse, and plan to distribute and advocate for cash assistance in several different ways.

We anticipate the most competitive applications will:

  • Demonstrate a clear commitment and intersectional approach to advancing gender, racial, and economic equity in their programs, board, staff, policies, and practices.
  • Have expertise in serving women experiencing barriers to economic security.
  • Have leadership teams that represent the community they serve.
  • Share WFCO’s commitment to learning and evaluation as part of WINcome.

Organizations considering applying may connect with WFCO staff in the Info Session on June 24 and/or WINcome Virtual Q&A Drop-in Sessions on June 29, July 7, and July 27.

 

For questions about WINcome, please reach out to Alison Friedman Phillips, director of programs, at alisonp@wfco.org

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We have advised you to seek your own legal and tax advice in connection with gift and planning matters. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado does not provide legal or tax advice.

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