Grantmaking FAQs

General FAQs

 

We provide core, long term and flexible grants to Black feminist -led and -serving organizations in Africa, the America’s and Europe. Our grant-making program is Participatory, Inclusive, Community-led and Context-informed. It is designed with low barriers and reporting to allow widespread access to funding. We are committed to providing funding access to Black feminists who are most often denied support from mainstream funders.

What do we fund?

The Black Feminist Fund resources registered and non-registered groups that are at the forefront of Black feminist resistance , who are building Black feminist joy, creativity, alternatives and futures, and who strengthen the Black feminist movement architecture and infrastructure in their communities and transnationally.

We support groups and initiatives that:

  • Work from a Black feminist perspective;
  •  Are self-led by the Black women, girls, trans people and/or intersex people they serve;
  • Have the promotion of Black women’s, girls’, trans people’s and/or intersex people’s rights as their primary mission, and not just as the focus of part of their programmes.
Who do we fund?
    • We make grants to Black feminist groups and work with groups that are led by Black women, girls and gender expansive people.
    • We support groups that are constituency-led.
    • We aim to put resources in the hands of Black feminists who are advancing their own rights and building their own movements for social change.
What do we not fund?
  • Research or scholarships 
  • Micro financing, loans or credit
  • Businesses or profit-driven economic activities (we make exceptions for economic activities that enable resources to be generated for groups and are guided by economic justice and solidarity economy lenses such as worker owned cooperatives
  • Political parties 
  • Religious institutions 
  • Government agencies (including groups founded, led or primarily economically supported by government agencies)
  • Groups whose mission and/or primary focus are not the promotion Black of women’s, girls’, trans people’s or intersex people’s human rights
  • Groups who are not led by Black women, girls, trans and/or intersex people
  • Groups that actively seek to deny the rights of certain women, girls, trans and intersex people, based on who they are, the work they do or on their position in society
Where do we fund?
  • The BFF currently provides funding and accompaniment to Black feminist groups in the Americas (Latin America, the Caribbean and North America), the Middle East, Europe and Africa. 
Are all Black Feminist Fund grantmaking opportunities open for grant applications?
  • The grantmaking window for the Sustain Fund will run from May 25th to  August 1st 2022. 
  • The grantmaking window for the Solidarity Fund will begin on May 25th and is on a rolling basis. You can apply anytime. You can find more information here about both of our funds.
Are you a participatory grantmaker?
  • Yes! To ensure we are moving resources in a meaningful and transparent way, the BFF has created the Black Feminist Fund Grant Review Committee.
  • The inaugural committee is composed of Black feminist activists from diverse movements, geographies and identities.
  • This committee is the Black Feminist Fund’s participatory grantmaking decision-making body, who decides which organizations receive funding.
  • The Black Feminist Fund Grant Review Committee also supports the Black Feminist Fund to continue to improve our grantmaking process and to strengthen the participatory nature of our grantmaking. 
How many grants will be awarded for each cycle?

The funding cycles are not based on a set number of grants, although we intend to award at least 15 grants in the first cycle of the Sustain Fund. The amount of awards will vary based on the maximum amount of funding each cycle.

The Sustain Fund aims to award a total of $1.5M during its first cycle, the Solidarity Fund aims to award a total of $1M during its first two fiscal years.  

Why a grantmaking window instead of a rolling application system?

The BFF’s two funds, Solidarity and Sustain, operate differently for important reasons.

To provide the long term support we know will serve our movements better through the Sustain Fund, it’s critical that we have a grantmaking cycle where we can review and compare all applications at the same time, and develop a partnership cohort who will experience the multiple layers of partnership together. This gives the Black Feminist Fund Grant Review Committee the best chance at selecting the best-fitting applications.

Applications for the Solidarity Fund are on a rolling basis, as we aim to provide time-sensitive, one-off funding for movements who have an opportunity to respond to or create meaningful change; enable solidarity across geographies, movements or people; seed a new project, new collective or new idea; or support wellness, safety and security. We are keen on being able to provide resourcing to movements outside of the core-funding grantmaking cycle. 

