Women & Girls of Color Fund

Racial justice is fundamental to gender equity and economic justice

  • Overview

    Women of color contribute immensely to our communities. Yet they are undervalued and underinvested in.

    The Women & Girls of Color Fund is a community-developed, community-led field-of-interest fund dedicated to investing in and partnering with women-of-color-led organizations that are working to advance the economic security of Colorado women and girls of color. Women and girls of color are assets to our communities. By collaborating with and investing in them, we are investing in their inherent gifts and invaluable contributions. Our approach will focus on elevating women and girls of color across the state of Colorado to create a better future for all of us.

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  • Where We've Been

    Where We've Been

    Throughout 2020, WFCO worked with a committee of women of color from across the state to develop an innovative, equitable framework for the Women & Girls of Color Fund. We also sought feedback from the broader community. Here's what you told us women and girls in your community need most from this fund as nonprofit leaders and on the path to economic security.

    Additionally, to ensure a community-designed and community-led fund, we convened a Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council to oversee the application process, learn together, review applications, and select grantees.

    The council is made up of Colorado women of color, girls of color, and nonbinary people of color ages 17 and up passionate about The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s mission.

  • Where We're Going

    Where We're Going

    Through the Women & Girls of Color Fund, we commit to:

    BUILD upon our commitment to equity and women of color in our WAGES grantmaking work
    INCREASE investments in work led by women of color that transform the lives of women and girls of color with a focus on advancing and accelerating their economic security. We trust the leadership of women of color to know how to make the greatest difference for their community. The Women's Foundation will contribute $50,000 per year to the fund for the next three years
    PRIORITIZE what philanthropy traditionally considers too “risky” or new to fund as well as innovative strategies developed through the lived experiences of women of color
    FACILITATE a community-led grantmaking process, rooted in the voices and priorities of women of color

  • Quick Links & Information

    Quick Links & Information

    Front Range Applications Are CLOSED. Rural Applications will Open in January 2022

    Application Questions

    FAQs & Timeline

    Meet Our Advisory Council

    Meet Our Rural Grantees

    Blog: Learning from Our History: Investing in Women and Girls of Color

Background

Women of color contribute immensely to the health, well-being, and advancement of our communities. They mobilize grassroots movements that create real change, they are thought leaders who shape our understanding of gender and race, and they are uniquely positioned to lead us into a better future because of their lived experiences. At the same time, women of color face greater disparities in health outcomes, pay, wealth, access to capital, and more.

Two leading philanthropic organizations – Echoing Green and Bridgespan – found in a recent research report that “racial inequity is built into philanthropic norms.” Black- and Latino-led organizations face significant disparities in revenue, assets, and acquired funding. Gender only compounds these disparities, despite the monumental achievements of grassroots, women-of-color-led initiatives.

As the only community foundation in our state focused on Colorado women and their families, it is up to us to change that. From the purpose, goals, creation, and management of the fund, we are committed to rejecting the problematic philanthropic norms that cause women of color to receive just .5% of all philanthropic dollars.

 

 

WGCF Grants

Our framework and priorities for the Women & Girls of Color Fund are based on your feedback. The fund focuses on organizations led by women or girls of color executive directors that are committed to building economic power and dismantling oppressive systems through direct service or community organizing.

The Women & Girls of Color Fund has two grant cycles per year:

  • January - March 2021: Rural focus
  • July - September 2021: Front Range focus (Larimer, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Adams, and El Paso counties)

Grantees must be fiscally sponsored or have a 501c3 by the time grants are distributed. If your initiative does not have a fiscal sponsor or 501c3 but your work aligns with our funding priorities, please reach out to WFCO Donor Relations Manager Camisha Lashbrook at camishal@wfco.org.

Thank You to Our First Funders

In addition to our own seed investment of $50,000 for the first three years, generous grants from The Colorado Health Foundation, Ford Foundation, Chambers Initiative, Margulf Foundation, and Xcel Energy as well as gifts from a diverse group of individual donors are helping this fund come to life.

The Ford Foundation is supporting the launch of our Women and Girls of Color Fund by offering $50,000 in matching dollars. Make your donation to the Women & Girls of Color Fund today. 

