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The African Women’s Development Fund

Region: Africa
Grant Type: Project Grants
Description: The AWDF funds local, national, sub-regional and regional organisations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment. The AWDF is an institutional capacity-building and programme development fund, which aims to help build a culture of learning and partnerships within the African women’s movement. In addition to raising money and awarding grants, the AWDF will attempt to strengthen the organisational capacities of its grantees.


The AWDF funds work in six thematic areas:


  • Women’s Human Rights
  • Political Participation
  • Peace Building
  • Health & Reproductive Rights
  • Economic Empowerment.

The AWDF will prioritise programs which develop and promote women’s leadership and advocacy across all these themes. These thematic areas have been chosen because they feature very highly on the agenda of the African women’s movement.


Who can apply?
Organisations can be local, national, sub-regional or regional African women’s organisations, from any part of Africa.
Local women’s organisations should send in the names of two referees, one of who should be a member of a women’s organisation that operates nationally.  


What types of grants do we support?
The AWDF will give grants for projects related to any of the thematic areas specified above. We expect applicants to build in relevant and reasonable running/core costs into their project proposals.


We will give grants to national and regional organisations for aspects of organisational growth and development such as strategic planning, developing fundraising strategies, communications systems, retreats, governance systems, etc.
We will give grants for capital costs such as purchase of computers, printers, photocopiers.


Frequency of grant making
AWDF will make grants in three cycles each year. Applications can be sent in at any time.


Size of grants 
Organisations can apply for grants ranging from $5000 – $50,000. Kindly note that most grants will be for less than the maximum. Grants over $20,000 will only be made to organisations which operate on a regional basis.


Criteria for the review of grant applications:


  • Applying organisations should preferably have been in existence for at least three years.
  • Women’s organisations have to be led and managed by women.
  • National or regional civil society organisations may apply for a women-specific project, but will have to demonstrate that there are women involved in their governance, and that the project will be managed by a senior woman in the organisation.
  • Potential grantees should show how the project proposal fits into the organisation’s overall strategy for the area of work or community in which it is located.
  • Organisations have to demonstrate how their work fits into either a local, national or regional strategy for the empowerment of African women.
  • Applying organisations should have basic organisational systems and structures in place. We will look for evidence of effective leadership, planning and networking.
  • The organisation should have a clear evaluation and sustainability plan for the project
  • The potential to raise additional funding.
  • Ability to manage funds and account for them in a transparent manner.

The AWDF will not support the following projects:


  • Organisations that aim to convert people to any religious belief
  • Political parties or women’s wings of political parties
  • Individuals
  • Government departments
  • Scholarships and fellowships for academic studies
  • Women’s organisations which are not led by women

How to apply
Interested organisations should send in their proposals to the AWDF secretariat in Accra, Ghana, using the grant application guidelines. Applications can be sent in English, French, or Portuguese, by email, fax or post. Please note that whilst we will accept applications by email and fax, we still expect a hard copy. 


Grant Application Guidelines
In order to consider your request, we need basic and specific information about your organisation, its composition, and its purposes. We need to know how your organisation believes its work can be supported with a grant of $5,000- $50,000 from the African Women’s Development Fund. Please write your project proposal using the following guidelines:


Contact Information


Name of organisation
Address ( Physical & Postal)
Telephone and Fax numbers
E-mail address, and World Wide Web site address (if any)
Contact person’s name and title
Who completed this proposal? Please sign and date.
Contact details of two (2) referees
How did you learn about the African Women’s Development Fund?

Organizational Information


1. Purpose of the organization?


  • What are your organisation’s main goals?
  • When was your organisation formed?
  • Who started your organisation and why?
  • Is your organisation local, national, sub-regional or regional?
  • In which region(s) does your organisation work?
  • Who are the main beneficiaries of your organisation’s activities?
  • What are your organisational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

2. Structure


  • How does your organisation make decisions? Does your organisation have a staff, a board, advisors, or volunteers?
  • How many of each? What are their roles? How many are women? What are their positions?
  • How many people participate in your organisation? Do you have members? If so, how many? How many are women? What are their positions?
  • Is your organisation a women’s organization? If not, please explain the role women play in making decisions about your organisation’s activities.

3. Activities and/or Programs


  • What would you describe as the key areas of work for your organisation, i.e. women’s human rights issues, economic empowerment, etc.
  • What are the key challenges your organisation faces in this area of work?
  • Describe your organisation’s past activities and/or programs.
  • Describe your organisation’s present activities and/or programs.
  • What are your organisation’s plans for the future?
  • How does this project you are applying for fit into those plans?

4. Financial Situation


  • Please include your budget for your current financial year
  • What sources of funds does your organisation have for the next twelve months? (Please list sources and amounts.)
  • Enclose a set of audited accounts for your last financial year. If these are not available, a financial statement signed by your Treasurer and one other officer or member. The audited accounts/financial statement should include sources of funds for your activities and details of income and expenditure.

Grant Request Information


  • How much money are you applying for?
  • For what purpose are you seeking a grant from the African Women’s Development Fund? State project objectives.
  • How many women do you expect to benefit from this project and how?
    Please tell us specifically how this grant will be used, and include an activity plan and monitoring plan.
  • Clearly describe project sustainability plan
  • How will this grant enable your organisation to achieve its strategic objectives?
  • What is the change you expect to see at the end of this grant?
  • How will the grant benefit the women you wish to work with?
    a) What are the views/perceptions within your community on the issues covered by the project?
    b) How do you expect to change these views by the end of the project?
  • What, if any, changes will the project make at policy and legislative levels?
  • Any other changes achieved?

Provide a detailed budget for the project. If you have prepared the budget using your local currency, please include the US dollar or Pounds Sterling equivalent.

Please include the following information:

  • A copy of your most recent annual report and financial statement
  • Brochures/leaflets describing the work you do
  • Relevant photographs, press clippings, posters, videos (if available)
  • Kindly note that these will not be retuned to you, so you should only send information which you are willing to part with.

Whilst we will accept applications by email and fax, we still expect a hard copy by post. We receive a lot of applications, so we will prioritise those proposals which arrive complete with all the information we have asked for.

All applications should be sent to:


African Women’s Development Fund
Plot Number 78,
Ambassadorial Enclave,
East Legon – Ghana


Mailing Address
PMB CT 89 Cantonments,
Accra, Ghana.
Tel:+233 21 521257




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Organization: The African Women’s Development Fund

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