Women’s Fund Grants Program

The Women’s Fund grant cycle opens in June/July each year. At the start of each grant cycle, we send information to local media and an email announcement to nonprofit organizations on our mailing list (click here to sign up).

We leave the information on this page year-round as a resource for grant-seekers, but the contents are to be considered current only when there is a date listed under “Deadline to Submit Applications” below.


After a meticulous deliberation process that begins with a review of funding requests, the Women’s Fund will award two impact grants aimed at improving the quality of life for Vanderburgh County families. One grant will be program-focused and the second will be project-focused. Consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate:

  • Commitment to long-range planning, financial stability and sustainability
  • Sound plan to address ongoing or emerging issues that have been identified by research
  • Solid, realistic plan for project evaluation
  • Desire to promote collaboration among organizations or institutions to prevent duplication of services
  • Project methodology utilizing a preventative approach to addressing the issue and solving problems
  • Evidence of realistic organizational planning and management


Consideration will be given to nonprofit organizations deemed tax-exempt under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and from governmental agencies serving Vanderburgh County. Nonprofit organizations that are not classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity may be considered provided the proposal is charitable and meets the criteria described on this page. In such cases, the applicant organization will be required to obtain a fiscal sponsor (see below). Organizations may apply in either the program category or the project category but not in both categories.

Fiscal Sponsors

Organizations applying for a grant under the auspices of a verified 501(c)(3) public charity acting as fiscal sponsor (learn more about fiscal sponsors) are required to provide a written statement signed by the fiscal sponsor’s board president confirming agreement to receive grant monies if awarded and to oversee the proposed program/project.

Areas Considered for PROGRAM Funding

  • Community Development: new or existing activities that improve the community’s economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being.
  • Education: new or existing activities that promote or strengthen educational attainment, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Health: new or existing activities that improve health outcomes.
  • Human Services: new or existing activities that improve public protection, employment, food and nutrition, agriculture, housing and shelter, public safety, and disaster preparedness and relief.
  • Endowment Creation: a portion of the grant may be used to establish an endowment to provide a future funding source for the program.
  • Other Civic Endeavors: Other activities that will improve the quality of life for families in Vanderburgh County.

To ensure long-term organizational stability, program grants are intended to supplement, not supplant, existing operations, staffing, and initiatives. They may include funding for:

  • A planning phase
  • Temporary or contractual project personnel
  • Travel for conferences or site visits
  • Participant travel appropriate to program initiatives
  • Consultant fees
  • Supplies and equipment
  • Construction necessary to accomplish goals (no more than 10% of the total program budget may be used for capital expenditures)
  • Administrative costs specific to the program (postage, space rental, copying)

Areas Considered for PROJECT (Capital) Funding

  • Capital projects (construction, renovation, or improvement projects) that will be completed within two years from the date of grant award
  • Endowment Creation: a portion of the grant may be used to establish an endowment to provide a future funding source for the project.

Program or Project Areas NOT Considered for Funding

  • Programs or projects of organizations that are not committed to gender equity. Applicant organizations are expected to have established female leadership on their staff and board and generally promote gender equity within the community.
  • Requests for funding to reduce or retire debt of the organization.
  • Programs or projects that focus solely on the spiritual needs and growth of a church congregation or members of other religious organizations.
  • Political parties or campaigns.
  • Operating costs not directly related to the proposed program (the organization’s general operating expenses including equipment, staff salary, rent, and utilities).
  • Event sponsorships, annual appeals, and membership contributions.
  • Scholarships or other grants to individuals.

Deliberation and Award

The Women’s Fund grants committee will review funding requests and select six semifinalists in each grant category.  After further review and site visits at each semifinalist organization, three applicants will be selected as finalists in each category and will be invited to give an oral presentation of their proposals at the Women’s Fund annual meeting in November. After hearing presentations, the Women’s Fund membership will cast their votes, and the organizations whose proposals receive the majority of votes in each category — one program-focused and one project-focused — will be awarded grants at the annual meeting. No lobbying or solicitation of Women’s Fund representatives is permitted.

Deadline to Submit Applications

Friday, July 26, 2019

2019 Award Amounts

The Women’s Fund membership will award one program-focused grant of $35,000 and one project-focused grant of $35,000. In past years, remaining finalists have received grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in recognition of the depth and quality of their proposals, but it should be noted that these grants are not guaranteed.

Grant Period

Funded programs and projects must begin within six months of award and be completed within two years from the date the grant is received.


For further information or assistance:
Sidney Hardgrave, Regional Director of Community Engagement and Impact
(812) 422-1245  |  (812) 573-1454