Because self-led feminist groups demand the freedom to act on their own visions and strategies

In every corner of the world, courageous feminist activists are working together to build collective power, claim justice, and create, sustain, and revive ways of living that are just and fair. The Resilience Fund – our largest grantmaking programme – aims to resource, support and connect the collective activism of women, girls, and trans and intersex people around the world.

Lasting change comes from the collective activism of those who are structurally excluded, marginalised, exploited and stigmatised

The Resilience Fund supports feminist groups, collectives and initiatives that are founded, led, and/or run by people who belong to the communities whose rights they seek to advance. They are working to advance their own political and social agendas, to build connections across issues and borders, and to strengthen feminist and other social justice movements. 

Movement building and structural change take time! 

Unrestricted funding and longer-term support are crucial for enabling groups to organise, and to take advantage of or respond effectively to important opportunities and changes in their contexts. That is why the Resilience Fund provides long-term, flexible, core support grants. First-time annual grants are made with the intention of renewing them for multiple years, and Mama Cash typically supports partners for up to ten years. 

Powerful movements tackling under-addressed or contested issues often start small 

The Resilience Fund gives priority to smaller and emerging groups that are doing critically important work  but have limited access to funding. In addition to funding registered, formal organisations, we are open to funding informal or unregistered groups of activists, as well as networks or coalitions. The average grant size under the Resilience Fund is €35,000.

Accompaniment ensures that grantee-partners are equipped to fulfil their missions

Mama Cash also provides accompaniment to all Resilience Fund grantee-partners. Accompaniment can include both financial and non-financial resources. Grantee-partners can use these resources to obtain, improve, retain, build, and sharpen their skills, knowledge, and networks. The accompaniment support we provide corresponds to the specific organisational needs and plans identified by the grantee-partner.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Work from a feminist, women's, girls, trans rights and/or intersex rights perspective
  • Self-led by the women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people they serve
  • Promotion of women’s, girls’, trans people's and/or intersex people’s human rights as primary mission
  • Push for structural and fundamental change
  • Focus on issues that are under-addressed and/or contested

Frequently Asked Questions

To be eligible for the Resilience Fund, groups and initiatives must:

  1. Work from a feminist, women’s, girls’, and trans and/or intersex people’s rights perspective;
  2. Be self-led by the women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people they work with;
  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; and,
  5. Focus on issues that are under-addressed and/or contested in their context.

Mama Cash prioritises groups or initiatives that have an annual budget below 200,000 euros. Mama Cash does not prioritise providing financial support to larger groups, and very few of our grantee-partners have annual budgets over 200,000 euros.

Yes. Women’s funds are eligible to apply for long-term core funding under the Resilience Fund.

Mama Cash funds worldwide, without geographic restrictions. Even though contexts are significantly different, we find that the concerns of some specific groups of women, girls, and trans and intersex people tend to be under-addressed and/or contested in most societies (and social movements).

During the 2024 Resilience Fund LOI window, Mama Cash is inviting applications from self-led feminist organisations and initiatives based in the following regions: Africa, West Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania. Applicants for new Resilience Fund grants that are not based in the above-listed regions will not be considered this year.

Mama Cash does not fund the following types of groups, initiatives, or activities:

  • Groups whose mission and/or primary focus are not the promotion of women’s, girls’, trans people’s or intersex people’s human rights;
  • Groups whose work focuses primarily on improving the lives of individual women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people without addressing the conditions that give rise to the injustices they face;
  • Groups that actively seek to deny the rights of certain women, girls, and trans or intersex people, based on who they are, the work they do, or on their position in society;
  • Groups whose primary purpose is development work, humanitarian assistance, or service delivery, such as:
    • Income-generating activities and credit programmes
    • (In)formal education, literacy programmes, and traditional skills training
    • Providing social, legal, or health care services
  • Groups led by cis-men;
  • Groups based in the Global North that are executing programmes in or are leading partnerships with groups based in the Global South and East;
  • Groups that are led by, or are structurally or economically dependent on, political parties, government agencies, or religious institutions;
  • Businesses;
  • Individuals are not supported through the Resilience Fund (please see information on the Radical Love Fund for our grantmaking to individual activists);
  • Academic research or scholarships; and,
  • Stand-alone travel grants (costs for travel can, however, be part of broader applications provided they are consistent with the group’s mission and strategies).
  • The exact dates vary from year to year, but in general the Resilience Fund is open for new applications for about one month in the early part of the year (February/March). Please watch this space for exact dates.
  • Mama Cash’s other funds have slightly different application processes. Check the other fund pages to understand more.

Using a window and accepting all new applications at the same time enables us to:

  • 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 the grantmaking window;
  • Review and compare applications with each other, so that there is a fairer chance for the best-fitting applications to be selected.
  • Mama Cash is not a rapid response grantmaker. Our Revolution Fund responds to requests that respond to emergent (but not urgent) situations, but which fall outside of our Resilience Fund grantmaking window parameters. However, the amount of funding available is limited. More information about the Revolution Fund can be found here.

Mama Cash prioritises long-term and core support. We do this because we believe that social change takes time. The groups we support need time and sustained resourcing – for example, in the form of salaries and other employment benefits, an office, and equipment – to fulfil their missions. We also aim to support and accompany grantee-partners in the long run. We want to support movement building, and we believe that working with partners over the long-term to strengthen their organisations makes movement building possible.

While a large portion of our grantmaking budget goes to grant renewals (because of our commitment to support partners for periods of up to ten years), we also aim to support new groups every year. We see the support we provide as a river, that continues to flow – some groups coming in, some departing, but most of them staying long enough for the support we provide to have a meaningful impact.

Our transition to participatory grantmaking processes for all of our funds is a return to our roots. The value of sharing power has been present throughout the history of Mama Cash. Our sharing power practices have changed over time, often in response to shifts in the broader context.

The current context and our own politics call on us to lean into our power sharing ethos more deeply. We have done this by moving our grantmaking decisions back to the women’s, girls’, trans people’s and/or intersex people’s communities and movements we work with.

If you have any additional questions about the Resilience Fund, contact us here.

Letter of Interest (LOI) – During the Resilience Fund’s grantmaking window – usually in the months of February and March – applicants fill out the LOI online. As part of the LOI application, applicants are asked for input and guidance on which issues to prioritise.

Screening – Mama Cash staff screen applications based on Mama Cash’s criteria and priorities, as well as the guidance provided by the applicants on what to prioritise.

Community Committee   The COM COM is comprised of Advisors with a wide diversity of backgrounds, expertise, community, geography, etc. The COM COM reviews a long list of applications screened by Mama Cash staff, and narrows it down to a shortlist.

Endorsements – Mama Cash staff then gets third-party endorsements of the shortlisted applicants.

Final Deliberations – The endorsements and shortlisted applicants are shared with the COM COM. for the final decision-making collective discussion. Decisions on the grant-recipients and the award amounts are made by the end of July.

Contracting – Mama Cash staff guide the selected grantee-partners through the contracting process.

  • The exact dates vary from year to year, but in general the Resilience Fund is open for new applications for about one month in the early part of the year (February/March). Please watch this space for exact dates. 
  • Mama Cash’s other funds have slightly different application processes. Check the other fund pages to understand more.