Help Us Meet Our Match

Thirty percent of the balance of new gifts into the fund will be designated to support WFCO’s general operations as an investment in our education, research, and philanthropy as well as public policy that also advance the goals and intent of the fund. The split will be assessed once per year.

Our Funding Priorities

Our funding priorities are grounded in increasing investments in Colorado women and girls of color, their leadership, their futures, and their economic security.

 

Led by Women and Girls of Color Focused on Women and Girls of Color Colorado-based and Colorado-focused
Women of color have the experience and community knowledge to best lead our communities into an equitable future. Grantee organizations will be led by women of color executive directors. Women and girls of color receive just .5% of all foundation funding. Programs we fund will have a focus on the power and potential of women and girls of color. Colorado is a large and diverse state. Grantees will take a range of approaches to advancing the economic security of women and girls of color based on their specific communities' needs.
Liberatory Leadership Advancing Economic Security Those Most Underfunded
Grantees will not only reject systems of racism, classism, homophobia, and patriarchy, they will also demonstrate radical practices of liberatory leadership such as self care and collective leadership, which undermine white supremacy culture. In alignment with The Women's Foundation of Colorado's mission, the fund will support programs that advance the economic security of women and girls of color. Following principles of intersectionality, the Women & Girls of Color Fund will prioritize those communities marginalized by multiple systems of oppression and most underfunded.

 

WGCF Frequently Asked Questions

 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.

 Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet all criteria.

501(c)(3) charitable organizations; tax-exempt educational institutions; tax-exempt state, tribal, local government entities; or initiatives working with a fiscal sponsor. Organizations without nonprofit status who are interested in this fund should contact Camisha Lashbrook, donor relations manager, at CamishaL@wfco.org.

  • Organization headquartered in rural Colorado (regardless of service area) (See our list of counties and zip codes) for funding in January 2022.
  • Organizations based in Front Range counties and statewide organizations are eligible for funding in July 2021.
  • Organizations whose executive director or CEO is a woman of color, girl of color, or nonbinary person of color.

Examples of exceptions that will be considered:

  • After school programs or extra-curricular activities at K-12 schools led by women of color, girls of color, or nonbinary people of color
  • Projects or departments at institutions of higher education that are led by women of color, girls of color, or nonbinary people of color
  • Community organizing or direct service organizations that advance economic security for or build the economic power of women of color, girls of color, and/or nonbinary people of color along the continuum from birth through adulthood. (Excludes research- and public policy-exclusive organizations). Examples: Early childhood education & child care; job training; entrepreneurship; financial education; self-esteem; trauma and healing; health; food insecurity; safety; reproductive justice; legal services; housing; leadership development; refugee and immigrant rights/services; grassroots advocacy

Contact Camisha Lashbrook at CamishaL@wfco.org if you aren’t sure whether your organization/group/initiative qualifies..

 What are your funding priorities?

Our funding priorities are grounded in increasing investments in Colorado women and girls of color, their leadership, their futures, and their economic security.

  • Led by women and girls of color: Women of color have the experience and community knowledge to best lead our communities into an equitable future. Grantee organizations will be led by women of color executive directors.
  • Focused on women and girls of color: Women and girls of color receive just .5% of all foundation funding. Programs we fund will have a focus on the power and potential of women and girls of color.
  • Colorado-based and Colorado-focused: Colorado is a large and diverse state. Grantees will take a range of approaches to advancing the economic security of women and girls of color based on their specific communities' needs.
  • Liberatory leadership: Grantees will not only reject systems of racism, classism, homophobia, and patriarchy, they will also demonstrate radical practices of liberatory leadership such as self care and collective leadership, which undermine white supremacy culture.
  • Advancing economic security: In alignment with The Women's Foundation of Colorado's mission, the fund will support programs that advance the economic security of women and girls of color.
  • Those most underfunded: Following principles of intersectionality, the Women & Girls of Color Fund will prioritize those communities marginalized by multiple systems of oppression and most underfunded.

 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 a grant from the Women & Girls of Color Fund if they are also applying for a grant from WINcome or have received previous funding from WFCO?

