Core Grants

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.


Grantmaking is at the heart IWF’s work. Since 1997, we’ve awarded $1.681 million in grants to programs expanding opportunities for women and girls across Iowa.

Core Grant Applications for 2023 open February 1.

How to Apply for 2024 Core Grants

The RFP will be available beginning February 1, 2023 until April 28, 2023. Organizations receiving grants will be announced at the Annual Luncheon scheduled for October 4, 2023.

IWF will host a Core Grants information session on March 2, 2023. To join this virtual meeting, RSVP by February 27 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 2, 2023.

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.

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

  • Project Eligibility, click here.
  • Review and download the Grant Guidelines.
  • Review the Nuts and Bolts before you begin to fill out the application.
  • Additional Grant Writing Resources are available.
  • Learn about successful grant partners from previous years.
  • More about the Review Process and Timeline.
  • Complete and submit the application by 5:00 p.m. on April 28.
  • You must create an account once you have opened the electronic Grant Application Start with the blue button in the upper right corner of the application page that allows you to log in or create a new account. Once you have created a new account you may access the grant application by your personal log in. This process is new for 2022. The system will walk you through the process. Be sure to read the Grant Guidelines noted above in step #2 as you will need information there to complete your proposal.

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

For more information about how to apply for our Core Grants, please watch our video session we held on March 2, 2023..

Our Grantmaking Legacy

In 25 years of grantmaking, IWF has awarded $1.681 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.

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