Our grant funding is focused on women and girls.

Currently, less than 7% of philanthropic dollars are directed to programs that specifically support women and girls, and women are disproportionately affected by many issues such as poverty, lack of healthcare, pay inequity, and violence.

By supporting programs that create opportunities to improve the economic, educational, physical health, and emotional well-being of women and girls, we can improve the overall quality of life in our community.


In 2020 we quickly recognized the detrimental impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on our community and committed to reducing what we asked of our nonprofit partners in the application process. One year later, we see how women and communities of color have been disproportionately affected and how the pandemic has only amplified systemic racial and gender inequities that have been in existence for centuries.

We see how hard our grantee partners have been working to address these issues, and we remain committed to putting less burden on them. The Women's Fund also recognizes the importance of making grant funding as unrestricted as possible so nonprofits can be more flexible as they support local women and girls, particularly those of color.

More specifically, we have committed to:

  • allowing organizations to apply for program expenses (including overhead associated with a program) or general operating support
  • removing the requirement that organizations requesting support for previously-funded programs must step-down their grant request amount


Proposals must:

  • have a focus on economic security.
  • have a gender focus and impact Forsyth County women and girls.
  • be submitted by an organization or a fiscal agent that is either a nonprofit or faith-based organization exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and classified as "not a private foundation" under Section 509(a) or a government or public agency.


While grant decisions are ultimately made by The Women’s Fund’s membership, applicants that meet one or more of the following criteria will receive priority during the review process:

  • Newly-established organizations less than five years old  
  • Smaller organizations with annual revenue under $250,000  
  • Organizations led by women of color focused on working with women and/or girls of color  
  • Organizations that engage women and/or girls with lived experience in the design and/or implementation of the proposed program or work

We do not support:

  • programs or organizations that discriminate based on ethnicity, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran’s status.
  • programs that proselytize or promote any particular religion or sect or deny services to potential beneficiaries based upon religious beliefs.
  • individuals, including direct scholarships.
  • capital campaigns, annual campaigns or fundraising events, endowment campaigns, or retirement of debt.
  • biomedical research.
  • political campaigns or other partisan political activity.


  • May: grant applications open
  • June: full applications due
  • July: notification of proposal status
  • August: site visits (if applicable)
  • September: agencies notified if they advance to member voting
  • September/October: member voting period
  • October: notification of funding decisions
  • November: grants officially awarded
  • January 1 or later: grant start date

Stories of Impact

Shalom Project

Kaisha works as the Regional Manager for NCWorks at Goodwill and as a social advocate through the city’s Partnership for Prosperity (PFP), an initiative to raise awareness about the causes of poverty and coordinate the fight against it.

Read storySee more stories


Children’s Law Center of Central NC

$15,000 to support domestic violence survivors in evaluating their needs and barriers and connecting them to community resources.

The Children’s Law Center of Central NC provides legal advocacy for children, focusing on those involved with domestic violence or high-conflict custody cases. The Children’s Law Center and the Winston-Salem office of Legal Aid of NC joined together to create Stepping Forward, a program that helps domestic abuse clients create stable lives away from their abusers. The program’s target population includes clients who have recently-closed domestic violence cases.   The program has worked on average with 150 clients per year before the pandemic, and anticipates their number of clients will increase again in 2022.

City with Dwellings

$15,000 to support a women's peer support program for women experiencing homelessness.

City with Dwellings seeks to end the crisis of homelessness by building a sustainable and supportive community through relationships and mutual support.  City with Dwellings maintains connections with individuals who visit their overflow shelters year-round through street outreach, case coordination, advocacy, and programming. This year City with Dwellings hired peer support specialists to work specifically with women and created a peer support circle that meets monthly over the summer. City with Dwellings plans to train additional peer support specialists and expand their hours to better serve the women coming for support in 2022.

Eliza's Helping Hands

$15,000 for the PEARLS program.

PEARLS (Preparing Eager Achievers to Redirect their Lives Successfully) strives to provide holistic support to African-American and Latina/Hispanic girls ages 12 – 17. The P.E.A.R.L.S. program includes one-on-one counseling, equine therapy, and group sessions tailored to the needs of the girls and covers topics such as communication skills, self-esteem, financial education, and exploring career options. Since its inception, 45 girls have graduated from PEARLS, and four are currently attending Forsyth Technical Community College.

Imprints Cares

$15,000 for the Pediatric Parenting Connections program to provide young moms with post-natal health and parenting support.  

The Pediatric Parenting Connections program focuses on meeting the needs of high-risk young women ages 14-21 who have given birth at the Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center's Birthing Center. Through the use of an evidence-based model that is adjusted to the needs of each mom, program participants improve their knowledge and understanding of child development and milestones via one-on-one consultation and through peer connection activities. Imprints Cares has already received 43 referrals to participate in the program, with 84% identifying as women of color.

LEAD Girls of NC

$15,000 to support programs designed to help middle school girls develop critical social and emotional skills.

Throughout a multi-session workshop series, LEAD uses dialogue-focused sessions to engage girls in deep thinking and active communication about their challenges, goals, and aspirations. LEAD also teaches age-appropriate financial literacy, career exploration, and academic success strategies. Each girl typically receives 60 hours of services through these programs each year. In 2020, LEAD Girls worked with 229 girls from 27 schools. Their research showed that 95% of program participants report they are thinking about their future, and 94% report they are more motivated to do good things.

Neighborhood’s Hands

$15,000 for the Girls Rise Up program.

This program provides tutoring, mentoring, educational workshops, and health and wellness activities for girls of color to improve confidence and emotional well-being. Certified teachers provide tutoring services and teach effective study habits to help the girls excel in the classroom. In addition to academic assistance, young entrepreneurs and businesswomen of color teach the girls about financial literacy, health and wellness, and etiquette. The program will serve approximately 30 girls and young women ages 6-18 from low-income households with limited resources.

Salem Academy

$4,850 for the Girl Up Mentor Program that encourages middle school girls to attend college.

Girl Up brings middle school girls from Wiley Middle School to Salem Academy’s campus and connects them with Academy students to encourage them to set academic and career goals. Program participants are enrolled in Girl Up throughout their middle school years. One of the first girls to participate in the program since its inception in 2019 is attending Salem Academy this fall on scholarship. Salem has made it a priority to increase scholarship assistance to help local students attend the Academy. There is currently a waitlist for girls to participate in the Girl Up program, and Salem Academy hopes to grow the program to serve more girls over the next two years.

The Wells Center

$12,560 to work with women in the Forsyth County Detention Center and those who have recently been released.

The Wells Center, founded by the current chaplain of the Forsyth County Detention Center, has been providing personal and leadership development programming to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women for many years. The Wells Center works with women to achieve their personal goals and offers regular mentoring and classes on a wide variety of topics, including healing from trauma and job training. Due to the intense nature of the program, the Wells Center plans to work with 20-30 women each year.

YWCA of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County

$15,000 to support the Hawley House, a state-licensed recovery facility for women diagnosed with substance use disorder.  

When Hawley House residents enter the program, they typically need assistance with all basic needs. Hawley House residents graduate when they can pay bills with limited assistance and live in private housing. Hawley House also continues to provide support to graduates through an aftercare program. In recent years, 90% of graduates have remained self-sufficient and substance-free 12 months after graduation.  Last year Hawley House was able to expand from six beds to nine beds but continues to have a waitlist.


The Women’s Fund's 2021 grants process has closed. The next grants process will open in May 2022.
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