Frequently asked questions about our grantmaking window

Why are we focusing our funding towards Environmental Justice groups in 2020?

Women, girls, trans and intersex people experience not only the effects of environmental damage and climate change, they also encounter violations of their rights to water, food, and a clean, healthy, and safe environment. Additionally, their rights to manage and preserve their communal land, wildlife and natural resources are constantly under attack. And when they resist, they experience gender-based violence such as sexual violence, harassment, intimidation and murder. The injustices of environmental degradation and climate change are arguably the most pressing issues of our time.

Despite the urgency of the situation, activist groups who work on environmental justice are severely underfunded. In recent years, Mama Cash has supported a growing number of groups fighting the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on women, girls, trans and intersex people.

During this application window for new grantee-partners, we will focus on increasing support to organisations and initiatives that are fighting environmental injustice and are implementing alternative, environmentally-just, solutions. We are excited to boost our grantmaking in this area.

We advise groups wishing to submit a LOI to consider our criteria and priorities. If you want examples of organisations that fit the criteria, we encourage you to read about some of our environmental justice grantee-partners here.


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.