What is the Solidarity Fund?
The Solidarity Fund is a participatory grantmaking fund created by women’s funds for women's funds. Eligible women's funds can apply for these funds under the theme Institutional Strengthening.
Why did Mama Cash launch this Fund?
After intensive internal and external consultations in 2018 and 2019, Mama Cash decided to shift how we provide strategic financial support to women's funds to be more equitable, transparent, and accountable.
Are these funds replacing core funding?
No, these are in addition to Mama Cash’s long-term core grants support for women's funds and do not replace any existing funds.
Who decided on the Solidarity Fund Thematic focus for 2022?
In October and November 2021, Mama Cash reached out to women's funds to seek their guidance in defining the theme for the Solidarity Fund 2022. We created a 2-tier process:
- Women's funds shared topics/themes/working areas they thought were important to focus on for 2022;
- Women's funds made a selection from the suggested topics/themes/working areas according to their priorities;
We received responses from 11 Women's Funds who kindly and enthusiastically shared their ideas, thoughts and suggestions in the first phase. In the second phase, we grouped these suggestions and then asked women's funds to select their priority themes. 26 women’s funds participated in the voting process and 10 voted for Institutional Strengthening as the theme for the 2022 round of the Solidarity Fund.
Who is eligible to apply for a Solidarity Fund grant?
- The Solidarity Fund is a fund for women’s funds only. Women's funds interested in applying must first review and meet Mama Cash’s criteria for women's funds.
- Applicants are not required to be a member of Prospera - The International Network of Women's Funds to be considered for funding; nascent and emergent funds are welcome to apply.
- Women's funds who received a Solidarity Fund grant last year can submit an application for a 2022 Solidarity Fund grant.
What do you mean by a 'women's fund?' How do we know if Mama Cash will consider our group as a women's fund?
Mama Cash considers the primary activity of a women's fund is to make financial grants to support groups, collectives, and individuals organising to defend and advance women’s, girls’, trans people’s and intersex people’s rights. Women's funds also raise money to do this grantmaking themselves. We acknowledge that there are other definitions of a 'women's fund,' but for Mama Cash and thus in the context of this Solidarity Fund, we require that organisations that identify as women's funds make financial grants as the primary focus of their work.
What do you mean by self-led?
We support women's funds that are led by the people they seek to support. Those directly involved in or affected by the issues the women’s fund is trying to address must be part of the fund’s leadership and decisionmaking.
Why do funds have to be autonomous or have intent to become autonomous in the short to medium term?
We only support women’s fund that are not a programme of a larger entity. Eligible women's funds must have independent decisionmaking power over their grants and resource mobilisation. If the women's funds are not yet independent, they must have concrete plans to become autonomous in the short to medium term of 2-3 years. Autonomy and independence are important to ensure that those leading the fund have final authority in their decisions to ensure they are accountable to the communities they support.
Must we support women's, girls, trans people’s and/or intersex people’s rights?
In order to be eligible for the Solidarity Fund, women’s funds primary mission must be to support women’s, girls’, trans people and/or intersex people’s in their efforts to uphold their rights through their grantmaking. Women’s funds must also have a vision and strategy to challenge and transform gendered power structures.
Can women's funds apply for more than one grant? If they are part of a collaborative between 2 or more, do all need to submit proposals?
Eligible women's funds can apply for a Solidarity Fund grant individually or as part of a larger collaborative of eligible women’s funds. Applicants may not submit more than one proposal: if they are interested in multiple collaborations, they will have to choose and submit (or be part of) just one idea. Prospera regional chapters are exempted from this rule, because they serve a large numbers of funds.
What can these funds be spent towards?
- These funds are designed to be flexible and can support any costs within the scope of the theme.
- Solidarity Fund grants are designed to support the women's funds themselves, and in turn the women's funds ecosystem, and the global feminist movement.
- This round of the Solidarity Fund will support applications under the theme: Institutional Strengthening.
- There is no restriction on activities, but we will not support work that actively seeks to deny the rights of women, girls, trans people and intersex people. We will not support anti-sex work activities, individuals, political parties, government agencies, or religious institutions.
Who will decide who gets the grants?
Any women's fund eligible for a grant is eligible to participate in this decisionmaking process, including women’s funds who received Solidarity Fund grants last year, and including those who are applying to the Solidarity Fund 2022, however this is not a requirement.
Women's funds do not need to apply separately to participate in the grant application review; they just need to indicate their interest by 3 February 2022 to email@example.com. They will need to commit to reviewing at least 10 proposals of 2 pages maximum. The criteria they will use for their review are:
- The women’s fund’s skills, knowledge and resources: How will this grant strengthen the women's fund’s own internal skills, knowledge, resources and autonomy and increase the fund’s ability to deliver its mission?
- Importance/timeliness: In the context in which the women’s fund is working, why is this work of great importance, or is there a pressing demand for it now? Will it catalyse change?
- Solidarity/movement building: Will this work contribute to or strengthen the regional network, women's funds, or the feminist movement beyond the fund itself? How so?
Who will receive the grants?
Eight grants will be made to the highest ranked applicants for grants of €25,000 each. To ensure geographical diversity, reviewers will be asked to take into account applicants’ geographical locations.
Where can I learn more about participatory grantmaking?
Wonderful that you are interested in participatory grantmaking! We suggest you start with this Grantcraft Guide & resource center.
More questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.