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Frequently asked questions about our grantmaking window
The grantmaking window that ran from 1 March - 31 March was only open for Resilience Fund Applications. Please check back periodically on our website for information and application instructions related to our other funds.
Why are you becoming a Participatory Grantmaker?
Our transition to adopt all participatory grantmaking models is a returning to our roots, an evolution, not a revolution. The ethos of sharing power has long been present throughout the history of Mama Cash. How that is being expressed has changed over time, alongside shifts in the broader context. Our work now is to more deeply lean into our power sharing ethos, which we are doing by moving our grantmaking decision-making power directly back to the women, girls, trans people and/or intersex communities and movements we aim to serve.
How will the process change for me as a new applicant?
Starting this year, all applicants who apply during our LOI window will be invited to participate in setting some of our priorities for this year’s round of grantmaking. Applicants will provide input by ranking the thematic priority areas that they believe should be funded this year. This input will be part of our application form.
Mama Cash will continue to set the criteria for eligibility, and staff will screen all of the applications to ensure our Community Committee, a participatory grantmaking decision-making body run for and by activists with experience in feminist movements, only reviews eligible groups.
Factors that influence our screening process include whether a group or initiative strongly articulates that they:
1. Work from a feminist and/or women's rights perspective;
2. Are self-led by the women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people they serve;
3. Have the promotion of women’s, girls’, trans people's and/or intersex people’s human rights as their primary mission, and not just as the focus of part of their programmes;
4. Push for structural and fundamental change;
5. Focus on issues that are under-addressed and/or contested;
We will also consider whether a group promotes cross movement building, and/or network and alliance building. Additionally, we prioritize groups that have an annual budget below 200.000 euros.
After the applications have been screened, a committee reflecting the communities we aim to serve will review the applications and make the final decisions on who our new 2021 grantee-partners will be.
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?
Mama Cash is not a good option. We have a very limited pot of funding for requests that respond to emergent situations, but which fall outside of our March grantmaking window parameters. This is our new Revolution Fund. The Revolution Fund is still in development, and will not be open for new requests until later in 2021.
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.