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


Bethesda Center for the Homeless

$15,000 to provide emergency and supportive services to women who are homeless.

Bethesda Center for the Homeless is a leading provider of shelter and supportive services to the homeless in Forsyth County and is the only homeless shelter serving single women, providing services 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Through their women’s program, Bethesda Center will work with women to regain independence and sustainable housing.

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, with a focus 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 is clients who have recently-closed domestic violence cases. The program works with approximately 150 women per year, of which approximately 55% are women of color.

City with Dwellings

$10,000 to hire and train up to three female staff to provide peer support for women experiencing homelessness.

City with Dwellings (CWD) seeks to end the crisis of homelessness by building sustainable and supportive community through relationships and mutual support. One of City with Dwellings overflow shelters has served approximately 60 women each winter for the past seven years. City with Dwellings maintains connections with these individuals year-round through street outreach, case coordination, advocacy, and programming at its Community First Center. Funding will be used to hire women who have previously experienced homelessness to serve as trained peer support specialists to offer hope, shared resilience, and encouragement to women who are on their journey toward housing. In 2020, CWD has helped to house 25 women with more women planning to move in this fall.

El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services

$15,000 to provide technology workshops for women through the A Step Forward for Women program.

El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services offers a variety of education and enrichment programs for both children and their parents, including a family literacy initiative that helps mothers prepare their children for kindergarten and tutoring for students. Latino Community Services witnessed many of its families struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those with school age children who had to switch to remote learning in the spring. As a result, Latino Community will start A Step Forward for Women, where they will work with mothers on helping their children navigate remote learning and will also provide sessions on resumé writing and how to apply for jobs. The program plans to start with 10 mothers and will meet with them twice per week while providing remote learning assistance for school ages kids and childcare for any younger siblings.

LEAD Girls of NC

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

Over the course of a multi-session workshop series, LEAD Girls of NC 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. This year, LEAD enrolled 35 girls in its LEAD Academy at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy and plans to enroll and serve 85 girls by the end of 2020. Thirty girls are also enrolled in the Community LEAD program. Funding will be used to expand its staff to be able to provide more consistent one-on-one time with the girls in 2021.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

$15,000 to support education, advocacy, and comprehensive health care services for sexual health.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic has provided essential healthcare and education services in Forsyth County for 40 years. The majority of Planned Parenthood’s patients are uninsured women with limited financial resources between the ages of 15 and 30. In the coming year, Planned Parenthood expects to serve at least 3,425 patients at its Winston-Salem health center. Planned Parenthood also provides high-quality education programs that reflect the needs of young people, their families, and patients. The primary beneficiaries of the programs are adolescents, parents of adolescents, and women of reproductive age.

The Shalom Project

$15,000 for the Flourish program, an intensive 18-month program designed to help women who serve as head-of-household transition out of poverty.

Flourish uses a holistic curriculum that alternates focusing on financial wellness, health and wellness, career guidance, self-empowerment, and personal resilience. Community partners with expertise in many of these areas help to deliver content. The first official Flourish cohort completed a nine-month session in May. Six women graduated into their second year of the program and all have made the commitment to return as mentors to a new cohort of women this fall.  Flourish shifted to a virtual format earlier this year due to COVID-19 and maintained nearly 100% attendance. Flourish plans to keep the virtual format and blend it with in-person meetings as it becomes safe to do so.

The Wells Center

$12,560 for the CATCH (Changing Attitude to Change Habits) program, a post-release program for formerly incarcerated women.

The Wells Center, founded by the current chaplain of the Forsyth County Detention Center, has been providing personal and leadership development programming to incarcerated women for the last five years. The Wells Center board and staff have seen how the women they worked with in the pre-release program struggled after being released to gain the support they needed to be successful. CATCH will work with the women to identify their personal goals and plans for how to achieve those goals and will offer 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.

Unity Women’s Desk of the Moravian Church

$15,000 to purchase computers and teach technology skills to Latina mothers in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

The mission of Unity Women’s Desk is to empower women throughout the worldwide Moravian Church in the areas of: education, health for women and children, overcoming poverty, education for justice, and women in ministry. Unity Women’s Desk is partnering with Estamos Unidos ministry to implement a program that will empower Latina mothers in the 27107 zip code to navigate the remote learning for their children during COVID-19 and provide a technology foundation for the future. Estamos Unidos offers educational outreach programs to any Spanish-speaking community members without regard to race, religion, or gender. Beginning in 2021, Unity Women’s Desk plans to work with approximately 28 women and their children.

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 seek assistance with all basic needs. Hawley House residents graduate when they have become self-sufficient (can pay bills with limited assistance and live in private housing) and are substance free; Hawley House 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.


The Women’s Fund is now accepting applications for its annual grants program. Read the grant guidelines and apply online through midnight on Monday, June 21.
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