The Women’s Catalytic Fund (WCF) is a giving circle that believes in the power of women to drive social change. The circle has been active since 1999 and granted more than $3.7 million to nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area and California. In 2017, the circle moved its ‘home’ to EBCF.
In the past, the circle conducted an annual grant-making process. However, members recognized that women’s movements need the ability to respond to threats and opportunities with more flexible and responsive funding. This drove the circle to shift to shorter, more frequent grantmaking in 2019 in order to put resources into the hands of women more quickly.
Through its catalytic giving, the WCF is prepared to take risks, respond rapidly, and give directly to frontline organizers working to end gender-based inequity early, when resources are most needed. Typically, these are one-time $15,000 grants to ensure financial resources are not a barrier to action.
Grantees of the Women’s Catalytic Fund
- Asian Prisoner Support Committee: APSC’s R2R program will provide support for formerly incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community members and “Others” in Alameda County as they return home and embark on their reentry journey. The program will be staffed by formerly incarcerated women and be one of the few, if not the first, reentry programs in California designed for formerly incarcerated API women.
- East Bay Family Defenders: EBFD will create a Family Reunification Hub in Oakland to provide tactical support to Bay Area parents, predominately Black mothers, seeking to reunite with their children who are in the foster care system. The Hub will empower its participants to be organizers and change agents, rather than service recipients, to prevent and ultimately end the separation of poor families of color.
- My Eden Voice (MEV!): MEV! will train a cohort of six women resident-leaders to conduct outreach and mobilize their communities to advocate for renter protections in the Eden area of unincorporated Alameda County. The cohort will work with communities with high percentages of female-headed households, young children, overcrowded living conditions and burdensome rent.
- Girls Garage: Girls Garage will run a summer program for 24 girls and gender-expansive youth to construct a 16′ toolbox on wheels and giant wooden tools for the San Francisco Pride Parade. The program participants, predominately girls of color from low-income households, will learn to use power tools while building a physical vessel that signifies strength and power. The float will ultimately become a public art installation.
- Native Sister’s Circle
- Kitchen Table Advisors
- Legal Link
- Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association (APSARA)
Due to the challenging issues of 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting pressure for racial, social and environmental justice, the Women’s Catalytic Fund used the Fall 2020 grant cycle to provide one-time supplemental grants of $10,000 to ten of our prior grantees.
- California Coalition for Women Prisoners: #MeToo Behind Bars Documentation Project
- The Radical Monarchs: Radical Alumni Program
- Safe Return Project: Re-investing in Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls
- ACT for Women and Girls: Truth to Power ACTion Team
- Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance
- California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
- Esq. Apprentice
- Mamacitas Cafe
Donate to the Women’s Catalytic Fund today and join our mission to end gender-based inequity early, when resources are most needed.
The Women’s Catalytic Fund is accepting applications for our Fall 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP) via JustFund, a digital platform to connect social justice funders, foundations, and funds directly with grassroots organizations and urgent projects. All proposals are due no later than 5pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2022. For more details, please review the full release here [PDF]. If you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list, please email WCFgrantinformation@gmail.com.