The mission of the Iowa Women’s Foundation is to improve the lives of Iowa’s women and girls.
Economic self-sufficiency for all of Iowa’s women and girls is central to the mission of the Iowa Women’s Foundation and to our core grants program. The IWF uses research to identify the biggest barriers to women’s success as well as their greatest needs. In the summer of 2015, we met with leaders and members of 18 different Iowa communities to discuss what those barriers were and how best we could break them down and create pathways to achieving economic self-sufficiency. Six specific areas have been identified as the most critical barriers for Iowa women and girls, and all grant applications must address one or more of these barriers. These barriers include: employment, childcare, housing, education/training, transportation, and mentorship.
Grant applications for 2018-2019 are closed.
Grant applications for the 2019-2020 year will be open March – May 2019
Download the Grant Application
Three steps to prepare for your Grant Application:
- Review the Nuts and Bolts below for an overview of the process.
- Review our Grant Writing Resources.
- Download and carefully review our Grant Application Guidelines.
Get a little help from your friends!
For 2018-19, IWF will have volunteer mentors available to review a draft of your grant application prior to official submission. To request assistance from a mentor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Mentor Inquiry” in the subject line no later than May 1, 2018.
Interested in being a reviewer? Contact email@example.com.
Child Care Solutions Fund
The Iowa Women’s Foundation has established a separate fund to enhance its investments in organizations and institutions that are focused on those strategies that will increase women’s economic security by decreasing the workforce gap through access to quality, affordable child care. The process operates on a different timeline and structure than IWF’s Core Grants Program as outlined above, and various stakeholders, partners, and experts in child care in and around Iowa will make decisions regarding awards.
Letters of Interest (LOI) will be accepted from June 15, 2018 – August 1, 2018.
Letters of Interest Instructions
Nuts and Bolts for Core Grant Proposals
Completing and submitting the application
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 X (10) and 11 may also work, but may ask you to digitally sign the document, which is unnecessary for our purposes. 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.
The email address for submission is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m. on the last working day of May – May 31, 2018.
Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please ensure that you have carefully checked both spelling and math.
If you are unable to complete and/or submit the form in this format, please contact us to arrange for an alternative means of completion.
Announcement of awards
Grant applicants will be notified in September. Those whose grant proposals are successful will be featured at our Annual Awards Luncheon to be held in the fall.
Allocation of funding
Successful applicants will receive a grant contract and first allocation (half of the total award) in January. The remaining half of the allocation will be distributed upon receipt of the project’s mid-year report in July.
Guidelines for IWF Core Grant Proposals
Applicants should review and follow the IWF Grant Guidelines carefully as they prepare their proposals. The sections below provide highlights of those guidelines.
Projects that receive IWF funding:
Economic self-sufficiency for all of Iowa’s women and girls is central to the mission of the Iowa Women’s Foundation and to our grants program. To be successful, proposed projects must focus primarily on serving the needs and aspirations of women and girls. To this end, six specific areas have been identified as the most critical barriers for Iowa Women and girls, and all grant applications must address one of these barriers: employment, childcare, housing, education/training, transportation, mentorship.
Funded projects and programs embody one or more of the following characteristics:
- Advocate on issues that lead to long-term change for women and girls
- Employ strategies designed to address causes of systemic, societal problems
- Address activities that enable women and/or girls as a group to achieve economic self-sufficiency
- Offer strategies that develop positive self-images for young and adolescent girls
- Promote prevention, early intervention, and enrichment activities
- Are creative, innovative, and new to the community they serve
- Increase the range of choices and expand opportunities for women and girls
- Work toward the elimination of discrimination
- Have a strong possibility for replication or benefiting other service providers addressing the same clients or similar needs
- Could provide a model for replication by other service providers addressing the same clients or similar needs
- Promote the interconnectedness of issues across states, regions, or countries between the women in Iowa and the global world
Projects that are not eligible for IWF funding:
- Existing or new endowment funds
- Capital projects such as the acquisition of land, buildings and major equipment; or the construction or renovation of facilities
- Research or medical projects
- Reimbursement for previously incurred expenses
- Conference attendance
- Political campaigns for candidates
- Promotion of religious activities
- Activities inconsistent with federal, state, and local non-discrimination ordinances regarding equal employment opportunity
Community Review Panels (CRPs) composed of community volunteers with relevant experience and expertise review all of the proposals and rank them according to the current-year IWF grant priorities and the procedures described in the Grant Review Process document.
The rankings are reported to the IWF Grants Committee which then evaluates the top-ranked proposals from the CRPs and makes funding recommendations to the IWF Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes the final funding decisions.
SHE Matters Reports
The IWF uses research to identify the biggest barriers to women’s success as well as their greatest needs and encourages others, including potential grantees, to do the same.
The IWF looks to communities across Iowa to help us better understand the barriers impacting women and girls’ economic security. In the summer of 2015, we met with leaders and members of 18 different Iowa communities to discuss what those barriers were and how best we could break them down and create pathways to achieving economic self- sufficiency.
The 2016 SHE Matters report outlines our findings and provides recommendations for breaking down the barriers that keep Iowa women from achieving economic self-sufficiency.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize data from the SHE Matters reports when preparing their grant proposals. Reports can be found at http://iawf.org/get-the-facts/research/.