Women’s Foundations and Funds: A Landscape Study

Investing in women and girls

Women’s foundations and funds are a powerful force in philanthropy dedicated to women and girls. Giving from these organizations is substantial, but aside from a 2009 landscape report from the Foundation Center and Women’s Funding Network, research focused on women’s foundations and funds is quite limited.

Our new report, Women’s Foundations and Funds: A Landscape Study, helps fill a gap in knowledge about these grant-making organizations that support giving by women to women. The report explores patterns across more than 200 women’s foundations and funds, demonstrating the importance of these organizations in creating positive change for the broader community by investing in women and girls.

Key findings include:

  • Most women’s foundations and funds (76 percent) fund nonprofits in their local communities, reflecting the idea that women’s foundations and funds connect the well-being and success of women to the well-being and success of their communities.
  • While women’s foundations and funds primarily exist for the purpose of grant-making, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of these organizations also engage in other activities to support their mission, such as hosting events, conducting research and participating in advocacy on behalf of women and girls.
  • Education initiatives receive the most funding from women’s foundations and funds. Other funding priorities include economic empowerment, security, and self-sufficiency.