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.


Grant funding for The Women's Fund is focused on building economic security for those who identify as women and girls in Forsyth County. Organizations can submit one application for a maximum of $15,000.

The Women's Fund believes having economic security is key for all women and girls in our community to thrive. Our 2020 Through A Gender Lens research report highlights some of the systemic barriers that have led to the gender and racial disparities we see in our community and provides data related to Business and Employment, Economic Self-Sufficiency, Education, and Housing and Homelessness.

The Women’s Fund is a strategic initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation, and this grant program directly aligns with the Foundation’s focus area to build an inclusive economy.


The Women’s Fund will support grant proposals that:

  • are designed with a focus on increasing economic security and or mobility for those who identify as women and girls.
  • are designed to benefit and positively impact those who identify as women and girls.
  • are making an impact in Forsyth County, NC.
  • are implemented by a 501 (c)(3) organization, a government or public agency, or a faith-based organization. (Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) may utilize an organization with one to serve as its fiscal agent.)


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

  • organizations with annual revenue of $250,000 and under
  • organizations led by women of color and focused on working with women and/or girls of color*
  • organizations that actively engage women and/or girls with lived experience in the design and/or implementation of the proposed program or work
  • program or work designed with a gender focus**

*Note on led by women of color: The Women’s Fund defines led by women of color as organizations with more than 50% of the organization’s decision-makers identifying as women of color. This can include executive leadership, board, program managers, etc.

**Note for gender focus: The Women’s Fund defines an organization or a project that has a gender focus as one that goes beyond the number or percentage of women/girls served. A gender focus entails considering the unique and varied experiences of those who identify as women and girls during 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, fundraising events, endowment campaigns, or retirement of debt.
  • biomedical research.
  • political campaigns or other partisan political activity.


  • May 30: grant applications open
  • July 12: application deadline
  • Week of July 19: notification of proposal status
  • August 7-31: virtual site visits (if applicable)
  • September 11: agencies notified if advancing to member voting
  • September/October: member voting period
  • October 20: notification of funding decisions
  • November 8: grants officially awarded
  • January 1, 2024 or later: grant start date


The Women’s Fund's 2023 grants process has closed. The next grants process will open in May 2024.

Do you have a proposal idea you'd like to discuss before you apply? We'd like to hear from you! Please contact us to schedule a conversation.

Stories of Impact

Mi Casa

The staff at Mi Casa are accustomed to building trusting relationships with their clients as they offer little-to-no-cost legal services. On any given day, their clients could be seeking assistance in applying for citizenship, filing a tax return, or finding a job.

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Anuli Pregnancy Care Services

$15,000 to provide transitional support services and host educational and wellness workshops for new and expecting mothers.

Anuli’s Family Connections program provides individualized wrap-around services to promote improved reproductive health and birth outcomes. Clients gain access to individual and group educational support workshops on topics like childbirth, parenting, nutrition, mental health and wellness, financial literacy and more. Through a host of support services, educational and need based resources, Anuli helps parents learn to advocate for their children and recognize ways to identify and improve relationship barriers with social support systems.

City with Dwellings

$15,000 to create a Women's Guest Support (Diversion) Fund for expenses that help women overcome financial barriers to prevent or resolve their homelessness.

Women without housing face unique challenges and outcomes requiring specific care and support. Many do not have access to pre- and postnatal care, child care, child custody, or job opportunities due to their lack of stable housing and personal circumstances. By providing strategic financial support to women in active crisis, the diversion fund aims to help women gain housing stability – by reuniting them with their families, helping them start over in a safe place, assistance to avoid losing their home or help moving into a new one.

Eliza’s Helping Hands

$15,000 to provide holistic mental health support and career exploration opportunities through the PEARLS program.

