Equality Fund Launches CATALYZE Funding Opportunity

As 2020 continues to bring extraordinary challenge and pain to communities everywhere, women’s rights and feminist organizations are rising up as courageous champions of justice, truth, and lasting change.

In a moment like this, our goal of shifting lasting power and resources to feminist movements feels as urgent as ever before, and we have had a busy summer. At the beginning of July we entered a two-month period called Feminists @ Work, a chance to dig deep, focus intently, and prioritize the design, strategy, and implementation aspects of our ‘Design and Build’ phase.

During this period, we are thrilled to have completed the design of our new funding opportunity and first global Call for Applications.

Feminist Input for Equality Fund Grantmaking

Following an inspiring consultation process across feminist movements globally with Associate for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), we heard much input into the how and who of our process—the accessibility of application processes, tailoring levels of funding and requirements to a diverse range of organizations, and incorporating elements of participatory grantmaking to shift power in our decision making. With these recommendations, we have now completed the design of our “Catalyze” grantmaking stream, which is a direct funding program for small- to medium-sized women’s rights and feminist organizations.

Investing in Organizations that Drive Change

Our grantmaking focuses on the most difficult and complex challenges of our time. Time and again, data shows that putting money directly into the hands of women, youth, girls, and non-binary people who are most impacted by inequality is the most effective way to solve problems—because they are the best positioned to drive meaningful change.

How We Fund

Our goal is to shift power and flexible resources to women’s rights and feminist organizations so they can advance their own priorities and agendas. The Equality Fund provides core support, multi-year grants in a range of sizes depending on the size of the organization. For more information, see our Application Guidelines.

Where We Fund

Organizations working in countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA)—in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe—are eligible to apply. Due to our collaboration with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), and the Equality Fund’s dedicated Women’s Voice and Leadership project in the Caribbean, this call will not be open to organizations working on the African continent or the English speaking Caribbean. Organizations on the African continent can apply directly to AWDF.

The Role of Partnership

This is a big moment in our shared journey, and we celebrate the amazing partners who have helped us get here. Partnership is at the heart of the Equality Fund’s vision—and is fundamental to our ability to achieve our shared ambition. Our collaboration with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Community Foundations of Canada in developing the Principles for Feminist Philanthropy has been central to our design of this call. We are working closely with AWDF on grantmaking design and will continue to further develop the partnership across other areas of the initiative. WUSC has provided valuable input into financial and risk considerations. Our philanthropy partners at PAWHR have encouraged and backed us every brave step of the way. These are only a few examples of how our collective effort made this happen, and we are deeply appreciative for the amazing collaboration across the Equality Fund community.

The First Step

At the core of our work is a deep belief that feminist movements deserve support that is as bold and reliable as they are. This new funding opportunity is an early but meaningful step toward achieving this vision. It is made possible by each and every one of our donor partners, whose commitment makes this kind of transformative support possible, and whose participation is key to making gender equality a reality everywhere. We could not be more optimistic about what we will continue to accomplish together in the years ahead.

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