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.


Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the Women’s Fund is responding in earnest to the ever-changing needs of our community nonprofits.  We are committed to modifying our approach to best meet the needs of our community while ensuring our mission to positively impact the community.  With this in mind, the Women’s Fund will be expanding the parameters for the 2020 grant awards.

For the 2020 grant cycle:

  • Organizations are invited to submit a proposal for their greatest need. Proposals should focus on activities which are directly related to fulfilling the mission of the organization, not simply the replacement of lost income.
  • Proposals can focus on either a project or a program, as in the past. Funding consideration will not be restricted to funding one of each type of activity.
  • Proposals still need to focus on an evidence-based service with measurable outcomes.
  • Grant awards will include two Impact Grants of $25,000 each and four Finalist Grants of $10,000 each with a focus on improving the quality of life for Vanderburgh County families.

The Women’s Fund Grants Committee will consider all proposals with a focus on the following parameters:

  • 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). Only one application will be considered from an organization.

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 Funding Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • 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.
  • Capital Projects: Construction, renovation, or improvement projects that will be completed within two years from the date of grant award.

To ensure long-term organizational stability, 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
  • Administrative costs specific to the program (postage, space rental, copying)

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, 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 twelve semifinalists.  After further review and site visits at each semifinalist organization, six applicants will be selected as finalists and will be invited to give an oral presentation of their proposals at the Women’s Fund annual meeting in November.

The format for site visits will be determined based upon available guidance from the CDC, state and local government authorities and in partnership with the organizations to be visited. Visits may be conducted in person or remotely, depending on guidance available at the time of visits.

After hearing presentations, the Women’s Fund membership will cast their votes.  The two organizations receiving the highest number of votes will be awarded $25,000 grants.  The remaining four organizations will receive $10,000 grants.  No lobbying or solicitation of Women’s Fund representatives is permitted.

Deadline to Submit Applications

Friday, July 17, 2020

2020 Award Amounts

The Women’s Fund membership will award two grants in the amount of $25,000 and four $10,000 grants.

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) 429-1191, ext. 106  |  (812) 573-1454