PEARLS is designed for young women in marginalized communities ages 12-18 who have experienced trauma or been exposed to violence or instability in the home. PEARLS invests in mental health, social well-being, and economic opportunities of young women who may otherwise not have it. Driven by a goal to prepare a child, not repair an adult, program participants gain access to holistic mental health support, including individual and group counseling, equine therapy, and educational workshops on financial education and career exploration, soft and communication skills, multicultural awareness, self-esteem, and anger management.

Financial Pathways of the Piedmont

$15,000 to support the Pathways to Savings program, a matched savings program designed to improve financial well-being and economic mobility for low-to-moderate-income female heads of households.

Research reports that nearly half of Americans do not have $400 to cover an unexpected expense, and households of color are disproportionately impacted in savings and wealth. The program aims to increase financial literacy and create a foundation for women to build healthy saving habits and economic security. The match is intentionally 2:1, allowing participants to have at least $750 in their savings account by the program's end. Each participant is paired with a certified financial counselor to create individualized action plans to reach their financial goals.

LEAD Girls

$15,000 to support the LEAD Girls STEAM Pilot program, a new certified education component for 18 middle school girls to develop STEAM skills and career literacy.

The 9-month program aims to encourage girls to explore STEAM opportunities, closing the gender and race gaps within the industry. Each year, the program will focus on one specific area of STEAM and year one will focus of engineering. LEAD will organize field trips to reinforce the girls' learning and career exploration pathways. In year one, girls will visit learn about biomedical engineering, 3D printing, how to create prosthetics and more.

Living Is Finally Enjoyable Winston-Salem (L.I.F.E. W-S)

$15,000 to provide transitional housing and wrap-around support services to single mothers and her children.

Many families experience homelessness due to income insufficiency, earning less than their estimated essential expenses, including childcare, food, housing, transportation, healthcare ,insurance, other expenses. For 3-to-6 month, L.I.F.E W-S will house a family in a 3-bedroom home rent and utility free and have access to physical, nutritional, employment and financial counseling resources. With a commitment to creating a culture of community, L.I.F.E W-S will incorporate the “handshake-handoff” method, accessing resources alongside their families to ensure they understand their options as it relates to their unique experience and goals, ensuring continued support.

Our Opportunity 2 Love and Heal

$15,000 for a 12- week pilot program engaging middle-and-high school girls impacted by trauma and violence.

Opportunity 2 Love + Heal, previously the Women’s Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, began as a coalition of women in Winston- Salem concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on community violence in low-income and communities of color, along with disproportionate impact of health, economic, educational, housing, and food disparities. The pilot program is designed for Black girls in the east Winston community and will cover financial literacy, budgeting, self-respect, self-worth, and survivors' healing with a focus on addressing the impact of community violence and bullying. Through partnerships with women leaders and mentorship programs, girls will expand their network and bridge the education-to-career gap and provide the girls with guidance, support, and access to resources to promote for economic advancement.

The Parenting Path

$15,000 to launch an all female Knock Out Program program cohorts to address the needs of young ladies and their caregivers specifically.

This program will serve 11–18-year-old girls at risk of involvement or already involved in the juvenile justice system. The Knock Out for Change program incorporates an evidence-based Positive Parenting Program Curriculum proven to help curb and prevent gang involvement, reduces recidivism, improve family relationships, and strengthens parenting skills. Families participate in Group Teen sessions for ten weeks and receive weekly case management support. In addition to positive self-care and coping mechanisms, teens participate in boxing, mindfulness & meditation, while their caregivers participate in yoga.

Winston Salem Mixxer

$15,000 to hire and train female instructors, obtain gender-appropriate safety equipment and tools, and establish a scholarship fund for Mixxer's Women's-Only Welding and Woodworking (WOWW) Workshops.

The aim of WOWW workshops is to disrupt gender-based barriers and foster inclusivity within the metal- and woodworking, traditionally male-dominated industries. Women and girls become proficient with relevant tools and transfer their new skills to other areas, creating functional objects such as signs and custom furnishings for their homes or small businesses. The experience builds self-reliance and personal accomplishment among the women as they work to support themselves and their families.

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