Our Grantmaking

About The Vermont Women's Fund

The Vermont Women’s Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, was established in 1994 as an enduring resource for our state’s women and girls. The Fund remains the largest philanthropic resource dedicated exclusively to this mission. A council of people from around Vermont advises the Fund and participates in its grantmaking, fundraising, and leadership work.

Our definition of “women and girls” is inclusive of cis and trans women and girls, as well as non-binary people affected by gender oppression. Moreover, we recognize the disproportionate marginalization of the voices of BIPOC individuals in Vermont.

Our Mission

The Fund’s mission is to ensure that all women and girls in Vermont can rise and thrive.

Our mission acknowledges the very different experiences women and girls have in Vermont related to race, gender identity, sexuality, class, age, and ability. We are committed to sustaining systems change and movement building that address the root causes of gender inequality. We believe economic security is a critical pathway to success for women and girls in the state. We engage in statewide partnerships, target philanthropic giving, fund and learn from research, and support programs that address the fundamental needs of women and girls.

What We Fund

To achieve a deep and strategic impact, the Vermont Women’s Fund focuses our grantmaking on supporting women and girls on pathways to economic well-being, including career development, an area highlighted by the research of our initiative, Change The Story.  We see significant funding gaps in this area and believe the Vermont Women’s Fund is well-positioned to make a difference. We support programs that seek to address systemic barriers to economic well-being, and those that recognize the disproportionate impact of these barriers on women and girls by race, gender identity, sexuality, class, age, and ability.  

We are also invested in the sustainability of the organizations we support and seek to determine how best our funding can contribute to long-term viability, creativity, and generative change. We award single or multi-year grants that support programmatic expenses for pilot or established programs and/or general operating costs.

2021 Grant Program: Guidance for Proposals

Outcomes & Strategies

In 2021, the Vermont Women's Fund will consider general operating support and programmatic proposals that:

  • make pathways to economic well-being (e.g., livable wage jobs, career development, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy) more visible, accessible, and affordable for all women and girls,
  • invest in the economic security and career prospects of unemployed women or those earning less than a living wage, and/or
  • advance strategies that address systemic barriers to economic well-being and thriving in Vermont (e.g., education/training, childcare, transportation, access to health care, paid family leave, living wages, etc.).

Critical Components

Proposals that include the following components will be prioritized:

  • Desired outcomes aligned with the Fund’s mission and stated 2021 focus areas, listed above
  • Commitment to working with women and girls who are disproportionately impacted by systemic racism and sexism (BIPOC individuals, trans women and non-binary people, women living with disabilities, older women)
  • Demonstration of how the proposed work will catalyze change and address systemic barriers and root cause.
  • Strategies grounded in research or best practices
  • Projects that exhibit a collaborative approach
  • A clear description of the desired vision for the program at the end of the grant term, and what questions will guide reflection and evaluation
  • Regional representation across Vermont

What We Don't Fund

  • Personal financial support given directly to individual women/girls
  • Individuals applying for scholarships or to attend school
  • Endowments
  • Campaigns to elect public officials
  • Programs with religious instruction
  • Projects that will be completed before the grant is awarded
  • Businesses, business start-up funds, or loans
  • Fundraising events
  • Organizational debt
  • Capital campaigns
  • Indirect expenses over 10% of the project budget

Who May Apply

Grant applications will be accepted from organizations located in or serving the people of Vermont. Organizations must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public agency, school, or municipality in the state of Vermont. Nonprofit organizations or community groups who do not have 501(c)(3) status may apply for grant awards if another eligible organization acts as a fiscal sponsor.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service,  physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be  subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds  made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont  Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation.

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

All Applications must be submitted electronically through the Vermont Community Foundation’s Online Grants Manager. Visit the Online Grant Center to learn how to use the Grants Manager, including accessing your existing account or registering for the first time. The electronic application form will be available after logging into your account. If you have questions about this process or would like to discuss an idea, please contact our grants team at grants@vermontcf.org or 802-388-3355 ext. 222.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Barrett, Grants Specialist, at jbarrett@vermontcf.org or 802-388-3355 ext. 222.

Grant Size

Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded.

Deadline and Notification

The Vermont Women's Fund 2021 Deadline:
Applications will be accepted between January 15 - March 19, 2021. Applications must be received by 5PM on Friday, March 19 in order to be considered. No late applications will be accepted. Applicants will be notified of final decisions in May.