Grant Making

Women's Fund of Rhode Island

Grant Making

2020/21 Grant applications will be accepted January 17 through March 27. Funding will not become available until October so please be sure your program/project timeline reflects this.

This year, we are pleased to offer two-year grants without a reapplication process, provided that the funding is used for same/similar purposes as year one and that the organization has met reporting and outcome guidelines in year one. To account for possible downturns in the economy, year two funding is also contingent on budget availability at WFRI. As of 2020, we are increasing our total grant making to $60,000 annually.

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) grant program recognizes that many of society’s problems have a greater impact on women and girls. There is an undeniable correlation between poverty, low self-esteem, poor health and inadequate healthcare, job access and wages, domestic violence, sexual assault and being female.

We seek to fund projects and initiatives that use a “gender lens” to focus on the unique needs of women and girls and provide gender-specific solutions to problems facing women and girls in Rhode Island. In addition, proposals that focus on systems change for broad impact, rather than change for the specific individuals going through a program, will be more likely to be funded. For example, advocacy initiatives that lead to law changes or train the trainer programs where the reach of the program goes beyond the participants, are more likely to get funded over a skills-building project for individuals. 

Please note that in addition to our ongoing priorities, we will entertain proposals addressing our advocacy concerns and recent research. Policy priorities include women's economic security including Fair/Equal Pay, access to reproductive health and freedom, and freedom from sexual harassment. Visit our Research section of the website to see our latest research.

Not sure if your idea is a fit for the Women's Fund of Rhode Island? Please reach out to us via email at or phone us at 401-262-5657 any time during the application period with your questions.

Our website content system does not allow us to post an editable .doc format of the grant application. Feel free to reach out if you would like to be emailed the application in .doc format. Alternatively, you may use the Google doc below to fill out an application online, although you will not be able to save the document prior to sending. 


Our Grant Program

  • Launched in 2001

  • Supporting programs that empower women and girls to address gender inequity

  • More than $700,000 has been distributed to gender lens programming to date

  • Made possible by donations to Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

WFRI Grant Priorities

  • Systems change ideas that work to level the playing field for women and girls in Rhode Island 
  • Civic engagement and leadership

  • Economic self-sufficiency and justice, particularly fair/equal pay and increased/living wages

  • Women and girls health and well-being, particularly freedom and access to reproductive health and/or freedom from sexual harassment


WFRI's grant making supports systemic change.  Proposals need to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • A capacity to address root causes of problems, challenges and issues

  • Impact on societal attitudes or behaviors

  • Positive long-term change for women and girls

  • Expanded choice for women and girls

  • Empowerment of women and girls to challenge the status quo

  • Changes in policies and systems to provide full participation by women and girls

Application Only

Funding is made on a year-to-year basis. Multi-year commitments will not be considered. A new proposal must be submitted each time a grant is requested. Previous funding does not guarantee continued funding, either for an organization or a project. Application Only!

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Grant Application & Guidelines

Funding is made on a year-to-year basis. Multi-year commitments will not be considered. A new proposal must be submitted each time a grant is requested. Previous funding does not guarantee continued funding, either for an organization or a project. Please download the complete application guidelines below.

Download Packet


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WFRI will fund the following types of organizations:

  • Non-profit organizations and groups that demonstrate tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code 501 (c) 3
  • Groups or organizations that submit an application through a fiscal sponsor, e.g. a tax-exempt organization under IRS Code 501 (c) that agrees to accept funds on its behalf
  • Schools receiving funding from the government
  • Eligible Organizations or groups that serve women and girls in Rhode Island

Funding Restrictions

We will not fund the following:

  • Federal, state, county, and city government agencies
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes.  Although there is no restriction on funding faith-based organizations, all WFRI-funded projects /services must be secular
  • For-profit business ventures
  • Endowment or capital campaigns
  • Individuals or scholarships
  • Fundraising events or conferences
  • Debt reduction
  • Medical research
  • Campaigns to elect candidates to public office
  • Projects that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any veteran's status.

Funded in 2019:

  • "Women in the Trades" leadership program to grow the percentage of women in the building and construction trade, promote stories of women succeeding in the trades and identifying/addressing structural barriers to women's success in the trades.- Building Futures
  • "Changing Our Tune" project to decrease the incidence of gender-based violence within the music and creative community and provide resources to survivors and community members. The project will train owners and staff of local music venues, as well as bookers/promoters, musicians, artists and audience members in sexual harassment and violence prevention. Increase creating resources to support the work.- Girls Rock
  • "Emerging Professionals Program" designed to create a leadership pipeline of women of color (the most underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged group in RI). This is the first program proposed to specifically offer a solution to the "double jeopardy" hypothesis which renders Black women "invisible" when being considered for hiring or promotion.- RI Black Business Association
  • Addressing the maternal health crisis that Black women, women of color and their children face in RI. Funds will allow SistaFire to provide leadership development training with a focus on maternal health and related systemic inequities, and engage members in participatory resource to deepen the understanding of women of color's experience in pregnancy and birth. Funding will also help to create "Perinatal Safe Spots" in RI.
  • Support for RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom to protect and advance access to reproductive health care through advocacy and legislative action.- Planned Parenthood