Core Grants

The Core Grants Program focuses specifically on six areas that have been identified as the most critical barriers for Iowa women and girls. All grant applications must address one primary barrier. Barriers include:

Core Grant applications are reviewed annually. Grants may be submitted beginning February 1 and are due on the last working day of April. Grant recipients are notified in September, with funds distributed in two allotments in January and July of the following year.

For information about the Child Care Solutions Fund, click here.

Core Grant Applications for 2022 are currently open.

To apply for an IWF grant in this grant cycle, please follow these steps:

  1. Project Eligibility, click here.
  2. Review and download the Grant Guidelines.
  3. Review the Nuts and Bolts before you begin to fill out the application.
  4. Download the application. (Updated 2/18/2021) Please remember to download the application, save it to your computer, and then re-open to start filling in information. If you don’t save it first, you will lose all of your work. It is suggested to fill in the first page of the application, save it to make sure it works, and then re-open to complete.
  5. Request a volunteer mentor, if desired, to help you develop your proposal. Email and include “Mentor Inquiry” in the subject line no later than March 4, 2021.
  6. Additional Grant Writing Resources are available.
  7. Learn about successful grant partners from previous years.
  8. More about the Review Process and Timeline.
  9. Complete and submit the application by 5:00 p.m. on April 30.

The application is in a fillable PDF format. You should download and save the PDF to your computer BEFORE attempting to fill it out. Then save it again and email the completed form to IWF prior to the deadline.

You should use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete the form. Version 11 will work. You will be unable to save the completed form in Versions 9 or earlier of Acrobat.

Note to Macintosh users: please see page 4 of the Grant Guidelines for special instructions.

As you begin filling out the form, we strongly recommend that you test it early to make sure it is operating correctly. Try entering all of the information on page one, then save the document and print the first page to make sure that the typed text is visible on the printed form.

Each year we receive many outstanding applications for funding. Please follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your application is completed correctly.

Announcing Our BIGGEST EVER Core Grants – $150,000 for 2023 Programs

Grantmaking is at the heart IWF’s work. Since 1997, we’ve awarded $1.295 million in grants to programs expanding opportunities for women and girls across Iowa.

As the only statewide organization focused on the economic empowerment of women and girls, IWF awards Core Grants to programs that tackle one of the six identified barriers to women’s self-sufficiency: employment, child care, housing, education/training, transportation, and mentoring.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary of grantmaking in 2022, IWF will award six $25,000 grants to organizations tackling one of the barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency for the 2023 year. Only one grant will be awarded per barrier.

How to Apply for 2023 Core Grants

The RFP will be available beginning February 1, 2022 until April 29, 2022. Organizations receiving the $25,000 grants will be announced at the Annual Luncheon scheduled for September 29, 2022.

IWF will host a Core Grants information session on March 3, 2022. To join this virtual meeting, RSVP by February 28 to receive a Zoom link. Send your RSVP to using the subject line “Grants Info Session.”

Mentors will also be available to review grant applications before submission. To request a mentor, email with “Mentor Request” in the subject line no later than March 4, 2022.

Our Grantmaking Legacy

In 25 years of grantmaking, IWF has awarded $1.295 million to more than a hundred organizations serving women and girls in all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

The first round of grants awarded in 1997 provided $10,025 to six programs supporting Iowa women and girls. Grantees were First STEP (now known as the Domestic Violence Intervention Program) in Iowa City, Girls Will be Girls in Knoxville, Indian Youth of America in Sioux City, OSACS Women’s Center in Des Moines, Domestic Abuse Resources of Mahaska County, Clinton’s Women’s Health Services, and a mentoring program at Panora High School in Panora, Iowa.

To learn more about the organizations and programs IWF has funded, visit our Grant Partners page.