Yes.

 Does an organization have to be based in Colorado?

Women & Girls of Color Fund grants will be made to organizations based in Colorado to serve and improve opportunities for women and girls of color in Colorado.

 What does the application process look like?

You can find the application questions now in a PDF or Word document to prepare. Applicants will first be asked a series of eligibility questions. If your organization is eligible, you will be directed to the application. You do not need to complete your application in one sitting. You will need to submit the Google Form and come back via the link that will be automatically sent to your email or you can download the questions in advance to compile your responses before beginning to fill out the online application. There are no word minimums or maximums. Please feel free to copy and paste from other grant applications, collateral, or your website. After you’ve submitted your application, you will see a confirmation screen with a Calendly link to schedule a 30-minute conversation with our staff. Conversations must take place before 5pm on August 2. We will take that time to get to know each other, answer any of your questions, and talk in more detail about your application responses.

 What is the timeline for the application process?

Front Range Cycle

  • July 5, 2021: Applications for the Front Range cycle opens
  • July 7 – Aug. 2, 2021: One-on-one conversations with applicants
  • Aug. 2, 2021: Applications close at 5pm
  • Aug, 30, 2021: Applicants notified
  • Sept. 15, 2021: Deadline for grants to be distributed
  • October 2021: Virtual site visits with Front Range grantee partners
  • Early 2022: Reporting conversation with Front Range grantee partners

Rural Cycle

  • January 2022: Applications for the rural cycle opens. More information will be posted by December 2021.

 What does the review process look like?

After WFCO staff complete legal due diligence, we will compile each organization’s application and notes from follow-up conversations for our advisory council’s review. The advisory council members will independently evaluate organizations in alignment with our funding priorities and goals. Finally, council members will meet as a group to discuss the applications and make final decisions on who to fund and grant amounts. To ensure a well-diversified group of grantee partners and meet our goal of funding those most underfunded, the advisory council will also take into consideration factors such as populations served, counties served, type of services offered, size of organizations, and more.

 Is this a multi-year grant?

Although they are not multi-year grants, grantee partners may reapply each year.

 What size are the grants and what can funding be used for?

All grants from the Women & Girls of Color Fund are unrestricted. Grantee partners can use funds as startup funds, for operating expenses, to fund a new program, to supplement their work in areas traditionally difficult to fund (cash stipends, for example), to deepen their commitment to or work toward liberatory leadership, prevent staff burnout, uplift the leadership of women of color within their organizations or their community, or anything else necessary to achieve their mission.

Grants will range from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on how many organizations are selected for funding. Applicants do not need to submit an application for a specific amount. Organizations will also receive a $750 for staff appreciation or professional or personal development.

 How many grantees will be funded?

We expect 10-15 grants will be awarded.

 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 reporting expectations of grantees?

WFCO staff and the Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council will schedule a virtual site visit with grantee partners in April after grants are distributed. Mid-year reporting in the fall of 2021 and end-of-year reporting in spring of 2022 will each consist of an hour-long conversation with WFCO staff: How did this grant impact your work, share a story from a constituent, and updated demographic breakdowns.

 How will WFCO support our grantee partners?

The Women’s Foundation will take a holistic approach in supporting our grantee partners. In addition to funding, we hope to offer time and space for grantees to gather to discuss topics of their choosing, offer capacity building, make community connections, etc.

 How can I learn more?

Organizations considering applying may connect with WFCO staff in an Info Session on June 24. If you have other questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to Camisha Lashbrook at CamishaL@wfco.org.

 

Women & Girls of Color Fund Grantee Interest Form

The Women's Foundation of Colorado will begin accepting applications for the Front Range cycle of our Women & Girls of Color Fund in July 2021.

The cycle will be open to organizations:

  • Whose executive director/CEO is a woman of color, girl of color, or nonbinary person of color
  • Whose work advances economic security or builds the economic power of women, girls, and nonbinary people of color
  • Based in and serving Front Range communities or serving statewide

You can find our FAQ and the application questions above. Please fill out the form below if your organization would like to receive updates about grants from the fund.

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