Grants

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Please note: the 2018 Matching Grants program is suspended.
The complete Status of Women in Florida by County Report released May 2018 will guide our strategic planning for future investments in women and girls in Southwest Florida.
Our other programs, such as Earn to Learn FL and Business Building Blocks for Women, continue and are available to the clients you serve who may be qualified and interested. We encourage all of our community partners to learn more about these programs and how they complement the work that our community partners are doing.

Current Grant Making Priorities:

The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida is especially interested in collaborating to achieve change that empowers women and girls in the areas of Poverty and Opportunity. Drawing on key findings from Status of Women in Florida by County and the Aspen Institute’s Two-Generation Approach, the Women’s Foundation will focus its grantmaking efforts on:

  • Adopting a two-generation approach by partnering with and investing in Organizations and initiatives that address the needs of two generations, e.g, low-income single mothers, and their children, simultaneously
  • Increasing women’s income and assets by partnering with and investing in Organizations and initiatives that demonstrate measurable impact in economic change that empowers women on women’s economic status by increasing their income and assets.
  • Influencing Organizations and initiatives that influence legislative and/or workplace policy change that improves the lives of Southwest Florida’s women and families in economics, safety, health, and leadership.

The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida collaborates to achieve social, political and economic change that empowers women and girls. One of over 160 women’s funds globally, the Women’s Foundation advances women’s leadership and philanthropy by raising, managing, and granting money to meet the needs of women and girls. The Women’s Foundation’s Board of Directors, a community-based volunteer board, sets the funding priorities.

Grant proposals to the Women’s Foundation are reviewed by the ElevateHer SWFL Grant Making Committee who make funding recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Our ElevateHer SWFL Grant Making Committee exemplifies the Foundation’s commitment to inclusiveness by utilizing comprehensive evaluation methods and techniques. Committee members are individuals with a wide range of experiences and knowledge as well as diversity in ethnicity, race, income, sexual orientation, and age.

Question and Answers

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding our grant making. If you do not see your question listed below, feel free to contact us with your question. (List of questions expanded w/answers)


The 2018 Matching Grants cycle has been suspended. Using the (link) Status of Women in Florida by County Report, we will update our strategic plan for future investments in women and girls in Southwest Florida.


Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing conducting charitable work in Southwest Florida.


The Foundation awards matching grants up to $10,000 for projects, programs or initiatives provided by qualified organizations.


The Foundation does not provide funds for: operating budgets; individuals; campaigns to elect candidates to public office; capital fund drives; debt reduction; endowments; fund-raising events or one-time conferences or workshops; scholarships; fellowships or tuition reimbursement; programs inconsistent with federal, state, and local non-discrimination statutes regarding equal employment opportunity; programs that promote religious activities; programs outside of Southwest Florida; individual classrooms or schools.


Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties


The Foundation recognizes significant need among commonly overlooked populations. We strive to ensure that our grants fund a broad spectrum of populations including: girls; women of color; older women; women and girls with disabilities; lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons; low-income women and girls; immigrant, undocumented, and refugee women and girls; incarcerated women; survivors of violence; and at-risk teens and children.


The Foundation uses proven methodologies to identify and assess an organization’s merit based upon priorities set by the Board of Directors and criteria developed by the ElevateHer SWFL Grant Making Committee. The Foundation’s process is designed to facilitate “effective decision making by committee” which means: grant evaluators are representative of Southwest Florida communities, decisions are aligned with the Foundation’s mission and strategic objectives, the strength of individual perspectives thrives vs. “group think”, knowledge of applicants’ impact is gained and shared, and all perspectives are accounted for resulting in a collective decision.


The purpose of evaluation and reporting is to help grant recipients reach their stated goals. Evaluation also helps the Women’s Foundation assess the quality of its grant-making. Organizations receiving funding from the Foundation will have the opportunity to work with a ElevateHer SWFL Grant Making Committee program evaluator who will provide assistance and tabulate the data during the grant year to measure and collectively report key indicators.


The Women’s Foundation considers organizations for funding on a year-to-year basis. Proposals must be submitted each time a grant is requested. Previous funding does not guarantee continued funding. An agency cannot apply for funding unless all reports required in previous award contracts have been received according to the agreed upon schedule.


Each nonprofit with a grant application approved by the ElevateHer SWFL Matching Grants Committee will be challenged to raise matching funds at a 1:1 ratio.  For example, if the Women’s Foundation offers a $5,000 match challenge, the nonprofit will raise the other $5,000 on the matching grant platform provided by the Women’s Foundation.   That will result in a total grant of $10,000 to the successful nonprofit.

You are elevating her…

Thanks to our Corporate, Media and Event Partners who make a difference in the lives of women and girls of Southwest Florida – Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry & Glades Counties.