Frequently asked questions about our grantmaking window

Why do you not fund new groups through the Body portfolio in 2019?

We aim to provide more longer-term, predictable funding to partners, as well as accompaniment support. These goals for strengthening movements are laid out in our Strategic Plan and Theory of Change. For us to be able to do that, we have to balance between providing grants to new groups and continuing our support to existing partners.

The Body portfolio is our longest standing and largest thematic portfolio. At the moment, only a few grantee-partners in the Body portfolio can receive multi-year grants. We also continue to receive requests from our grantee-partners to do more and better accompaniment: support that goes beyond funding and which requires more time and attention. For the Body portfolio, we can do that only by focusing our work in 2019 on working with our current grantee-partners. Even if we do not accept new groups in the Body portfolio in 2019, this portfolio will remain the largest and our work on Body topics will continue.

Why a grantmaking window instead of a rolling application system?

By accepting all new applications at the same time we can:

  • Respond faster to applicants, because we can plan the grantmaking process better
  • Be more transparent about grants decisions, by indicating the priorities and expected number of grants for every grantmaking window
  • Review and compare applications with each other, so that there is a fairer chance for the best-fitting applications to be selected


Our group has an urgent request. Can Mama Cash provide funding?

If you need financial support urgently, for example for an emergency, for travel or for organising a conference, Mama Cash is not a good option. We do not give emergency grants, nor do we support travel – we can only consider (though not always honour) requests coming from groups that are already grantee-partners of ours.

For emergency grants, please contact one of the Urgent Action Funds (Urgent Action Fund, Urgent Action Fund – Africa, Urgent Action Fund – Latin America and Urgent Action Fund – Asia Pacific).


Why does Mama Cash make so few new grants? Wouldn’t it be fairer to give less money to more groups?

Mama Cash prioritises longer-term and core support. We do this because we believe that social change takes time, and that social change work is not done by itself. The groups we support need time and a sustained basic structure, for example in the form of salaries, an office or equipment, to fulfil their missions. And we aim to be there for our grantee-partners in the long run. We want to support what we call “movement building” and we believe it is important to have stronger groups and organisations to make this possible.

While a large portion of our grantmaking budget goes to grant renewals, we do aim to have space for new groups every year. We see this as a river, that is in constant motion – some groups coming in, some leaving, but most of them staying long enough for the support we provide to have a meaningful impact.