Our group has a time-sensitive request. Can the Black Feminist Fund provide funding?
  • The BFF may be able to provide support through the Solidarity Fund. Applications for Solidarity grants are on a rolling basis and reviewed monthly. More information about the Solidarity Fund can be found here.
Why does the Black Feminist Fund make so few new grants?
  • The BFF prioritizes long-term core support. We aim to resource our grantee partners for up to 8 years. Moving resources over the long term to Black feminist movements unlocks the power and potential of long lasting change. By the end of our 8 year support we want to have increased your group’s sustainability and resilience. We do this because we know that social and structural change takes time. We intend to support our movements building sustainable structures that will last long after the BFF’s resourcing.

  • The Black Feminist Fund has limited resources. We ourselves fundraise for the funding we provide. For this reason, the Sustain Fund which will be open every two years, has an average of 10-20 groups per cohort. We anticipate that there will be more groups applying for funding than we can fund. This means that we will have to decline groups for financial support even though they meet our criteria and priorities.

What is the process for me as a new applicant?
  • As a new applicant, the first step is to create an Organizational Profile, which will include general contact information. The information added to this profile will apply to either grant application. 

    Once the profile is complete, your group can apply to the Sustain and/or Solidarity grant, based on your needs. Applicants can start and stop either application process along the way and have until the deadline to submit the completed form. 

    Applications will initially be screened by the Black Feminist Fund team for eligibility. 

    After applications have been screened, the Black Feminist Fund Grant Review Committee, which reflects the communities we aim to serve, will review the applications and make the final decisions on who our grantee-partners will be.

How can I stay informed of future funding opportunities?

If you would like to receive the Black Feminist Fund movement newsletter, which includes other funding opportunities, news from our grantees, and other resources such as training, exchange and learning opportunities.

The Sustain Fund

provides core, long-term, flexible grants to Black feminist groups, collectives, organisations and consortium who work to build collective power, claim justice and create alternatives. From the second year of partnership, we provide grantee partners with opportunities for exchange and learning.

When can I apply for the Sustain Fund?

The 2022 window is between May 25 and August 1. The next Sustain Fund grant cycle will open in 2024.

How long will it take to receive a decision on an application?

We aim to respond to applications by November, 2022.

What can I apply for?

The Sustain Fund is core flexible funding. This means we fund your group and your strategy. We do not fund specific projects. What is important is who you are and the change you want to make in the world. We trust you to decide how you get there, what action to take and when to pivot. 

If you are interested in support for a specific project, new idea or to take up an opportunity, please apply to the Solidarity Fund.

How much can I apply for?

We provide grants of between USD 50 000 and USD 200 000. You tell us what your annual budget is and how much you would like the Black Feminist Fund to contribute. In conversation, we will agree on a grant amount based on available funding and the number of grantees in our cohort.  

How long is the grant for?

The Sustain Fund aims to be long term core funding. There are three stages of partnership: 

  1. In the first year, we get to know grantee partners and you get to know us. At the end of the first year, we assess our partnership and decide if it’s a good fit in the long term. 
  2. The second stage is a four year grant and accompaniment. During this stage, we hold annual grant meetings and provide exchange, learning, solidarity and visibility opportunities. At the beginning and end of this phase, partners get to meet one another as a cohort. 
  3. The third and last stage of our partnership is a three year transition grant and accompaniment.

By the end of our eight year support we want to have increased your group’s sustainability and resilience.

The Solidarity Fund

supports timely, one-off initiatives that respond to or create an opportunity for change; enable solidarity across geographies, movements or people; seed a new project, new collective or new idea; or support wellness, safety and security. 

When can I apply for the Solidarity Fund?

Anytime! We will be accepting and reviewing applications on a rolling basis.

How long will it take to receive a decision on an application?

To be responsive to opportunities, the Solidarity Fund decision-making turn-around time will not exceed eight working weeks from receipt of nomination.

What can I apply for?

Is your group new? Do you have an innovative bold new idea? Are there things happening in your context that you want to respond to? Do you need to strengthen your safety and security or wellness? Do you want to be in solidarity with others in your community or around the world?

The Solidarity Fund supports timely, one-off initiatives that respond to or create an opportunity for change; enable solidarity across geographies, movements or people; seed a new project, new collective or new idea; or support wellness, safety and security.

How much can I apply for?

You tell us what your budget is but Solidarity Fund grants are intended to be small or medium size grants (USD 10,000 – USD 50,000) for a period of up to one year.  

How long is the grant for?

The Solidarity Fund provides grants for up to one year period.

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