Women’s Catalytic Fund

Spring 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP)

We believe in the power of women to drive social change. Women’s movements need the ability to respond to threats and opportunities with flexible and responsive funding. The Women’s Catalytic Fund (WCF) offers one-time grants of up to $15,000. We aim to put resources into the hands of people with bold visions who are working to end gender-based inequity and fundamentally change the systems that perpetuate it. We prioritize investing in female identifying, nonbinary and gender non-conforming leaders from the BIPOC community.

Through our catalytic giving, we are prepared to take risks, respond rapidly, and give directly to frontline organizations when resources are most needed. We are looking for bold ideas that address and reimagine what is possible when those who have long been ignored are centered in the work. We will only consider initiatives, projects, actions or events that include all of the following:

  • are catalytic:
    • have the potential to serve as a model or to have a ripple effect,
    • accelerate change,
    • be inventive or experimental.
  • are intersectional and collaborative,
  • address gender-based inequity:
    • address gender inequity, gender-based violence, patriarchy, or transphobia,
    • respond to the unique needs, challenges and strengths of women and girls in targeted communities,
    • develop the talents and leadership of women and girls in targeted communities,
    • support women and girls to act on their own behalf, and on behalf of their families and communities, to improve their quality of life;
  • prioritize low-income women, women of color, or immigrant women, inclusive of all those identifying as female,
  • are led by and representative of the community being served.

Note: Having a majority of girls or women participating in your program does not solely qualify as addressing gender-based inequity.

Who can apply?

  • Organizations and proposed project must be based in California.
  • Organizations must have an annual budget under $1,000,000.
  • Applicants must be registered as a 501(c)3, have a designated 501(c)3 willing to accept a grant on their behalf, or have a registered fiscal sponsor.

Funding

  • These are one-time grants of up to $15,000.
  • Proposals should utilize one or more of the following strategies:
    • community organizing,
    • leadership development,
    • media and / or public education, ? policy advocacy,
    • research,
    • capacity building,
    • convening / event.

This fund may support:

  • project / initiative support,
  • pilot or experimental programs,
  • early stage or seed funding that catalyzes additional resources.

This fund does not support:

  • ongoing, regularly scheduled programs,
  • previously planned or long-term campaigns,
  • budget shortfalls.

RFP timeline

  • Proposals are due to JustFund by February 17, 2021 at 5PM (PST).
  • Grant recipients will be notified no later than the week of April 12, 2021.

How to apply

Women’s Catalytic Fund is accepting applications via JustFund, a digital platform to connect social justice funders, foundations, and funds directly with grassroots organizations and urgent projects.

Registering for an Account and Submitting a Proposal

  1. If you are an organization creating a new profile on JustFund, go to www.justfund.us and click “Register as an Organization” to create an account. You will receive an email confirming your registration with a username and temporary password, which you can change upon logging in under “Settings.” 
    Please note: Registration confirmation emails are sent within 24 hours during weekdays and within 48 hours if you register on a weekend. All accounts are individually vetted by JustFund staff to ensure your EIN, fiscal sponsor and contact information are all current. To ensure you are able to complete your proposal prior to the deadline, please be sure to create an account as early as possible.
  2. Once you’ve received your login information, sign in at www.justfund.us with your email and password.
  3. Click “Create a New Proposal Draft” to begin your application. You may save your proposal draft and complete it as you are able.
  4. When you are ready to submit your proposal, click “Submit” and you will be taken to another page where you can select “Women’s Catalytic Fund” and will be asked to upload your 501(c)(3) determination letter to “Required Resources” (see more about this and character limitations in Appendix A) and answer the following supplemental questions specific to WCF’s RFP. If you would prefer to respond to the supplemental questions via video submission, please feel free to do so. Video submission should not exceed 3 minutes.
    1. How does your initiative relate to the movement for gender equity, and why is it important at this moment?
    2. How is your proposal catalytic? Describe how it is inventive or experimental, how it has the potential to serve as a model or have a ripple effect, and how it can accelerate change.
    3. Part 1. In two words, how did you hear about this RFP (e.g., JustFund, EBCF, WCF directly, Social Media, Other: please explain)?
    4. Part 2. How do you expect to know if the proposed activities are making a difference?
  5. When you have completed these steps, you will then select “Submit” to complete your submission.

Once submitted, you will see a notation under your proposal showing the date you have submitted your proposal to WCF. It will also indicate it has been submitted to JustFund General, which means that your proposal is also visible to hundreds of other foundations and individual donors who are using JustFund. You may return to edit your proposal at any time until the submission deadline.

Attaching Resources to Your Proposal

For your application, you will be required to attach your 501(c)(3) determination letter for your organization. To upload your document:

  1. Click the “Resources” button under your proposal.
  2. Select “New File” from the list.
  3. Click “Choose File” to select a file from your local drive and then select “Upload File.”
  4. Complete the file description by completing the “Resource Name” (i.e. 501c3 determination letter) selecting the file from the “File Name” drop down, including a “Short Description” and clicking “Save.”
  5. Scroll to the top of the page to the section “Resources for this Proposal” and click the checkbox for the appropriate file name and then “Attach Resources.”

Video Submission

If you choose to submit a video response, click “Resources” under your proposal, select “New Link,” save the link to your video submission (hosted on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.), and attach the link to your proposal. Once you have completed this step, click “Apply” under your existing proposal, and select “Women’s Catalytic Fund – Spring 2021” from the dropdown menu. In lieu of written responses to the supplemental questions you can include a brief comment such as, “See video link” in each section. If you have questions on how to upload resources to your proposal, please review pages 8-9 of JustFund’s FAQ Document.

Submitting an Existing Proposal on JustFund

If you have an existing proposal on JustFund that fits WCF’s criteria, you may log in at www.justfund.us using your email and password (click “I forgot my password”, if needed). Then, update that proposal with any new information and simply click “Submit” and select “Women’s Catalytic Fund.”

It is possible you may receive funding from other sources before WCF determines our grantees. If

you receive a grant from WCF, we will use our funding as an endorsement to help leverage additional resources from other donors.

If you have questions about how to register or use JustFund, please email info@justfund.us. If you have a question about WCF or the grant process, please email WCFgrantinformation@gmail.com.

Appendix A. Spring 2021 RFP Questions and Requirement Details

 

Part I: JustFund Common Proposal Questions and Requirements

  1. Proposal Description: Tell us about your proposal (2500 characters)
  2. Team Description: Tell us about the team (1250 characters)
  3. Financial Need: Please describe what you will use the funding for (500 characters)

Required Attachments:

  • 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
  • Project Budget Outline

Part II: WCF Supplemental Questions

Supplemental questions are only visible and able to be answered in JustFund after submitting the common proposal.

  1. How does your initiative relate to the movement for gender equity, and why is it important at this moment? (1250 characters)
    A clear gender-based equity focus means your political analysis and project specifically address gender inequity, gender-based violence, patriarchy, or transphobia. The initiative must include an intentional gender analysis and, as such, must:

    1. (1) Respond to the unique needs, challenges and strengths of women and girls in targeted communities.
    2. (2) Develop the talents and leadership of women and girls in targeted communities.
    3. (3) Support women and girls to act on their own behalf, and on behalf of their families and communities, to improve their quality of life.
  2. How is your proposal catalytic? Describe how it is inventive or experimental, how it has the potential to serve as a model or have a ripple effect, and how it can accelerate change. (750 characters)
    • Part 1. In two words, how did you hear about this RFP (e.g., JustFund, EBCF, WCF directly, Social Media, Other: please explain)?
    • Part 2. How do you expect to know if the proposed activities are making a difference? (500 characters combined)